Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Perfectly Practical #48 - Laundry Talk

I was stopped in the store by a lady the other day and she told me had started making her own laundry detergent but had a couple of concerns.  She had noticed her whites not being as bright as she would have liked and since homemade laundry detergent doesn't really smell of much once the clothes are dry, the smell of her well water (which apparently is not all that pleasant) was coming through onto the clothes.  She asked for suggestions.  Well, here are my suggestions and I think both problems can be tackled by the same solutions:

Vinegar
Pour in about 1/2c. white distilled vinegar into the washing machine every load to brighten up clothes every time.
Boil up a solution of  1/2c. vinegar and a big pot of water.  Once it cools, pour it in a bucket and throw your whites in the solution.  Leave them overnight and wash as normal the next day.

Lemon Juice
Same as vinegar.

Baking Soda
Sprinkle a little over the laundry before you wash a load.  When Diva was a tiny tot we thought that the whole cloth diaper route would be great.  Had we lived in Texas where I had sunshine most days to hang out my clothes or a dryer, then it would have been great.  But since we lived in Jolly Olde England, it rained all the time and we had no dryer so I couldn't launder the dern things fast enough.  That being said, the way that everyone over there dealt with the issue of stain management pertaining to diapers was that they would have a bucket in the bathroom with about a cup of bicarb (a.k.a. baking soda) mixed in with water.  Once you had a bucket full of nappies (diapers) then you would dump out the water in the toilet and wash the diapers as normal.  The bicarb deodorized and sanitized as well as stain lifted those diapers.  It's good stuff.

Sunshine
You already knew that hanging out the laundry was good, but it gets even better when you are thinking about your whites.  It naturally bleaches your whites and especially if you use natural methods for helping those whites along.

Horse Urine
I read somewhere that back in the olden days that's what was used.  Who found this out?  And who continued trying it out?  Not a huge fan of this method - I think I would rather have dingy whites but if you live on a horse farm it could be perfectly practical.  F.Y.I.  it was also used as a hair lightener.  Thank you Lord for Clairol!

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