Manufacturers of laundry products spend a good deal of money on advertising to convince us that their products contain "magical" ingredients that can solve every laundry problem. Well, they don't! With their cleaning power stemming from caustic bleach, EDTA, and optical brighteners (which are strong allergens), their ingredients are anything but magical.
After experiencing lots of different recipes, here are some that worked really well. They are easy to make, cheap and natural.
These formulas don't have any magical components that you can't pronounce. Instead, the cleaning power of these soaps comes from combining clean, pure ingredients.
Basic Laundry Soap Powder
1 cup washing soda
1 cup scented baking soda (fill a shaker-type container with baking soda and add about 10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Click here for a list of essential oils and their benefits)
1 cup soap flakes or finely grated pure bar soap (I like Dr Bronners castile bar soap)
Combine all ingredients and store in a heavy plastic container or glass jar (canning jars work great - make sure to use the wide-mouth ones!). Use 1/2 cup per average laundry load.
Basic Liquid Formula
2 1/4 cups liquid castile soap
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tablespoon glycerin
3/4 cup water
10-15 drops essential oil of you choice (you may skip this if using the scented castile soap)
Combine all ingredients into a plastic container or squirt bottle. Shake once or twice before adding to the wash. To use, add 1/4 cup per average load; 1/2 cup for extra large or heavily soiled loads.