A few years ago money was very tight for us and the high cost of laundry detergent int he supermarket really hacked a chunk out of my budget. It was then I discovered ways of making a simple, effective and low chemical washing supplies. Now that I know how to make them I rarely buy the expensive brands in the store anymore!
For more recipes like these, I recommend the book "The Naturally Clean Home" by Karyn Siegel-Maier. She gives lots of recipes for crafting chemical free cleaning solutions. For the last Spring Cleaning occasional post check out this link. And if you want to make your own soap from an herb, check out Soapwort.
These are the three recipes I rely on when making my own laundry soap. Which one I make is mostly determined by what ingredients are on hand. Each recipe uses washing soda. Washing soda, also known as Soda Ash is sodium carbonate. I obtain mine from the WalMart in the laundry soap aisle near the large boxes of baking soda. I have noticed that some grocery and health food stories also stock it. Washing soda is caustic, so I recommend gloves when you work with it or your hands can get raw.
I make Dryer Sachets at the Backyard Patch filled with dried herbs like lavender, peppermint or lemon verbena, but if you have need for quick scent and have a few essentials around the house, you can try this instead. Place 2 to 4 drops of essential oil on a 4 inch square of cotton cloth. An old hankie will do, or just cut squares of muslin.
Here are a few Essential Oil combinations you can try:
Lavender and/or chamomile for relaxation and to aid sleep
Eucalyptus and Peppermint to relieve cold symptoms
Patchouli and Sandalwood for manly scent
Scented geraniums or Violet for a floral smell
Rosemary, Clary sage and thyme for a savory or earthy tone