- Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap
- 5% white vinegar
- Arm & Hammer super washing soda
- Baking soda
What I do with them:
- In detergent compartment:
1 tbsp liquid castile soap
1 tbsp washing soda
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tbsp salt
- In fabric softener compartment:
5% white vinegar
Benefits I’ve noticed:
- No chemical residue/odor on laundry or washing machine interior
- No hard water deposits inside washer (and we have really hard water)
- No mildew inside washer
- Softer laundry without that “slippery” feel that normal fabric softeners/dryer sheets leave behind
- Even the smelliest laundry is deodorized (even with cat pee on it – but always rinse the item well before washing)
- Towels are much more absorbent
- Cuts greasy residue on things like potholders and kitchen towels/rags (but wash these in a separate load from your clothes)
Things you should know about using this method:
- Too much vinegar (or using vinegar over 5% acidity) can fade clothing pretty fast. I found out the hard way with a favorite bright red turtleneck. It still looks good, just not eye-popping bright red anymore. My general rule is more vinegar for smelly items, less for normal laundry. For a normal-sized load, I fill up the fabric softener compartment halfway.
- Pre-mixed dry ingredients can settle and separate when stored, so there’s no guarantee you’ll have the right amount of each when you use the mixture. That’s why I measure each one out separately, 1 tbsp at a time, for every load of laundry. I keep a special tablespoon in the laundry room just for that, along with containers of each ingredient lined up on a shelf above the washer. It’s worth the extra few seconds, believe me.
- Delicate items come out just fine with no damage, in my experience with this method.
Where I found all this information:
I adapted these recipes for my own specific needs and preferences – in my case, hard water and sensitivity to chemical odors and residue.