Recipes and tips for an all-natural laundry room

July 27, 2015

Your clothes speak volumes about who you are, so why not give them the royal cleaning treatment with these genius laundry tips?

Recipes and tips for an all-natural laundry room

Natural laundry soap

This basic laundry soap gets clothes as clean as those fancy single-name commercial cleaners; it just costs a lot less.

  • 125 g (1/2 c) soap flakes
  • 125 g (1/2 c) baking soda
  • 50 g (1/4 c) washing soda
  • 50 g (1/4 c) borax
  • 1 clean 500-ml (16-oz) plastic container with lid
  1. To make the soap flakes, lightly grate a bar of pure soap, such as Ivory, on a coarse kitchen grater.
  2. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together. Store in a tightly sealed plastic container.
  3. Use about 125 grams (1/2 cup) of the mixture instead of detergent in each load of laundry.

Stain remover

Stains are always easier to get out if you treat them before they set (club soda is effective for lifting many types of stains before they dry). You can also use other ingredients found around your home to remove many common types of stains.

  • 75 ml (1/3 c) clear household ammonia
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) white vinegar
  • 50 g (1/4 c) baking soda
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) liquid castile soap
  • 1.5 L (1 1/2 qt) water
  • 1 clean 2-L (1/2-gal) recycled plastic container
  • 1 clean 500 ml (16 oz) spray bottle
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a two-litre (half-gallon) container. Pour some of the solution into the spray bottle. Shake well before each use.
  2. Spray liquid onto the stain and let set three to five minutes. Launder as usual.

Fabric softener

Here's a simple recipe for keeping your fabrics soft and fluffy. It's a lot gentler on your clothes than commercial fabric softeners, and much easier on your wallet as well.

  • 50 g (1/4 c) baking soda
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) white vinegar
  1. Fill the washing machine with water.
  2. Add the baking soda and then the clothing.
  3. During the final rinse cycle, add the vinegar (pour it into the softener dispenser if your washing machine has one).

Vinegar: fabric softener plus

Who would have guessed that a single cup of an everyday staple — white vinegar — which costs about a quarter, could do everything that many people use a fabric softener, a colour setter, a disinfectant, and a bleach to do?

  • Just add 250 millilitres (one cup) distilled white vinegar to your washer's rinse cycle, and it will kill any bacteria in the wash, set the colour of newly dyed fabrics, keep clothes lint- and static-free, brighten small loads of white clothes, and eliminate the need for fabric softeners.

Mould remover for leather and luggage

If you discover mould on your expensive luggage or leather jacket, don't race to the dry cleaners. Instead, remove the offending growth with this simple, inexpensive mould-removal recipe.

  • 125 ml (1/2 c) rubbing alcohol
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) water
  • 1 clean 250-ml (8-oz) spray bottle
  1. Combine the ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well to mix.
  2. Spray affected area. Let solution set 10 to 20 minutes, then wipe off mould with a clean rag and allow the item to thoroughly air-dry.

Washer disinfectant

Just because your washer sees a lot of soap and water doesn't mean it doesn't get dirty. Use this simple recipe to disinfect it twice a year. This rinse also removes some of the built-up soap scum from your washer's hoses.

  • 500 ml (2 c) white vinegar
  • 500 ml (2 c) bleach
  1. Let the tub fill with water, then add the vinegar. Let it soak for one hour, then restart and let it run through a complete cycle.
  2. Repeat process using the bleach.
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