Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Inexpensive laundry regimen

One way I save money and cut back on allergens is to make my own laundry detergent. The recipe I use is 1 cup borax/1cup washing soda/1 bar plain soap (I use Ivory because we buy that anyway). Washing soda is not the same as baking soda, and they often get confused.
This is the product I use Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
You will also need a grater to grate the soap into the powders. Apparently you can also use a food processor to grate the soap, but I don't have one of those so I use a cheap hand grater. Once you have grated the soap into the powders all you need to do is shake or mix it well and it is ready to use. You use 1-2 tbsp of powder per load of laundry, depending on how soiled your clothes are. This detergent will not bubble like the commercial laundry detergents, but it works just fine. You don't need a washer full of bubbles to get your clothes clean.
I also use white distilled vinegar in the rinse cycle. This helps to further remove any odors in the clothes, or residue from detergent. You can place the vinegar in your fabric softener dispenser to release at the correct time in the wash. I use a Downy ball that I was given and fill slightly above it's fill line for a full load of clothes, and it releases in the rinse cycle. This is between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of vinegar. Don't worry the clothes don't smell like vinegar!
I have not found an acceptable alternative to dryer sheets yet, so I buy the free and clear hypoallergenic kind, and take them all out of the box and cut them in half. You get twice the amount of sheets and less residue on your clothes. Of course the most inexpensive way to dry your clothes would be to hang them out to dry, but we do not have the space inside and we live in a development that does not allow outside drying lines. If you are able to dry your clothes outside you can cut your energy bill as well as infusing your clothes with that fresh line dry smell.

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