Having read many sites referencing making your own laundry liquid I thought I would give it a go. Wasn't quite expecting the end result to look and feel like mucus but there you go.
I put 2 litres of water in a non-aluminium pan, brought it to boiling then turned it down, added 1 cheap 4oz bar of grated soap and stirred until it was fully dissolved. Making sure it didn't boil, I then added 1 American cupful (or about 6 oz) of Washing Soda (not Bicarb of Soda!) and stirred well - it temporarily went lumpy so I lightly whisked it then carried on stirring. Once everything was dissolved I took it off the heat and added 7 litres of cold water. I am in an hard water area and although it was recommended I only use 5 litres it was still very thick so added more.
This is when it looked for all the world like a giant had sneezed into my pan. - wow, he really has a very bad cold! This is just one of 2 full size sweet jars that this recipe made - see http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/
There are many others on the web site. I am trialling some of my recipe now - didn't know how much to use but 200ml or an American cupful seems to be the average. I waited for some water to go into the machine before I opened up the drawer and put it in. I had planned on putting it into some saved detergent bottles but its consistency made me worry that I wouldn't be able to get it out! It is suggested that I use 1 tablespoon of distilled white malt vinegar as a conditioner to help prevent any possible build up in my machine but I haven't any until I go shopping.
The machine is still washing. There was no sign of suds at all which for a front loading machine is good, although a few appeared on its first rinse cycle which seems to suggest that 200ml was enough. I may need to use more if I feel its not cleaned properly but will wait and see. This site also suggests that this recipe and their others are okay for those of you with septic tanks.
The total cost of ingredients for this was 41p therefore using 200ml as an average amount at one time from 7 litres, I reckon this works out at an unbelievable 1.1p per wash.