Condo Blues: 13 Homemade Laundry Helpers

Sunday, May 16, 2010

13 Homemade Laundry Helpers

I’m Spring Cleaning and Stash Busting. I found a stash of laundry detergent and whatnot. Some of these old items aren’t compatible as they are with my High Efficiency (HE) washing machine because HE washing machine use less water and can overflow if I use my old mega sudsing laundry cleaners in it.

PhotobucketI hate to throw anything usable away. I’m also kinda cheap in that way too. So I found a way to repurpose and save money by making my own  green laundry stain spray, static cling fighter, wrinkle releaser, wool wash and laundry detergent. You can too. Here’s how.

Homemade Laundry Stain Figher

  • Mix ½ water and ½ laundry detergent in a spray bottle. Ta Da! Instant homemade laundry stain spray. This works with powedered laundry detergent too but you might have to shake the bottle to mix it up before each use.
  • Soak stained items in a bucket with borax and water does wonders especially for whites. The cleaning power of borax impresses me with each new use I find for it.
  • Pour shampoo directly on the stain especially if it’s a perspiration or ring around the collar stain.
  • Wet and rub a bar of laundry soap like Zote or Fels Naptha (I've used both) on the stain before popping in the water. Note: For those of you who don't like to use animal products both of these laundry soaps have animal tallow in it. This isn't an issue for me but it may be for you.
  • Soak stained items in oxygen bleach dissolved in water also works wonders.
  • Pour a bit of liquid laundry detergent directly on stain and scrub the stain with an old toothbrush is also effective. Why buy more items than you have to, right?
  • Scrub the stain with an old toothbrush and your favorite stain fighter. I mark the handles of old toothbrushes with nail polish so there’s no mistaking that the toothbrush has been repurposed for cleaning.

Homemade Static Cling Stoppers

  • Tennis balls in the dryer are the perfect homemade dryer ball. I got mine for free at dog events. Blitzkrieg donated them to the cause because isn’t a fan of hard toys. He’s missing some teeth from his bad old days.
  • Cut dryer sheets in half and use the same sheet more than once. You might be able to get away with cutting them into fourths too.
Homemade Wrinkle Releaser

  • Mix ½ water and ½ fabric softener in a spray bottle. I keep a small bottle of homemade wrinkle releaser in my clothes closet because I’m not a big fan of ironing but I do like wrinkle free clothing.
  • Spritz water in an old spray bottle on the wrinkle and gently stretch it out. I’ve had varying degrees of success with this one.
Homemade Wool Wash

  • Shampoo - works just as well or better than Woolite when hand washing wool sweaters.
Homemade Laundry Detergent

Do you have any laundry tricks or tips? Please share!

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Robj98168 said...

I am hear to tell you those dryer balls are great! I have the fancy store bought ones myself, but only because Romeo would keep trying to get his tennis balls back. That and I already bought dryer balls before you told me I could use tennis balls! But anyway you slice them, they work great- 15 minutes less drying time, clothes come out fluffy and static free. Best 9.99 I ever spent! Can't wait to try some of your other laundry tricks

Lisa Sharp said...

I wouldn't use tennis balls because they have nasty things in them. Wool dryer balls are great though.

Also for stains, sunshine is another to add to your list! Sun is the best stain fighter I have found. Even gets out stains that I have let get in the dryer. :)

Condo Blues said...

Lisa - The greenest thing is to use what you already own!The tennis balls I have were made specifically for dogs. They are made of wool and rubber. They do not have anything "nasty" in them.

Cheryl said...

Great & useful recipes. Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday!

Lisa Sharp said...

Lisa: I agree unless something is harmful to our health (my chronic illness makes this even more important!!). But if they aren't normal tennis balls that sounds a lot better. I just brought up the tennis balls because I used them for awhile with pillows until I learned what's in them.

I told you the sun thing because I know you like things that don't need you to buy anything. :)

Jennifer Juniper said...

I love all these recipes!

Anonymous said...

I would like to second the wool dryer balls. I find two works best and reduces drying time.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Fabulous tips! I'm going to have to try those dryer ball thingies. I reuse my dryer sheets, but I'd love to not use them at all. Thanks for sharing!

Sian said...

These are such great tips! I wonder if you have a good one for clogged drains so that I don't have to use the toxic Drano stuff?

I make my own all purpose cleaner with vinegar, water, and sweet orange essential oil. Smells great and it's so much cheaper too!

Condo Blues said...

Sian - pour baking soda followed by vinegar into the drain. After the fizzing stops, chase it with a tea kettle full of hot water to clear the drain. It really works! This is also good for clearing clogs in a dishwasher. If that doesn't work a power drum auger or plumber's snake that fits onto an electric drill is a great for clearing clogs without nasty chemicals, especially in a bathroom. Guess how I know?

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