3 DIY Laundry Hacks to Save Money & the Planet

Green Diva Meg recently talked with Eco Karen (aka Dr. Karen Lee) about getting greener and less toxic in the laundry room. Listen to this fun Green Divas @ Home podcast then read on for more DIY laundry hacks . . .

GDs @ Home: DIY eco-laundry

[5 Natural Recipes for Kitchen Cures & Household Hacks That Our Great-Grandparents Used]

Most commercial brands of laundry detergent contain a myriad of known and potentially harmful toxic ingredients. Even the so-called cleaner ones aren’t always so clean. Here’s a helpful chart of laundry chemicals to avoid. One way to know exactly what is in your laundry detergent is to make your own!

1. Make your own Borax-free laundry detergent

While there are a lot of simple DIY laundry detergent recipes out there, many of them include Borax, which can be rough on sensitive skin, so Karen offers us a great Borax-free laundry detergent recipe that she tested herself. DIY laundry detergent on the green divas website

  • 1 Tbsp Washing Soda (you can make your own, did you know that?)
  • 1 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Castile Soap (see alternative option below)
  • 1 C Distilled White Vinegar in the Fabric Softener Compartment
  • 1 Tbsp Citrus Enzyme Cleaner or Citric Acid

Scoop the powder separately without mixing them making sure to measure the right amount for each.

[7 Toxic Ingredients to Avoid for Safe Cleaning]

If you have extra stains, you can spot clean it with peroxide/water mixture or Oxyclean first, before throwing the garment in the washer with the rest of the laundry, like you would with other types of detergent.

As an alternative to grating castile soap, you can substitute with 1 Tbsp of liquid castile soap. And if you want even gentler castile soap, I strongly recommend Earth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash. That’s right. It’s for a baby but works great in laundry too.

2. Soap nuts?

Soap nuts are an effective, truly non-toxic, cheap and easy way to do laundry. I tried this when I was in California for a couple of weeks and was impressed with how well these things work. Why don’t we all use these things all the time? In fact, why am I not using them now?

Here’s what you do: Put 4 – 6 nuts in a natural muslin bag that ties shut. Remove them from the laundry after you are done and let them dry. These can be used several times before you have to ditch them for new ones. When the shells start to get soft and gray, toss them in the compost. (They can be found easily on Amazon).

[Read Maria Shriver’s latest ‘I’ve Been Thinking’ essay]

3. Dryer balls from lonely old socks

This is an excellent idea for making use of those solo socks to make your laundry fluffy and naturally scented. Go here to get Dr. Karen Lee’s detailed tutorial on making dryer balls from socks!


Listen to the latest Green Divas Radio Show . . . 

This article originally appeared on TheGreenDivas.com.


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The Green Divas share low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green through a weekly radio show, podcasts, videos and blog posts... and now the first green and healthy living global radio network, GDGD Radio. Working with the best shows in this category and other talented partners and credible sources, the Green Divas produce and share content on a variety of topics relating to a healthy green lifestyle. Visit The Green Divas website to learn more and tune in to GDGD Radio for 24/7 programming, and get social with The Green Divas on Facebook & Twitter too!

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