Clean & Green Your Home – Book Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning & Greening the World You Care About by Jeffrey Hollender with Alexandra Zissu. This comprehensive guide to a green home covers every room of the house and features topics on everything from reading labels and DIY green cleaning to buying a mattress. Check out this excerpt and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of the book!

Do-It-Yourself Laundry Solutions

Borax
You can find Borax (sodium borate, a naturally occurring mineral composed of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water) in the detergent aisle of most grocery stores. Add 1/2 cup of Borax to your regular detergent (liquid or powder) to give it an extra boost. Borax will help to improve the cleaning power, whiten, and remove stains and odors. You can also soak clothes in water with Borax (1 tablespoon per gallon of water) before washing. When using on delicates, add 1/4 cup to your regular detergent instead. Exposure to Borax can be harmful in high amounts, so avoid inhalation and ingestion.

White Vinegar
Add 1/4 cup of white vinegar during the last rinse cycle; it removes yellowing, acts as a fabric softener, and inhibits mold and mildew.

Baking Soda
Adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to the usual amount of liquid detergent at the beginning of the wash cycle will improve the cleaning power of your detergent. To help eliminate odors, add 1/2 cup of baking soda during the rinse cycle.

Cornstarch
Make your own starch spray by mixing 2 tablespoons non-GMO cornstarch with 2 pints cold water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each use. For laundry starch, stir 1/2 cup cornstarch into 1 cup cold water. Add boiling water (2 quarts for heavy stiffness, 4 quarts for medium stiffness, and 6 quarts for light stiffness). Dip newly washed clothes into starch mix and dry. Sprinkle lightly with warm water and iron as usual.

Lemon Juice
Boost whitening power naturally by adding 1/2 cup of lemon juice to the rinse cycle. Do not use lemon juice with hydrogen peroxide or chlorine bleach. If lemon isn’t enough, add 1 cup of club soda to your wash as well. For a pleasant scent, add a teaspoon of lemon juice to the wash cycle of any load.

Washing Soda
Use washing soda (sodium carbonate, a highly alkaline chemical compound) to help make the switch from conventional detergents to natural soap laundry cleaners. First-time loads should be washed once with 1/3 cup of washing soda only. This will eliminate residues left by other detergents, which may react with soap, causing fabrics to yellow. For all subsequent washes, add 1/3 cup of washing soda to water while the machine is filling. Add clothes and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of natural laundry soap. You can also add 1/4 cup of white vinegar during the rinse cycle to improve cleaning if your water is hard.

Excerpted from Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning & Greening the World You Care About by Jeffrey Hollender with Alexandra Zissu. Published by Clarkson Potter. Clarkson Potter an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

WIN THE BOOK! Enter a comment below and you will automatically be entered to win a copy of Planet Home: Conscious Choices for Cleaning & Greening the World You Care About by Jeffrey Hollender with Alexandra Zissu. Winner will be announced February 8. Good luck!

CONGRATULATIONS TO:

Caitlin A.

Please email Samantha at samanthas@care2team.com to claim your new book. Thanks to everyone who entered!

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311 comments

janet t.
janet t.4 years ago

great tips thanks

Jennifer M.
Jennifer M.4 years ago

I always use vinegar in the wash. Works great for my hubby's stinky socks! And I use less eco-detergent.

Sylvia W.
Sylvia W.4 years ago

Thanks! The vinegar in the wash idea sounds great - especially during the humid summer months - mold & mildew be gone!!

Svetlana S.
Svetlana S.4 years ago

Great tips but I'm curious as to how one finds out if a product (cornstarch, in this article) is a non-GMO?

Diane G.
Diane G.4 years ago

great tips!

Mary G.
Mary G.4 years ago

I use vinegar all the time for my laundry and it doesn't smell!!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Wonderful!

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener4 years ago

Ta.

Laura M.
Past Member 4 years ago

those sound like great ideas!

Kamryn M.
Kay M.4 years ago

thanks