Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Frugal and Simple Laundry

I hope you are enjoying our Frugal and Simple Laundry series this week. Today I am going to share two recipes for homemade laundry boosters. 
My boys are rough on their clothing. Grass stains, food stains, dingy and muddy socks. You name it, they have it...and they are only 2 1/2 and 11 months old! How does that happen? 
My new homemade laundry detergent has been working wonderfully at getting the majority of the stains and dirt out. However, my boys socks just don't seem to want to give up their dirt. Luke's socks are especially awful since he crawls every where. So not only are the bottoms filthy, but the tops are as well. No matter what I do, I just can't seem to get their sock white again! 
I really hate bleach. Really, really. I hate the way it smells, and I am always worried that I am somehow going to get some on my clothing and ruin them. Instead of giving in and buying a bottle of bleach,  I decided to do some research first. I ended up finding two perfect replacements! 
Homemade Oxiclean

Why skip the bleach in the first place? Well I'm glad you asked! Bleach is actually a chlorine based  product that is very harmful to people, pets, plants, and our earth. It even breaks down fabrics over time. I definitely don't want that! Homemade "Oxiclean" however is not harmful to people, pets, plants, the environment, or your clothes. It is an oxygen based cleaner, that when added to water, releases oxygen that lifts stains and odors. 
After searching for a good alternative to traditional bleach I found the recipe below on One Good Thing and decided to give it a try. 
What you need...
1. 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
2. 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
3. Hot Water
Mix 1/2 cup of Washing Soda with 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide in a large bowl or bucket. Add in hot water till your bowl is half full. Add your dirtiest, dingiest, filthiest clothing to the bowl. Make sure each piece gets thoroughly soaked. Add just enough more water to cover the clothes. Stir a little to make sure it is all mixed up and each piece of clothing is covered. (I did this with just a batch of socks so a bowl worked great for soaking. If you have a large batch you can add this mix to your washing machine and let it set for a while before letting it finish out with a rinse cycle.) Let your clothes soak for at least a few hours. Overnight would be even better. After allowing it to soak toss the clothes and mix that was in your bowl into the wash, and launder as normal. 
I was so extremely excited to see that my little guys socks were white again! Not brown, but white! It worked perfectly! 
A few notes to remember: Make sure you do not mix up a large batch ahead of time. After this mixture sets for too long it will loose it's effectiveness. It is so easy to make up really quick, that making up a big batch wouldn't really save you that much time any way. If you don't have any Washing Soda on hand you can substitute Baking Soda. Washing Soda just has a little more umph to it's cleaning power. 
Homemade Color Safe Bleach Alternative
I first saw this recipe for a Bleach Alternative at Frugally Sustainable
She uses...
-1 1/2 Cups of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
-1/2 cup white vinegar or lemon juice
-Pure water to fill gallon jug
-10 drops of lemon or lemongrass essential oils (optional/omit if using lemon juice)
I did not have any essentials oils on hand and I really love to use vinegar in my wash, so I decided to go with...
-1 1/2 Cups of Hydrogen Peroxide
-1/2 Cup White Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
-Gallon jug of water
 Here is how to make your own...
Add hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and lemon juice to a gallon jug. Fill the rest of the way with water. Add 1 cup to your wash and you will have softer and brighter clothing! It really works wonderfully...and hardly costs anything! I love that! 
(Apparently when you mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together you get what is called Peracetic Acid. If this concerns you at all check out Frugally Sustainable's post above for a discussion in her comments section on this matter.)
Currently I am using my color safe bleach alternative for almost every wash. I use my homemade OxiClean when I have a very dingy, stubborn load that needs a little extra help. Between my homemade laundry soap, the homemade oxiclean, and the color safe bleach alternative, I have very clean, soft, and wonderful smelling laundry! I am so happy with how it all works...and better yet, that it is so incredibly cheap to make!

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