My cleaning knowledge is always a work in progress. Until now, I had no solution for getting my whites whiter. My mom taught me to be afraid of bleach. Not because it is bad for our water systems, but because one slip could mean ruining an outfit! She also taught me to be afraid of nail polish remover, but that might be related to the fact that I stained their bathroom cabinets with a spilled bottle when I was in middle school.
So since I don’t use bleach in my house, I had no solution to getting whites white other than washing them in my usual detergent. Sadly I consider whites to have a much shorter lifespan than other colors because when most reach a few years old I donate or trash them due to too many stains.
Enter: Nature Bright. Shaklee’s Laundry Booster and Stain Remover. Instead of chlorine, it uses natural enzyme and active oxygen to keep colors bright and stains out. It’s color safe, so it can be used on whites and colors, and it can be used in loads of laundry or, for more steadfast stains, as a soak. It’s also sweet on toilets and bath surfaces! I used it in my toilet this weekend along with a little Basic H and my toilet is white as can be.
Another awesome feature: safe on antique linens!!!
I decided to give it a whirl. I started with a few of my grandmother’s linens and a few of our white wedding napkins that had just been used at a messy dinner.
It’s SO hard to photograph white, but this linen had yellowed stains that were maybe 50 years old!? (Let’s be extreme ; ) )
The napkins were covered in balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce
I also soaked a cleaning towel that had stains of who-knows-what:
I mixed up a bowl of Nature Bright as directed and let the items soak for a few hours
When they were done soaking, I rinsed and set them out to dry.
STAINS = GONE! GONE!!! I did not launder them – this was just the soaking!!
I was thrilled with the results. Not only were the stains gone, but the whites really were whiter!
Still so hard to photograph, but the yellowing was gone –
And my cleaning towel was the whitest of all!
Since the smallwares did so well, I decided to tackle tougher stains. Very tough stains.
These shirts are year’s old – and they are not very white! The sunshine hitting in the above photo makes the stains look a little worse than they really are.
We also have a two white towels that have some unknown stain. I *think* it is rust, because it won’t come out. Most bodily substances come out of fabric, so I do not think that’s what it is. (Gross if it was!!) So I think it has to do with maybe sitting in a rusty part of the washer too long or against something in our old bathroom that was metal. I have scrubbed this with TIDE with no luck.
I combined the towel, shirts and a pillowcase in the soak –
I let them soak for an afternoon –
After!! Now, the sunshine had set because these were taken in the evening, so it’s not a true apples to apples before + after, but the shirts were NOTICABLY better!!!
The armpits were not 100% white, but there was definitely an improvement. And the overall shirts were definitely whiter!
My pillowcase was great!
And the towel knocked my socks off…..until….
I found the stains. They were still there 🙁 Much harder to find, but still there. I was heartbroken.
I tackled the stains with a little concentrated Basic H next, combined with some Nature Bright directly on the stain. And it helped. A lot. They are fainter now, but still slightly there. Not sure if I should blame the Nature Bright or the stains, but I guess these towels are just not going to ever be 100%.
Overall, I love the Nature Bright. It was 90% effective and removed tons of stains. I guess some things just come out better than others. I’m going to keep working on those towels! And Matt’s undershirts. And the white dress I wore to my wedding!
Here’s a pretty neat cost comparison for similar products:
Next on my list to try was the laundry detergent, Fresh Laundry. All of the Shaklee products I bought with my own money, but this detergent was a gift from Becky when she visited us a few weeks ago. I am a laundry smell SNOB and really didn’t want to buy this without smelling it first.
I got busy with a load of white sheets and gave it a test run.
It worked incredibly well!! The sheets were very clean, and they achieved a crispness that I haven’t gotten with other detergents. I LOVED that because it reminded me of my grandmother’s guest room where the sheets were so crisp they made noise when you moved. I never knew what her secret was, but I think it had to do more with thread count than laundry. Nevertheless, I washed a couple of loads with the Fresh Laundry and was very happy. My clothes were very clean and there was no trace of sweat smell, which is a problem I’ve had with green laundry in the past.
I have one major complaint: I do not like the smell!!!! It’s kind of powdery-floral and I just didn’t care for it.
Now there is a fragrance-free version, so I think if I continue to like the effect I would get that next time. Using that with my Method Marshmallow dryer sheets would leave a nice vanilla smell.
My fear was that it was more expensive than other cleaners, but because it’s concentrated, it still beats the prices here:
NOTE: The above costs are for the powdered version. It’s a bit pricey, but it does do 224 loads!
I don’t know how it compares to Method, which is the only other green detergent I know of, and I haven’t tried making my own like Ashley does, so maybe that’s even less. But I was still shocked it beat the price of Tide.
While we’re on the topic of laundry, here’s a demo of how I fold sheets!!
I take the bottom sheet and fold it into a loose square, keeping seams always on the inside:
Then I tackle the top sheet the same way:
Getting it down to a nice rectangle, and then folding that in half
I take the pillowcases and fold them lengthwise
I place the bottom and top sheets on one end of the pillowcase
And then fold it over like the letter C
When you rotate it, you have a nice little sheet package all ready to go
You know I only did this so I’d have a beautiful collage of folded sheets. So nice on the eyes!
I have a new appreciation for white things these days.
If you’re interested in buying Shaklee products online, here’s a website for my friend Becky where you can order them.
Now I’m off to create some stains!