Here is the recipe I use for powdered laundry detergent, which I got at some point from some link on my internet mom's board. Isn't that how the best things work? The solutions just float your way and become ingrained in every day living?
1 bar Ivory soap
1 bar Fels Naptha Soap
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
Just grate up the soap in a food processor or blender, shake it all together in a Tupperware container and *poof*! Awesome, economical and low chemical laundry detergent. Use 2 Tbsp. (yep- ONLY 2 Tbsp.!) per load. Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse water for softness and smell removal, and there you go- clean, fresh laundry and a happy wallet! Plus, no worries about skin irritation.
Just a tip- Fels Napha, borax and washing soda can all be found at Win-Co. Also, it is best to put the borax and washing soda in with the hard soaps when grating them- they don't need to be grated, but having them in there keeps the bar soaps from clumping in the food processor.