Basic Laundry Recipes for Green Clothes Washing - Green living information & advice for a greener lifestyle

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Tips for Greener Cleaning - Basic Environmentally Friendly Laundry Recipes

When making the initial switch from a detergent to a soap laundry cleaner, wash items once with 1/3 cup (80 ml) washing soda only. This will eliminate detergent residues which might otherwise react with soap to cause yellowing of fabrics. Also remember that if you have any concerns about the color fastness of any item which you are cleaning, spot test it first.

All Natural Laundry Detergent
-Add 1/3 cup (80 ml) washing soda to water as the machine is filling. -Add clothes.
- Then add 1 and a 1/2 cups (375 ml) of soap.
- If the water is hard, add 1/4 cup (60 ml) soda or 1/4 cup (60 ml) vinegar during the first rinse.
- For heavily soiled items, try presoaking in warm water with 1/2 cup (125 ml) washing soda for 30 minutes.
- Rub the soiled areas with liquid soap or a solution of 2 Tbsp (30ml) washing soda in 1 cup (250 ml) warm water.

Softening fabrics (including wool)
Add 1/4 cup (60 ml) white vinegar to rinse water.

Environmentally Friendly Bleach
- Try adding 1/2 cup (125 ml) washing soda to each load of wash to whiten whites and brighten colours.
- Or add lemon juice to the rinse cycle and hang your clothes outside in the sun which will bleach clothes naturally and will also save energy.

Dry cleaning
Most dry cleaning solvents are toxic — including chlorine and formaldehyde which are highly toxic and carcinogenic. These chemicals can often remain in your clothes even after you bring them home.

Try to buy clothes that you can wash rather than dry clean. Many of the clothes that are ‘dry clean only’ are actually washable by hand with soap and cold water or can just be pressed or ironed.
If the item can’t be washed by hand, call around for a cleaning service that practices wet cleaning. Wet cleaning uses heat, steam, vacuum, water and natural soaps to clean your clothes. Wet cleaning also emphasizes skilled laborers who inspect and clean each item of clothing individually.

Wool de-shrinking
- Dissolve 2 cups (500 ml) salt in hot water and allow to cool to lukewarm.
- Soak the garment for 3 hours.

- Soak in approximately 1 cup (250 ml) pure soap and 2 to 3 Tbsp (30-45 ml) baking soda.
- Squeeze garment gently and rinse thoroughly.

The first rule of thumb with stains is the sooner you treat them, the more likely you are to completely remove them. The second rule of thumb is to spot test any “remedy” on your fabric first. If the spot you are testing starts to discolor, you can stop it from leaving a stain by “neutralizing” the cleaning agent. For example, the effects of an acid like lemon juice or vinegar will be neutralized or reversed by adding an alkaline like baking soda and vice versa. Remember to wash after the spot test.

Coffee and chocolate: Mix egg yolk with lukewarm water and rub on stain.

Blood: Immediately pour salt or cold soda water on the stain and soak in cold water before washing. For a more stubborn stain, mix cornstarch with either talcum powder or cornmeal in water and apply mixture. Allow to dry and brush away.

Chewing gum: Rub with ice. Gum will flake off.

Ink: Soak in milk or remove with hydrogen peroxide.

Grease: Strain boiling water through white cottons and follow with dry baking soda or rub with washing soda in water. For other materials, blot with a towel, dampen stain with water, and rub with soap and baking soda. Follow by washing in water as hot as possible using extra soap. Note: make sure to check washing instructions before using boiling water or washing in hot water.

Fruit and Wine: Immediately pour salt or cold soda water on the stain and soak in milk before washing. In general, it is a good idea to keep some soda water in the fridge as a stain remover.

Lipstick: Rub with cold cream or shortening and wash with washing soda.

Mildew: Pour strong soap and salt on the spots, or spray with vinegar and place in sunlight. Keep the spots moist and repeat as often as necessary.

Rust: Saturate with sour milk (add 2 tsp/10 ml of vinegar to a cup of milk to make it sour) or lemon juice and rub with salt. Place in direct sunlight until dry, then wash.

Soiled Diapers: Pre-soak in 3 Tbsp (45 ml) baking soda dissolved in warm water in either a tub or washing machine.: Rub with cold cream or shortening and wash with washing soda.

Water marks on wood furniture: Using a dry cloth, rub the mark with vegetable oil.

Green Household Cleaning Recipe Ingredients
Environmentally Friendly General Cleaning Recipes

Natural Laundry Recipes