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laundry without soap??  RSS feed

 
mary jayne richmond
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hello everyone, this is my first post... i was wondering if anyone has done laundry without using any type of soap?? i do laundry by hand and it would be easier if i didn't have to put the clothes back through for the rinse. thank you
 
chad Christopher
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Yes, a sock full of anti bacterial herbs, minerals, vinegar, and a touch of salt, use rare earth magnets instead of salt if you use a grey water system. Agitate with your sock tea bag. Use your favorite fresh aromatic herbs, lavender is also an anti bacterial, along with many others. Vinegar keeps your clothes soft.

Depending how often you do laundry, you can use the same water , or most of it over and over, its like a biological vinegar soap, just add more water and herbs. I am not sure if there is even a subject on this type of cleaning.... just something i have used. Never went rancid, always had a floral vinegar smell that would mellow out after drying. Did i invent something? Probably not.
 
mary jayne richmond
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THANK YOU CHAD!!! i will be using this in my next load
 
August Hurtel
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I use baking soda and vinegar in a washing machine.
Presumably it could work by hand too.
A solution of hot water and baking soda. (I put a half cup into the washing machine)
When it cools down, do whatever you do by hand to 'agitate'.
Then put it in a solution of water and vinegar.
Give it a little while for the vinegar to get in there and do whatever magic it does (I think it mainly changes the ph and makes things softer that way).
Rinse with water.

I sometimes put in a drop or two of essential oil with the vinegar.
I have also added in borax sometimes with the baking soda.
 
Dillon Nichols
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There are commercial products that purport to offer alternatives to soap. Lots of information about them being a scam is readily googleable, though.

Several are listed here. http://inhabitat.com/is-it-green-the-laundry-ball/

I tried one on a farm that I interned at for several months. I think it was the Green Wash Ball. My experience, and the consensus of the other users there, was that it sorta kinda worked, a bit. I ended up using soap every 2nd wash or so, as it didn't do the greatest job. I don't think anyone did a comparison vs plain water. To be fair, we're talking filthy farm clothes, in really large loads of laundry; probably twice the size of what an average consumer washer would handle.


Chad, your system sounds good; can you elaborate on what minerals you use, and amount of vinegar per wash?
 
S Bengi
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I would love to see some pics of your herbal vinegar soap water washing station and also some before wash and after wash pics, esp of clothes that you have been wearing and washing, over the past couple month.
 
Nicole Alderman
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You'd probably still need to rinse, but I use a mix of oxyclean (the generic stuff), washing soda, and baking soda for my cloth diapers. Cloth diapers aren't supposed to actually be cleaned in soap, as it builds up in the diapers. You could probably search for other cloth diaper detergent recipes for other soap-free solutions. Still, for not rinsing, you're probably much better off with one of the solutions mentioned earlier! (For instance, I wouldn't think you'd need to rinse the baking soda and vinegar laundry much, as the vinegar will neutralize the baking soda you washed with, all the while helping it clean, too, as the acidic vinegar reacts with the basic baking soda to make all sorts of fizzy fun that lifts dirt.) Speaking of reactions, Hydrogen pyroxide and baking soda do some fun stuff together, too, creating a natural bleach (pretty much the same as oxyclean). It's color-safe, too!
 
chad Christopher
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Dillion and bengi, i can definitely elaborate on my washing system. I need a few days, i will make a post. I kind of have a question about uploading photos. I know how to use a url. But i dont know what to use so i can display my own pictures, and i don't really feel like creating a photo bucket account or something similar. I will if needed, but if some one could drop me a pm, that explains a easy way. Please do.
 
Nicole Alderman
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chad Christopher wrote:Dillion and bengi, i can definitely elaborate on my washing system. I need a few days, i will make a post. I kind of have a question about uploading photos. I know how to use a url. But i dont know what to use so i can display my own pictures, and i don't really feel like creating a photo bucket account or something similar. I will if needed, but if some one could drop me a pm, that explains a easy way. Please do.


You can add pictures as attachments. When you're in your "reply" window, look down and there's a tab that says "Attachments." Click on "Attachments," and then click "Choose File." You can add three pictures per posts. This thread (http://www.permies.com/t/31696/tnk/posts-simple) is a "How To" of how to add pictures, videos, change fonts, etc.

I hope that helps!
 
chad Christopher
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Thank you, i never noticed that tab. I understand how to use that feature. Also thanks for letting me know it is a 3 picture limit. I will make sure to condense my photos as much as possible.
 
mary jayne richmond
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i can't wait to see your pictures Chad... thank you!!! i washed my last 3 loads of laundy with your method, and my results were.......1) my clothe are no cleaner then before.. BUT.. they also are NO dirtier then when i wash them with soap. 2) i didn't have to put them through a rinse.. so that saved a lot of time and effort. 3) i had soapwort, lemonbalm and vinegar available at the time so that is what i used. i can make the vinegar, and harvest the other herbs so this is wonderful. i'm thinking about buying some rare earth magnets to put in the sock also.. oh, i also took my sock after i was done with the laundry and put it in a jar and filled it the rest of the way with vinegar, this way next week i'll just pull the sock out of the jar and toss it in to the wash.
 
chad Christopher
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The reason for the magnets is to reduce static during agitation. Supposedly they help in degrading film. But i use them because i live in a humid climate, and lots of pets. So static reduction helps me stay hair free. But i believe they probably help clean also. I wont say much more for now, i want to save it for one big post. But thank you, im glad it worked for you. Lemon balm is delicious, to the pallet and nose, and also an antibiotic! I often use it in my 'detergent'. Details details, soon to come.
 
mary jayne richmond
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Update on the laundry sock... this is what went into my sock this week soapwort, yarrow, lemon balm, mullien. then i put the sock in a jar of vinegar that i had soaked orange peels in several monthes ago, then today i washed clothes with it and i'm still impressed with the results.. my clothes are just as clean with "the sock" as they were with detergent. i didn't put them through a rinse, i'll see if it becomes a problem. slight vinegar smell when i took them out of the washer, but after they were dry no vinegar smell at all.. I'm absolutely sold on "the sock" Chad any idea how long before i need to change out the herbs. after the laundry was done i squeezed out the sock the best i could and stuck it back in my jar of vinegar and topped it off with a little extra to make sure it was covered
 
Rose Pinder
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Hi Mary Jayne,

are you using dried or fresh herbs? The sock recipe is intruiguing. Are you using hot or cold water?

What are you washing? I'm curious about the not rinsing, because I thought the rinsing would also take away the oils and skin dust etc from clothes, sheets etc. How often are you wearing something before you wash it?
 
mary jayne richmond
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Hi Rose, i used dried herbs, the water is cool/warm i use rainwater and then add some hot water to it. i'm washing sheets, socks, underwear, towels, jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and i wear my jeans and sweatshirt for the week before i change them. i'm going to see if the not rinsing is a problem... i'm hoping not , it will save me alot of work
 
Rose Pinder
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Great experiment. I might try it in a washing machine. I've stopped using soap/shampoo etc on my hair. The trick seems to be having enough hot/warm water to allow the oils to move off and away. I do a vinegar rinse at the end.

What are the minerals in the recipe? Any idea what the salt does, and how much did you put in?
 
mary jayne richmond
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Hi Rose, i'm not sure what minerals go in, and i didn't put any salt in, i'm hoping to use the grey water for plants so i didn't want the salt in it. keep us informed on how it works for you.. this is a fun experiment
 
Anne Miller
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Thanks for this experiment.  I use only vinegar to wash with and not rinse [for my clothes only ... DH clothes, sheets and towels get a regular wash]

I am looking forward to trying this with herbs.
 
Chris Barrows
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Have you tried dried China berries?

They're available commercially as "soap nuts".

They work fairly well and I've used the effluent for watering plants with no visible adverse effects.
 
Casie Becker
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Now that's something I've often wondered about. There are several species of soap nuts, including one that is native to my area. I've spent some time trying to find a wild one here, but all I find are many, many china berry trees. As much as they look alike I'd not seen anything that actually told me they would work in the same fashion. Have you actually used them, or have you used the commercially sold product? I would happily gather china berries for our laundry if I thought they would work.
 
Chris Barrows
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I've only tried the commercial China berries.

Couldn't hurt to try drying the local ones though. Might be a good experiment.

I found a tree about three years ago, but couldn't get any to germinate.
 
Casie Becker
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Well, looking again for information on this leads to one person on a different forum saying they tried china berries and they didn't work. Looking into what the toxic chemical in the berries actually is, it's related to the poisons in the neem tree. I added to an ongoing thread about uses for this tree, but unfortunately still didn't find any evidence that it contains saponins.

I might experiment anyways this year because I did find information on easy ways to use it in the house and so will be harvesting some this year for those purposes, anyways.
 
William Lee
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I use a $100 dollar washer spinner from Amazon for my clothes and leech it to my driveway. I use barely any detergent use sun on black water hose to heat and wash clean to dirty. I made the whole winter 7b without hot water washing from water heater. I do use more water but way less detergent and have great clean clothes.
 
Linda Secker
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We use the green ball things, although they are supposed to be worn out after 1000 washes and they are probably past that.

We find our clothes are just as clean as they used to be, without any kind of build up of perfume and gack that you get with detergent.

I would say the only down side is for our whites - sheets don't look as white as they used to. The scent (clean linen smell) and feel (clean, no stickiness) of our clothes more than makes up for that.

We usually also add a tablespoon or less of washing soda which softens the water (although our water is pretty soft already) and therefore helps the cleaning.

I think the 'balls' just work by bashing the laundry about a bit more to be honest but it's great that we don't use detergent any more
 
Anne Miller
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Linda, if you hang your linens and whites outdoors the sun will brighten them for you.
 
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