Sunday, 25 March 2007


The washing machine has been working overtime here at the Clean and Green testing centre. We are using a bit of trial and error to come up with the right combination and quantity of ingredients to create the perfect wash.

The four main products for cleaning the laundry are: washing soda, white vinegar, salt and baking soda. There should be little need to use any other product and you can pick these up quite cheaply at your local shop or supermarket. Here are the results so far.

Laundry cleaning for whites: 1/4 cup of washing soda (sodium carbonate) in place of bleach. (Bleach is one of the most toxic substances for the environment and should be avoided if possible.)
Add to this ¼ cup of white vinegar

Verdict: This seems to be very effective. We used ¼ cup of baking soda as a fabric softener in the final rinse, this will also get rid of any static that has built up. To make the clothes smell pleasant we have been adding either rosewater or a couple of drops of essential oil in with the baking soda.

Laundry cleaning
for darks and coloured clothes: ¼ cup of white vinegar and ¼ cup of salt added to the machine. The same method of fabric softener was used as before.

Verdict: This is also proving to be very effective. The salt helps restore faded colours and does a great job removing dirt and grime. The vinegar can be used neat to remove some stains.

Cloth rags: There are a lot of disposable cleaning wipes on the market at the moment. Most of these, and paper towels too, have been bleached at some point, which will be causing pollution somewhere. Cut up old clothes, bed sheets and towels to make rags that can be re-used time and time again. Our Clean and Green consumer watchdog has seen a pack of 12 floor-cleaning clothes on sale in a supermarket for four euro forty nine, that money would buy a lot of vinegar to put on the rags!


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