It’s been a month since I first posted my HE Laundry Recipe (click here if you missed the original post) and I’m convinced I’ll never go back to store-bought detergent! My clothes smell better and are so much softer than they ever were before. I had some questions from the last post and figured it was about time I answered them. Hope these are the details you were looking for!
1. Is Borax safe? Borax is a cleaner that has positives and negatives just like any other cleaner. It is a boosting agent for your laundry and not only conditions the water but also deodorizes the clothes. Borax should not be inhaled or ingested! I was thinking about using it on our carpets, but after investigating I decided it just wasn’t a good idea for my asthmatic hubby. Same goes for shaking up the contents of your homemade detergent around your kiddos. I don’t like them to be around when I’m messing with bleach and use the same procautions with borax.
2. Can vinegar be used as a fabric softener? I have to preempt this question with the fact that my clothes rarely need to be softened with the new homemade detergent. Seriously, the detergent makes my clothes so soft! I’ve heard from one person that regular vinegar use ruined their HE washer, however the majority of the information I found with vinegar and HE washers was positive. Because I don’t feel every load needs the softening, I’m only using vinegar on my rag/towel/washcloth loads as they tend to smell mildewy after a while and the vinegar removes any bacterial residue (Thanks for the tip, Paula!). Also, the dryer completely takes away the vinegar scent. Can’t even tell that I’ve used it.
3. How often do you use dryer sheets? I rarely use dryer sheets unless I’m washing clothes made from synthetic materials. Natural materials come out so soft with the detergent there isn’t a need for dryer sheets. The seldom times I do use them, I reuse and reuse and reuse, usually until they are flimsy and unscented. No reason to use them once as they perform well multiple times.
4. What is Mrs. Stewart’s liquid bluing? Mrs. Stewart’s liquid bluing “potion” is so much better for white/light colored loads than bleach. I have no idea how it does it, but the clothes come out brighter and whiter. Only word of precaution, a little bit goes a long way. The label instructions indicate only a few drops are needed per load and ONLY A FEW DROPS ARE NEEDED. Don’t do what I did squirting the bottle for five or ten seconds and end up with white sheets with blue streaks. Oops!
5. Why Fels-Naptha bars? I love these bars so much I bought a pack of 24 from Amazon. They smell wonderful and work so well on stains, especially as a pretreatment. Wet down the stain, rub the bar over it and, BAM, your stain is gone. I used this method to completely erase beet juice from little Zeke’s white onesie (Yes, my one-year-old LOVES beets). I use washable diapers (Bumgenius are the bomb) and have seen a total turn-around in their smell and cleanliness after using the Fels-Naptha laundry detergent recipe. Man, I could gush about these things forever. Anyone find any other fun uses for them?
Please comment if you have any other questions. I’d love to research them for you. I have to also mention how much money this stuff is saving us. I’ve been using the recipe since the middle of September and have only made three batches. Three batches for about $6 is pretty good considering my daily diaper washing and three guys and a dog at home. Hopefully, you are saving money too! I look forward to your comments.
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