By Sommer Poquette
Many conventional laundry soaps and dryer sheets contain questionable ingredients. For example, many conventional detergents might contain, 1,4-dioxane, quaternium-15, phosphates and synthetic fragrances.
If you do your research, you will find that many of these are known carcinogens and/or irritants to the skin. These chemicals are added to detergents to make them smell better, work better in hard water and prevent dirt from settling back on clothes during the wash cycle, among many other reasons. Are they necessary? This depends on whom you ask, but the good news is this: You can clean your clothing, avoid static cling and have nice-smelling clothes—all without the chemicals.
The bonus is that you will save money, too! It's super cheap to make your own laundry detergent and laundry softener. It's estimated that making your own laundry detergent costs $.02 per, load while using name-brand detergents can cost as much as $.21 per load. If you do a lot of laundry, that's a lot of money saved!
There are hundreds of DIY laundry soap and fabric softener recipes online, but the best thing to do is to experiment with the variety and find what works for you—whether it's liquid or powder, scent or scent-free. Here are two of my favorite recipes for making my own laundry soap and fabric softeners. Neither take much time to prepare and both work well.
DIY Laundry Soap & Softener Recipes
DIY Laundry Soap
- 1 cup liquid Dr. Bronner's Soap
- 1 cup Super Washing Soda
- 20-30 drops of your favorite essential oil
- Gallon-size container that closes to avoid leaks—plastic or glass
- 2-3 cups hot water
Add your liquid Dr. Bronner's Soap, Super Washing Soda and hot water to the container, then drop in the essential oil. Close the container and shake it well. The washing soda takes a while to dissolve. If you find that it is not dissolving, you can empty the mixture into a saucepan, heat it and stir until everything dissolves, then pour it back into your container. I just shake, shake and shake! The hotter the water, the better the washing soda dissolves. Watch the how-to video here.
DIY Fabric Softener
- 2 cups of white vinegar
- 20 drops of your favorite essential oil
- 1 tablespoon of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol for emulsion
- Quart-size container that closes to avoid leaks—plastic or glass
- 6-8 sponges or washcloths cut in half
Add your vinegar, essential oils and witch hazel to your container of choice. Add your cut sponges or washcloths to the liquid in the container and shake. The sponges or washcloths will absorb the liquid. Add one sponge or washcloth to your dryer to prevent static cling and give your clothing a fresh, clean scent of your choice. Watch the how-to video here.
Benefits to Making Your Own Laundry Detergent
The best part about making your own laundry soap and fabric softener, besides the cost savings, is that you control the ingredients. If you have someone in your family with sensitive skin, they'll appreciate you limiting the chemicals used to clean their clothing. Using natural ingredients can be just as effective as brand-name cleaners and you won't have to worry about the chemical irritants.
California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.
High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.
Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.
California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.
As reported by AccuWeather:
In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.
For a deeper dive:
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By Monir Ghaedi
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.
European satellites continue to provide data on climate change.