Monday, October 20, 2008

Laundry Stuff

I love all-natural detergents. No overpowering scents of artificial flowers or the headache smell of bleach. Nothing toxic I need to concern myself about. No potential damage to the environment. Just the great creativity of a person or company to take what nature has already given us and convert it into something useful that will help keep my clothes clean.

My recent favorite has been the Mrs. Meyer's Baby Blossom for my laundry detergent. The scent just makes me want to go snuggle with my kids and brings out the mama-nurture instinct in me. And that's always a good thing. They sell it here at Bed, Bath, and Beyond so that's what I use their constant barrage of coupons for. A bottle of detergent is $11.99 so I love taking in the "spend $30 and take $10 off" coupon and coming out with three bottles for almost the price of two. It works for me.

I also love the Mother Natural baby stain remover (link not working!). It removes every stain I have ever put the stuff on. And it's not expensive either and lasts a long time. You could probably find it in your local health food store.

Today I bought a trial package of Maggie's Soap Nuts. I can't wait to try these things!! Soap nuts are the dried fruit of the Chinese Soapberry tree. You take a handful and put them in a cotton sack...tie a knot and put it in your washer. The bag of nuts should last for five washes and then you refill. It says that they have been "tested by humans on humans for 2500 years". Sounds proven to me! Easy on the earth and easy on the body...key ingredients in the products I desire. And as a side note, I love reading the ingredients on ultra-earthy packaging...on these soap nuts it says "Ingredients: Chinese Soapberries, cotton wash sack, and Love." I'll take some Love :)

And don't forget about dryer balls. These are a good alternative to fabric softener sheets that have cancer-causing chemicals in them. They reduce drying time, minimize wrinkles and can be used as a stand-in toddler toy.

What are some of your favorite all-natural detergents?

photo by McMorr


Clair said...

I won some soap nuts on a blog but haven't used them yet.

Hippie Housewife said...

I'm intrigued by soap nuts. I just can't figure out how they work so I'm too scared to try them.

I make our own laundry soap. 1 part grated pure soap bar to 2 parts borax and 2 parts washing soda. Makes a great powdered laundry soap. I use 2 Tbsp per load.

Mrs. Pivec said...

Mmmm... I love Mrs. Meyers, but hadn't heard of that newer scent. I may have to treat myself to some of that one of these days.

I've been making my own detergent with washing soda, borax, and grated ivory soap - pennies on the dollar - just like hippie housewife.

Here in FL, I hang out the clothes every day, so there are no dryer sheets or anything for me. Actually, I haven't used anything in the dryer for years, even before I got the clothesline.

Hilty Sprouts! said...

I have got to try the dryer balls and the soap nuts. Sounds awesome! I have tried the geranium scented Mrs. Meyer's detergent and liked it. My favorites though are Biokleen and Seventh Generation. They both have such a light, clean citrus scent. I'm a sucker for anything citrus! I've been toying with the idea of making laundry soap like hippie housewife and mrs pivec. I have been using white vinegar and a few drops of orange essential oil instead of liquid fabric softener. It seems to be working pretty well.

Prairie Chick said...

hmmm, haven't heard of soap nuts before! Love stuff like this. I'm thoroughly "on the path" leading to natural, but not a connosieur enough to make my own stuff from scratch (I tried the homemade laundry det at one point but the borax was overpowering to me and still seemed "poisonous" if ingested by a child so didn't quite assuage my fears?

We use Shaklee Basic H as an all purpose cleaner (windows, floors, surfaces, appliances, etc). I also use their laundry soap and their dryer sheets which are completely biodegradable and just break down into two little pieces of what looks like strips of toilet paper by the end of the load (I hang my laundry spring through fall). For other products we use a mixture of Shaklee and Melaleuca, dh used to have atrocious allergies, and be on antihistamines 10 months of the year. Now he takes a nasal spray for 2-3 days in the height of pollen season. Remarkable.

{ Kiddos & K9s } said...

oh man... this has been an area that I've changed in my home recently. I'm a "bleach girl" - I know it's bad but I love the smell and I love how it cleans. SO - knowing what I know now about bleach - I have weened myself off. LOL! I've been using Shaklee but plan to use some of these other things you mentioned too. Those soap nuts I've read so much about lately... sound really great. And the kids would enjoy learning about those... love all your helpful hints!

laurel said...

I am glad to hear about something that gets out stains really well. I don't have anything that does right now. A friend uses soap nuts and really likes them, but I have never tried them. I don't use dryer sheets. I make my laundry detergent, using the same formula as the commenters above. For stain removal, I usually just wash the item several times and let it dry in the sun...that works well most of the time, but I need something for the times it doesn't. I use seventh generation dishwasher detergent, Mrs. Meyers dish soap and hand soap and all purpose cleaner, and Caldrea linen spray and all purpose cleaner. I also use Method sometimes. I know I could use all homemade products, but these cleaning products are such a happy indulgence for me. I absolutely love using them!

flo said...

I also make my own laundry detergent, but since I shouldn't use soap on cloth diapers, I use Country Save for that. (tried others but didn't work as well)

I also keep Mrs Meyer's and Method Baby just because we love the smell, though I use them sparingly, and not all the time.
I also use white vinegar (with essential oil) in the final rinse as softener.

I've used Shaklee Basic H as an all around household cleaner for many years, but now, I'm sticking with my favorite cleaning tools: vinegar, baking soda and some essential oils (mostly tea tree oil and lavender.) Amazing stuff!

I guess I'd be willing to try the soap nuts if I have them...

Lelia said...

I need to try the dryer balls. . . have loads of static and it bugs me. I just use anything "free and clear", oxy clean in the white load, and stain pens/rubs to get stuff out. . .nothing fancy, mostly natural.

Soap Nuts said...

Yes. Soap Nuts are great! I would recommend them to anyone.