Yes. I made my own laundry soap after much investigation. I wanted to see how difficult it was, and if the effort is worth it. Turns out that's a yes. A big yes. It's super easy to make, kinda fun actually. And the bonus is I have the cost down to 1 penny per load of laundry.
Oh heck yeah-more money for fashion! (Which ironically creates more laundry.)
I use about 1/2 cup sometimes only 1/4 cup of my homemade detergent for a load of laundry. I live in a hard water area as well, and my washer is not that big. So, experiment and try it out. I search for coupons for the washing soda and borax and buy it in bulk from the military commissary.