As we all wear our clothes against the skin, it makes sense to find natural solutions for cleaning and softening them. Washing clothes with natural alternatives is fab! I always thought that the preparation would be tedious and expensive but I was wrong on both counts. These recipes are quick, easy and cheap. You can use them for washing everything from baby clothes to normal household laundry.

Natural Detergent

What you need:

  • 1 cup of borax
  • 1 cup of washing soda
  • 1 bar of natural soap *
  • A few drops essential oil – lavender, peppermint or whatever takes your fancy
  • Bucket or container with lid

*depending on where in the world you live, this can be Fels Naptha, Dr Bronners, Castille soap, Sunlight soap (South Africa) or homemade soap.

What you do:

  • Grate soap finely
  • Add borax and washing soda
  • Mix well
  • Decant into bucket

Use 1- 2 tablespoons per load of washing.

If you have heavy stains, pre-treat with some borax mixed with a bit of water to form a paste or use some of your detergent neat, rubbed into stain with some water to wet.

Natural Fabric Softener

For a simple version, just toss ½ cup of baking soda or white vinegar to the laundry. Alternatively, make this recipe which you can customize smell-wise:

What you need:

  • 4 cups of Epsom salts
  • 30 drops of essential oil (lemon is great here)
  • 1 cup baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 cup or more white vinegar
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Jars with lid

What you do:

  • Put Epsom salts into the bowl and drop in essential oil, mix well
  • Add bicarb and stir thoroughly
  • Add vinegar, stir through
  • When well combined, decant into jars
  • Use 2 – 3 tablespoons per load, added before washing