Quick: Dump conventional laundry detergents and additives that contain synthetic petrochemicals that both pollute the environment and leave potentially harmful residues on your skin. Start here.
Seventh Generation makes a washing powder, as well as an even gentle baby detergent and fabric softener. Available at Rainbow, Kroger and other locations.
The hip "people against dirty" mantra behind the Method products is not the only thing cool about the company's laundry detergent and fabric softener. Right now, the triple concentrated detergent is on sale for $5.99 at Target ($6.99 normal); the little bottle covers 32 loads. All Method products smell divine.
Don't toss your plastic Downy ball. Just replace the chemical-laden fabric softener with a natural version by Method, Seven Generation, Ecover or other green company. (And Method even makes a dryer sheet now, if you must.)
20 Mule Team Borax should be a staple in every cleaning chore, including laundry. Borax is derived from a natural mineral (sodium borate), is a great booster (not to mention insect repellant). Just dump half a cup in with your natural detergent to boost cleaning power.
The grooviest green wash product is actually blue. Mrs. Stewart's Concentrated Liquid Bluing has been around since 1883. Just squirt some in with your whites, and your clothes will look bleached. Only a couple bucks at Walgreen's and other traditional stores. Look on the tall shelf next to the Borax.