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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Laundry Experiments

I have begun trialing bicarbonate of soda and vinegar as additions in the washing machine. Over the past few months while listening to the ABC radio programme I have heard Shannon Lush giving lots of interesting advice about cleaning and staining removal from many surfaces. Quite often she advocates using a quarter of the recommended washing powder or liquid and adding 2 tabs of bicarbonate of soda to the wash. Her main premise is that the recommended amounts are too high and only clog fibres with excess detergents and the added bi-carb soda helps soften the water allowing detergent to penetrate and actively clean the fibres and whiten whites. Another tip she offen advocates is using 2 tabs of white vinegar in the fabric softener resevoir so that during the final rinse, fabrics are more fully rinsed of soap product.
So this is a two-fold plan. The first actions ensure a clean effective wash (for less) and the secondary outcome is a clean finish on a deeper level. Often it is the minute ammounts of detergent remaining in fibres, like towels, that subsequently attract more dirt and trap odour in a never ending cycle. The vinegar in the end rinse is also expected to aid in "de-gumming" the washing machine itself.

I have always used less than recommended amounts anyway but I'm interested to see how effective this next step is. My sheets and towels certainly smelt fresh and full of sunshine...but then again, it was a fresh sunshiny day anyway. I'm really looking forward to slipping into my crisp white cotton sheets tonight. I use white cotton for Summer and change to cosier fabrics and warmer colours for Winter.

Check out that cute orange trolly! I bought it a few weeks ago at the local Op Shop for $3! I had intended to ask Craig to perform some wonderful modification like a table top for it so it would become my mobile condiments table at BBQs but I'm really loving it for it's intended use as a laundry trolly. I am experiencing some guilt though because the bend and stretch of wash day were one of the last remaining exercises in my daily routine.


  1. Hello there,

    Thanks for sharing about your laundry.

    I put 2 tablespoons of bi carb in my wash to soften things. I also use 1/4 of the recommended dose of washing powder, (I sometimes make my own laundry detergent). Added to the water as well is a little Jasol lemon flavoured disinfectant to make the clothes smell nice. I haven't tried vinegar, as I use a twin tub.

    That's a great trolley you picked up there. I have one similar in the shed, it is blue but holds a square basket, I own round baskets and use a green round shaped trolley with a peg basket hanging on the front.


  2. So what are your thoughts Tania? Do you think it works/makes a difference? How do you find this method with really grubby things like "boys on tractors" work clothes? I'm still on the fence here.
    But I am still loving my trolly! Square one huh...thats got to be a collectors item!

  3. Well Tanya, I do think it improves my wash. Luckily I don't have grubby boys at my home so I can't answer that question. Using a twin tub improves the wash as well, clothes are cleaner so who knows? I do know my towels are a lot softer since using bi carb in the wash water though.



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