My green clean stuff actually works!!

Now after yesterday’s claim to being a sad person, if anyone needs any more proof, today I am going to give it to you. This morning we trawled the shops to find ingredients for making my own washing powder and conditioner. The hardest thing to find was Borax but I found some in a hardware store in Alverstoke eventually, Boots did sell it but had run out… do I suspect I am not the only crazy person here? Eager to try making my everso green laundry products and giving them a trial I persevered through rain and pain until I had everything I needed and with great excitement hobbled home and tried them out. You might remember I mentioned vinegar as a fabric conditioner, which was amazing. The fabric had lost that chemical hardness and was really soft after coming in off the line, today I used the drier and the result was even better. I will use vinegar again and again. A bonus is that it also keeps the washing machine clean, no slimy fabric conditioner build up with vinegar so that gets five stars from me. ***** Today I tried a different fabric conditioner; glycerine and water. An even bigger surprise, my whole wash was baby soft, brilliant! I did miss the smell though. We are so used to having clothes that smell of different sweet things, you know that laundry fresh smell, well there is no smell at all with these perfectly safe, completely natural products that are kind to the environment. I need to find a way to perfume them without using a load of chemicals that would defeat the object of the exercise.

Now washing powder; having once again tracked down all the ingredients and mixed them, with the help of Harry to grate the soap for me, I loaded the washing machine. I used a mixture of Borax, bicarbonate of soda, simple soap, and washing soda crystals with a glycerine conditioner. I need to do more trials with this mixture. It is hard to judge when the smell is often the forerunner to clean washing and again, there is none. I did a light load and a dark load on a thirty degree wash. The light load was ok, but just ok. It did remove most of the fruit juice stain from a blue teatowel but there was still a mark there, I would expect it to be stain free but it did remove avacado from my kitchen towel. The dark load, being what it was socks, jeans, t-shirts, was obviously acceptable. I am still not sure about the lack of perfume or laundry smell. At the moment, as I said, I need to do some more tests. I need to find a better method of stain removal and possibly something to whiten the wash more. I won’t accept dull whites so definitely more experimenting, maybe lemon? we shall see. Once again the conditioner performed perfectly. The only bonus for this so far is the feel of the laundry, none of that squeaky chemical hard feel and a saving on other laundry products. Borax for instance is a water softener as are soda crystals so no need of separate water softener  like Calgon tabs which amounts to a whopping ten pound plus every time I buy them and thats without another two for the conditioner. The products I bought to make my own were well under four pounds and will do quite a few washes.

Thirdly, I tried a natural furniture polish, olive oil and lemon juice. I found two large bottles of lemon juice, similar to Jif lemon, making one litre for 99p in the new 99p store, was I ecstatic? what a bargain! First I tried it on my pine dresser. Well, once again an amazing result. It cleaned all the dullness of old waxed or spray polished dust ground into the grain and gave the wood a ‘ living ‘ look and feel. Again, there was no perfumed smell and it did need more rubbing/shining than a spray polish but only as much as a wax. The bonus here was that it also cleaned the wood and if you fancied a liver flush, you could drink it, how safe and environmentally friendly is that ? The dresser is natural pine so Harry decided to try it on our spray varnished dining room table. Once again the difference in the polished bit and the non polished was amazing. It lifted dirt that I didn’t know was there, as a veneered table I guess dust had become ingrained in minute cracks that hadn’t moved despite constant washing and spray polishing. The table took on a new lease of life with an amazing sheen, another five stars from both of us. No more chemical polishes for or house any more. I have also got a recipe for a home made wax polish which I can perfume easier but that’s my next venture. Meanwhile, my research needs to go in the direction of perfuming my laundry and getting my whites, whiter than white and stain free without chemicals. But hey! two out of three isn’t bad I reckon. We are on the way to a very green home.

So am I sad? being green I reckon no but getting excited about things that our Victorian ancestors took for granted- yes! I mentioned poppies in vases indoors yesterday and in just a moment I am going downstairs to photograph the little vase of green stuff and poppies I picked that also gave me a great deal of pleasure to demonstrate that poppies can be brought indoors as a cut flower. It might not last as long as other blooms but easily as long as it would outside in the garden. Notice the area in  front of the vase where we tried the polish and how rich the wood looks there. Maybe it’s a simple mind I have to get such pleasure from simple things, hehhehe. Talking of simple things, my last gallon of wine, a gooseberry one, was officially started and strained into the demijohn to start fermenting today. The other two are bubbling away furiously, why does it take so long? Mmmm that reminds me, it is Saturday night and after all my money, environmental and machine saving ventures today, maybe I can treat myself to a nice little red from the shop…. painkiller you know, purely medicinal! Now there’s nothing sad about that!

... and a demonstration of the oil and lemon polish

... and a demonstration of the oil and lemon polish

2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Suzi said,

    they say half a lemon in the drum for white whites…. you never know!

    i wonder if we can get glycerine here if it worked that well!

  2. 2

    Suzi said,

    its not that easy being green…. xx

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