Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Natural and Green Laundry Routine

I promised I would share with you how I keep my diapers clean and sanitary. Really I do all of my laundry approximately the same as my diapers so this is my “kill two birds with one stone” post.

First of all, I can’t stand all of the nasty chemicals and scents etc. that are in commercial laundry detergent/ products. We have been ridding our lives of everything chemically loaded why should we coat our clothes in them?

We separate out our clothes pretty simply. Clothes and Diaper covers go together and Diapers, wipes and rags go together. The clothes and diaper covers are washed in cold/cold cycles to preserve clothes and water resistance. Diapers, wipes and rags are washed in hot/cold cycles to sanitize.

We use Charlie’s Soap as our laundry detergent because it is naturally derived and rinses clean. It has no added scents or well anything really. It gets our clothes beautifully clean without anything added but . . .We have hard water. . Bad, nasty, difficult water that threatens to turn all of our clothes into burlap. Water softeners are expensive, one thing I realized, they are all essentially salt. So rather than spend a fortune on water softeners I decided to spend 59 cents and buy a can of salt. I now throw in about a teaspoon of salt in every load and BAM. No more hard water. So far our clothes are softer, the diapers are feeling more and more comfortable on the babies and I haven’t noticed any ill effects on our clothes. Every once in a while I will use vinegar in the rinse cycle as well as a fabric softener and in cloth diapers as sanitizer. Most of the time however I forget the vinegar, the washer doesn’t normally give me warning when the rinse cycle comes up.

Stains if treated quickly can usually be removed by one of three methods, I either 1. Let them soak in the sink and swish them around a few times before throwing the item in the washer (normally stain is pretty well gone when I throw it in the wash) 2. Rubbing a bit of baking soda into the stain to scrub it out or 3. This awesome stain remover made from ¼ cup of dish soap, 2-3 tbsp of vegetable glycerin, and about ½ cup of water mixed in a spray bottle this stuff rocks!

The one difference in the diaper loads is that we need to disinfect the diapers regularly as to not spread bacteria between the kids. To cloth diaper loads I add 10 or so drops of Tea Tree oil and about once a month I add a ¼ to ½ cup of lemon juice to sanitize and bleach them, leaving them to soak for about a half hour. This keeps our diapers fresh and mostly stain free. If I had the ability to line dry them this would accomplish all of this in one as sunlight is a natural disinfectant and bleaching agent!

When we pull things out of the washer Diaper Covers and Wet Bags, Wool items and Gentle Items (I.E. Bra’s) get thrown over the clothes line in the laundry closet the rest get thrown in our dryer with dryer balls I made with this tutorial from Kelly at ImperfectHomemaking

We usually fold the clothes when they come out of the dryer because I have nowhere to store unfolded laundry, but a lot of the time I really wish I had somewhere to toss it instead!!

Well that’s it, our lovely laundry routine! I hope you enjoyed our tour!

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