I've come across a couple recipes that either aren't clear or just have the wrong information in them -- like quantity to use per load. Sounds like this one might have been one of them. If you like the castile soap and have a co-op near you, Frontier offers Dr. Bronner's at something like $30 per gallon instead of the $60+ it retails at. That could be a good cost savings. The key is getting in on a co-op, so you get wholesale price and free shipping to the organizer's house. You can also start your own wholesale account if you order $250 worth of groceries at a time. (They also carry bulk spices and dry goods, teas, make-up, Glad Rags, things like that.)
Making your own cleaning products - isn't it supposed to be LESS expensive that way? - Page 2
I use a dry recipe because 1) it's easier to make and 2) I have a toddler, and I don't like having a bucket of any liquid around. It's a safety hazard. The recipe I use:
1 cup washing soda
1 cup borax
1 bar Fels Naptha soap
And I put 1 tablespoon in per load. Works just fine.
OH - and here's a little aside: when making any cleaning product, it's counterproductive to add vinegar AND soap (or vinegar and baking soda) to any recipe. Vinegar is acidic, soap is basic. Unless you need the fizz power of the two chemically reacting to each other (like to clean out a drain) you're wasting ingredients.
I save my (empty) vinegar bottles for liquid laundry soap. No big buckets around here, either. I just don't have the space. I also reduced the recipes, so it was more manageable for my cooking pot. Liquid dissolves in cold water washes far better than the powder, in my experience. I use the powder recipes for hot/warm water washes (certain linens).
The recipe I use is half cup washing soda, half cup baking soda, 2 ounces of grated soap--Fels Naphtha, Ivory, or Zote (or whatever scraps I have on hand), and 8 quarts of water. Dissolve the soap, and then the sodas, in water over medium heat on the stove, add it with some more hot water to a bucket, and then add more cold water to make 8 quarts total; let it gel. Suggested amount per load is one-half cup, but I often use half that.
Each batch comes out to about sixty-four loads, so the OP really made me do a double take. I make about two batches a year, so I'm only on my second box of washing soda (which I can buy cheaply at the grocery store).