Tag Archives: laundry

Vinegar in Laundry

towelsIn my experience with three different brands of high efficiency washers over the years, I have found one thing to be true- they don’t clean laundry as well as the old fashioned agitator machines.  This is especially true with bath and kitchen towels- especially wash cloths.  They go in and out of the washer with soap and a little softener, but still come out smelling somewhat musty and sour.  Currently, I’m using a Maytag Neptune washer/dryer and I must say that it is the worst offender of this problem.  It’s gotten to the point that I set the washer for a pre-soak and an extra rinse and add Oxy Clean to the load along with the soap.  Seems a bit extreme, but when the job isn’t getting done, I do what I have to do.  

Last week, I mentioned this to my mother.  She suggested that I add vinegar to the load.  I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before- I love using basic and home remedy type products and ideas.  So, we added a cup of vinegar to the load in the beginning of the cycle and let it wash all the way through.  Let me tell you, I was quite pleased with the outcome.  There was a very faint vinegar scent after the towels were dried, but no musty/stale smell remained.  It’s quite refreshing! For the towels, I kept it on the longer cycle as I mentioned before.  

I have no doubt that this works on other clothes as well.  From my reading and research on it, other people use it to aid in stain removal, brighten whites, remove odors, and as an alternative to fabric softener.  It would provide relief to those with allergies as well, as an alternative to regular softeners.  

Are you using vinegar this way? Let me know how its going for you.  

-Olivia  white_vinegar

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Posted by on September 6, 2014 in House


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Baking Soda 3 Ways (for summer)

This weekend I had a request for baking soda 3 ways.  There are probably about 75 ways to use baking soda, so how do I narrow it down to just three??  Here’s a good starting point.  Summer uses for baking soda. 

1.  Body scrub.  I’m sure you are out in this beautiful summer sun and soaking it all up.  Oops! You got too much sun and now you’re skin is peeling.  Baking soda to the rescue.  When you get in the shower, sprinkle some soda on your wash cloth and gently rub your skin.  It will help to exfoliate all the dead skin off the surface. 

2.  Jellyfish sting aid. As a child, my friend and I got stung all over our legs by jellyfish.  I still remember the pain being helped the most by basking soda paste.  My mother mixed a little bit of water in some baking soda to make a spreadable paste.  She spread it all over our legs and then allowed it to dry.  You can brush it off and reapply as much as you like.  There’s not really any measurement to it.  Just pour some soda in a bowl and add water a few drops at a time, mix, and you will get a pasty consistency.

3.  Laundry booster.  With all the outdoor activity of summer, clothes seem to get more dingy with dirt, sweat, sunscreen, etc. Baking soda can help clean it all away.  Add 1/2 cup of soda to a load of laundry.  It will balance the pH and make the detergent work much better.  Your clothes will be fresher and brighter. 

Here’s a bonus use! When in the shower, sprinkle a small amount (a teaspoon or two) in your hand with your shampoo.  Wash your hair as normal.  It will help to get rid of any built up reside you have from activity or hair products. 

More to follow.  Let me know how baking soda is working for you!


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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in 3 Ways


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Extending Life of Clothing

Here are some ways to make your clothing last longer and maintain a newer look. 

Tailoring.  Ensuring a proper fit will go a long way.  If clothes fit better, they feel and wear better.  If you are more comfortable in an item, you will wear it for a longer length of time.  Another consideration for tailoring is change in style.  If something was in style last year, but not as much now, what can you do to make it more wearable? Can you shorten the hem or take it in a little? Consider your options for that.

Buttons.  Make sure they are secure and all accounted for.  It is so much easier to replace a button rather than the whole shirt.  Think about the money you will save.  Seven dollars or so for a seamstress to replace it rather than fifty for a new shirt?  Personally, I would sew it back on myself and save the seven dollars.  It’s an easy thing to learn and I recommend knowing how to do it.  Nine times out of ten you will find a replacement button on the inside of the garment.  That’s why those are there- for replacement.

Stains.  We spill all kinds of things on our clothes.  Sauce, wine, chemicals, bleach, juice and a host of other things can possibly ruin a garment.  Don’t throw it away so quickly.  There are a host of products for sale and home methods to get stains out.  Trust me.  It’s almost always possible to remove a stain.  (The methods are so numerous that I will not go into them in this article.) If nothing is working then think about what else you can do with the garment to keep it. 

Leather Goods.  Time and time again I see people throwing out perfectly good leather goods.  Shoes, belts, bags are tossed just because they are scuffed up.  There is a simple solution.  Shoe polish! It costs about 4 dollars and you can keep the item ten times as long! The wax and color added to the leather is so hydrating for it.  I use it so often.  There is a pair of shoes in my closet that I got in Singapore in 1998.  I’ve taken care of them, polished them and wear them still today.  My long leather duster gets scuffed and scratched, so I put polish on it.  Polish and conditioning cream are products that I cannot say enough good things about.  Get a shoe shine kit- cloth, polish, and shoe brush. 

Kiwi shoe polish– my favorite brand. Be sure to check out the Facts & Tips page.

Shoe shine kits This is a fantastic website!! They have everything you need. Including Meltonian creams.

Meltonian shoe cream is one of the greatest products I’ve used.  It comes in tons of colors.  This is great for all of these different colors of leather we can get now.  I’ve got the dark green and the deep purple in my kit as we speak.  You can find it at the website listed above. 

Another point about leather goods is that they can be repaired.  Take them to a shoe shop.  They will reapir all kinds of things. You can get shoes resold! I love it.  My 10+ year old JCrew ballet flats that I refuse to part with- they have been resoled.  My Justin roper boots that I received as a gift in 2001- resoled ( and polished regularly) and are still going strong.  In addition to resoling, you can gets heels repaired, gouges fixed, additional notches put in a belt, and zippers replaced. 

Dry cleaning.  This is a bit of a double edged sword.  It saves wool goods and suits and some of the household linens.  Dry cleaning can tackle jobs that we sometimes can’t at home. However, the cost can be high. It definitely helps with the longevity of items.

Laundering.  This covers a big topic, so I will be direct with the considerations. 

  • Wash clothes inside out.   Clothes getting tossed around over and over in a washer/dryer will add to the wear and tear.  This cuts down on that. 
  • Use a light wash cycle.  Are the clothes really that dingy? If not, a lesser cycle cuts down on wear and energy/water cost. 
  •  Skip the softener or use less of it.  Chemicals in the softener break down the fibers.
  • Wash in cooler water.  Hot water fades clothes. 
  • Hang dry rather than tumble.  Or tumble on medium heat or tumble half time and hang dry the rest of the time. 
  • Don’t wash an item every single time you wear it if you don’t need to.  Unless it is dirty, stinky, or stretched out, you might be able to wear it again. 

Storage.  Clothes in storage need to be put away correctly and protected.  Should you hang it or fold it? If it is going to stretch, you probably want to fold it.  You will avoid stretching out the shoulders and ruining the fit. Then put it in an airtight container.  Some containers have vents now that you can add moth balls or cedar in.  It lets air circulate a bit and keeps out insects.  Hanging clothes are best kept in a closet or rack with a zippered cover over it.  Cedar or moth balls are essential. All should be stored in a cool, dry place.

Finally, find a new use for something.  You have decided you don’t want an item anymore. Can you wear it to work in the yard?  Can someone else benefit from it? Sell it at a yard sale or donate to charity. Can you make something else out of it? Old tee shirts can be made into rags.  You can even polish your shoes with that new rag! Other items can be made from old clothes- rugs, pillows, etc. Need more instruction on this? Just ask.  I’ll help you out.

Hopefully, all of this will help you add life to your wardrobe.

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Clothing


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