One of the simplest ways to create a natural home is by choosing one room or routine at a time to make changes. Like your laundry routine for instance. Today I wanted to share some easy, money-saving for greening something we all have to deal with – the laundry.
Make your own detergent
Eco-friendly laundry detergents are expensive and still contain harmful chemicals you don’t want in your body. Why bother with the added expense and toxic chemicals when you can easily make your own detergent?
You’ll need a few common ingredients found in your store’s laundry soap aisle (like washing soda, borax and Fels Naptha)and a good recipe. Here’s the recipe I use. Or, you can check out the borax-free one found in this book, which also includes the recipe for the bar soap you grate to put in it (and it’s 25% off now with the code SPRING25).
You know that stuff you pull out of your dryer’s lint trap? That’s your clothing, slowly being worn out. If you can, try hanging your clothes to dry instead. Not only is it better on your clothes, but it will also help you save money on the power bill, make your clothes smell fresh and cut drying time.
If you don’t have room for a laundry line, get creative. For the longest time, I put wet clothes on hangers and used the shower curtain rod in our bathroom and space in an empty closet to dry clothes. You can also get a drying rack or two that you can put away between loads.
For those times when you can’t air dry your clothes, try dryer balls. Dryer balls are made of wool and help reduce drying time by absorbing water and helping your clothes dry evenly.
They also gently soften your clothes, eliminating the need for dryer sheets or fabric softener. You can easily make them yourself or support small business and buy some on Etsy.
Got tough stain spots that need to be treated before you wash? Use the same bar soap you’ll use for making laundry detergent as a stain stick. You’ll just need to wet the corner and rub it on the stain until it’s all covered. Wash as usual. (I try to always line dry clothes that have stains so I can re-treat them if it didn’t come out all the way. The dryer will set the stain.)
You know that nasty smell you get that just doesn’t come out when you forget to take your clothes out of the washing machine? Come on, I know you’ve done it, too.
Here’s a simple solution: Take a wash cloth and get it wet. Add 10 drops of melaleuca/tea tree essential oil (or lemon or lavender) and toss it in the load when you re-wash it. Smell gone.
DIY Cleaning Recipes
From now until March 31st, DIY Natural Cleaners is on sale for 25% off (use the code SPRING25). This is my favorite resource for cleaning recipes and I turn to it time and time again. It contains recipes for everything I mentioned today and I think you’ll love it. You can get it here.