Get the best tips and tricks for cleaning up your laundry routine including going all natural with your detergent and other products.
Photo by Mel Poole on Unsplash
Do you worry about the chemicals and toxins that may be building up because of your current laundry routine? Have you seen others make the switch to all natural products and routines but you haven’t felt ready?
Don’t fret! We’ve got you covered. We’ll lay it all out for you below with the 9 best tips for going all natural with your laundry routine. Make sure to read through the entire post, and then make an assessment of what changes you can make in your own routine and laundry room.
Take the tips below step by step; you don’t need to go cold turkey. Just be aware of what products you are currently using and what can be replaced either with a homemade version or a reliable, all-natural brand.
When the time is right and when you feel ready, start switching things up. When you’ve mastered or are even just comfortable with one change, move onto the next.
Before you know it you’ll have your all natural laundry routine down and you and your family’s health will start to see the benefits from it.
Related: 3 Natural Alternatives to Bleach
Related: Washing & Storing Your Winter Bedding & Linens
Tips for going all natural with your laundry routine
Make your own DIY natural detergent (or buy one from a company you trust)
Store-bought laundry detergents are often times filled with chemicals and toxins that in turn can be harmful to your health and the health of your family.
There are several DIY recipes for laundry detergents, you’ll be sure to find one you love and that does the job for you just as well as the chemical laden detergents from the store.
Most DIY recipes include a lot of the same ingredients such as borax and washing soda, along with other add-ins.
HERE is a recipe for a homemade laundry detergent by Jill over at The Prairie Homestead. She uses soap, borax, washing soda, water, and essential oils to make an all natural detergent that cleans and refreshes.
If you’re not interested in making your own laundry detergent, you can look for an all-natural variety available for purchase. If you go this route, some chemicals and toxins you’ll want to check the labels for and avoid are listed HERE
Try an all natural bleach alternative
Did you see our post HERE on 3 All Natural Alternatives to Bleach? Bleach is a powerful chemical and something you may not want to be mixing in with your clothing. Of course there are always situations when bleach is helpful to have on hand, maybe you are bleaching drop cloths to use as curtains, but for the most part you should try to avoid bleach in your laundry routine.
Use the tips from the post mentioned above to find a natural bleach alternative that will work for you and your family.
Use an all natural stain remover
Many store bought stain removers, just like with anything else, can contain a lot of harmful chemicals and toxins that will stay in your fabric and clothing, and sometimes transfer to your skin or into the air when used in the washer and dryer.
Here are some great all natural stain remover options, all of which are things you likely have on hand:
distilled white vinegar
lemon juice or lemon essential oil
any combination of these
The best way to combat stains is to prevent them. Be aware of what you come in contact with and try to avoid situations in which your clothing or laundry may get stained. Of course you cannot entirely prevent a stain happening here or there, but when it does you can try an all natural solution from up above to fix it.
Make an all natural fabric softener
Many people love using a conventional fabric softener to leave their laundry feeling soft and usually fragrant. These fabric softeners can be the culprits of several harmful chemicals that can be bad for your health and pollute the air in your home. If you want to have a more natural and green laundry routine then you need to ditch the conventional fabric softener and either make your own, or buy an all natural kind.
Traditional fabric softeners work by leaving a soft film on the outer layer of your clothing, causing them to feel soft to the touch. This soft film is where all of the chemicals rest and essentially what you’re skin will be exposed to.
Some natural laundry softeners (all of these you’ll see are repeated from up above; they are some of the best all natural laundry routine ingredients and work wonders on your laundry in so many different ways)
baking soda (softens the water by lowering the pH, allowing your laundry to be less stiff and essentially softer)
distilled white vinegar (breaks down any leftover detergent in your laundry, deodorizes, and removes soap residue, which can be making your clothing and fabrics stiff).
Other great options for naturally softening your laundry is using wool dryer balls or all natural dryer sheets which we’ll go over below.
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Try wool dryer balls
Dryer balls can help your laundry dry more quickly (cutting down on that electric bill and energy use), by separating the clothing pieces and fabrics so that more air can circulate throughout. The natural fibers of wool dryer balls also help to suck out the evaporated water from the dryer.
HERE is a great option for wool dryer balls, although you can just as easily make your own!
Be sure to not overload your dyer when using the dryer balls, as they won’t work as efficiently. You may think you are saving energy by cramming more wet laundry in, but your dryer won’t go any quicker and it will just be less efficient.
Dryer balls can also act as a natural fabric softener, because they agitate the fibers in your clothing or fabric, allowing it to come out soft and dry.
If you are used to using a liquid fabric softener, you may miss the smell it leaves on your laundry. Add a few drops of your favorite smelling essential oils to your dryer balls and you’ll be surprised at how great your laundry will start smelling. Just be sure that the oils have time to dry and absorb completely into the wool balls before using them.
Make homemade dryer sheets
Much like wool dryer balls, homemade dryer sheets can help to soften your clothes, and when made with the right ingredients can leave your laundry smelling great.
You can easily make dryer sheets with the following ingredients:
scraps of cloth
Mix one cup of the white vinegar with roughly 25 drops of your favorite smelling essential oils. Keep both your vinegar mixture and your cloth scraps on hand in your laundry room. When ready to use dip one cloth in the vinegar mixture to just moisten, and then use in your load of laundry.
The essential oils will help your laundry to smell so good, you won’t miss the sweet smells of the chemical laden counterparts.
Skip the wool dryer balls and the homemade dryer sheets, and essentially the dryer entirely, and hang dry as often as you can. This is a super easy way to go natural and green with your laundry routine. You’ll be using less energy and electricity by using your dryer less often. It can also prevent static cling.
In fact, air drying your clothes and laundry is often times better for them and can extend the lifespan and appearance of them. If you are ever unsure of whether or not something should be hang dried to protect the material, do it!
If you don’t have a traditional clothesline there are several ways you can DIY it. Consider building or purchasing a clotheshorse, a rotary clothesline, installing a few boards with line between on an outdoor building, a wall drying rack that can be used indoors, and more.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of your air or hang drying and protecting your laundry:
hang pants by the hems of the legs with the waist down, and match up the inner leg seams
hang socks together in pairs and hang opening side down
hang tops by the bottom hem by the side seams
hang bedding and linens by folding in half and pinning each end to the line
If you don’t have an outdoor clothesline, you can hang dry your clothes inside on a drying rack or a small rod. Be sure to keep the clothes separated well enough to promote good air circulation.
Hand wash what you can
Let’s face it, there are probably a lot of clothing items that have a suggested ‘hand wash’ printed on the clothes tag or ‘dry clean’, but we fail to pay attention to it or adhere to it. Take extra measure to look at your labels more often to make sure you’re hand washing when necessary
Some things that should be washed by hand:
HERE is a great tutorial on how to wash your clothing by hand properly. Make sure to use your homemade or natural detergent instead of any chemical laden kind.
When you hand wash you can control how much water is used, the temperature, and the detergent. If done well you’ll be able to wash your clothing efficiently using only what is necessary. You’ll also be able to cut down on the electric bill from your washer.
Wash less often!
Finally, one of the of the easiest ways you can green up and clean up your laundry routine and make it more natural is to wash (and subsequently dry) LESS OFTEN. In today’s world I think we overdo things in a lot of areas one being how often we wash and clean things.
Many of your clothing items and laundry will benefit from being washed less often, and you’d be surprised at how often (or not often) they should be washed.
Be careful to keep your clothing clean. Have a set or two of clothing that you’re okay with getting dirty (have some for the husband and kiddos as well) and be sure to where them in situations where you know you might get dirty such as when doing yard work.
Another great way to keep your clothes clean so that you can wash them less often is to wear an apron! Aprons are great at protecting clothing. Invest in a high quality apron, one made from sturdy material and preferably with pockets.
You’ll wash your apron when it really needs it, but most of your clothing should stay clean for much longer.
Now, what are you going to start with first to embark on your journey of an all natural laundry routine? Are you doing any of these already and do you have any more tips? Let us know in the comments below!
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