Care2's homemade non-toxic cleaning kit.
In fact, I recently used this wonder-duo on some super stinky stale laundry. I'd inadvertently turned my load on and left it on soak...for five days!!! It was only by accident that I discovered the rank laundry when my husband cracked the lid to add some items to what he believed was an empty washing machine. When he opened the lid, I nearly lost my lunch.
After re-washing the clothes, then sun-drying them, they were no closer to being saved from certain death, until I decided to look up online what could be done...and wouldn't you know it, good old tried and true baking soda and vinegar were the two most mentioned solutions. I tried them. They worked like magic. My clothes came out scent free. The first time.
What I find a bit more complicated is soap. Soap is something I use a lot of, and so it's a product that can really reduce my footprint, if I can cut down on both its packaging and harmful chemicals. I looked into soap nuts, which seem a might too gentle for my cleaning tastes, and into making my own soaps from acid and base----Crikey! I don't have the time for that--soap making is a very slow and arduous process. While it could be worthwhile, there are other hobbies I'd rather take up, like guitar or tennis. Neither am I convinced it's significantly more economical or demands significantly less packaging, save for the possible exception of professional soap makers.
What I have found, though, that I'm very excited about is soap flakes. Once harder to come by, Soap Flakes are again available in the USA in compostable cardboard packaging (but be diligent, as they're also found in plastic bag packaging) and can be found online or locally in bulk (if you're lucky) at places like Whole Foods Market. Soap flakes can be used to make just about any kind of soap that one may desire, from hand to laundry. It can be customized in concentration and scent. In short, soap flakes are my new best friend. Visit soap flakes site to check out some great recipes. If you try them and you love or hate them, or have in the past, drop a comment. Are they really more economical? Let me know what you know.
I lost interest in soap flakes, though if I find them reasonably priced in bulk, I may go for them. What I've discovered is it's usually much cheaper and not that much more trouble to simply grate your own flakes from bar soap. Additionally, most of the soap flakes I found were packaged in plastic. So, making flakes myself is just plain preferable.