this makes sense

Washing Laundry

Posted in Uncategorized by thismakessense on July 24, 2009

White Laundry

After recently running out of my biodegradable eco-friendly laundry detergent, I began thinking that there has got to be a better way to do laundry! After all why do I need a specialized soap just for clothes that is probably very similar to soaps I use for other things. Are not all cleansers created equal? After a quick internet search (they never end up being very quick) I found that there are many many ways to make simple biodegradable laundry detergents at home for a fraction of the cost and they work just as well if not better than store bought formulas.

To make you only need a few simple ingredients. Ingredients vary depending on the recipie but commonly contain a combonation of 3-4 ingredients siuch as Baking Soda, Washing Soda, Borax, Soap (such as Fels-Naptha, Castile, or any Bar Soap), Essential Oil (such as Lavendar or Tea Tree), and Vinegar.

That crazy Duggar Family on TLC with too many kids to remember and even have recipies listed on their website that they use to wash those prarie dresses. They claim that in a front loading washer you can get 640 loads out of $2 worth of materials. DAMN! That is what I am talking about!

Basically here is the rundown:

Fabric Softener in Wash

1 cup white vinegar added to rinse cycle will remove odors, residues and keep the machiene’s hoses clean too. Vinegar is also used to help set dyes so it only makes sense that is will also help retain colors.

Static Cling in Drier

1 ball of aluminum foil will take away that problem.

Fabric Softener in the Drier

The Duggar’s use a sponge with the absorbed mixture of 1 part commercial fabric softener to 2 parts water and toss it in with the clothes. There has got to be a less lameO way to do this.

Laundry Detergent

There are so many different recipies out there but here seem to be the simpliest and most effective.

1. Baking Soda and 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil: Users of this swear this is all you need.

1/2 cup of baking soda and 5 drops Tea Tree Oil for Smells

Dishwasher: Borax and Baking soad

Washing Soda – Albertsons $2.79 /55oz

Washing Soda is simply Sodium Carbonate or Soda Ash. It is very high it PH and for this reason you should handle it with gloves on because it can be harsh and drying on the skin. It can be found in bulk at pool supply stores where it is used to bring up the PH. Toxic

Borax – Home Depot $2.60/76oz

Use gloves. High PH. Works well for cleaning; you need a high base or acid to get things super clean. Toxic

Vinegar – Costco (appx) $2.50 / 2 gal

Baking Soda – Costco (appx) $2.50/3gal

Non-toxic. ALSO: Because Washing soda is so high in pH, it can wear the fibers of your clothes out over time (especially cloth diapers and elastics). I wouldn’t use it on floors because it takes the wax off of flooring. Baking soda may irritate your eyes or if you inhale it but washing soda is very toxic if inhaled over time (because it’s stronger):

Hydrogen Peroxide – Costco (appx) $2.00/ 1 gal

vinegar where jetdry goes

Mix together 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Baking Soda with 2 Tablespoons of Borax. Use in place of automatic dishwasher detergent.

OxiClean: Sodium Percarbonate and Sodium Carbonate. Sodium Carbonate is just washing soda and sodium percarbonate, when mixed with water, forms hydrogen bubbles. Hydrogen is unstable, so it kind of blasts stains off of things. I have read that hydrogen, because it’s unstable, isn’t good for skincare like they thought it was years ago, because over time, the instability (or free radicals) can harm your skin and wrinkle it. But for our purposes here, I think hydrogen peroxide based cleaning is okay.

As for other products I saw — dishwashing powder has sodium silicates and sodium carbonate (washing soda). Sodium silicate I saw again in Drano and it was explained on there that it’s an anti-corrosive agent (so it doesn’t wreck your pipes). That makes perfect sense because washing powder AND Drano has a pH of 11, which can corrode a lot of stuff. This is why gloves are a must – think of what such a high pH can do to your skin!

Anyway, washing soda seems to be the common element in dishwashing and for laundry (at least if you’re talking about OxiClean or SUN Oxy cleaner type products). Based on the little kid’s research (link posted earlier), she found that OxiClean lifts stains better than other detergents.

My deduction? Washing soda can be used for all kinds of cleaning. HOWEVER, baking soda is so much more readily available and the pH is lower. It’s environmentally friendly and – dingdingding – it’s NON TOXIC.

Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda)
http://www.explainthis.info/ba/baking-soda.html

Sodium Carbonate (washing soda)
http://www.explainthis.info/so/sodium-carbonate.html

http://www.cutofcloth.com/article_bakingsoda.asp

http://www.cutofcloth.com/article_bakingsoda.asp

Perhaps the baking soda will not pack the punch of washing soda but they’re similar enough that I think baking soda is probably a safer version of washing soda. But I think it’s a good thing to try out. Perhaps we can all use the baking soda for our dishwashers and laundry unless we have something SUPER DUPER soiled and then we have to use regular detergent or washing soda. Washing soda removes lipstick and grease from garage floors, for pete’s sake. Most of us don’t need that much grease cutting power in EVERY wash.

Here’s somebody who used washing soda in their dishwasher, results were positive, posted on the bottom of the page: http://www.thenewhomemaker.com/node/10148

More recipes: http://www.checnet.org/healthehouse/…sp?Main_ID=564

———————–

SOURCES & LINKS

Duggar Family, Mothering.com Forum I, Mothering.com Forum II, Mothering.com Forum Recipies

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=114069

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