The introduction of an environmentally friendly lifestyle is becoming more and more important to many of us in as many areas of our lives as possible, with which often we not only spare our environment but also our wallets. Because of this in our new column we will start introducing detergents and bathroom supplies made of natural substances.
This is the case with washing as well. The current detergents, fabric softeners, which we buy in stores besides being full of harmful substances, are more and more expensive as well. What’s more beside our wallets they don’t have a good effect on our clothes and washing machines either.
The expensive particles of detergents, fabric softeners lodge themselves in between the textile fibres of our clothes and on the inside of our washing machine, thus their life expectancy is significantly reduced. What’s more they are not benign to our skin and they are harmful for the environment.
There is no need for anything else then one or two ingredients that can be found in all household, and a bit of time. First we grate half a kilo of soap. It can be home-made soap, laundry-soap, or even baby soap or other hand washers will be suitable for the purpose. We place this in a pan and pour as much water on it to cover it. Keeping the stove on medium we slowly melt it while stirring it continuously, then we pour it into a litre of water and cook it. It’s best to use distilled water. We mix it well and it’s already done. As soon as it has cooled we can start the first load of wash. It’s important to shake it well before each use. We can wash colours, whites and blacks as well. If in the case of our white clothes we wish to amplify the effect, then we should add a bit of sodium bicarbonate or washing soda. For a load of wash we should use about 3-5 oz (100-150 ml) of detergent, depending on the amount of clothes and their stains. If we wash our hands not with liquid but traditional soap at home, then when they become too small we should collect them in a dish, thus when we run out of detergent the next time, we will already have the adequate amount to grate soap. Even though we can’t improve the not very alluring looks of our detergent, we can make it fragrant. We can boldly add one or two drops of 100% lavender oil to it.
As a fabric softener it’s best to use vinegar, because vinegar take the scales and detergent remnants out from between the textile fibres of clothes, so our clothes can remain intact and clean longer, on top of that magically makes them soft and easy to iron. Not lastly it has an excellent disinfectant and deodorizer effect. Our washing machine will also benefit from it, since it prevents scaling and the sedimentation of detergent remains on its inside. Vinegar is also a lot cheaper than fabric softeners and even those with sensitive skin don’t have to worry about it. If we don’t like the vinegar’s smell, which by the way can’t be sensed after the clothes dry, we should use apple cider vinegar, which we can even make at home and add a bit of lavender oil to it. We mix the vinegar with water. We add 1 pint (4-5 dl) of water to a bit less than half a litre of vinegar.
If we would like to scent our clothes, then we should drip volatile oil into the mix of water and vinegar. Five or six drops are enough of it. The most suitable volatile oils for this purpose are lavender and tea-plant, since these possess a disinfectant property. But peppermint and eucalyptus are also excellently suitable. We can achieve a sedative effect if we add a mixture of camomile, rose and lemon-balm to our vinegar fabric softener. What kind of lavender oil should we use for washing?
We can also involve our kids in the preparation of the detergent and the fabric softener, who will certainly enjoy concocting, and in this way we can easily pass on to them the knowledge about the production of our environment preserving detergent as well, which, if we think about it, isn’t a big task, still we can save a lot of money with it. And of course we should observe the safety rules.