Category Archives: Laundry

Soap nuts

If anyone is thinking of using soap nuts as an alternative to commercial laundry powder, be sure to remove them before the rinse cycle or you’ll end up like me with brown stains on your washing. I followed the directions on the pack precisely which included putting the nuts in the bag provided & not […]

N.W., Waverley.

If you are camping or don’t have a clothes dryer, there is enough heat in your car on a sunny day to just finish drying out clothes not quite dry. Leave one car window a little open.

Josefa, Tasmania.

I have bought towels from factory outlets. I was advised to wash the towels with a tablespoon of borax to remove the dressing and make the towels absorbent. The new towels were rather stiff but came out soft and absorbent from this treatment.

Miriam, Kaitaia.

I use straight washing soda or soda ash in my washing machine – it works really well and is very reasonably priced. For my dishwasher I use washing soda and baking soda and citric acid with a white vinegar rinse aid. They both work really well.

Tina, Christchurch.

I make my own washing liquid for the laundry which has saved our family of seven a fortune over the years. Use 1 cup Lux Soap Flakes (you can grate a bar of soap but I like the flakes) 1/2 cup washing soda (do not confuse with baking soda!). Bring 2 litres of water to […]

EMS, Wellington.

Through six children I cleaned many sweat-tops and most clothing of oil, food or grease stains by hand-washing (scrubbing the old fashioned way before there were washing machines) with a cake of sunlight soap and moderately hot water before putting them through a normal wash. Alternatively you can just soak them in a bucket of […]

B.W., Auckland.

Liquid Laundry Detergent. You need: Hot water, 1 bar Sunlight Soap (grated), 1 cup washing soda. In a large saucepan add grated soap and enough hot water to cover. Heat over medium-low heat and stir until soap is melted. Fill a large bucket with 9.5L of hot water, add hot soap mixture. Stir until well […]


Buy machine washable garments. “Dry clean only” labels are a protection for the manufacturer. Only a small percentage of clothes cannot be hand washed if done carefully. Pressing of clothing at the dry-cleaners costs a fraction of the full dry-cleaning price.

Reconditioning towels?

Graeme from Christchurch has a question. “I have bought some new towels that only smear the water and not absorb it. I did hear a long time ago you could put something in the wash water to get rid of the dressing on the towels from the manufacturing, but cant remember what it was. I […]