Top 5 Natural Laundry Tips
I have done a few posts on natural cleaning,but I have not yet done one specific to laundry,so I thought I would share some of my favorite and thrifty laundry secrets. Lately I have been feeling less than competent in this area because I can not get the pencil marks out of Claire’s uniform shirts! She practically draws on herself everyday (don’t ask me why),and I can not get it out with anything. I don’t know if it’s because it’s a synthetic blend fabric or what,but I am having no luck. I even tried an eraser. So if you have any suggestions,I’m all ears…
I am not going to discuss laundry detergents too much because I find that is based almost exclusively on personal preference. I use ECOS Free &Clear Laundry Liquid,100 oz because I can’t beat the Costco price (210 oz for about $15). A few other good ones are Method Squeaky Green Laundry Detergent Free + Clear,32 ounces Bottle,Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry 2x Ultra Concentrate –Free and Clear,150-Ounce,and Clorox Company,The 45Oz Grn Free Detergent 30361 Laundry Detergents. Sometimes you can find coupons on Target.com for the Seventh Generation products and also another manufacturer coupon on the Seventh Generation website getting $1-2 off with the two coupons. But don’t print these coupons until you are going to use them,they do not last long! For more of my recommendations on products you can check out my Good Guide Page. Also,here is a link to a good article on what chemicals to avoid in laundry detergents from Natural News. So now on to some of my favorite tips!
1) Asprin: A few years ago,my mom told me to use a few cheap asprin in with the whites to help brighten them,and it works great! But it got me thinking about what else it could do…Asprin is a great stain remover. If I have a tough stain,I get a little warm water on an asprin and work it into the fabric. It gets almost all organic stains out! It sometimes doesn’t work as well on other stains,like pens,grease,etc.,and be careful not to leave it on too long,it can over bleach and turn whites yellowish.
2) Vinegar and Essential Oils: I keep a bottle of white distilled vinegar mixed with Tea Tree and Lemon essential oils (about 20-30 drops total of essential oil to 2 cups vinegar) in the laundry room at all times. I use this vinegar mix as a disinfectant and fabric softener. Underwear and “chicken or guinea pig clothes”always get a vinegar rinse in our house. Also,all the linens get this rinse because it helps to repel insects like moths and spiders. Ross bed was a spider magnet until I started using this rinse,and I really haven’t found one in the house since. Just be careful to make sure you have removes all the stains before using vinegar,as it can set stains. Note:Do not use in the same load as Hydrogen Peroxide. The combination is caustic.
3) Washing Soda: Good old fashioned Church &Dwight Co 03020 Arm &Hammer Super Washing Soda is hard to find,but definitely worth it. I use this as a pre-soak or pre-wash for really dirty or stained items,usually all the kids lighter colors. You can also make a concentrated spray for spotting clothes (about 2 Tbsp to one cup water) or paste (about equal part washing soda and water). This is the same stuff in the Oxy Clean products but without the special scent,dies,etc.
4) Hydrogen Peroxide: I use this in place of bleach. It is more like a color-safe bleach and works really well. For spotting on whites you can use it in combination with baking soda or even stronger with asprin. Be careful with the hydrogen peroxide-asprin combo and rinse right away,it can over-bleach easily. I can get out 95% of the stains with any of the above combinations,but I do keep a Clorox Bleach Pen on had for those really touch stains on whites. Note:Do not use in the same load as vinegar. The combination is caustic!
5) Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing 8oz: This is great for keeping whites from yellowing. You have to dilute it before using it,so I keep an old yogurt container (1 quart) to mix up the dilution. It can be a little tricky to add to a front loader. I wait until the clothes are wet and then add it where the detergent would go. For top loaders,just add like you would a fabric softener or other rinse. It’s also helpful for those fruit stains (acid) that tend to yellow.
Now you know most of my secrets,tell me your favorite laundry tip!