Not only is making homemade laundry detergent easier than one would think, it is better for the environment and easier on the pocketbook. Liquid and powder detergent can be made that is gentle enough for delicates and can be used either in the washing machine or for hand washing.
To make detergent for delicate clothing, all that is needed are a few items that can be found at your local grocery store or online: a bar of gentle and mild soap such as Ivory, washing soda -- do not substitute with baking soda -- a large container and water if you want liquid detergent.
For liquid delicate detergent, grate the bar of soap and add to a quart of water in a pan and cook until it is dissolved. Put 4 gallons of hot water into the container, add a cup of washing soda and mix. Add the soap and water mixture and let sit overnight. Use about a half to a full cup of the mixture in either the washing machine or with hand washables.
For powder detergent for delicate clothing, grate the bar soap and mix with a cup washing soda in large container. Stir mix together and use as you would store-bought detergent.