My baby steps toward living a more chemical free life include transitioning toward more natural cleaning products. No fragrances, no dyes, no junky residue rubbing on your (or your kids') skin. My next recipe is for laundry detergent. I have a husband who runs, a son who plays soccer, and I am a second generation shirt-stainer. Our clothes come out clean, fresh, soft & stain free. It has the bonus of being a pretty thrifty recipe.
1 bar castile soap grated (I like Kirk's castile found by other body bar soaps & use the fine side of a box grater)
1 c borax
1 c arm & hammer WASHING soda
I repurpose a plastic container w/ a twist on lid and just shake it all up to mix and store.
Use 1-2 T per load (low sudsing - great in HE front load washer)
I have found that this detergent works best if you just throw it in the front loader with your laundry rather than dropping it in the dispenser.
also use 1/4 cup white vinegar in your fabric softener dispenser - helps keep your washer clean and fresh and soften your clothes
if your water is hard 1/4 c epsom salt in the machine when you put the clothes in helps a lot.
When we run the 'basket clean' cycle on our machine (no clothes), it recommends a cup of bleach. I have found that using a cup of white vinegar makes the washer just as fresh and takes the soap scum off of the window in a way that bleach never could.