Laundry detergents have come a long way since the first product was introduced in 1930, Today's detergents are of better quality and are powerful enough to remove even the toughest stains while still gentle enough to care for your clothes and minimise their impact on the environment.
While laundry detergents do a good enough job, there are some cheap, easy and 'green' ways to boost the power of regular detergents to get better results. Adding these common household products to your laundry detergent will reduce the amount of cleaning agent that you use, saving you money while being environmentally conscious at the same time.
1. Baking soda
Baking soda can perform miracles in the kitchen as well as in the laundry room. Not only is it completely safe for the environment, it also contains alkali properties, making it perfect for the removal of dirt and grease. Especially when you live in an area with hard water, adding baking soda to the rinse cycle will make your clothes cleaner, softer and resistant to the build up of stains, which often happens with hard water. When using a top-loading washing machine, add half a cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent, and a quarter cup to front loaders. This will give your detergent a boost, making it even more effective. It also works as a deodoriser for clothes with a strong smell such as socks and sports clothes. When it comes to bleaching, adding baking soda to your bleaching product will give it an extra boost.
Just like baking soda, vinegar is one of those items that should always be present in your laundry room. Distilled white vinegar works best, is very affordable and can be found in any supermarket. It adds some extra power to your usual laundry detergent, it softens hard water and it can be used as a pre-treatment for stains. To soften a load of laundry, add half a cup of vinegar during the rinse cycle of the machine. Vinegar also kills bacteria, helps to reduce static and dissolves soapy residue in your washing machine.
3. Lemon juice
When it comes to versatility and power, lemon juice definitely wears the crown. Add half a cup of lemon juice to your regular detergent when you do a load of white washing and the whites will come out brighter. Add half a cup to a normal load of laundry and your clothes will come out smelling wonderfully fresh.
The bottom line
When it comes to the environment, a few easy changes in your laundry routine can make a big difference. Baking soda, vinegar and lemon juice can boost the cleaning power of your general laundry detergent. By reducing the amount of detergent that is used, you save money and do your bit for our planet!
OMO is South Africa's leading laundry brand and has been around for 50 years. OMO's unique technology gives your family the freedom to get dirty, safe in the knowledge that it will remove those awkward stains - in particular stains children bring home after a day in the great outdoors. Research proves that playtime is integral to a child's development, when children spend time outdoors they're not just bringing home muddy streaks and grass stains - they're learning! That's why we believe Dirt is Good! Visit http://www.omo.co.za for more.
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