I've made my own laundry detergent for just about 6 years now. For the first 4 1/2, I used this liquid laundry detergent recipe. I decided last September to try this powdered version. Most of the ingredients are the same, this recipe just seemed to be a bit easier.
I think the best part is that I am still going on the same batch I made 7 months ago. I'm about half way through it. This stuff lasts forever! And it works great, obviously, since I am still using it. If you don't want to make a years supply all at once, I've included the measurements, so you can half or quarter the recipe below.
I opted out of using the fabric softener, which the original recipe calls for. I have quiet a few articles of clothing that aren't recommended to wash with liquid softeners. I don't miss it. I think it ups the price and I find it unnecessary.
As far as grating the soap goes; I've found it easiest to just put it in my blender with the other powdered ingredients. It pulses everything better than grating could, which makes it dissolve easier and saves a load of time. I have a blendtec... not sure how this would work in a regular blender.
Powdered Laundry Detergent
Recipe modified from How Does She?
4 lb 12oz box of Borax (9 c.)
3 lb 7oz box Super Washing Soda (6 c.)
3 lb container OxyClean (5 c.)
2 (14oz) bars Zote Soap
4 lb box Baking Soda (8 c.)
Cut soap bars into 4-6 pieces.
Put a few soap pieces in the blender and fill with powdered ingredients (to about 4 cups).
Blend until smooth.
Pour into large bucket.
Repeat with remaining soap chunks and powdered ingredients.
Stir everything together in bucket to incorporate all ingredients.
Use 2 Tbsp. per large load of laundry.