For the REALLY adventurous among us... this recipe works in HE machines as well.
3.1 oz bar Ivory soap (Ivory is chosen because it's all natural. You may use a soap of your choice)
1 cup 20 Mule Team Borax
½ cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
Shave the soap into small strips and place in the pot with 5 cups of water. Bring the water just shy of a boil and stir until the soap is completely melted. When the soap is just about melted, pour 3 gallons of hot water into the 5-gallon container and let it sit until the soap in the pot is totally melted. Once all of the soap shavings are melted, pour the mixture into the 5-gallon container and stir.Once the soap and water are thoroughly stirred, add the ½ cup pf washing soda and stir until dissolved. Once the washing soda is dissolved, pour in the cup of borax and stir again until dissolved.Optional: Essential Oils for fragrance. If you like fragrant detergent now is when you can add a few drops of your favorite essential oils.Now you've got a huge container of hot soapy looking water. Cover the container, place it somewhere out of the way and let it sit overnight. Once it's cooled it will gel. It will not gel uniformly so it will be lumpy and watery. It may not be very attractive, but it works. It's best find smaller storage containers for convenience.Usage: ½ cup per laundry load is adequate to clean your clothes. This homemade laundry detergent works well in high efficiency washing machines since it is low sudsing.One word of caution, if using a high efficiency machines: Before pouring the lumpy gel into the detergent receptacle, stir it to break up the lumps. Very large lumps may not fully dissolve, stirring the detergent with a spoon, pencil, or whatever you have available (or your finger), works fine.
*This recipe came from http://lifeonthefrancofarm.blogspot.com/p/household-help.html . An excellent blog for natural household recipes!