Getting Whites Whiter Without Bleach

how to clean whites without bleach

For years, bleach has been a common cleaning product found in most homes. Bleach is used for a variety of laundry-related tasks, including keeping white linens, socks and shirts fresh by removing unsightly stains. Today, many consumers worry about the effects of bleach on the environment and have removed it from their homes. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to whiten and freshen your clothes without resorting to using bleach.

The Sun

Leaving laundry in the sun is a great way to naturally bleach your clothes. After washing, put your clothes outside to dry on a sunny day. Not only will the sun whiten your laundry, it’s also an environmentally-friendly way to dry your clothes without having to use a dryer. Additionally, an outside drying session keeps your laundry smelling fresh. Air drying can save your clothes from repeated damage from a dryer. Your clothes will last longer and look new.

Laundry Soap Mixtures

You can add a number of household products to a load of laundry to help remove stains and freshen whites. Baking soda, for example, can be used as toothpaste, a fridge deodorizer and in laundry. This product is known for removing stains from clothes. Try adding half a cup to your regular laundry detergent the next time you do a wash. Your clothes should emerge smelling clean and looking brand new. White vinegar can also whiten and clean your laundry. Rest assured, vinegar will not leave your clothes smelling like a salad. As with baking soda, place a half cup of vinegar with your regular laundry detergent in the washer. The salad smell will be gone after the wash, leaving your laundry load refreshed.

Soaking

Before doing a load of laundry, separate the white items that need to be cleaned. Place a lemon slice in a pot of water and bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and place as many stained clothes as you can into the pot. Let the clothes soak in the mixture for half an hour before throwing them in with your other clothes in the washer. If your clothes are heavily stained, use more lemon slices and let the clothes soak overnight.

Attack the Stain Directly

If a full cleaning doesn’t get the job done, try to target yellow or stained spots. You can pre-soak these stains with a spray of vinegar or by blotting baking soda or laundry detergent on the spot.

Efficient Lawn Watering Tips

Watering lawn

A lush green lawn is an aesthetic appeal in an area used for playing or relaxing purposes. Lawns need a lot of care such as mowing, seeding and regular watering to maintain their natural beauty. Watering lawns is a very tricky process because they require a lot of water, especially if they are located in dry areas. It is therefore highly recommended to explore watering strategies that use less water but still keep the grass healthy.

Watering lawns should not necessarily be done on a daily basis; lawns should be watered only when they need water. Plants only take in the amount of water they need, excess water on the lawn would either evaporate into the atmosphere or percolate downwards to the water table. Different types of plants require different amounts of water; many people may fail to realize when they are over-watering. Using a shovel, it is important to dig three inches under the surface to check the moisture content in the soil. Even if the soil appears dry yet the moisture content is high, there is no need for watering. Another method of determining whether the lawn needs watering is an observation whereby footprints remain on the grass for long. Grass also acquires a blue-gray tint and older plant leaf blades curl up when the moisture content is low. Watering when it is necessary is the most efficient lawn watering tip.

The best time to water a lawn is very early in the morning or very late in the evening. At these times the air is usually calm, reducing the risk of some of the water being drifted by the wind. When using sprinklers, some of the water is likely to evaporate before hitting the ground during the day. Early in the morning and late at night are the best times to water a lawn as the least amount of water is lost to evaporation.

The sprinklers should also be adjusted to water the lawn only and not the sidewalks or the streets. Portable printers are ideal for this purpose. Sprinklers vary in range and distribution methods, the chosen sprinklers should match with the shape and size of the watering zone.

The soil type influences how often the soil should be watered, heavy clay soils for instance require more frequent watering. Leaving sprinklers running while it is raining is very wasteful. Sensors should be installed to automatically turn off the sprinklers when rainfall begins.

rain harvesting collecting

Collecting rainwater can help you to save you money on your water bills because you can use the rainwater that you collect to water your indoor and outdoor plants. You can harvest rainwater to fill your swimming pool, flush your toilet, do your laundry, cook food or drink. You need to have a special rainwater harvesting system to be able to drink or use rainwater in your home but having the system can mean that you have access to water during power outages or storms. For people who have problems with their groundwater, utility service or terrain, a rainwater harvesting system can provide them with pure water with no dissolved minerals. If you are just trying to collect water for landscaping purposes, you can create your own rainwater collection system that is less sophisticated but will allow you to collect and store water to use for watering the grass or your plants.

Rainwater harvesting systems are used to collect, store and purify rainwater so that it can be used in a variety of ways. These systems are used by individuals and businesses. You place the systems on the roof or in a catchment area when they can collect water. The systems often contain ground-level tanks where water is stored, purified and distributed. Rainwater harvesting systems contain pipes, diverter systems, cisterns, purification systems, pumps and pressure tanks. The systems collect, remove debris and contaminated materials from, store, use UV rays to purify and distribute the rainwater. Once the rainwater has gone through the harvesting process, it is safe for people and animals to drink. Some water systems are connected to the water supply so that the harvested rainwater can be immediately used for tasks such as flushing a toilet. Rainwater harvesting systems can often store anywhere from 170 to 1,700 gallons of rainwater.

If you only want to collect a small amount of rainwater for gardening purposes, you can create a simpler system to collect water. One method that many people use is to take a 55 gallon bucket, drum or barrel and place it under their gutters. Water flows from the roof to the gutters down the downspouts to the collection containers. The drums or buckets will store the rainwater for you. You need to connect the barrels, buckets or drums to a PVC standpipe and hose bib so you can divert the water to a hose. When you use this method, it is important to install screens on your gutters to keep out debris. This method works best if you have a metal roof because water moves more easily over this type of roof. Another easy method of collecting and using rainwater is to create a sloped walkway, sidewalk, porch or deck, pointing it directly towards your trees or plants so that water will naturally run off to your plants. Creating depressions in the ground can help you to naturally store the rainwater for future use and prevent flooding in your yard.

Energy Saving Tips For Laundry Day

large clothesline

It seems like everyone these days is trying to do their best to help out Mother Nature and the environment. The best part about it is that by lessening our carbon footprint, we can save money as well as energy. Because by lowering our energy consumption, we lessen our bills, bit by bit.

One of the easiest ways to lower energy consumption in the home is by finding new ways to save energy on laundry day. Aside from heating and cooling costs, the energy used in doing laundry is some of the highest in the home.

The easiest way to save energy when it comes to doing laundry, is by not washing your clothes in hot water. By using the cold water setting on your washing machine, you can save upwards of 80 percent of the energy that would have to be used to run a hot water wash.

One way to save money and energy that some people do not often think of, is by doing loads back to back. Instead of doing a single load of laundry daily, doing them all in succession. By doing so, you are harnessing the heat that has already built up in the dryer, instead of the dryer needing to reheat each time. This means less effort is exerted by your dryer, and more money saved.

A high quality laundry detergent can also help to save money. These heavier duty detergents are made to use half as much liquid per load, and that means that each bottle will last longer. A bottle that lasts longer means less empty plastic bottles in the landfill. Recycling these empty containers is also great for the environment.

Choosing to air dry your clothes is another way to save on energy costs in the home. During the summer months this can save on multiple fronts. Not only are you not running your dryer, you are lessening the amount of work your air conditioner has to do to keep your house nice and cool. Not only will you be spending less on your bills, air dryed clothes tend to keep that sunny fresh smell longer than clothes that are run through a dryer.

Everyone needs to have clean clothes. It is just a part of life. But there are easy ways to help lower your energy bills and to put a little more money into your pocket on every laundry day. These simple tricks can help make huge gains in your energy usage over time, without having a huge impact on your laundry routines.

tomato plant

We are all aware that water conservation is an important issue. However, many people try to conserve water by watering lawns and gardens less often, or at hours when there is less evaporation likely to occur.

The key to effectively using water in an ecologically responsible manner is to change the types of grasses and vegetables that we grow. Choosing crops that require less water is a more practical way to use water for gardens, which is a renewable water source. The water that is saved can be diverted for more effective conservation and management of non-renewable water uses, such as industry and consumption.

These are some vegetables that you can grow that require less water to maintain.

1. Tomatoes- Tomatoes generally require less water, but there are also drought-resistant varieties available, such as “Heatwave.”

2. Squash- Squash has a lower water-content per fruit than most vegetables, so it requires less water to grow them.

3. Black-eyed peas- Not only do they produce a large volume and have low watering needs, black-eyed peas are also very healthy and nutrient-rich.

4. Snap beans – Snap beans require less plants to produce a large yield of product, and due to their deep-rooting system and size of the stalks and leaves, they require much less water.

5. Mustard greens- Mustard greens are one of the high-nutrition greens that bear a large crop but doesn’t require a lot of watering. Like spinach, they love dry, sandy soil.

6. Herbs- Herbs add flavor and aroma to your life, grow a large amount in very little space, and have low watering needs. In fact, too much water can damage them.

In general, pick plants that have a high-yield per plant, and deep root systems. Plant vegetables that have similar watering requirements in the same area, and add a layer of mulch to keep soil moist and prevent run-off and erosion.

Instead of daily watering, deep-water them a couple of times a week, or use a system of drip irrigation so the water goes down where it is needed instead of running off.

Another factor in making a home garden that is environmentally responsible lies not only in what you grow, but how you grow it. Intelligent garden layout and planning are the other half of the equation.

By planting your garden in such a way that the water stays where it is needed and useful, you help prevent the problems of run-off and soil erosion, which can damage the ecosystem.

Garden critters

Growing a garden is a great way to enjoy fresh produce, save money and reduce your impact on the environment. Regardless of where you live or what you are growing, you have probably had the experience of local wildlife dining on your hard work. These four tips will help to keep critters out of your garden without harsh chemicals or inhumane traps while allowing you to enjoy more of the fruits of your labor.

1. Use natural scent repellents. One thing that all vegetable thieving critters have in common is predators. Whether you are dealing with deer, moles, rabbits or squirrels, there are certain smells that are sure to send them running. Common scent repellents include fox, dog and coyote urine. Just sprinkle it on posts or rags throughout the garden. Keep an eye on the garden and replenish the rags periodically for the greatest effect. While not as effective, human scents can also be used to repel pests. Hair clippings are a great way to leave a scent near your garden that critters will avoid.

2. Build mesh perimeters. Wire mesh and hardwire cloth are both affordable ways to keep critters out of your garden. All you need are a few stakes, some fencing and a staple gun. The barrier is flexible and light enough to move when you need to get access to the garden but strong enough to keep many of the common garden pests out. For digging pests, such as raccoons or moles, dig a small trench and place the fence inside. Most pests will give up the moment that they realize they cannot slip right under the mesh.

3. Plant undesirable plants throughout your garden. By planting strong-smelling or tasting plants, such as onions, cayenne peppers, garlic or marigolds, throughout your garden, you can repel potential grazers. Placing plants both around the perimeter of the garden and near the desirable plants is often most effective. If you cannot add more plants to your garden, consider sprinkling ground cayenne peppers and minced garlic throughout the garden periodically.

4. Make the area less attractive to wildlife. By sealing open spaces, removing tall weeds, sealing garbage or compost containers and leaving open spaces around and inside your garden, you reduce the appeal that the area has for many common garden invaders. Adding one-foot spaces between the rows in your garden increases visibility and leaves smaller critters, such as rabbits or moles, vulnerable to predators. In most cases, these measures will cause local wildlife to find more convenient locations to graze and feed.

watering-lawn

With droughts, water shortages, and resulting water bans, homeowners who are environmentally conscious might worry about the amount of water their lawn needs. To strike a balance between growing a lush, green lawn and preventing water waste, it is important to know exactly how much water you should give your lawn. The amount of water your grass needs depends on your soil, the type of grass that you have, and your climate. In some cases, it may make more sense for you to find an alternative to the traditional grass lawn.

The general rule for lawn care is that grass should get one inch of water per week. However, your lawn could need more or less depending on your climate. During the hot summer months, your lawn might need more water. As summer turns to fall and the grass prepares to go dormant, you might need to water less. The best way to tell if your lawn needs water is to perform a soil test. A soil test lets you know if water is saturating the soil deep enough to support a healthy root system, which should be six or eight inches below the surface of the ground. You can purchase a sensor to check your soil, but the easiest way to test it is to push a stiff wire into your lawn in several places. Make sure that you can easily push the wire six or eight inches into the ground. If you can’t, you probably aren’t watering enough.

If you use a traditional sprinkler or a sprinkler system, it can be difficult to know exactly how much water your lawn is getting from the system. Perform a sprinkler test to find out how much water your sprinkler sprays so you can be sure you’re not hurting your lawn by under watering it, or hurting the environment by over watering it. Place equal sized containers around your lawn and let your sprinkler run for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes have passed, measure the amount of water in the containers and you’ll know how much water your lawn is getting. Although the general rule is that your lawn should get one inch of water a week, this varies depending on the make-up of your soil. Loam soils do well with one inch of water. Sandy soils need a little less. A half inch of water would be perfect for them. For soils that contain a lot of clay, one and a half inches of water is best.

By paying attention to the type of soil you have in your yard and focusing on maintaining a healthy root system in your lawn, you will be able to adjust the weekly amount of water you give your lawn. This can help you maintain an enviable yard without wasting water by using more of it than you should.

ornamental grasses

While it is quite popular to have lush green lawns, maintaining them can require a bit of effort and expense. What many people do not realize is that having beautiful grass uses resources that are can have a detrimental impact on the environment. Not only does taking care of grass consume a lot of fuel, it uses a lot of water and introduces toxins to the environment. Here are four ideas for people who want an environmentally-friendly alternative to grass.

Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grasses are easily maintained and hardy. They also have the ability to grow in most types of soils. What makes this a good alternative to grass is that it does not need mowing and requires very little fertilizer or pesticides. Ornamental grass can also be synthetically produced. There are six types of ornamental grasses. Choosing the right type depends on where it will be placed and the desired look of the lawn.

Groundcover Plants

These plants are ideal alternatives because of their ability to cover soil and their low-growth. These plants not only do not require a lot of maintenance, they prevent weeds. Groundcover plants enrich the soil and some types of these plants are known for their ability to balance the nitrogen levels in the soil. Perennial flowers, evergreens and even strawberries are examples of groundcover plants.

Clover

Clover is another substitute for grass that is also beneficial to the soil. It fixes the soil’s nitrogen levels, eliminates weeds and the root system does not compact the soil. Clover has several other benefits. It spreads quickly and is grown easily. Clover does not negatively impact the environment. This alternative does not requiring watering, mowing, insecticides or fertilizers. It even maintains its green appearance during warmer weather. Other advantages to using clover include its cost and it is a comfortable.

Shrubs and Flowers

Larger lawns can be divided include flower beds and shrubs. These options add an aesthetic value and reduce the effort. Flower beds and shrubs reduce the amount of materials needed to keep lawns healthy and looking good. Buy the flowers from a local nursery. The nursery employees are knowledgeable about the local varieties of plants and flowers. Local species of plants and flowers require very little maintenance and are a good non-chemical way to reduce the occurrences of weeds.

Having a nice looking lawn is a concern of home owners. However, great curb appeal can come without sacrificing the environment. These four grass alternatives not only reduce the amount of resources used and chemical pollution released in the environment, they eliminate the headaches of maintaining grass.

Choose Table Lamps Made From Recycled Glass

recycled glass lamp

Table lamps are a feature that can add the perfect accent to any room. For those who want are looking for table lamps that are not only beautiful looking, but also environmentally friendly, lamps made from recycled glass are a great choice.

Recycled glass is an excellent material because it creates no negative environmental impact. It has already been manufactured and used, and utilizing it as a building material is a very eco-friendly way of continuing its useful life. Instead of sitting in a landfill or dump somewhere, it can be used for an item that will be beneficial to a home and provide many years of use. Those who choose this type of lamp can feel good about the fact that they are not purchasing a new lamp that required possibly damaging manufacturing processes.

In addition to their benefits as being more environmentally friendly, recycled glass table lamps (like this one)usually have a very unique look. This is perfect for those who want a lamp that stands out and attracts the attention of those visiting their home. They often make a great addition to a home with a rustic, eclectic design and layout and are put together in a way that gives them a very customized feel.

Table lamps made from recycled glass can be a fun project for someone to make on their own, or they can also be purchased as a finished piece. While they are certainly harder to come by than typical store bought, mass produced lamps, they can almost always be found in a nearby store. These are often craft stores or smaller establishments that sell handmade goods.

In closing, recycled glass makes a very environmentally friendly and attractive material with which to make table lamps. They make a unique and distinctive impression on any living space.

A Closer Look at Gandia Blasco Rugs

Gandia Blasco Rugs

Suppose you’ve just moved into a new home. You’ve tidied up the place, made it look more than homey, and even went ahead to add more decorations. However, without a suitable rag on your floor, you’ll always get the feeling that something is not right.

Most floors are undeniably pretty, but without a matching rug for your floor, you might not get to see the beauty of the interior of your house. Fortunately, Gandia Blasco rugs will easily sort that out for you. You can get countless Gandia Blasco rugs with different pretty patterns that will make your home look attractive.

Apart from coming with different designs, there are some that come with artistically shaped patterns. For example, the Contemporary Champinones Rug will look like your ordinary rug but with soft, round-shaped protrusions carefully placed on top of it. Not only does it make this particular one look stylish, but it also feels great under your feet.

If you’re more interested in the patterns, they will have a wide variety for you to choose from. You can find just about anything to go with every room in your house. There are many options for those who wish to get rugs that are prefect for their offices. Besides offices, you will also come across nice rugs that go well with any bedroom. Whether for a teenager, or for that three-year-old who loves to play on the floor, you’ll always find the right Gandia Blasco rug.

Well, after knowing what to expect from Gandia Blasco rugs, you might be wondering how much they’ll cost. Just like how other rugs are sold, Gandia Blasco rugs are also sold according to their dimensions. As such, rugs for wide rooms will cost slightly more than those for relatively smaller rooms. Some of them might go for over $2,000 while others go for less than $1,000. The store that you get them from will also affect the price. Some occasionally sell them at high prices while others sell them at affordable prices. Because of this, the Internet should be everyone’s starting point for getting realistic prices for Gandia Blasco rugs.