Here's a bit of an email I sent to my friend who was interested in the laundry soap thing as well:
OK, here's the recipe I found online:
1/3 bar of Fels Naptha bar soap (you can use a full bar of Ivory soap too)
1/2 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup borax
Bucket that'll fit 2 gallons of liquid in it
Grate the soap and put it in a saucepan with 6 cups of water and heat it until it melts. Stir in the washing soda and borax and let it dissolve.
Pour 4 cups of hot water into the bucket. Add the soap mixture and stir. Add another 22 cups of water (1 gallon plus 6 cups) and let the whole thing sit for 24 hours.
You can also put 1/2-1 ounce of essential oil into it if you want it to smell more than just what the Fels Naptha smells like.
It turns out to be a watery gel that's yellowish (the Fels Naptha is yellow), and it doesn't make much suds. You use half a cup per load.
I found all the ingredients within five feet of each other in the laundry/dish soap aisle at WinCo. It turns out to be way cheaper than regular laundry soap - the recipe up there makes about 64 loads-worth, and the Tide Concentrate that I have cost like $5 or $6 and only makes 32 loads. The page I was reading said it's a cent or two per load, basically, for the homemade stuff. It took me maybe ten minutes to grate the soap and stir and pour the stuff together, too - not bad.
I'm hoping that using my own soap and dryer balls will cut down on the chemicals we have next to our skin. Cory's skin is pretty sensitive and sometimes he has problems with it itching - perhaps this will make it better.