Monday, January 25, 2010

Green Tip of the Week-Laundry

So I've decided to start a Green Tip of the Week on Mondays. Hey, I like to organize myself. Maybe Wednesday's will turn into Catholic Controversies. Don't know. Anyway. I've read yet another book (book review on the way) about greening up your life. And I've talked to and researched some stuff on making your own laundry detergent, dish washing detergent, starch, non-bleaching whitening agents and dealing with ways to get rid of static clean in your dryer.

So here are my laundry tips:

How to make your own laundry detergent
2 cups of Fels Napha Soap (or Castille soap, or Zote, or Ivory Soap)
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda

Grate with a cheese grater or blend in blender soap. Add soap with borax and washing soda. Store in a container. Use 1 tablespoon for front load washer and 2 tablespoons for top load washer. *note: do not use a regular beauty bar soap because these soaps are laundry soap and are more potent for your laundry, Keep in mind that Fels Napha is toxic to the skin so wear gloves, Borax and Washing Soda are non-toxic but do not ingest or leave around children, Washing Soda and Baking Soda are different compounds, some people prefer to substitute baking soda for washing soda because the pH level is lower for baking soda. However, this changes the receipt and may leave you to add more borax to the mixture for the same effectiveness

Stain Removing/Whitening Tips
Baking soda made into a paste is great for removing stains. Lemon juice on a stain and left outside in sunlight will bleach out stain. Watered down hydrogen peroxide will also remove stains including blood. Bluing is great to "whiten" your clothes. It is found in the same aisle as all laundry detergents are. And I've heard that egg shells work wonders for whitening as well. See

Natural fabric softeners
Add a little distilled white vinegar to your rinse cycle to soften laundry. If you want to make your clothes smell nice, add a little of your favorite essential oil to the rinse cycle. You can also add it to a cloth and throw it in the dryer.

Using a drying rack or clothesline is the most affective way to whiten your whites and to avoid having to iron.

For those of us who have to use a dryer
Dryer balls are a great alternative to dryer sheets. They fluff up your clothes and they also reduce static cling. Amazon sells a variety of different brands of balls.

1-3 teaspoons of corn starch
2 cups of distilled cold water (you want to use distilled so you won't ruin your iron)

Mix in a spray bottle and use like normal. For heavy starching power use 3 teaspoons for light starching use 1 teaspoon. You can also add some essential oils to the spray if you would like to make your clothes smell nice.

And just because it uses the same materials as laundry detergent- how to make your own dish washing detergent

2 cups borax
2 cups washing soda

Add a tablespoon to dishwasher. To get a "streak free shine" distilled white vinegar in your jet blue compartment is awesome

Authors note: I have not had a chance to try these tips out, but I've read them in blogs, on internet forums, internet how to pages, and in books. So a lot of other people have tried them and contributed to the findings that I present to you. Also I checked to see what companies like Seventh Generation use in their laundry detergent. It is basically the same as the receipt listed above. And this will cost you a lot less. Best of washing.


  1. Nice! I use several of these... The laundry detergent is great, but I have to say that while Borax is natural... it definately is toxic. Be very careful when using it... I found a recipe that doesn't use it that I plan to try next, we'll see how it measures up.

    Another dishwasher tip.. add citric acid to your load. It helps w/ spots and stuff and is just great.

    Those drier sheets are also pretty toxic (if you have pets esp) and can ruin your drier... so either the vinegar tip or the drier balls are really good alternatives for multiple reasons.

    Curious to try some of these others... and looking forward to Monday Green tips if you continue to do them! (thanks for linking me btw)

  2. No problem. Thanks for the tips!


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