Washing Clothes with natural ingredients

(12 Posts)
thekarana Thu 25-Aug-16 15:11:47

I have done a lot of research on using natural ingredients to clean stuff around the house, but I am finding myself frustrated with incomplete information and conflicting advice.

I am not sure if anyone at mumsnet can help as I appreciate that not many people make homemade washing powder etc.

Onto my question: The recipe that I intend to use is the following for washing powder:

4 parts washing soda (Borax Free version)
1 part soap (haven't decided on which soap yet). Initially I want to buy the soap, but in future, perhaps make. I will start off slowly.

Per wash

5 drops Lemon Essence (per washing load not per washing powder batch)
Vinegar (to replace fabric softener) and I believe that I need vinegar in the drum itself.

Whiteners (if needed) - apparently similar to oxiclean. I will be making this on demand as apparently it loses effectiveness after 6 hours.

2 parts water
1 part hydrogen peroxide
1 part washing soda

Now here is where my problem comes in.

1. How much washing powder is one supposed to put in the washing powder dispense. I have a front loader and I don't think its HE as it seems to use quite a bit of water in the drum part. Every website very helpfully says from 1 Tablespoon to 3 Tablespoons which leaves me none the wiser as to when to use 1 Tablespoon etc. I am not even sure if that is for top loaders or front loaders.

2. Should I halve the amount of washing powder for towels as apparently they are not dirty and you want them to remain absorbent so all one is supposed to do is wash them at 60 or above to kill any bugs?

3. Am I supposed to put the lemon essence in the same dispenser as the washing powder?

4. How much vinegar should I be putting in the fabric softener draw as every person has a different amount and nobody explains why they use that amount.

5. When do I put vinegar in the main drum part if at all and how much?

6. Is the reason people use Borax because it makes clothes whiter/brighter or just cleaning power as a lot of recipes say use Borax, but Borax a: does not work in cold water and b: there are health safety concerns about it. Is this why we would need something like Oxiclean. I have never used any brightner in my washing machine ever which might help with my tea towels where the stains seem embedded.

7. Does homemade washing powder really work as well as commercial ones. I have reasonably hard water, although not ridiculously so. I have never used bio washing powder as I am not keen on biological products like that.

8. How much oxiclean or homemade oxiclean do you need to put in and does this go in a dispenser draw or where? I have never ever used the rinse cyle or prewash drawer. I just put the clothes in, put it at whatever temperature I want and put the vinegar in fabric softener drawer and the washing powder in the washing powder drawer.

This may not be the right forum for this question, but if anyone is able to help, that would be much appreciated and then I can move on to asking about spin speed and washing temperatures for various different articles.

Apparently, I should be spinning my towels on something like 800 and hanging them outside in a breeze and using half the detergent to make the towels soft and fluffy. Otherwise using a radial brush and brushing the towel apparently makes them soft and fluffy and these are the sort of tricks that I need to learn esp what to do with tea towels as they never look clean when they come out of the washing machine.

Thank you

specialsubject Thu 25-Aug-16 17:41:56

You dont need fabric softener and you dont need bleach. Simpler straight away!

thekarana Fri 26-Aug-16 10:35:28

I don't use bleach or fabric softener. I have never used bleach ever and I only use vinegar now to put in the fabric softener drawer

specialsubject Fri 26-Aug-16 10:56:24

Yes, but you dont need it or the oxibleach!waste!

thekarana Fri 26-Aug-16 11:20:08

Oh I see what you mean now. Interesting. I understand about the bleach as I have never used it and never needed it, but I have always understood that the point of fabric softener was to er soften clothes. How do you get your clothes soft then assuming you don't have a tumble dryer which I don't

Sillybillypoopoomummy Fri 26-Aug-16 11:28:13

I make all my own laundry detergent - I use baking soda, borax and natural goats milk soap. I started it in response to DS's eczema and it has made a big difference. I don't use bleach or fabric softener in the washer either, or any of these vanish things.

It is pretty good - it gets things clean. If something is really grotty then I put a few drops of tea tree oil in the machine as well. The only thing it is not great at is getting out stains. Most things come out if you soak in either lemon juice or vinegar but periodically I have to do a persil wash and then rewash all DS's things and the machine before we go back to normal. I have never seen the need for fabric softener - it just makes towels less effective. If things are blowing on the line, they are as soft as we need to be smile.

Sillybillypoopoomummy Fri 26-Aug-16 11:29:28

...as we need them to be...

misscph1973 Fri 26-Aug-16 11:32:34

I have tried using natural ingredients for laundry, and it's not only useless, it's difficult. I now use biological laundry powder and vinegar instead of fabric softener. I wash a 30 and don't use a tumble drier. I see no reason to avoid modern improvements, as long as it makes sense.

dudsville Fri 26-Aug-16 11:37:28

This is interesting, I never thought about making own washing powder. I'll do some research in to this. meanwhile, I came on to say I never use fabric softner. Once you get used to it it's fine. Once clothes have been on for 1 minute they are soft and the same with using towels, 100% cotton bedsheets are better without in my opinion.

Lagirafe Fri 26-Aug-16 11:39:10

Have you tried soap nuts? I still use a splash of fabric softener to get that "freshness" but they do clean the clothes.
Occasionally have to resort to biological powder for baby food stains etc

thekarana Fri 26-Aug-16 11:54:46

misscph1973, maybe the problem is that you are not using enough or too much natural ingredients or certain things need to be washed at a hotter temperature or perhaps you need oxiclean for some things like tea towels which I have never gotten clean using commercial washing powder.

thekarana Fri 26-Aug-16 12:00:34

Sillybillypoopoomummy. You shouldn't need to resort to using commercial stuff. From the research I have read, you do seem to need something like Oxiclean from time to time (not every wash) to get the job done as this is good for stains. See my recipe above for whiteners.

Looking at your ingredients, the problem may also be that you are using baking soda, not washing soda. I have not seen one homemade recipe where baking soda is used. Unless you are baking the soda at 400 farenheight to convert to washing soda.

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