Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Green Cleaning Part 3~ Drop Your Pants Here (Or: Freshening Up The Laundry and The Air)

Ah laundry...  It kinda never ends, does it?  I don't think there is ever a moment in our house when the laundry room (or hampers, or bathroom floors) are completely vacant of laundry.  In fact, I'm blogging about laundry right now to avoid actually doing laundry!  How's that for irony?

Here's a small portion of what awaits me... In all it's glory!
It is currently Spring Break in my neck of the woods and nothing would give me more pleasure than getting "caught up" with the laundry.  Now you and I both know that "caught up" really means emptying every laundry basket in the house only to find it reappear, like manna, from the sky.  But at least, lets lessen the load! =)

All that being said, in this third part of the  Green Cleaning series, I wanted to give you a few recipes for making your own laundry detergents as well as some natural pthalate free air fresheners (for those days when, perhaps, you aren't able to keep up with the laundry)!

There are probably a bazillion different recipes to be found on Pinterest, but I will share with you the ones I have enjoyed using:

Again, realllly wish you could smell this! Mmmmmm...

8 cups of baking soda
6 cups of 20 Mule Team Borax
4 cups of grated castile soap (You know how much I love Dr. Bronner's!  I highly recommend using lavender and/or lemongrass... You can mix and match since it will probably take 2-3 bars of soap)
1 1/2 Tablespoons of Essential Oil (Lemon, Lavender, Tea Tree Oil are all great for laundry purposes)
Combine all dry ingredients and place in labeled jars.  You only need a small scoop, about 1/8 of a cup, per load.
This recipe is so economical and lasts approximately 6 months for my family of four.


Just "scoop and plop"!

This is a recipe I got from Vintage Remedies that I have also enjoyed using.  It is not, however, a detergent you can put in a dispenser.  It would need to go directly into the washing machine.
1/2 cup of liquid castile soap (again, lavender, lemony or even rosemary scents are what I like for this purpose.)
3 1/2 cups of baking soda
1/2 cup washing soda* (found in the laundry aisle of most stores.  I get mine at Fred Meyer's)
2 cups of warm distilled water
30 drops of lemon oil
20 drops of lavender oil
Store in air tight glass container and use 2-3 Tablespoons per load
Smells good, huh?
*If you have hard water, you may want to use Borax in place of the washing soda.

Stain Removal:
2 Tablespoons cream of Tarter
4 drops of peppermint oil
1 teaspoon of water
Store in air tight container

Combine and rub onto stain.  Use normal stain removal process.

Ahhhh... Nothing like fresh laundry!

Mission Accomplished!

Not into making your own detergent?  Here are some great places to get some:
Black Kettle Soap Company (She carries detergent, stain sticks, wool dryer balls...I have used her products and loved every one of them!)
UrthTones (Puts great care and quality into her work)
And I myself, at Phytotherapy, make Cutie Patootie~Baby Laundry Soap (Coming to my shop soon.)
Other great commercial brands include:
Seventh GenerationMethodMrs. Meyers, and Ecover

Now to freshen the air... You may have seen a previous post on this topic, but I'ma gonna give you this super easy recipe that you can taylor to your own preference:

In a spray bottle you will want to combine
1 cup of water,
1/2 cup of vodka,
25-35 drops of your favorite essential oils.
Great combos for spring might be lavender/lime, sweet orange/clove, sweet orange/ylang ylang, lemongrass/sage
Whatever floats your boat!  Just remember to Label everything!!

So, now your house is clean, your laundry done, and your home smells incredible! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some laundry to do! =)