All-purpose laundry detergent ranks high on most people’s list of comforts. What’s not to love? They’re easy to use (especially the pods!), they’re safe for the environment and they make our clothes smell great; however, that hasn’t always been the case.

According to the Soap and Detergent Association of Canada, it wasn’t until 1946 that developers of all-purpose laundry detergents had their breakthrough for “built” detergents, improving performance, and making them more suitable for cleaning heavily soiled laundry. Over the past seventy years, manufacturers have continued to evolve their products in search for the most efficient detergent on the market.

No matter how far laundry detergent has come, it sometimes needs Mother Nature’s help to enhance our problematic loads. The following all-natural items will pump up your favourite laundry detergents for undeniable results.

Make Old Towels New Again

Eventually, even the best high-quality towels can become stiff, rough and less absorbent than they once were. Towels often get bogged down by detergent and fabric softener residue. This residue not only attracts mildew, but it can also reduce your towels ability to absorb water. The solution? White vinegar and baking soda.

  • Load your washing machine with towels and set the temperature to hot.
  • Add 1 cup of white vinegar to the load (do not add any fabric softener or laundry detergent). Wash the towels on a regular wash cycle.
  • Once completed, add 1 cup of baking soda to the wet towels, and run your towels on a regular wash cycle (again, do not add any fabric softener or laundry detergent).
  • Dry towels on high heat and watch them return to their original glory!

It’s the acidic properties in white vinegar that help dissolve soap build-up and mineral water deposits, which will bring your towel back to its original softness. Baking soda on the other hand, contains sodium bicarbonate, which helps remove any odour and remaining residue from the fibres of your towel.

Give your Detergent a Boost

Baking soda also goes beyond rejuvenating old towels; it also gives your laundry detergent that extra kick to boost its effectiveness – making whites whiter and colours brighter. Baking soda softens the water, so you don’t have to use as much detergent. It also acts as a natural deodorizer and will help neutralize the odour of gym and sport clothes.

All you need to do is add ½ cup of baking soda to the wash cycle. This will help remove dirt, grease and bacteria from clothes, help rinse the soap from your clothing more effectively and keep your clothing feeling soft. It’s baking soda’s ability to neutralize the pH level of the water in your laundry cycle that makes it effective. The neutralized pH level helps dissolve dirt and grease more effectively, and softens clothing. The natural whitening properties in baking soda also helps whiten your clothing naturally, so you don’t have to use any harsh chemicals.

Prevent Colour Fading

A teaspoon of table salt is the solution to keeping your brights brighter, and to prevent the colour from bleeding from your new pair of jeans during their first trip through the laundry. Simply add a teaspoon of table salt to the wash at beginning of the cycle.  Make sure to wash the clothing in cold water, as this will help keep the fabric colours from fading. It’s the chloride found in salt that helps seal the colour in the fabric.