I have a stain removal stick that I bought at a farmers market a couple years ago... although I am surprised it has lasted me this long. It is from Lomah Acres and is my "go to" method for pre-wash stain treatment. I just wet the stick, wet the fabric, and then rub together, followed by rubbing the fabric together. Most times I am able to completely remove the stain before the actual washing.
I also have some things on hand for other stain emergencies: hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice. All of these items can almost always be found around our home and are great, safe alternatives for pesky stains. Of course, all very affordable!
I started making our laundry detergent, about 6 years ago. It has saved us a great deal of money and also helped keep some harmful chemicals out of our house, woohoo for that. My post on detergent can be found here, however I have changed it up a bit since then. After looking closer into the ingredients of Fels Naptha I decided to just grate homemade soap bars instead. When I do this, I use 3 bars of soap due to their smaller size. I make sure to only buy soap that has been scented with pure essential oils or plants, no artificial fragrances.This also gives the laundry a great scent and keeps my hubby from trying to make me add yucky fragrance to our laundry!
EXTRA CLEAN AND FRESH
I really like to use products that have multiple uses in our house. We don't have the space for a lot of different detergents, stain sprays, scent boosters, fabric softeners... But I can use hydrogen peroxide and baking soda for soooo many different things and both of them can ALMOST always be found in my house. Check out the post over on livesimply.me to find out how those two ingredients can be used to give your laundry an extra boost... because most of you know, I wash sweaty and cow manure covered clothes often, please just trust me on this one. (also, Live Simply is one of my favorite blogs, so I wouldn't blame you if you got stuck over there on the interwebs for awhile!)
This wooden tray sits on tops of the dryer and holds my large jar of detergent, and canisters of epsom salts, clothes pins, and the small one has my stain stick in it.
To help soften things up I like to use 1/4 - 1/2 cup epsom salts in the washer with our towels or whenever I feel like a little extra softness wouldn't hurt. I like to add a couple drops of Young Living's Purification essential oil to my jar of epsom salts for the purifying properties, and the fresh and clean smell!
After reading about how bad dryer sheets are for us, I switched to wool dryer balls! They are my favorite thing about a natural and frugal laundry routine. They are made out of 100% felted wool. Since introducing them to our home about three years ago, I have only bought 7 dryer balls. The first set of three I bought at a flea market, handmade from a local farm, I cannot remember what this farm or their handmade shop was called. The newer set that I have was ordered off of Etsy, but they are from Ewe and Us, a farm here in Nebraska. The newer ones have held up better than my first set, so I would definitely recommend these. They are so affordable too! I still use and interchange both sets of dryer balls. Also, I can only imagine the amount of money we have saved in the past three years. Another tip if you are wanting an extra scent boost, add 2-3 drops of essential oil to your dryer balls... my favorites for this would be Lavender with our bedding, Thieves when a bit sickness is going around, Orange for a sweet/everyday scent.
Let me know if you try one of these methods or if you already do any of them at your home.