4 Easy ways to make laundry more natural

Have you noticed how expensive it is to do laundry? And, I'm not just talking about at the laundromat--from the cost of detergent to the energy it takes to run the machines most of us are spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year on laundry. Nevermind the fact that most commercial laundry products are loaded with chemicals that can cause allergies, asthma and possibly even long-term health issues. But never fear, there are some back-to-basics laundry tips that you can implement right now that will save you money and be better for the health of your family. 

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Stain Removal. The absolute easiest and cheapest ways to remove stains on clothes are either to make a paste out of water and baking soda and apply directly onto the stain, let sit for a few hours and wash as usual or place the sopping wet clothing item outside in direct sun to dry, which will essentially fade the stain.

Pre-Soak. You do not have to spend extra money on those special oxygen-powered pre-treatment products that only have one use. Just soak your clothing in a mixture of one cup water, half cup hydrogen peroxide and half cup of baking soda for a minimum of 20 minutes to get the same effect.

Soften and Scent. Fabric softener is seriously toxic stuff and it is actually not very good for the fabrics in your laundry. To naturally soften your clothes and linens, add a half cup of white vinegar to your laundry during the rinse cycle instead of liquid fabric softener. Alternately, you can invest in some wool dryer balls, which will last you years. If you prefer your laundry to smell like something other than clean clothes, buy some essential oils in a scent you like, place a few drops on a scrap of cloth and throw in the dryer in place of dryer sheets.

Dry. If you have the yard space, go ahead and install a clothesline, but if you don't there are other options. You can construct a DIY drying rack from lots of different materials. If you're really handy, you can make a mock version of those folding drying racks with some wooden dowels and planks. If not, I love the idea of suspending an inexpensive wooden ladder from the ceiling with a couple of chains and s-hooks.

 Image via Magic Madzick/Flickr

Topics: advice  cleaning  cleaning tips  green clean  home