Sunday 6 November 2011

Washing and more washing

Even though there has not been enough blue sky to patch a dutchman's trousers, the wind was blowing well enough to do two washes – one for the line and towels etc for the dryer. Towels are the only thing we now tumble dry as we prefer the softness of them when dried like this. Cutting down on tumble drying means we have to wait for a dry or windy day to line dry - worth the effort.

Having just about finished the first of two jars of home-made laundry liquid, thought I'd give some feedback on it. I have used 200 ml per wash (whisked in a jug with a little extra water to thin it down as it was a solid gel) and it has performed well on both light and dark clothing. Using one tablespoon of distilled white vinegar as a conditioner has left the clothes static free (when tumble dried) and fresh smelling when line dried – both without the over-sweet floral smell usually present. The washing machine itself is scentless - no detergent or vinegar smell present.

I use flannels as dishcloths which are changed daily to prevent germ buildups. One in particular was very dirty having been used to wipe out the oven. I doubted this would come clean as it hasn't previously when using commercial liquid. I rubbed some of the neat gel on it and when washed, found most of the stains had gone – certainly to the level of cleanliness of my usual brand. Also, grease and curry stains when pre-treated with some of the gel also came out.

It would seem that heavily stained items may not come out as clean as when using a commercial liquid - unless they are pre-treated first. What you use to do this is up to you. We are pleased so far with not only the overall results but also the cost of 1 1/2p per wash for both laundry liquid and conditioner, and have decided to keep using it.

The cost will vary depending on the price of the bar of soap. Our current liquid used one bar at 25p. Even though the resulting 'liquid' was like a gel, it might be more effective if diluted with 5 litres rather than 7 litres of water when using the recipe. Or, maybe the answer is to keep the recipe as it is and use more, say 250 – 300 ml per wash. Either way the cost will rise a little – between 2p and 3p per wash but I'll keep experimenting and let you know.

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