Soap and water have always been the enemies of dirt, and nothing beats the fresh scent and disinfectant properties of plants such as lavender and lemon. Here are two natural methods of cleaning.
Prewash stain remover
Ammonia is a powerful cleaner whose fumes can irritate, but quickly disperses in the air and it is less harmful than many commercial products.
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) water
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) phosphate-free liquid or powder detergent
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) ammonia 10 drops essential oil of lavender, lemon or eucalyptus
- Mix the liquid into a spray bottle and shake.
- Spray onto stains just before washing, because this stain remover can discolour clothing. Do not use with a chlorine stain remover.
Washing powder with lemon
Borax is a disinfectant and stain remover with a low toxicity; it deodorizes and softens water, and it is generally considered a low hazard. Borax and soda can irritate sensitive skin, so it is recommended that you wear gloves when washing by hand.
- 125 g (1/2 cup) crystallized soda
- 200 g (1 cup) finely grated pure soap
- 120 g (1/2 cup) salt
- 120 g (1/2 cup) borax
- 125 g (1/2 cup) baking soda
- 1 ml (1/4 tsp) at least of essential oil of lemon, lavender, peppermint or eucalyptus oil
- Put the soda crystals in a plastic bag and crush them with a roller.
- Mix with the other dry ingredients.
- Add the essential oil and stir after putting on gloves. Store in an airtight container.
- In machine washing, use one spoonfulfor a small load, 1 1/2 spoonfuls for an average load, and two spoonfuls for a full load. Dissolve the powder in a little hot water before adding it to the wash tank.
To launder the sheets, add 45 millilitres (three tablespoons) lemon juice during the wash cycle and let the clothes dry in the sun.
These natural methods will help you save money by not having to buy more expensive commercial products and will give a pleasant scent to your clothes.