One of the lovely ladies in my mom's group tipped me off to Charlie's Soap yesterday. I was pleased to find that, of only two retailers in Colorado, one was just a few short blocks from my house (Check out Amy Mann's Denver Diaper Co. website for Charlie's cleaning products as well as great cloth diapers and accouterments.) so I rushed out to get some (because I'm kind of obsessive-compulsive like that).
Charlie's soap runs about $13 (free shipping on their website, or buy it locally) for a bag that does 80 loads of laundry. I love that the bag is teeny tiny - the size of a small bag of flour - and you only have to use one teaspoon per load. It makes for much less waste than the kind in a large cardboard box that we currently use.
The soap is also biodegradable, non-toxic, and water soluble, meaning it washes completely out of your clothing, towels and sheets, making them much softer. Probably not something you normally notice, but you will definitely be able to tell the difference after the first load. The first load you run should be empty or a load of rags, which is what I did. It cleans out all the gunk and soap scum build up. And, let me tell you, you would not believe the amount of gunk and scum in your washer until you take that first load of rags out. Ick!
I also love the story on Charlie's website about how the company was formed and how they were affected by outsourcing to China. Check it out.