Household Tips & Tricks


The thought of washing clothes and bedding, then sleeping or wearing those chemicals for 24 hours is not great.

We have been searching for ages, on something that doesn’t contain a ton of harsh chemicals.

The thought of washing clothing and bedding, and then sleeping or basically wearing those chemicals for 24 hours is not a great thought.

I know that a lot of people like the scent of the conditioners on the market, but I find the scent very overpowering, and it lingers for an incredible amount of time.

The fragrances they use ,smell very chemically to me.

The advertisements on TV are offering even longer scented clothing,what on earth do they use to make that happen?  Essential oils, are a more gentle fragrance.

There are again products out there, that you can purchase to reduce the chemicals in your wash.

I wanted to list some that are available, also some DIY solutions that are easy to make, and hopefully can save you some money too!

There seems to be a huge amount of recipes on the internet, we have tried one that seems to be working for us.

There are a load of Laundry Hacks on the internet, we have not tried them all out, I have found an interesting page on THE SPRUCE.COM who have found 8 Hacks that don’t work. Explaining some of the science behind these findings. 

I had seen the aspirin cleaner for the washing before, not tried it though.

This article explains why that doesn’t work, plus all this is going into our waterways.

We have not used Borax which some recipes call for.

There seems to be many sides to the debate, as is often found when you go on a search for information.

I think you have to look at what your machine has in its information, and look at the ingredients that you are happy with, to make an informed decision. 


They produce a whole range of cleaning products.


We have tried these type of washing balls before, it took us a little time to get used to them.

I suppose it is the concept of chucking a plastic ball into the wash-load and wondering how on earth that could clean anything. You can hear the little balls inside them.

They were recommended to us from our neighbour.

They are quite cost effective as they do 1500 washes .

They use natural minerals and magnetic balls.

They also soften your clothing so no need to add conditioner as well.

If you are used to heavy fragrance, you may find it takes time to get used to no scent.

We have bought refills in the past for the balls.

One tip, I would say is to put a date somewhere when you start using them ,as I totally forgot then didn’t know how long it was active for!

ECOZONE MAGNOBALL ( for Limescale)

This ball is made up of a strong magnet , which helps prevent limescale in your washing machine.

We have heavy limescale here, and really needed a chemical free way of achieving this.

They do say that you will need less detergent if you are using this ball.

It lasts up to five years too which is great.

white and blue textiles
Photo by Chloe Amaya on


THE SPRUE.COM has an interesting article asking if Homemade washing detergent is safe for HE Machines.

THRIFTY HOMESTEADER.COM has a debate on using Homemade recipes for washing clothes, which gives another perspective.

This recipes for a DIY solution to making your own washing liquid is by BEXZWALKER.CO.UK 

A great website covering many ideas on Natural living.

DIY NATURAL.COM written by MATT JABS has another detergent recipe which is in a powdered form.

HELLO NEST has another recipe in the liquid form. They say it is also more cost effective.

I have heard of people making a soap out of certain cactus plants.

There is someone who grows these in France , then I think making a soap or shampoo out of them, which is quite different.

I managed to find a little info on some of these plants.

Soaptree Yucca 

Yucca elata This information below comes from National Park Service 

The leaf fibers were used for the fabrication of rope, matting, sandals, baskets, or coarse cloth. The roots were chopped and boiled to produce soap to wash hair, blankets, and rugs.


colorful ball float soap bubble
Photo by Pixabay on

These are Eco friendly Indian Soap Nuts – Soap Nut shells contain a substance called SAPOIN which is like a natural detergent. No need for conditioner either. Gentle on the skin.

They come from India and Nepal . They have been using them for hundreds of years! wow amazing with all the searching I have done over the years never to have come across them.

I was reading some interesting comments, on someone looking for alternative solution for their washing machine, they mentioned these soap nuts.  I really fancy giving these a go.

You are given some muslin bags with the nuts, you use 4-5 half shells per wash load .

It sounds as though you can use them twice if it is a cool wash.

I have seen comments that you must allow them to totally dry between washes or they can go mouldy.

There seem to be other ways that these can be used around the house, cleaning, making up your own hand washing liquid.

There is a way of using them also for personal use such as for your hair, I will put some information in the shampoo blog.     There is more information on this link.

NAKED SHELLS –  ( pack of 10 )

No nothing like the name! they are extra bags that you can purchase to put in the Soap Nuts.

They can be used for Herbal Infusions too.

I found this really interesting VIDEO by SIMPLY KLAIRE .

I have never seen Conkers used like this before.

KLAIRE has a link on her video to look into this in more depth.

Explaining the best way to use them and what to avoid.

WASTELAND REBEL has another article on using CONKERS for washing clothes.

I felt I had to go searching a little more, as it was something I had never heard of.

We do have a conker tree in our garden, which I have to admit, drove me nuts! No pun intended . With all the spiky shells and the keeping the dogs away.

If this does work, it could be my favourite tree in our garden!

After  seeing this article, I came across another on the METRO NEWSPAPER in the UK , on using Conkers.

A lady basically having a free detergent for her washing every year, she explains how you use them and the work involved.


TREE HUGGER.COM Has some fantastic ideas on how to remove stains on clothing and carpets naturally.

READERS DIGEST  and Homemade Stain Removal Solutions


It does have some products that I wouldn’t really want to use , but if you are desperate, a special outfit, maybe a one off.


bed-bedroom-blur-271897 clean mattess

This informative Blog is by HOUSEWIFE HOW TO’s .COM 

I have heard of sprinkling a mattress with bicarbonate, then hoovering it off.

A hoover each week does wonders for keeping on top of all the dead skin cells Yuk!



These can just be popped into your dryer instead of using softener or dryer sheet.

They say it also reduces dryer time which can only be good for saving money.


I love the look of these ! I had never seen these before.

They are reusable , soften clothes without any chemicals, and reduce static

( that alone would be great ,I am always getting zapped by my jumpers! )

Reusable up to 1000 times, good for sensitive skin , made from New Zealand wool.

STWIE WOOL DRYER BALLS – Little sheep ! so cute.

I had include a link to these little wool balls they went down very well with our daughter


assorted clothes
Photo by Kai Pilger on

I absolutely hate the smell that comes from Dry cleaning.

It even smells like a chemical soup.

I first really thought about this process after watching on TV a documentary on how they had even found the chemicals leaving a residue in breast milk! I was horrified, a baby drinking that!

This article on CARE2.COM gives a list of the chemicals and their effects. Offering solutions to cleaning a different way.

ORGANIC CONSUMERS ORGANISATION offer a really clear insight into the chemicals used.

NYMAG has some good tips for managing your dry cleaning items from home.