Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tips for in the Laundry Room

The post about the riding center will be coming soon! I have it all typed, but then decided to wait to post it until getting some photos to go along with it. So it should be up by the end of the week!

When posting the tutorial on how to make your own liquid laundry soap, several of you mentioned that you, too, have hard water. I can sympathize. :) Hard water makes things more difficult when keeping your home clean and doing laundry!

Hard water not only contributes to soap scum and hard water deposits building up in your washer, it also will gradually gray and fade clothing, and especially whites and lights. Both are problems that we have had, and I had searched for things to try to help minimize them and then experimented. The result of that was success! The washer is staying cleaner, and our whites and lights are staying much whiter and brighter. And I thought I would share a few of those things that we found to help . . .


Tip #1

Clean your washer regularly. This is pretty basic, but it is easy to let time slip away and then build-up begins! Build-up that can transfer to your clothes when washing.

Every couple of weeks, right after running a load of laundry in the washer, I'll scrub it out with paper towels (both the drum and the agitator, including underneath of the 'blades.') Sometimes, if needed, I'll then spray it down with vinegar, scrub with a scrub brush, and wipe clean.

If done regularly, it only takes a few minutes to get your washer all clean again!

Tip #2

Put vinegar directly in your wash water and also where the fabric softener would go. With our active and outdoor/farm lifestyle, we go through a lot of laundry so we do not do this every load as that would end up being a lot of vinegar! Whites and lights always get about a cup of vinegar in the wash load, and towels and washcloths often do as well.

The photo here of it measured out is just for the post :) . . . I never measure, but just guesstimate!

Tip #3

With hard water, it is a challenge to keep whites white and lights bright, even with adding vinegar to the wash and rinse cycles and with using the liquid laundry soap recipe (which again, works much better than the powdered version with hard water!)

As much as I like to do things as naturally as possible, I have found adding Oxiclean (which from what I have read, is still pretty natural) to the wash loads of whites and lights to really help. And occasionally, I'll soak our whites in it as well.

Tip #4

Hang your whites out on the line as the sun does a great job of gently bleaching them!

(I was wanting to have a photo of whites on the line and the sun shining, but thanks to the weather, that's a little impossible as rainy and overcast days are continuing here. :)

Tip #5

This tip isn't related to hard water, but it is a helpful one for line drying. For those of you who, like us, primarily dry your clothes on the line during the spring, summer, and fall months, turning the darks and lights inside out helps minimize bleaching by the sun. And as knits tend to get stretched when hung on the line, all of our nice knit tops are dried on a drying rack indoors which works well!


For all of you other homemakers, do you have any laundry tips to share? I would like to hear!


  1. My favorite is to add some baking soda (about a 1/4 cup) into the wash along with your regular detergent. It helps with odors and boosts the cleaning power. :)

  2. I'd been putting off cleaning my washing machine for ages... you gave me the jab I needed, and I got it done today! Feels good, thanks :)

  3. If you don't have a water softener, adding a half cup of borax to your load softens the water and allows the detergent to work better. If you have an he machine/front loader, add it directly to the drum. Also, to clean your he/front loader washer, add 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar to the drum and the same amounts to your detergent dispenser (add vinegar slowly!) and run the clean cycle on you machine. Wipe down once finished. I use both these with great results!

  4. That's a good idea, Sara! I just recently read about that, but have yet to try it. It helps hearing that others have found it to work!

  5. I am glad it was a helpful 'jab', Rena! And you're welcome. :) It does feel good to get that task done!

  6. Thank you for sharing those tips, "Unknown"! They sound great. I'll be trying the cleaning one that you mentioned! (Our laundry soap already has borax in it so that takes care of that one. :)

  7. I need to pass on the Laundry Butter recipe to you. Since you are a soapmaker, it will be up your alley. It sells like hotcakes at markets. Would need to email it though.

  8. Thank you, Paula! That is thoughtful of you! My e-mail address is aslilies @ gmail . com (minus the spaces :)


Thanks so much for your comment! Each one is read and enjoyed. :)