I've been using Charlie's Soap for a few months now and so far it has worked out great. The clothes are just as clean as with a regular detergent and they come out of the dryer softer.
The thing I want to write about, however, is the magical properties of Charlie's Soap. I had a skirt that had a leakage problem (misplacement of the Diva Cup, if you know what I mean). Normally, I would have pre-soaked it and scrubbed whatever soap I had around and thrown it in with the rest of the wash. Here's the difference: This skirt was not only "dry clean only" but I had left the stain sit on it for a looong time. So, I decided to experiment, since the skirt was probably a goner with that stain, and used a pre-treat with Charlie's Soap.
It's not really a pre-treat type of laundry soap, I've found, but only because it does not react like Tide or Dawn, the two pre-treaters I've used in the past which take out just about anything. The Charlie's Soap is very grainy and doesn't suds up (I guess that's part of why it's safe for rivers and streams) so it doesn't seem like it's doing anything when you rub it in.
Charlie's Soap also does a really weird thing: it heats up when rubbed with water. It was really freaky; I was using my fingers to rub it in after wetting the stain with water, and could feel it get really hot. Oh, also, I don't recommend you use fingers to rub Charlie's Soap into anything -- it kinda stings.
But, after putting the "dry-clean only" skirt through the wash I hung it up to air-dry and the stain was completely gone. So I decided to try another experiment -- this time I took pictures.
Above is the bowing robe I left at the Zen center for, like, five years and brought home to wash. As you can see, there are some unidentified stains on it -- that's what I get for leaving it. This time I used a wet washcloth to rub in the Charlie's Soap. I just use a little bit on each of the stains and rub it in. Eventually I had to put my fingers on it somewhat, and the same stinging occurred. But I got the soap worked in fairly well and dumped the robe in with the rest of the wash with the regular one tablespoon of Charlie's Soap.