Possibly the hardest part of switching to greener cleaners is deciding which ones to buy. Once you have a tried-and-true cleaning favorite, it's hard to bother to switch to something new, even if you've read about the problems with conventional cleaners. Luckily, I've done all that annoying research plus trial-and-error stuff for you. In my Green Cleaning series, I introduce you to all of my favorite green cleaners. There are definitely others out there that work. These are just the ones that I've tried that have worked for me.
My Laundry Cleaners
Laundry Detergent: Biokleen Citrus Laundry Powder
Biokleen Citrus Laundry Powder is my standard laundry detergent. I tried it based on Green Baby Guide's recommendation, and have been using it ever since. It is very cost-effective (with my HE machine, it works out to about 7 cents per load) and works fine with all our laundry. It does not leave any noticeable smell on the clothes, which I prefer.
I don't think I'll be making my own laundry detergent any time soon, but I did recently try Nothing But Soap laundry detergent made by Etsy store ScrubNaturally and it worked great. (Note: I was sent a free sample large enough to try 2 loads in my HE washer.) I washed my sheets with only the Nothing But Soap laundry detergent and also washed my dirtiest load (husband's undershirts, kitchen rags, etc.) with some Oxobrite and both loads came out both great. Stay tuned for a full review of Nothing but Soap's products soon.
Non-chlorine Bleach: Oxo-Brite by Earth Friendly Products
I rarely make the effort to remove stains, but I do try to get the smell of body odor out of my husband's shirts, and I also generate some pretty gross rags since I almost never use paper towels. I have found that just laundry detergent is not enough to get these items clean. I used to use OxiClean (not perfect, but a step up from bleach), but recently realized it had optical brighteners, so when I saw Oxo-Brite by Earth Friendly Products (ingredients: sodium percarbonate and sodium carbonate) at Costco, I bought it. I only use it for my dirtiest smelliest loads. So far, so good. You can also try hydrogen peroxide, which is what many eco-friendly bleaches are. I myself did not notice a significant difference in my laundry when I used it.
Stain Remover: Biokleen's Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator
My current favorite is Biokleen's Bac-Out Stain & Odor Eliminator. If I hit a grease stain pretty fast with this, it usually gets it out. I also sometimes soak stains in Oxo-Brite (mentioned above). My favorite stain removal tool is an old toothbrush.
Washing Cloth Diapers
Someday I'll write a post just about the my cloth diaper washing routine, but for now, I will just let you know that I've used Charlie's Soap powder laundry detergent and Allen's Naturally for regular loads. I mostly use Charlie's Soap because it's cheaper and simpler (I find powders less messy to use). I sometimes add baking soda to the wash cycle and vinegar to the rinse for a very stinky load. And occasionally I "strip" my diapers with SensiClean. I do not attempt to remove stains on diapers. I just care about getting out the stink. The end.
Want to know what's in your favorite cleaner? Click HERE and enter your cleaner in the "Quick Search" or click on a Category.
The complete Green Cleaning Series:
- 10 Benefits of Green Cleaning
- DIY Cleaning Recipes
- How to Identify a Green Cleaner
What are your favorite green cleaners for the laundry?