I have been making my own detergent for a while. My mom said that my clothes were turning "Christiania colored" (Christiania is the "free village"/"squatter village" in the middle of Copenhagen). It is not a compliment, and no I don't think the clothes get clean enough. All the whites are grey, grease stains don't come out properly. So what to do?
Dave Lodge wrote:Oxyclean is a mix of things, but the special ingredient is Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or Baking Soda. Can increase salt (Na) content in the system though.
And I know for sure that because of the salts in these type of cleaners, pre-stain treatments too, many septic systems slow or fail - I would think if you are using these in your laundry it would be much better to run your grey water through a natural cleaning system than to run it into your septic tank.
Regarding home-made laundry soap - I ran into the same problem, grey socks and stains on all the shirts. Oily stains show up well no matter the color of the clothing - arrrggg! So I stopped making my own laundry soap. I would love to hear how others over came this (maybe in another tread:)
Some Quick Information from my collection on the subject:
Products we recommend: (they are salt and boron free, and pH neutral)
Laundry: Oasis, Ecos, Biopac liquid detergent, Vaska. There are also soap alternatives that are greywater friendly, like soap nuts, and "wonder balls".
Showers: Aubrey Organics makes shampoos and conditioners that don't have salt or unhealthy chemicals, and are fairly easy to find. In a shower, shampoo is fairly diluted so it is not as important as in the washing machine to have the best products, but it is important to have products that are not harmful to our health, surprisingly many shampoos and conditioners contain carcinogenic chemicals.
You can find out what's in your products at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetic's on-line database http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/
Dishwashers are not a good sources of greywater because the detergents for dishwashers are high in salt. Salt will destroy the structure of your soil over time. If you are able to find a dishwashing detergent that does not have salt or boron in it, then the greywater can be reused. If you have to use the dishwater greywater, send it to a dedicated portion of the yard and plant with salt tolerant plants.
How to Create an Oasis With Grey Water - Select Plants For The Oasis
1 Using the estimate of how much grey water is produced calculated in Section 1 Step 3, match the available amount of grey water with the proper plants.
2 Consider salt-tolerant plants like oleander, date palms, bermuda grass and native desert plants for the oasis setting. Include fruit trees and water-loving plants like willow, maple and birch in the oasis area if grey water supplies allow.
3 Place the plants in groups based on water needs in an area accessible to the grey water system to avoid the need for additional potable water irrigation.
4 Prepare the landscape: dig mulch basins around the plants to be irrigated.