Friday, 24 February 2012

Frugal Laundry Liquid Debate

If you are using frugal laundry liquid, have you got any comments about it? If so, please let me know!

The more I surf other peoples blogs, the more I read negative comments about this – surely there must be more positive ones? I'll kick off this debate with my own findings. I have only ever used non-bio so comparisons may be different with bio products. Also, I have only ever used 'whites' rather than 'colours' products.

Stain/sweat removal:

Neither commercial nor frugal wash liquid completely removed the greasy marks/stains on their own. I found I needed to either lightly scrub or rub soap/frugal liquid/washing up liquid onto the garment before washing to get it completely clean.

I also used to find when ironing armpit areas, that although the clothes appeared to have been cleaned, when the hot iron got on this area, it brought out a slight smell of sweat. Now, I never, ever have this problem.

Loss of colour/whites going grey:

I'm probably not the best one to comment on this as I have said above, I have only used 'whites' products. As most people know, white products contain whitening agents, which frugal liquid doesn't. So some of my whites have changed colour slightly but not too much. The only greyness I have noticed is in my beige towels which get washed with dark towels so that may be the reason.

My dark brown towels have lightened slightly, but they would for me anyway for the reasons mentioned above reference 'whites' products.

As soap is half of the main component of frugal liquid, it naturally leaves a scum on surfaces. The washing soda or borax helps remove this, as does the vinegar conditioner at the end. If you don't use vinegar as a conditioner, maybe that could also be the cause of greyness.

Damaging or clogging up your machine:

I have been using this product for 5 months now. My washing machine is still lovely and clean and sparkling with no smells. When I used just non bio products, I got a horrible smell after a few months. When I remember, I do a washing soda boil wash at the beginning of each month. Previously, this did not always remove this smell. Now, I never have the smell even when I forget to do a boil wash.

Those are the main complaints I have found. Anyone come across any others?

I have not managed to source Borax so I would like to try that instead of washing soda. Does anyone use Borax, is it different to washing soda from a cleaning point of view?

My washing now smells of sweet, fresh air as opposed to an overpowering commercial chemical smell. If in the future I find that my whites do go dingy, I shall give them the occasional wash with an appropriate product.


13 comments:

  1. I use the frugal home made liquid and have had no adverse effects on washing the clothes. DB no longer suffers from the skin rashes he used to get from the comercial products, so I`m well pleased. I have curtains infront of my kitchen cupboards. If they get dirty and someties a little greasy I amid 1cup of caustic soda to my washing cycle. It removes all traces of fats whilst also cleansing the washing machine.

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    1. I might use it to clean my washing machine out but I would never use it on anything I might wear as there is a possibility, however remote, of causing a skin burn. Am glad though that you have had a positive use of frugal laundry liquid.

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    2. I wouldn`t use the caustic soda on any of our clothing either, but for greasy stain removal on my kitchen cupboard curtains it does a fab job.
      Mind you, this kind of treatment is very rarely needed.

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  2. No probs here apart from sometimes my white cotton towels tend to 'grey' a bit, solved this by adding a scoop of cheap stain remover powder to white washes. Great on darks no brobs with smells,washer issues or scum.I use cidal which contains a antibacterial agent and smells of citrus.

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  3. I use washing gloop. basically liquid with less liquid (1 bar soap, grated, + 1 cup soda crystals + 4 litres water). I once tried adding a cup of "borax substitute" but it made no difference. I add 1/2 cup to the drum, not the drawer, put about 1 tblsp Napisan in the drawer and white vinegar in the conditioner bit. I wash most things on 30C and I get the same results as when I used commercial stuff. I add 20 drops of essential oil to the gloop and my washing smells fresh and clean. Like you I find that stains need a bit of extra help; the napisan gets a lot out, sometimes with pre-soaking but just for an hour or two; some things have ended up with variable colour after an all night soak in Napisan (usually £1.77 in Wilkinsons but on offer just now for £1.44). I find a spray of neat vinegar gets out greasy stains very well, especially dirty shirt collars, and also helps get rid of white underarm stains, with a good scrub.

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    1. I'll have a go at using neat vinegar on the collars, see if it helps.

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    2. Try vinegar mixed with bicarb of soda. That`s what we use at my work.
      I work at a dry cleaners.

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  4. Thanks Sarina, will try that next time I've got a greasy stain.

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  5. I have only been using the laundry stuff for a couple of weeks, but I am really impressed.

    The only problem I have had is a few white marks on a pair of dark trousers, but I think this is because there is a layer of hardened soap stuff which has formed on top of the gloop and doesn't seem to dissolve in the wash. If I make sure that bit doesn't get in the wash, it is fine. Does that make sense!?!?

    I have found Borax Substitute in my local Boyes shop - it is one of those shops that sell everything, from fishing rods to big old lady pants. I think Boots used to do it, but could be wrong.

    Glad to hear other people are liking the homemade laundry stuff.

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    1. I've not had that problem with the liquid gloop but did have it with the powdered version - made a right mess. When bottling up my gloop, I leave at least a 2" gap at the top to enable me to shake it (or stir it) before pouring into the soap dispenser of the machine. Also, when making it, I make sure the grated soap is thoroughly dissolved before adding the washing soda or borax.

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  6. I've been making my own washing powder for years. I mix equal parts vegetable soap flakes, borax substitute (sodium sesquicarbonate), and sodium bicarbonate. I buy these all online in bulk. I wash whites separately from colours and have had no greying. I use a low temp 'daily wash' for most washes, and a hotter, longer 'super eco' wash for bedding. I've had no problem with the washing machine a Zanussi 'Eco Bubble'.

    I used to use borax, even though I knew it could affect fertility, because I wasn't interested in having kids. Then I thought about it a bit more - the waste water was getting into the water system and could well end up affecting the eco system and fish etc, so I stopped using it. I've since found out it not only affects fertility, but it can affect unborn children (still not a direct concern for me) and is also toxic to children and pets (the pets bit ~is~ a concern). Borax substitute, on the other hand, is safe enough to be used as a bath salt (to soften the water - therefore saving on the amount of soap/bubble bath used), in carpet deodoriser, and for many other uses, and I felt it was a much more versatile product in the frugal household.

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    1. Very interesting. We can't buy borax here, only borax substitute. I now use washing soda crystals, pure soap flakes but do still occasionally get a slight mark left on dark clothes. Wonder ig vegetable soap flakes would stop that?

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