Laundry additives work along with laundry detergent to get your clothes as clean as possible. They also can provide extra benefits like removing odor or brightening whites. If you have a problem with dingy clothes or want to keep your white clothes looking brighter, laundry additives can help.
While there are many different types of laundry detergent and laundry additives, not all of them are eco-friendly or safe. We always recommend using natural and non-toxic cleaning products, so we’ll focus this article on natural laundry additives that are safe for your family and for the environment.
See our reviews of the best chemical-free laundry detergents for safe and eco-friendly cleaning.
Natural Laundry Additives
The OdorKlenz Laundry Additive is made from earth minerals and non-toxic ingredients (water, Magnesium Hydroxide, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Oxide, and Aluminum Oxide). There are no fillers or fragrances added.
Aside from the product itself being safe and natural, OdorKlenz has recently changed the packaging to become more eco-friendly. It now comes in a recyclable cardboard box instead of a plastic bottle.
This product is highly effective at removing smells and odors that washing with regular laundry detergent does not get rid of. In our house, we’ve used it with sweaty t-shirts and other clothes that have kept odors after regular washing. We’ve found the OdorKlenz Laundry Additive to work very well, and the clothes come out smelling fresh.
In addition to sweat, OdorKlenz Laundry Additive can also be used to remove smells from pets, chemicals, fragrances, and mildew. The product works to eliminate the odor instead of simply masking it with fragrance.
Using this laundry additive is easy. If you have a high-efficiency (HE) or front load washing machine, simply add the OdorKlenz Liquid Laundry Additive with the detergent.
If you have a top load washing machine, partially fill the tub with warm water before adding the laundry detergent and OdorKlenz Liquid Laundry Additive.
OdorKlenz recommends using the additive with unscented detergent and not combing it with bleach or vinegar. It is safe for use with all washable fabrics.
Vinegar is a common household item that can be used as a laundry additive. It’s effective at removing odor and brightening colors.
To use white distilled vinegar as a laundry additive, simply add 1/2 cup to the final rinse cycle for an extra boost of freshness.
Vinegar is particularly effective at removing sweat and body odor from clothes. You can pre-treat clothes by spraying white distilled vinegar on areas of perspiration stains or odor, like the underarms of shirts. Allow it to work for at least 10 minutes, then add the clothes to the washing machine.
While vinegar is a natural and eco-friendly product, there are a few things to keep in mind when using it as a laundry additive.
- It is important to use white vinegar rather than apple cider vinegar or another type.
- Vinegar can be harsh on some fabrics so it is important to test it on an inconspicuous area of the clothing first.
- Don’t use vinegar with bleach as this combination can create harmful fumes. Finally, if you have hard water, using vinegar in the laundry can cause mineral deposits to build up on clothing over time.
Baking soda is another common household item that can be used as a laundry additive. It is effective at brightening colors and reducing odors (to some degree) when used in combination with your laundry detergent.
To use baking soda as a laundry additive, simply add 1/2 cup to the washing machine. You can also pre-soak clothes in baking soda and water before washing them.
Oxygen bleach is a great alternative to chlorine bleach and can be used as a laundry additive. It is effective at brightening colors and removing stains and is safe for use with most washable fabrics, including whites and colors.
To use oxygen bleach as a laundry additive, simply add a small amount to the washing machine along with your regular laundry detergent.
You can also pre-soak clothes in oxygen bleach and water for at least an hour before washing them. This is particularly effective for removing tough stains.
Lemon juice is another common household item that can be used as a laundry additive. It is effective at removing stains and adding a pleasant scent to your laundry.
Because lemon juice has some bleaching tendencies, it’s generally best to use it only with whites.
To use lemon juice as a laundry additive, simply add a small amount to the washing machine. You can also use lemon juice to spot treat stains. Blot the stain with lemon juice before adding to the garment to the washing machine.
Final Thoughts on Natural Laundry Additives
There are a variety of natural laundry additives that you can use to boost the performance of your laundry detergent. OdorKlenz Liquid Laundry Additive is our favorite product, but you can also use white distilled vinegar, baking soda, oxygen bleach, and lemon juice.
Each of these products is effective at removing stains or odors and adding a pleasant scent to your laundry. In general, natural laundry additives are safe for most fabrics and won’t harm people, pets, or the environment.