After getting on board with the no 'poo and soap movement, I am looking at other areas where I might be exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. Laundry detergent is one area that sprung to mind.
Have any of you changed the way that you wash your clothes? I guess since we are not applying the detergent directly to our skin that it is less of an issue than with cosmetics but after watching The Disappearing Male, it is difficult not to get paranoid.
Since these synthetic chemicals are everywhere, we can only hope to limit our contact with them. What other measures could one take? What are the big problems? No plastic food/drink containers, using water/air filters, organic foods?
Are there certain types of clothing material that you won't wear?
I make my own laundry soap. Here is the recipe, at this thread:
**I keep this soap on hand all the time. It takes a few days to set up but it's really easy to make and works well in soft water. People with hard water will want to have it softened with borax or washing soda before adding soap. 1 gallon heavy plastic or glass container with wide mouth
1/2 gallon cold water 2.25 ounces lye, by weight
1 lb lard, melted
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax (up this to 1 cup if you can't find the washing soda)
Fragrance oil or essential oil of your choice (optional)
Hot water to fill the container Add cold water to container. Add lye; stir well (this barely gets warm because lye is so diluted) Add lard, washing soda, borax, fragrance oil. Add hot water to finish filling the container and stir well with a wire whisk.
Whisk 3 times a day or so until set up. Initially, it will start with a glob of soap on top but will set up more each time you whisk it. After three days or so, you will be left with a nice, powdery liquid that you can use in your laundry.
Add 1/2 - 1 cup for a top loading machine. Dissolve in hot water before adding to a very cold wash. Otherwise, just add it while the machine is filling. Use less in a front loader; this one WILL suds if you add too much.**
If you have never made soap before, please do some reading at this site to learn the basics and the SAFETY PRECAUTIONS:
It is important to use white vinegar in the rinse cycle when using real soap as laundry detergent. The vinegar gets the soap out of the clothes and the washing machine.
I also make my own face, bath, and tooth soap, as well as shampoo and dishwashing soap.
A friendly forum for beginning soapmakers here:
I use Milk of Magnesia (the kind without sodium hypochlorite in it, which is bleach) for deodorant. I was using baking soda and cornstarch, but it can be abrasive and doesn't work well for strong odors.
Toothpaste: baking soda or baking soda with sea salt works very well. I had elderly relatives who only ever used baking soda.
Toilet, sink and bathtub cleaning: Borax or baking soda works just fine.
Linoleum mopping: vinegar water works just fine.
Clothes hung outside are disinfected by the sun.
Using scented things to pretend to ourselves that something is clean is very similar to believing that a meal isn't complete without sweets and starches. Clean has no smell.
This is a huge subject. Perhaps this post is long enough.
Hope it's a help to someone.
I went no soap and shampoo for several months. Then I met a girl, who I found out is allergic to sodium lauryl sulfate. Any exposure to it makes her break out. I then realized, no matter how much I don't use soap/poo, if my laundry contains the same chemicals, its neutralizing the benefits. My ultimate goal was to switch to organic detergents. Once I, found out just touching this girl with my clothes makes her breakout, it was a no brainier. Now all my clothes are washed with ECOS® Liquid Laundry. One day I would like to get a whole water filter system for my entire house. Hope this helps out.
i've been using maggie's soapnuts. There are abunch of other brands out there, too. I bought a whole big bag from amazon for pretty cheap. They have got me through the hot and sticky NYC summer stink-free so i'd say they're very good at cleaning. http://www.maggiespureland.com/
I'm constantly looking through my house if it is possible to make better choices in cleaning and kicked out lots of superfluous chemicals.
Olive oil soap is not only a better choice on your skin (if using soap at all...) it does well in cleaning your bathroom, your floor and your kitchen as well. In france they use it for washing sensitive textiles. For heavy duty in Germany you can buy Oranex, a cleaner that ist made from orange peels.
In your washing machine your can use washing nuts for any laundry that isn't too dirty: Towels, Delicates, membrane jackets, wool. For the rest of my laundy I use bio-detergents and citric acid.
Spirit or soda are usefull against anything greasy.
As far as possible I kicked out plastic food/drink containers and bought glas, enamel or stainless steel. My water heater now has a glas container.
I'm cutting all harsh chemicals out of my life, slowly but surely. To minimise waste, I'm trying to use up what I have before replacing it, depending on immediate impact. Some things I've been able to take to work and donate to others who want them (there are some lost causes on staff - we have a cancer victim who refuses to stop smoking, for example...), but others are practically finished so a couple more uses isn't going to do much more damage. I swapped our laundry powders to B.E.E. products a while back, and they're great and quite affordable too.
I eat mostly organic foods, I don't use plastic more than once (or use containers that aren't allowed to be heated, though the beau ends up washing them in the dishwasher rendering them useless...), but I tend not to worry about filtering the water that comes out of the tap at home. I probably should though - I'm just conditioned to use tap water since I grew up on a farm with a rain-water tank. Still adjusting to city life...
I look forward to the day when chemical-free makeup is more affordable - right now, it's an absolute killer. I can't avoid the harsh cleaning agents used at work, either, but I'm trying to get them to change... The foul Glen 20 air deodorizer has gone from the toilets, at least! Mmmm, orange oil spray...
I use multi-purpose product for the laundry, dishes, floor, and even the bathroom and even wash my fruits and vegetables. Forever Aloe MPD® 2X Ultra is phosphorus-free, making it environmentally friendly. Unlike many detergents, its anionic and non-ionic surfactants are biodegradable, thus reducing environmental and water pollution. Non-abrasive formula contains mild aloe vera to soften and condition your hands and clothes. This revolutionary, multi-purpose cleaner is available only through Forever Living Products. Check it here: link textForever Aloe MPD 2X
My son is not allergic to anything (that we know of) but we tried "Gain" laundry detergent on a whim and he immediately had bad negative reactions to any clothes washed in it. After reading online this is fairly common, and the allergy seems to be to some of the fragrance compounds. Plain soap or detergent should be pretty simple chemically without all of the fragrances and colors.
After this happened I did some research and found that little or no laundry detergent washes clothes pretty much as well as using a detergent, with some exceptions. If you have particularly dirty clothes, or stains, then obviously you need some detergent. But for clothes that are just worn normally (such as to work or around the house), it's amazing how little soap you need to get them clean.
My wife does the laundry so I can't quite convince her to give up the soap, but it is probably possible to cut it way back, you might give that a try.
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