I have a daughter that has extremely sensitive skin. She would break out with random skin rashes, hives, and other breakouts. We weren’t really sure what the cause was.
We did the usual:
- went to the dermatologist
- tried specialty skin care products
- eliminating foods and fabrics
- changing our laundry products and on and on
It finally struck me (as I was folding laundry) and noticed a heavy fabric softener residue on the towels that my daughter was adding excessive amounts to the laundry.
Because fabric softeners are loaded with chemicals, we wondered if that couldn’t be the problem she was having with her skin. I mean its common sense that using these chemical ridden products; they can leave a residue on your skin and cause a reaction!
This is especially true for those who already have sensitive skin and are more susceptible to problems.
What did we Do?We decided to eliminate anything that left a chemical residue on our washed items and resolved to use safe and natural products that would clean just as well and leave our clothing and linens soft and clean without using the chemicals.
What do we use Now?Here’s a current laundry list of products we use to wash and dry our clothes.
- Baking soda
- Washing soda
- Woolzie or tennis ball
- Regular laundry detergent
How to make your own Laundry DetergentMy daughter decided she was going to make her own laundry detergent, when she went to the store, she actually found these items side by side on the store shelf.
- 1 bar Fels Naptha (shaved)
- 2 cups washing soda
- 2 cups of borax
It’s a good idea to wear safety glasses while mixing ingredients. If you don’t have enough of the washing soda, you can use 1 cup washing soda and 2 cups baking soda.
When you’re ready to wash, all you need is one tablespoon of your homemade laundry detergent per regular load of wash. And – this is safe for use in high efficiency washing machines.
This can take time and for those of you that don’t have the time to make a product at home, we have been using a Costco premium brand laundry detergent that contains no dyes and perfumes.
White VinegarI can’t sing enough praises about white vinegar and its many uses. We also use white vinegar in the wash for stain removal, and to naturally remove static cling and soften laundry.
- To use for static cling and as a fabric softener, add 1/ 2 cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle.
When you add vinegar to the rinse cycle you also get the added benefit of it breaking down and dissolving any alkalis that can be present in your detergent.
If you have hard water, vinegar can help prevent hard water build up in the washer.
Washing SodaWashing soda (sodium carbonate) is similar to baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) only more powerful (twice the power).
When added to laundry with your regular detergent, washing soda (alkaline) is a great booster for getting clothes cleaner, softening the water, and cutting through grease.
- All it takes is 1/ 2 cup for a regular load of laundry to super charge your detergent.
- For grease and food stains (common in our house), mix 4 tablespoons washing soda into a thin paste with water. Dampen the stained area and rub the paste into the stain.
Washing soda is caustic and gloves should be worn while mixing. Don’t use on delicate fabrics or wool. When used repeated over time, washing soda could fade clothing.
Baking SodaAs we mention above, baking soda (alkaline) and washing soda are similar. Baking soda is an excellent natural deodorizer stopping odors caused by bacteria.
It will also stabilize the waters pH levels and soften the water. This helps make your laundry detergent more effective. Just add (again) 1/ 2 cup to your regular detergent.
BoraxThe 20 Mule kind. Borax (alkaline) is a natural mineral, like the other items we mention above, and a great way to add extra cleaning power (add 1/ 2 cup) to your laundry detergent and condition and soften the water.
Borax can help whiten whites, remove soapy residue from clothing and disinfect. But, not only can it help boost the detergents effectiveness, it can help get rid of greasy oily stains as well.
- Sprinkle Borax on the stained area then add some Dawn dish soap and gently mix into stain with an old toothbrush.
- Let sit a few minutes and wash in the warmest water the clothing item can take. Refer to the label if you’re unsure.
Drying and Softening your LaundryWoolzies are 100 percent pure handmade wool dryer balls. We buy ours in a box of 6 from Amazon. We are on the first set of 6 and have been using it for about 6 months now and I suspect we will be able to continue using them for many, many, more months.
They are still working like day one, exceeding our expectations, and our laundry is so soft. Even though they are made from wool, they don’t shed, and the fact they are chemical free – well how perfect is that?
Clean and Deodorizing a Bad Smell in your WasherTo clean and deodorize the washing machine use a combination of white vinegar and baking soda.
- First you need to set the washer to a hot setting and a large load. Let it run until the machine is full of water and just starts to agitate.
- At this point, stop the machine and add 3 to 4 cups white vinegar. Turn the machine back on and let it go through the agitation process.
- Stop the machine again and allow the vinegar to sit and penetrate any grimy buildup in the washing machine for at least an hour.
- Restart the machine and let it complete the cycle. When it’s finished, wipe down with a towel.
These are the laundry products that we use in the house of Mrs. Clean. They are all earth friendly and natural and my daughters skin issues are clearing up.