Washing Soda

Washing soda is not the same as baking soda.

Washing soda is also called sodium carbonate or sal soda. It can be harder to find in some areas, but if you're intent on making your own laundry soap it can be worthwhile to order it online even if you pay some shipping costs. Compare shipping costs though. Some places can be outrageous.

You can also use it to scrub burned food from pots and pans--but don't use it on aluminum cookware.

Avoid: Aluminum cookware or surfaces. Don't use on fiberglass surfaces.

Note: Lots of people have emailed saying this is hard to find in their area. I finally found it at a local upscale grocery store, not a place I would have thought to look. If you can't find it locally, you can buy it online from Amazon.