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Monday, December 11, 2006

Whiter Whites and Brighter Brights

Nothing adds to the laundry pile like having kids! All sorts of stains unique to children suddenly crop up in the loads of clothing needed to be cleaned at least once a week. If you're like me, you're also determined to do it all as cheaply and chemical-free as possible. Over the next several posts, I plan on covering some money-saving tips for the household. Got some of your own? Feel free to share them with us in Comments!

For an alternative to laundry soap, try Borax. I know, it's supposed to be an addition to your soap, right? Well, on its own, this powerful little natural mineral is able to bind itself to dirt, dissolving it. It also softens the water and creates its own peroxide, which in turn gives you the whiter whites. It's also safe for soaking cloth diapers in (1/2 cup in a diaper pail of warm water) and can make the diapers more absorbant. And talk about cheap! Around here, a box of the 20 Muleteam Borax runs about $3.50. I have a front-loading washer, which requires less detergent, so one of these boxes lasts me quite a while.

For an alternative to bleach and fabric softener, try some vinegar. It also kills germs and bacteria, which ordinary laundry soaps don't do. Don't worry - your shirts will not smell like a tossed salad when you're done. The vinegar odor is completely gone when the laundry comes out of the dryer. I usually use about 3/4 cup per load, which is probably even more than necessary. Again, a cheap solution, so if you use a little extra like me, you won't break the bank.

If you live in a temperate climate, line drying will certainly cut back on the electric bill and give you wonderful smelling laundry to boot. Even in the dead of winter, we're often seen in our back yard hanging blankets and sheets all over our deck railings. The UV light of sunshine is also a terrific way to kill germs. Another great thing about sunshine - it's totally free!

These are just a few quick tips for naturally clean laundry. I'm really looking forward to sharing more money-saving tips, and I hope you'll join in and share yours as well!


Piana Nanna said...

I love this blog! How'd you get so smart? Looking forward to the next installment.

The Anonymous Mama said...

Thank you! I guess I was raised right by a stay-at-home mom who hung laundry outside, made an effort to make a dollar go further, and grew her own herbs. (Still does!) It's given me lots of exposure to the natural side of things!

Brood Mare said...

Hey you two - I'm lovin' the mutual admiration society, but let's get back to laundry aye?:-)