Environmentally Responsible Cleaning Products Part 3: Laundry and Other Products

This is part 3/3 of a series of articles on environmental medicine and recipes for household products: learn how to make useful laundry and miscellaneous products that help move in the direction of health for you and for the planet!


Basic Laundry Soap

½ cup borax- kills germs and whitens
½ cup washing soda- cuts grease and softens water
1 cup soap flakes/powder- forces dirt out

Mix ingredients together and stir well. Measure ½ cup of soap and add to cold water in your washing machine. Wash as normal, making sure you rinse in cold water. For very hard
water, add more washing soda.

Fabric Softener

2 cups herbal or white vinegar
2 cups baking soda
4 cups (1L) water

Mix baking soda and vinegar together. Add water and stir well. Add ¼ cup of solution to the final rinse of your washing machine cycle. Note: clothes are soft but static cling is still evident.

Delicate Care Soap

½ cup borax
1 cup soap powder
4 cups (1L) boiling water

Combine ingredients. Leave to cool and pour into a container. Use approximately ½ cup of this solution to 4 cups (1L) of water. Add clothing and wash gently. Rinse thoroughly.

Spray Starch

4 tsp. cornstarch
2 cups warm water
3-4 drops essential oil

Mix ingredients together and pour into spray bottle. Shake well. When ironing, spray sparingly onto clothing and press.

Clothing Rust Remover

½ cup pickling salt
½ cup vinegar

Mix salt and vinegar together. Add just enough water so that the garment is immersed. Soak rust stained clothing for an hour or more. Wash as normal. Note: this seems to work only if the stain is not set. Do not wash the clothing before soaking as this will set the stain. Vinegar is also ideal for removing deodorant and antiperspirant stains. It also removes cola, wine, and ketchup stains.


Septic Tank Treatment

2 cups brown sugar
1 tbsp. baker’s yeast
5 cups (1 ¼ L) warm water

Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water until dissolved. Pour solution into toilet and flush.

Safe Car Washing Solution

¼ cup soap flakes/powder
¼ cup baking soda
4 litres (1 gallon) warm water

Mix all ingredients together and stir well. Used 1 cup of the solution and add to a bucket of water. Wash as normal.

Vinyl Upholstery Cleaner

¼ cup soap powder
½ cup baking soda
2 cups warm water

Mix soap powder and baking soda together and add to water. Wipe vinyl with solution and rinse well.

Fire Extinguisher

Baking Soda
Decorated container (tin)

Baking soda makes an excellent fire extinguisher in the kitchen. It works well at smothering flames from any kind of fire and it will not spread grease fires. We have tested this and it works well.

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