I started out only using Dreft. It is good because it is very gentle. The only thing is it did not get my husbands clothes clean. So I would have to separate the kids clothes out from our clothes and do several different loads of laundry. Then Tide came out with a free and gentle laundry soap. It is free from dyes and perfumes. These are what breaks my son's skin out. It worked great but very expensive. And when you have 2 boys and a husband who are constantly getting dirty, muddy, grass stains, etc.. you do a lot of laundry. So I was spending almost $32 a month on laundry soap.
A friend told me about this recipe for laundry soap. I decided to try it out. Then I went to buy the ingredients.
Washing soda: Check
Fels-Naptha: Uh Oh!!!
The Fels-Naptha has fragrance added to it. I can't use anything with fragrance in it for my son. But then I remembered that the recipe said you could also use Kirk's Castile soap. I looked on the back of that and was relieved. All natural, no added dyes or fragrance. So I make my laundry detergent with that. I know you can add essential oils to it to scent it. But since I am the only girl in the household I just leave the laundry unscented. The Kirk's Castile soap is made out of coconut oil and has a nice fragrance to it anyway.
So I made a batch and tried it out. It worked great. The clothes were clean. I looked up a recipe for fabric softener too. I have never used it because almost all fabric softener has fragrance in it. I made up a batch of fabric softener and it not only softened our clothes but brightened up the colors and whitened the whites!!
So here is the recipe for Laundry Soap that I use:
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
2 cups grated soap (this is normally one bar of soap. I use Kirk's Castile, Fels-Naptha works great, I actually keep a bar of Fels-Naptha on my laundry sink to use for tough stains. I just rinse it out before putting the clothing in the washer.)
After you have added all the vinegar put in the rest of the water. Do this slowly too as not to bring the level up to high and set off a reaction. I let it settle with the lid on until you here no more sizzling. To use gentle shake to mix up baking soda and add 1 cup to your rinse cycle. I use a downy ball. One cup will fill the downy ball up. That way I don't have to run down and add the fabric softener. As with the laundry soap you can add essential oil to scent it. I just make mine unscented. But lavender or lemon essential oil would smell great in your clothes!! This lasts me about two weeks a batch. Not as long as the laundry soap but it is still a lot cheaper than buying it without all those dyes and perfumes!!!