There are certain areas in every home where clusters of chemicals sit. The laundry is one such place and is a great place to start walking the green path. There are many recipes for laundry powder and liquid on the net. I have my own here, but it doesn't matter which you use, just start using one of them, it's a very good way to start simplifying. You can also throw out that softener. Get used to the feel of normal clothes on your skin; clean cloth with no additives is a healthier option that clothes with softener added. Read the labels on the products you're using and if what you read disturbs you, get rid of them, do some research, start making your own and be better off for it.
One of the best ways to be greener with your laundry is to line dry your clothes. I am amazed to read that in the USA, the land of the free, that line drying clothes is banned in many areas. Some claim it's unsightly, it lowers the standards of the neighbourhood, or that clothes hanging on a line indicates "poor" people are living there! I'm not sure what kind of fantasy land people who make these statements are living in but how can clean clothing hanging in the sunshine be unsightly. Clothes hanging out to dry indicates clean clothes, clean sheets and towels all smelling of sunshine. And if "poor" people live there, so what? If you came to Australia you'd think we are all "poor" because there is washing hanging outside all over the country here. It's normal, and always has been.
And now I'll step down from my soap box. :- ) I hope you have a beautiful day.
New York Times article.