An update on my laundry soap: I've upped my bar soap from a half a bar to a full bar, and have become a Fels Naptha convert. I like the product a lot better.
For a real whitening boost, try adding a scoop of Clorox OxiMagic to the load. I've been using that in place of chlorine bleach for awhile now, plus I'll toss a scoop in a load of bright clothes, too.
For a degreasing or deodorizing boost, add a splash of regular pinesol to the load. Though it smells quite strong during and just after the cycle, by the time the clothes come out of the dryer, they are just pleasantly scented, much as they would be with a fabric softener. I had found that the homemade laundry soap wasn't so great at removing strong odors (such as my teenage son's tendency to bathe in cologne before school.) But Pinesol works great for this!
And as always, white vinegar as a fabric softener not only keeps your clothes soft and static free, it has the added bonus of de-gunking your washing machine.
Happy laundering. :-)