Natural Born Cleaners

For years (and years and years … because I’m 40), I have been washing my clothes with laundry detergent and fabric softener. It seemed like the thing to do if you want clean clothes. But I hated every single moment. And sometimes, so did my skin, like when I developed eczema on one leg.

My mom as a young adult. Sure, this is charcoal, but you get the idea of her long, luxurious locks, thanks in part to vinegar conditioner.

Just a couple years ago, I learned about using baking soda for shampoo and apple cider vinegar for conditioner. Besides smelling like a salad in the shower, it was a great experiment. And my mom told me that she used to use vinegar as a teen to condition her hair. Who knew?

But I stopped using baking soda and vinegar in my hair. Not because it didn’t work, but because I got lazy and bought sulfate-free shampoo. Now I don’t even need conditioner.So I already know that baking soda and vinegar work wonders. But what about my laundry? I read about homemade laundry soap here, and used that recipe. I already had Borax, but I bought Washing Soda and Dr Bronners Castile Soap online. I also had plenty of essential oils at home, so I added lemon and sweet orange to the mix. I wanted seriously citrus laundry soap.

First of all, unless you have many children or do laundry every other day, you  might want to cut back on the recipe. I have a 5-gallon bucket full of soap that will probably take years to get through.

Then I used it, and added white vinegar to the fabric softener cup after a friend recommended it.

My clothes have never been softer. And the scent? Yeah, there isn’t one. They just smell … clean.

There are myriad benefits to using white vinegar in your HE washing machine. Like:

  • It cleans your machine while softening your clothes.
  • It doesn’t build up on your towels, limiting absorption.
  • It doesn’t build up on your lint filter, limiting air penetration.
  • It’s natural.

The only problem I’ve found so far is that you have to make sure your laundry is completely dry. Otherwise, a scent of vinegar will linger. Of course it will dry eventually, but don’t even think about putting your bedspread on your bed even slightly damp.

Of course, there are other recipes out there for making your own laundry soap. What method do you use?

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