Commercial laundry detergent contains chemicals and artificial scents that can cause cancer, poisoning, and are harmful to the environment. They can cause itching, rashes, flu and asthma symptoms. I was constantly having rashes and hives, which improved when I stopped using regular laundry products.
There is often a harmful residue on your cloths after you wash them with regular laundry products. To check and see if your laundry detergent leaves a residue, wash your clothes again with just plain water. Check the water when it's in the wash cycle. If you have residue, you'll see suds in the water. The detergent that didn't get rinsed out, stays on the cloths and comes in contact with your skin. The residue actually will trap some of the dirt and keeps it stuck in your cloths. Your clothes can actually come out dirtier when you use more detergent then you need.
Generally you don't need as much detergent as the boxes say. The people who make detergent want you to use more because the more you use, the more they sell. Cut the detergent in half. You can boost the effects of the cleaning power by adding one or more of the following.
Borax boosts the cleansing action and is great for hard water. It helps remove stains, deodorizes, and brightens cloths. It breaks down the minerals in the water, making the detergent work better. It can be used by adding 1/2 cup of it to the beginning of your wash cycle. And it's great as a presoak. Put 1/2 cup of borax and a little bit of detergent to remove stains like coffee, tea, perspiration stains. Decrease the amount for smaller loads. Borax can be purchased at any grocery store.
Baking soda is a great way to deodorize and soften your cloths. For liquid laundry detergent add 1/2 cup to a full load at the start of the wash cycle. If you use a powder, add the baking soda in the rinse cycle. Decrease the amount for smaller loads.
New baby cloths has formaldehyde, insecticides and fire retardants on them. You can remove these awful chemicals by soaking the clothes in the washing machine in one cup of baking soda and then wash them. The baking soda will help neutralize the chemicals.
This is a recipe that I used for years before I found a safe liquid laundry detergent. You need to dissolve it in hot water in the beginning of the wash load. I've even used this to clean the bath tub, sinks and toilet. It makes a large amount. I mixed and stored mine in a large popcorn can that you can buy around the holidays.
Homemade Lavender laundry detergent.
You should make this outside on a day the wind isn't blowing. Wear a mask or scarf over your nose and mouth so you don't breath in the powder. Use 1/8 cup per large load.
In the old days women used to grate mild soap and use it for washing clothes. Here is a recipe for making your own soap. If you use it regularly you will need to add 1/2 cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle.
In a large 2 gallon stainless pan, mix soap and water. Simmer for 15 minutes, stir often. Add the rest of ingredients, cool and use 1 cup for each load. This also works well for general cleaning.
Lavender soap for delicates
This recipe is good for hand washing delicate clothes. Dissolve about 1 tablespoon of the powder in warm water in a sink. Wash, rinse well, and hang your clothing to dry, or lay flat and dry.
Washing soda is a good laundry detergent booster and safe to use on clothing. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup to your load of clothes. This can also be made into a paste for stains. Let dry and wash as usual. Wear gloves when using washing soda this way.
Here is another lavender laundry detergent recipe.
Add 1 cup per large load of laundry.
Lavender laundry soap for wool
Put grated soap in a wide mouth 1/2 gallon bottle. Add the boiling water and let it dissolve and sit for about 1/2 hour. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover and store. Use 1/4 of a cup per load. Don't forget to use cold water so you don't shrink your woolen clothes.
For ring around the collar, try rubbing some shampoo on the spot before you wash your clothes.
For perspiration stains make a paste of salt and water or baking soda and water and rub it on the area. Let it sit for about an hour, then wash. Another trick for perspiration is to put about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of vinegar in your washing machine, add enough water to cover clothes, agitate water, and soak over night. Wash as usual.
Try a cream of tartar and water paste for stains. Rub on the spots, allow too dry, and wash as usual.
Sodium perborate and water mixed into a paste is a good safe stain removal. This can also be added to the wash cycle.
Some other things that help remove stains are washing soda, borax, baking soda, vinegar, cornstarch, glycerin, hydrogen peroxide, or club soda. Test fabric for colorfastness. Use cold water for most stains, especially sugar stains.
Spray stain removal.
Mix 1/4 cup each of glycerin
To whiten clothes use one of the following.
Lemon juice added to the wash or rinse cycle will help whiten clothes. Use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per load. Hang in the sun to dry.
1/4 cup vinegar added to the wash cycle will help take some of the gray out of clothes.
1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide added to the rinse water will help whiten cloths.
Feng shui uses lavender essential oil to freshen clothes and to remove old or stuck energy. I use it just because I love the smell and it makes me happy. It's really nice to put a few drops in the rinse water.
If you don't want to make your own laundry detergent, there are some great natural safe ones on the market now. Many of them have lavender in them. Lavender has been used in history for laundry since before the time of Christ. So I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :)