Perfectly Practical #113 - Laundry Issues

As a show of support for the lovely Ms. Nony's new e-book Teaching Kids to Clean I thought I would give perfectly practical cleaning tips this month starting with laundry issues. 

You already know that I make my own laundry detergent and line dry my clothes.  My one complaint about homemade laundry soap in comparison to the store bought stuff is that my whites don't seem bright enough so here's a little troubleshooting regarding dingy clothes.

I hear you saying, "That's all well and good, but what about stain remover, fabric softener, and reducing static cling?"

You have asked, and I will let you in on what I have been using here for those very problems.

First of all, let's talk about a couple of things. 

As soon as you can possibly get to a stain, start the removal process. 

If you can't get to it right away or have a particularly stain-y family, keep a bucket of water with 1 c. baking soda mixed in it in a tucked away place.  Every time a stained piece of clothing gets discovered, throw it in the bucket until you are ready to do some laundry. 

Stain Remover

1c. Hydrogen Peroxide
1c. Warm Water
1/2c. Baking Soda

Put in a jar or some sort of reusable bottle (not a spray bottle, it will clog due to the soda.)  Give it a good shake then pour over the stain as soon as possible after the stain has been discovered.  Leave it while you have a cup of coffee - careful, don't spill.  Come back to the stain and launder as normal.  Shake before using every time.

On to fabric softener and I have used several different methods, from pouring a bit of vinegar in the laundry water to sprinkling baking soda in the laundry water to this:

Fabric Softener  adapted from Pratically Virtuous

1 part Cheap Conditioner
1 part Vinegar
2 parts water
Old T-Shirt, cut into small squares

You know all those free samples that come in the mail or the little bottles of conditioner from hotels?  This is a great way to use the conditioner.

Squirt equal parts conditioner and vinegar in a lidded plastic tub then pour in 2 parts water.  Give it a good mix then place the t-shirt squares down in the mixture and snap the lid on.  Once they look like they have soaked up a good portion of the liquid, flip the tub over to get the top squares saturated.  Every time you do a load of laundry, throw a square in with the load.  Once all of your t-shirt squares have been used start the process all over again.

And lastly, for static cling:

This is not a recipe so much as a tip, fasten a couple of safety pins on the end of a garment.  For some reason, this lessens the static cling.  As a bonus, it would also keep a pair of socks from being separated.  :)

This is part of Works for Me.

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