Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Natural Laundry

This post is more for my own personal use, so I can keep everything in one place. :) Blogging it seemed to make more sense.

Since my husband and I decided to cloth diaper this baby, I started looking into all the do's and don'ts of washing cloth diapers. There seems to be a million ways to do things!

The wonderful ladies on BG( directed me to this link:

It's a homemade laundry detergent that is safe for cloth diapers! I LOVE IT!! I'm on my second batch already, and it leaves my clothes so soft and fresh, and it's slowly fading some of those older stains. It took me a bit to get how much to use on my cloth diapers, but I think we have it now. I just add 1-3 scoops(depending on the soil level of the load) to a glass mason jar, add hot water, shake to dissolve, and then add it to the washing machine.

When I decided to switch to the homemade laundry detergent, I got rid of all the chemical additives for our laundry. This meant all fabric softeners, stain removers, and commercial detergents. I needed something to help soften clothes while drying, so I bought some PVC dryer balls from Walmart. I like how they lift and seperate my clothes, cutting my drying time down quite a bit. If I had a clothesline, I'd go that route, but sadly, I don't. Those same ladies turned me onto wool dryer balls. I was hesitant at first, because my husband is allergic to wool. However, he's had no reaction to them, and they are SO easy to make.

Here's the link to the tutorial I used to make them:

I changed a few things, but the process is still the same. I wound them while watching tv. The yarn cost me $13 and I was able to make 6 dryer balls.

Since making this switch, I have noticed an improvement in my husband's dry/itchy skin. He no longer scratches like crazy. It's so nice, and I'm glad he's so much more comfortable!

Now that my laundry had gone green, I needed to do something about all that build-up in my washer. Yes, you need to clean your washing machine once in a while too!! I put it on the largest load setting, with the hottest water setting, and added 2 cups of vinegar. My fabric softener dispenser is in the middle of the agitator(I have a top loader) so I took it out and threw it down into the water.  I left the lid up, and allowed it to soak for 30 minutes so the vinegar and hot water could dissolve the detergent build up. Then, I replaced the fabric softener dispenser, closed the lid and allowed it to get to the rinse cycle, but caught it before the washer could fill back up. I grabbed a sponge with a scrubber, and my vinegar/water spray bottle so I could scrub the agitator and make sure all of the buildup was removed. Then, I allowed it to finish it's rinse cycle. Even if you don't switch to natural laundry, you still need to run a hot cycle through your machine every once in a while to keep it performing optimally.

One last thing for my own notes, what to do when those cloth diapers start to stink even after washing. So, here is my prepping and stripping for my cloth diapers:
Prepping with my washer:

Hot wash/cold rinse- No Detergent

Hot wash/2 cold rinses - Detergent


Hot wash/cold rinse-no detergent

Hot wash/cold rinse-no detergent


Hot wash/2 cold rinse - detergent

Hot wash/cold rinse - no detergent


Stripping in my washer:

Cold wash/cold rinse - no detergent, but vinegar in the wash

Hot wash/cold rinse - no detergent, but a small squirt of Dawn in the wash

Hot wash/cold rinse - nothing added

Hot wash/cold rinse - nothing added

Hot wash/2 cold rinses - nothing added

I just kept running cycles until I didn't see any more suds in the rinse cycle.

And washing:
Cold wash/rinse - no detergent/vinegar in rinse
Hot wash/2 cold rinses - detergent
Extra cold rinse

Ok, now that I have my laundry info somewhat organized, I feel a bit better. :)

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