Homemade laundry detergent can be just as effective as store bought brands as well. Making your own powdered detergent is a lot easier, less mess, and doesn't take up all the space.
1 bar Ivory soap (or 2/3 bar Fels Naptha)
1/2 cup borax
1/2 cup washing soda (found in the laundry aisle)
Grate 1 bar of Ivory soap (or other not strongly scented bar soap). Add 1/2 cup of borax. Add 1/2 cup washing soda. Mix together and store in air tight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.
This recipe is for a low-sudsing detergent and works especially well in high efficiency washing machines.