Yes, I make my own detergent. I've also got a great tip for fabric softener that's chemical free.
For the detergent you will need:
1 large, deep pot
Borax Washing Powder
Bar Soap -- I use all the remaining slivers of soap from the shower : ) Should equal a full bar.
First, shred your bar soap in the food processor (or just use the slivers whole.) Boil about a quart of water and dissolve the soap in the water. Lower heat to medium. Slowly add 1 cup of Borax washing powder. Stir until dissolved. Watch the heat as it tends to bubble over very quickly.
After this is dissolved, remove from heat. Add 3 TBSP of baking soda to this mixture -- one at a time. Stir quickly to dissolve.
After all soap and powders are dissolved, you can add fragrance, if you like. Essential oils are nice, but I actually add a sample packet of shampoo or detergent. These are always freebies that I get in the mail. Just makes it smell more "commercial."
I let it cool slightly, then pour the mixture into a 10 Quart bucket and fill with water. Stir. Allow this to stand overnight and firm up. ** It's not going to be as thick as commercial detergent.
After it sets, stir and dispense through funnel into clean, empty containers. This should be enough for 200 loads. Shake before each use.
To save money, I wash everything in cold water. To soften in the dryer, wad up a hand-sized ball of aluminum foil and toss in with the wet clothing. Works amazingly well and is reusable.