I loved using my own homemade laundry soap. It was easy to make, cheap and got our clothes nice and clean.
But after we moved to our current home where we have hard water, we began to notice a filmy residue beginning to build up on our laundry. This was particularly noticeable on our towels and washcloths and affected the absorbency. (I noticed the same type of thing a few years back when I was using a detergent with a built-in fabric softener.)
All we could figure out was possibly the homemade detergent with hard water was not a good combination. Has anyone else experienced this? Also, I've only tried the powdered homemade detergent so I don't know if the liquid kind would be different or not.
For now, we've switched back to All Free and Clear. For most laundry items, just the detergent switch did away with the filmy residue.
For the other things, namely towels, I've had to strip them using hot water, vinegar and baking soda using this method. It's very easy and has been effective. I have one small load of dishcloths that I have had to run through this stripping method a couple of times. They were the worst of all.
Put laundry in washing machine with HOT water and 1 cup white vinegar. Let run through entire cycle.
Leave load in machine and wash with HOT water and 1/2 cup baking soda.
When done, dry in the dryer.
If filmy residue is not gone, repeat.
This also works well for smelly towels.