I'm trying out a new laundry system. First of all, I separate my clothes by color:
1. Red, Orange, Purple
2. Blue, Green
3. Black, Gray
4. White, off-white
I haven't figured out where yellow should go, but we don't wear much yellow, so it hasn't been a problem yet. I do it this way so that I can wash everything in cold water, which saves on electricity. I also try to run as many loads back-to-back as possible so that the drier stays warm between loads. This also saves on electricity. I do need to get one of those long lint brushes to stick through the lint vent. I think there may be a back-up because it't taking more than one cycle to dry a load of clothes right now. My long-term goal is to dry my clothes outside most of the year, but that will have to wait until we buy a house. It's against our current lease to dry clothes outside. Even though I see other people do it, I don't want to take my chances.
In an endeavor to use more environmentally-friendly cleaning products, I just made my first batch of homemade laundry detergent! The first load using this recipe is in the washer now, so I'll have to give you my review later. I was going to take pictures, but my husband is taking a nap and I can't take a picture of myself...
Homemade Laundry Detergent:
1/2 cup powdered Borax
1/2 cup powedered washing soda
1 cup grated Fels-Naptha soap
I was able to find all three of these ingredients at a combination of my local grocery stores. Fels-Naptha was the hardest to find. I recently found out that the local General Store also carries it, and it can also be ordered online. I used the smallest grain on my box grater to grate the Fels-Naptha by hand. One cup is approximately 1/2 a bar. I use 1 tbsp. of this powdered detergent per load. You can increase this to 2 tbsp. if you have an especially dirty load.
I've almost finished using up all of the liquid fabric softener I bought quite a while back. I switched to liquid softener because I thought it was such a waste to use the drier sheets and throw them away. I could never figure out another use for them. After the liquid softener is gone, I plan to switch to plain old white vinegar in its place.
Have you tried any homemade laundry detergents?