For the last 12 years I've used Dreft or All Free & Clear laundry detergent and Bounce Free & Sensitive dryer sheets due to my oldest son with eczema. I feel very accomplished replacing all these products in my home with homemade recipes. The laundry recipe has worked at least as good as All Free & Clear, but I really think it works better! It got some severe grass stains out with no stain treatment. I was shocked! I've tested out a few other kinds of stains, but found most still need stain treatment to come out. I haven't had anything not come out though. Bonus, for the laundry detergent, it costs about $1.78 for 128 loads! I haven't done a price breakdown for the fabric softening, but it's cheap!
I scoop 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent and 1 teaspoon of lavender rock salt into the washing machine with the clothes. If I have towels from the pool with chlorine or oily towels from my new hair care and face care methods, then I also add a Downey Ball half filled with vinegar to the wash load to strip the excess oils. I keep 6 wool dryer balls in the dryer to prevent static and to add fabric softening. That's it! Nothing comes out smelling like vinegar or lavender at all. Everything comes out unscented, fresh, clean, and soft!
Recipes & Tips:
Here is the laundry detergent recipe I've been using Mom's Super Laundry Sauce Recipe!
Tips for making it: I cut the Fels Naptha into chunks and then used a food processor to get it finely chopped. When adding the dry ingredients, I had to keep the mixture on the heat to completely dissolve the dry ingredients. Before blending, stick the handle of a wooden spoon in to break through the solid parts and to let the air through.
Here's a helpful video of making it.
I store the detergent in a 10.8 cup snapware container with a flip lid. It's super convenient and I scoop it into the laundry with a tablespoon cookie scoop.
For fabric softening, I mix rock salt with a few drops of lavender essential oils in a small container. That's it! I love the burst of fragrance when I'm loading the washer. The scent washes out completely in the clothes. There are a lot of tutorials and recipes online. My research indicates that the salt softens the water, thus softening your clothes. Many online recipes suggest using Epson Salt, but many other sites say that Epson Salt actually hardens your water, so stick to rock or ice cream salt.
My wool dryer balls make everything comes out static free and almost as soft as it was with dryer sheets. I had a couple synthetic fabrics come out with a bit of static, but it shook right out and didn't cling. I do still use a fragrance free dryer sheet for big blankets and my bath floor mats with rubber backing. I prefer blankets fully soft and the rubber/plastic made too much static.
I made 6 balls from 3 skeins of 100% wool yarn. I made them the size of a tennis ball. I just rolled the yarn into tight balls and then felted them in the legs of pantyhose. I tied a knot in the pantyhose on either side of the ball, so the ball was very tightly secure in the pantyhose. Then I ran them through the washer and dryer on the hottest settings. Mine unraveled a bit even after that, so I boiled them a bit in water on the stove. That did the trick! No pantyhose needed for boiling. I am not using essential oils in the dryer on the dryer balls. Here is a helpful tutorial Wool Dryer Ball Tutorial.
Another option is to buy wool dryer balls: Woolzies on Amazon
I'd love to hear your thoughts or experiences with these recipes :)