When I posted this article, I promised to follow up when I made my next batch. The first batch (made from Ivory soap, Borax, and Washing Soda) cost less than $3 for the entire batch, and lasted about three weeks (or for 50 loads or so of laundry). While it cleaned my clothes well, anything washed in cold water (which is most of my laundry) was left with tiny flakes of undissolved Ivory soap on it. So for the second batch, I followed my friend Amanda's recipe--2 cups of 'oxygen' cleaner (she used Oxiclean, I used a generic version from the dollar tree), a cup of washing soda, and a cup of borax. I've been using this batch for about a week, and it works very well, dissolves well, and leaves my clothes very clean. I only have two issues with it, one of which is entirely my fault :P.
First--There is a fine dust that is stirred up when I open the container I keep the detergent in. I'm not sure what it is, and it makes me a little nervous. I try not to breathe it in, and I won't even open the container with one of my boys nearby. This 'dust' may be absolutely nothing, but I'm not comfortable with it, and I certainly would recommend a different recipe for asthmatics. As I didn't notice it with the first batch, I suspect it's the oxygen cleaner, but again, I can't be sure.
Second--this is the one that's my fault. After the first couple of loads, I noticed that my clothes didn't smell. At all. They didn't smell BAD, they just didn't have a scent at all. So I added some essential oils to the mix. I intended to add some Jasmine, but for some reason when I reached into the collection of oils, I grabbed a lavendar & chamomile mix my husband once bought me because it was supposed to help with insomnia. I'm not a fan of lavender anyway, and now when I do my laundry my entire house smells like little old lady :P So, you can add 8-10 drops of essential oils of your choice to this mixture. But I don't suggest chamomile & lavender :P
For other tips on saving money in the laundry room, go to this post.