How to clean clothing with ‘cheap’ and ‘gentle’ laundry substitutes – ‘it’ll brighten too’

Lynsey Queen of Clean shares her laundry tip

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Baking soda is a staple in many people’s cleaning cupboards as it can clean drains, remove limescale and lift stains. It can also be used when washing clothing as well as making a homemade fabric freshener. Deyan Dimitrov, CEO of Laundryheap, explained: “You can use white vinegar and baking soda as a gentler alternative to laundry detergent.

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“As your clothing gets older and more worn, it becomes increasingly defenceless against harsh chemicals in laundry detergents.

“A cheap and gentle substitute for detergent is a solution of baking soda and white vinegar.

“Add half a cup of both ingredients into your washing machine’s compartment before a cycle, and it’ll brighten too as well as clean your clothing, particularly your whites.”

Both white vinegar and baking soda can help to get rid of nasty odours too.

What’s more, they can be picked up in supermarkets for as little as £1 each.

Fabric softener is also used when washing clothing, but it can be expensive.

Instead, Britons can use white vinegar.

Deyan said it has the “same conditioning properties” as fabric softener.

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He explained: “Rather than forking out extra cash on fabric softener, white vinegar is a great home substitute.

“It has the same conditioning properties and can also work at removing stains on your clothing.

“Unlike fabric softener, it also prevents a build-up of residue on items that can eventually turn materials scratchy and make them lose their colour.

“Just add half a cup of distilled white vinegar to your washing machine’s detergent compartment before you run a cycle.”

For stubborn clothing stains, Deyan also recommended using white vinegar.

He explained: “For tricky clothing and carpet stains, mix an equal ratio of water and vinegar in a spray bottle.

“Spritz a moderate amount onto the target area and let it soak into the fabric for 10 to 15 minutes before gently dabbing the stain with a sponge or cloth and a soapy solution.”

This can also be used on bedding and towels as well as pillows.

Baking soda helps to dissolve organic compounds like dirt, grease and other sticky substances.

The mineral structure of baking soda provides a gentle abrasive clean without leaving scratches behind.

This makes it great for using around the home.

Deyan added: “Just leave it on the target area for at least 20 minutes, before brushing or vacuuming it away.”

Fabric fresheners can be good to get rid of unwanted odours, especially if you have pets.

However, some can contain harsh chemicals.

Instead, the laundry expert recommended using white vinegar which he said was a “great cost-effective” alternative.

Deyan said: “Mix equal parts vinegar and water together, before adding a few drops of your preferred essential oil into the solution.

“Then spray the solution over your clothing to remove any musty or smoky odours.

“Alternatively, you can seal your item in a bag overnight with baking soda, as the powder will absorb unwanted odours.

“Then, wash your item by adding half a cup of lemon juice or vodka to the washing machine to leave your clothes looking clean and smelling fresh.

“Always check the label. Some items are too delicate to wash even with baking soda and white vinegar, so make sure you check the label first.

“Some items, like silk, will need to be hand washed, and others might need to be cleaned by a professional.”

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