this is the first of my homemade concoctions, and it's working pretty well. i use lavender castile soap and it leaves our clothes with a nice smell. i read somewhere to use vinegar for fabric softener, but i can smell really well...way too well for vinegar. as of now, i'm not using any fabric softener, but if anyone has a natural suggestion, please send it my way.
if you've never used castile soap, but want to start making your own products, stock up now! this stuff is great and can be used on anything. you can even brush your teeth with it (not that you would want to, but it's that safe). you can get it anywhere...whole foods, kroger, target, online, etc. i use dr. bronner's brand, and the bottle is a little weird (you'll understand when you read it), but the product is good.
this recipe comes from www.passionatehomemaking.com:
1 cup castile soap
2 cups water
1/3 cup salt
1 cup baking soda
mix the salt and baking soda with warm water until dissolved. add in castile soap and mix well. use 1/4-1/2 cup per load.
i keep mine in a carafe, along with my dishwashing detergent and vinegar. you can put it in in anything obviously, but i'm a sucker for packaging...i guess i feel like housework is more glamorous if my products are packaged well :) i've gotta run, but i'll try to get the dish detergent recipe up tomorrow.