Doing Your Laundry the Natural, Green Way
Article by Linda Sones - http://www.sonesuk.com/
I have found some tips on laundry using green methods which quite interested me, all the cleaning and laundry products I buy are Ecover and I have been thinking for some while that I ought to think about making some of my own. I have been inspired by my daughter in law who is using cleaning products that she makes herself. My sons asthma has definitely improved since she stopped using toxic nasties. Anyway I digress as usual but I have found some tips which may be of interest to you and will save money as well. They come from Kiwi magazine.
Traditional detergents contain synthetic optical brighteners as well as surfactants (which are wetting agents such as emulsifiers, dispersants and foaming products that reduce the surface tension of water). They also have fragrances that pollute waterways, do not readily biodegrade and can cause skin allergies. Other common laundry chemicals, including alkyphenols, aromatic hydrocarbons and chlorinated compounds, are probable human carcinogens and hormone disruptors. Many, such as petroleum distillates, naphtha and naphthalene, are petroleum-based, so they deplete a nonrenewable resource, create pollution during manufacture and burden wastewater. Natural laundry solutions not only reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins that come into contact with your family, but they also help protect local water supplies.
It’s simple to detox your laundry. Swap traditional detergents, bleaches and softeners for natural options. Our guidelines will help you purchase green laundry products; and you can make your own products from the recipes.
Greening your laundry will also help you save money by using fewer, more concentrated products. Plus, you can utilize ingredients you already have at home, such as baking soda, distilled white vinegar and lemon juice.
A word of caution if like me you are buying 'green' cleaning products. To distinguish the real thing from the hype, read every label. Don’t be seduced by words like nontoxic, eco-friendly, natural and organic—these are not legal certifications, so they don’t necessarily mean anything. If you see a series of long, unpronounceable chemical names, chances are the product that contains them isn’t green.
Unlike food products, items such as laundry detergents cannot be certified organic, so consumers should read labels and choose accordingly. As a general rule, a truly green product’s packaging should include some or all of these words and phrases:
• Biodegradable (in less than a year).
• Plant based (or botanically based).
• No phosphates (which pollute rivers and streams).
• No chlorine (this potent environmental pollutant is the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings).
• No petroleum.
• No fragrance or synthetic dyes.
• Cruelty free (not tested on animals).
Greening your laundry
Fabric Softener: Add ¼ cup of baking soda—which also works as a brightener—to the wash. When using liquid detergent, add the baking soda during the wash cycle; when using powder, add the baking soda during the rinse cycle.
Whiten & Brighten: Pour 1 cup of lemon juice in a bucket half full of water and soak clothes overnight. Or add ¼ to 1 cup of washing soda (a more powerful form of baking soda) to each laundry load during the wash cycle.
Fragrance: If you want to add fragrance, do so during the drying cycle. Put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton cloth, and toss it into the dryer with wet clothes.
Treat Grease Stains: For best results, treat stains while they’re fresh. Cover the oily spot with a mixture of Borax and warm water and let it sit—20 minutes for a light, fresh stain, and two hours for a heavy, set stain—then rinse with cold water.
Note: Borax can be bought in Tesco it's in the Ecover section.
Remove Perspiration Odors and Stains: Spray full-strength distilled white vinegar on underarms and collars of shirts before washing
Lastly here is a recipe for washing liquid-
1 cup water ( I think this is those little measures that they use in America you can buy them here I have some but can't remember where I got them)
1/4 bar soap use vegetable oil soap
12 cups hot tap water
4 tablespoons washing soda
2 tablespoons borax
Put the cup of water in a saucepan on the stove.
Whilst you are heating it up grate the soap into
that same saucepan. A potato peeler is good
for this job. Stir the soap flakes until they are
melted into the hot water.
Put the 12 cups of hot water into a bucket.
Tip in the hot soapy water into the bucket and
stir. Add the washing soda and stir again.
Lastly add the borax and, of course, stir again.
Allow to cool. Use as per normal.
This will make a small amount of laundry liquid.
If you like it then next time make it in bulk. You
can of course add lavender oil (or other aromatic oils)
to give your washing a fresh floral smell.
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