I have been frustrated by the amount of detergent I have to use to manage this chore. About a year ago I came across some suggestions that seemed pretty do-able. They have worked out great for me and I thought I would pass them on to you.
1. Cut dryer sheets in half. What a simple idea! When I heard this I was annoyed for not thinking of this myself. I have been doing this for several months now. I can't tell a difference. If I notice a load is a little staticy I throw in another half sheet and turn the dryer back on for a few minutes.
2. Homemade detergent. The article I read about this told how to make liquid detergent. It was a lot of work and you would still need to stir it every time you used it because the ingredients would settle. I decided to look into the idea further. I found a simple recipe for powdered detergent. I tried it. It worked great! I made a large batch and marked the calender.
It cost about $12.00 to make and lasted a week shy of 6 months!
During that time I got liquid detergents from various sources and when my homemade stuff ran out I decided to use that. I went through 3 bottles of liquid detergent in 6 WEEKS!!! Those three bottles alone cost more than the ingredients for the homemade stuff.
Here is the recipe (which I have altered a little) and pictures of the process.
2 boxes Borax
2 boxes Washing Soda
1 large box Baking Soda
10 bars of soap (I used plain old Ivory)
You will also need a large container with a lid (mine is 15 QT) and a cheese grater or food processor...and a large spoon and possibly another large bowl to help with mixing.
Grate the bar soap. I layered a box of borax, box of washing soda, 5 bars of soap flakes, baking soda, then repeated the layers.
Stir everything together. I scooped some into a large bowl, and stirred each then mixed them together again. You could try mixing as you go. I tried sifting the first batch which was a LOT of work and not really worth the effort.
Use 2 Tablespoons per load. (Notice the plastic baggy. It has the recipe and the date this batch was made so I can keep track of how long it lasts.)
Last time I just scooped it from the large container. This time I used a smaller empty container with a scoop. Half a scoop is just right. (I considered adding this product to the batch but I decided to reserve it for really dirty loads.)
One more note: Walmart didn't have any of these ingredients. The Commissary had all of it. You might have to look around for them but it is definitely worth the effort!