"For I know that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in You...You make it Beautiful Somehow"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Frugal and Simple Laundry Series: Homemade OxiClean and Color Safe Bleach


I hope you are enjoying our Frugal and Simple Laundry series this week. Today I am going to share two recipes for homemade laundry boosters. 

My boys are rough on their clothing. Grass stains, food stains, dingy and muddy socks. You name it, they have it...and they are only 2 1/2 and 11 months old! How does that happen? 

My new homemade laundry detergent has been working wonderfully at getting the majority of the stains and dirt out. However, my boys socks just don't seem to want to give up their dirt. Luke's socks are especially awful since he crawls every where. So not only are the bottoms filthy, but the tops are as well. No matter what I do, I just can't seem to get their sock white again! 

I really hate bleach. Really, really. I hate the way it smells, and I am always worried that I am somehow going to get some on my clothing and ruin them. Instead of giving in and buying a bottle of bleach,  I decided to do some research first. I ended up finding two perfect replacements! 

Homemade Oxiclean


Why skip the bleach in the first place? Well I'm glad you asked! Bleach is actually a chlorine based  product that is very harmful to people, pets, plants, and our earth. It even breaks down fabrics over time. I definitely don't want that! Homemade "Oxiclean" however is not harmful to people, pets, plants, the environment, or your clothes. It is an oxygen based cleaner, that when added to water, releases oxygen that lifts stains and odors. 

After searching for a good alternative to traditional bleach I found the recipe below on One Good Thing and decided to give it a try. 

What you need...

1. 1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
2. 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide
3. Hot Water

Directions:

Mix 1/2 cup of Washing Soda with 1/2 cup Hydrogen Peroxide in a large bowl or bucket. Add in hot water till your bowl is half full. Add your dirtiest, dingiest, filthiest clothing to the bowl. Make sure each piece gets thoroughly soaked. Add just enough more water to cover the clothes. Stir a little to make sure it is all mixed up and each piece of clothing is covered. (I did this with just a batch of socks so a bowl worked great for soaking. If you have a large batch you can add this mix to your washing machine and let it set for a while before letting it finish out with a rinse cycle.) Let your clothes soak for at least a few hours. Overnight would be even better. After allowing it to soak toss the clothes and mix that was in your bowl into the wash, and launder as normal. 


I was so extremely excited to see that my little guys socks were white again! Not brown, but white! It worked perfectly! 

A few notes to remember: Make sure you do not mix up a large batch ahead of time. After this mixture sets for too long it will loose it's effectiveness. It is so easy to make up really quick, that making up a big batch wouldn't really save you that much time any way. If you don't have any Washing Soda on hand you can substitute Baking Soda. Washing Soda just has a little more umph to it's cleaning power. 


Homemade Color Safe Bleach Alternative


I first saw this recipe for a Bleach Alternative at Frugally Sustainable
She uses...
-1 1/2 Cups of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
-1/2 cup white vinegar or lemon juice
-Pure water to fill gallon jug
-10 drops of lemon or lemongrass essential oils (optional/omit if using lemon juice)

I did not have any essentials oils on hand and I really love to use vinegar in my wash, so I decided to go with...

-1 1/2 Cups of Hydrogen Peroxide
-1/2 Cup White Vinegar
- 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
-Gallon jug of water

 Here is how to make your own...

Add hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and lemon juice to a gallon jug. Fill the rest of the way with water. Add 1 cup to your wash and you will have softer and brighter clothing! It really works wonderfully...and hardly costs anything! I love that! 

(Apparently when you mix hydrogen peroxide and vinegar together you get what is called Peracetic Acid. If this concerns you at all check out Frugally Sustainable's post above for a discussion in her comments section on this matter.)

Currently I am using my color safe bleach alternative for almost every wash. I use my homemade OxiClean when I have a very dingy, stubborn load that needs a little extra help. Between my homemade laundry soap, the homemade oxiclean, and the color safe bleach alternative, I have very clean, soft, and wonderful smelling laundry! I am so happy with how it all works...and better yet, that it is so incredibly cheap to make!




35 comments:

  1. great post....great helpers...

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  2. Wow - I am so going to try this!!!! Does the first one (with the Washing Soda) bleach out the colors in your clothes? I have finally found Hydrogen Peroxide where I live and it's not too expensive (probably it is compared to the States, though) anyhow - I am definitely going to give all of these a try! Thank you!

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    1. No it simply helps to loosen and actually lift the stains out :-) I have not had a problem with colors fading at all. Both recipes are good on for whites as well as colors.

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  3. Cool thanks!!! I get a chance to try this today (morning diaper explosion!)

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  4. Replies
    1. Your welcome...hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

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  5. Love this! I'm always looking for alternatives to cleaning chemicals. Thanks for sharing with Healthy 2Day Wednesday; come back next Wednesday to see if you were featured!

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    1. Thanks Anne! I will be back for sure :-)

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  6. This is wonderful! I'd love to share this with the HOMEGROWN community as a 101 (with a link and attribution, of course). Very happy to discover your site. Thanks so much!

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    1. Thank you Cornelia! And please feel free to share as much as you would like...that is what it is here for :-)

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  7. Is the first recipe for Oxy-clean only for white clothes or can it be used for colors too?

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    1. It is safe for both whites and colors :-) I have not tested it on all fabric types yet, so if you have a favorite piece that you are not sure about I would test a small spot first. I have yet to have any problems with it yet though. I actually used it the other day to remove stains from my carpet! It worked perfectly!

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  8. Do you have any good suggestions for fabric softening? I was buying a homemade detergent with vinegar in it but my clothes was getting rougher as I used it.Towels would actually scratch you when you dried with them. I am going to go with making my own laundry det and softener. Any helpful ideas?

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    1. This is what I am currently using for fabric softener...http://beautifulsmhw.blogspot.com/2012/04/frugal-and-simple-laundry-week-homemade_17.html

      The fabric softener mixture of hair conditioner and vinegar works great!!! I would definitely give that a try.

      I wonder if it was just the combination of the vinegar mixed into the detergent already. I have read(not 100% sure) that when mixed with other things for a long period of time it can loose it's effectiveness.

      I hope it works for you!

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    2. The conditioner softener didn't work for us. Not very soft and WAY too much static. We switched to 1/2 cheap fabric softener, 1/2 conditioner and it worked

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  9. Mahalo for the tips. Sort of off topic, found equal parts baking soda, organic tapicoca powder (or corn starch) with enough coconut oil (mixed in slowly for consistentcy) works as a great personal deodorant.

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    1. You're welcome :-) And thank you for the tip in return...Deodorant is on my "to make" list currently!

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  10. This is great information. It is nice to see simple effective alternatives to harsh chemicals & synthetics.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Great idea! I make my own soap, but could use a little something extra with 4 dirty kids. :-) Will give this a shot.

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    Replies
    1. It works wonders on little kids clothing! My boys get super dirty and it is a life saver :-)

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  12. This is a great article Lorissa! I just had to share:) You've also been featured on Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways this week!!! Thank you for sharing your knowledge so generously.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing my post on fb yesterday and featuring it today! And thank you for hosting Frugal Days Sustainable Ways! I love all the information I learn from it!

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  13. Love, love, love these ideas! I really need both the oxiclean mix and the bleach alternative right now! Blessings~Kim

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    1. I use at least one of these every day! Hope you enjoy them too. Thanks for stopping by Kim!

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  14. Another tip for whites is Mrs. Stewarts liquid bluing . It's safe and non-toxic and most importantly, it works! It brought my son's fencing uniform back to a bright white.

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  15. I think the Colorsafe Bleach is something I am going to try.

    How much do you use per load and what type washer do you have?

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    1. I usually use 1 cup for a large, really dirty load. and I have a Kenmore top loading washer :-)

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  16. Hi Lorissa
    I love your blog! I have a question that hopefully you can help me out with: I am expecting our first child and really want to go with cloth diapers instead of disposables. However, our washing machine (which I am very grateful to have!) only has a cold water hook up :(
    Do you think that if I wash dirty diapers in cold water with citrus enzymes etc, they will come out clean and sanitary? This is driving me crazy and my landlord tells me there is no way to get hot water hooked up to the washer, so I need some way to effectively clean dirty diapers!
    I look forward to any advice you can give me!
    Thanks
    Kenda

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    1. Hi Kenda! Thanks for stopping by! I do cloth diapers for my kiddos and have always washed them in hot water thinking this was the sanitary thing to do. However, your question intrigued me so I did some searching and quickly found this http://greenbabyguide.com/2008/04/29/green-breakthrough-save-energy-by-washing-diapers-in-cold-water/
      The thing is...you actually can't get washer water hot enough to actually kill the germs! Your washer would have to have a built in heater or sanitary cycle. I never knew that. So apparently it isn't actually necessary! So happy you asked this question because I am going to try this myself! Cold water and wash as normal :-)

      Oh and line drying them in the sun should help to remove stains and kill germs!

      Thanks!

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  17. thank you thank you thank you!!! :)

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    1. You are welcome! I looooove using cloth diapers with my boys! Hope they work just as great for you!

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  18. Is there a powdered version of the Homemade Oxiclean that I can mix right with the powdered laundry soap?

    If I mix it will it hurt my dark/colored clothing?

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    1. I have only heard of this homemade liquid version. Since it uses the hydrogen peroxide I don't *think* you could make this in a powder version. But most homemade laundry soap recipes call for washing soda any way, so if you are making your own with that in it I suppose you could try just adding the hydrogen peroxide with your wash by itself. I have never tried this before so I don't know how effective this would be or if it would actually work as well.

      I have used it on colored clothing with no problems :-)

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