30 Bananas a Day!

What do you use to wash really dirty clothes?

I never had to solve this problem myself so far since my clothes are not really dirty but the lady I live with is trying to lower the amount of poison we put in our garden. So beside the usual ''organic'' detergent found in supermarkets these days, do you use any natural things as detergent? If so what?

Thanks in advance for your time!

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Hey! I use soap nuts for washing clothes in a machine. It doesn't seem to get really bad stains, but it's nice otherwise. And if I feel like it needs smth more, I just wash them in hotter water (if possible) or redo really dirty parts with plant-based soap by hand. I've read that soap biodegrates in 5 days mostly. Also I'm thinking about making my own soap someday from scratch - without any weird components :)

Yes I've heard of these nuts, they were expensive for the ppl I live with so I'm not sure these will be an option for them. I've heard ppl in Cuba were using salt. Have you tried it by any chance? And what components are you planning to use in your future formula if you don't mind me asking :)

I don't know how much is it there, but in LT I was able to get a bag of 250g, I think, and it was smth like 10USD in our money... But you can use 4-5 nuts for few times, so it's enough for a really long time - I mean, I haven't gone thru whole package in like a year. I haven't use salt, can't comment on that.  For basic soap I think it's used some sort of oils and lye - and as far as I know, you can make lye from wood ashes. But you need to be very careful- its a strong alkaline solution and you should be sure not to get in on skin or eyes. My plan is at least try it, because we will be burning wood in winter and it doesn't seem that I can get aroun totally soapless :) I'm gardening, getting hands and clothes dirty, so I need something. And I think making it yourself is the least evil of all :) At the moment I like ayurvedic 'natural' soap without any animal fats or testing - for ethic reasons, not sure about environment so much...

Thanks Kotryna. I did not know a whole package of these soap nuts could last you a whole year, I'm gone try them for myself and maybe advise them to my friends. But salt I realize is good for plants, so will try that too.

em... I wouldn't be so sure about salt for plants... I heard saying that if your plants doesn't grow so good, it might be a bad neighbour spilling salt in your soil... I'm not sure why is that, just saying :)

Thanks. I'm no specialist and am learning everyday and I heard at least twice that salt would help plants to have more sodium and also that is very healthy for them. I'm still at the testing stage though. The garden where I live now is doing great, so that's a good base to start with. The water goes on to a bed of tomatoes. Since we have many tomatoes plants elsewhere I will have ways to compare.

That's nice :) Let me know how they succeed w salt :) Maybe it's in the amount :)

Yes. Will try. First with the soap nuts.

Hi! I have 2 kids that dirty up their clothes like none other..LOL. So I understand the need to really get them clean. I like to add vinegar and baking soda to my laundry, that way I can cut down on the detergent, even if it is an eco friendly version. Also hydrogen peroxide is a great alternative to bleach(also gets blood out of clothes). Dr. Bonners castile soap is an amazing product. I just found out that it quickly dissolves stains! I am going to experiment with adding it to my laundry to see if that is an even better alternative.

My husband & I found a really good recipe on youtube for homemade laundry detergent that we've been using. Doing the math, the soap winds up costing 2-4 cents per load depending on where you get your supplies.

1 cup borax

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup oxyclean

1/2 bar zote soap

Add all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket then add enough VERY WARM water to approx. 3 inches to top of bucket. Stir well (this is best done with a drill and paint mixer attachment). Please note that a "skin" will form at the top of the bucket if allowed to set for too long between uses.

We just saved 2 gallon sized laundry jugs and refill them as needed. You will need to shake the jug before each use. The oxyclean I get at our local dollar store (just make sure to check the label that it doesn't contain any funky, extraneous chemicals!) This also makes a really good "pretreatment" for stains on clothes. Just rub a little into the stain before tossing it into the wash. ZOTE is a tallow-based and Kirk's castile is a  coconut oil based soap. You can use a veggie peeler to flake the soap for the recipe above. We have a front- loader washer and have experienced no problems using this homemade version in our machine. I also have a recipe for home-made dishwasher tablets if anyone is interested!!

Sals Suds by Dr Bronners, seriously the best/most effective household soap I've ever used, natural or not! I use 2 tablespoons for each load of laundry, even super dirty laundry, and also for washing dishes, anything else. Its amazing, I'm never going back to anything else!

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