I had no idea this would run so lengthy, but when you break down the entire process of laundry, it's incredibly long. Don't remind you, right?! We're going in order. Starting off with gathering your laundry, sorting, the laundry area, prepping it for the machine, the machines themselves, their settings and now we're on to detergents.
We'll give you the skinniest version we can so you can skim and get it straight. Detergents are necessary for the cleaning process of our dirty duds. Actually, soap is the necessary ingredient and soap is more natural, which is much better for our environment. We are going to hook you up with some soaps for your wash as well as offer a few recipes so you can try making it yourself. You'll save tons of cash and be a super green example. Of course we have the conventional stuff covered, too.
When choosing a detergent or soap you should consider several things. How dirty is the laundry, does it really matter if it's heavy in perfume and what settings should I consider for what product. You might be like me and just grab whatever is on promotion. Hehehe...
Take a look at the back of your packing and see what directions are indicated for use. Also don't just pour in your detergent, but measure it. This will save you a lot more detergent. Too much detergent can lead to residue, ruin your clothes and irritate the skin. Speaking of packaging, homemade detergent saves on this, too. You'll have a lot less garbage or recycling to do. Another plus point!
I had a poll asking friends and fans about detergents and an overwhelming majority said they really like their clothes to smell strong in perfume. It is these ingredients that are really bad for us and the environment. Find out more about the dangers of perfumes and other, unnatural ingredients in detergents here. Did you know that for some reason, detergent makers are not required to list ALL ingredients in their products? When tested, most of these ingredients are really bad for us. From skin irritation to hormonal defects and worse. Ugh!
Detergents can stain and ruin clothes. Read about dosing, temperature and fabrics like satin and wool that might not be suitable for detergents, especially unnatural ones. We found this article to be a bit helpful.
Good House Keeping has a gallery of the best detergents that's just perfect. Check it out out here. Tide is the big one most people prefer. I always thought it was way too, expensive and my father had allergic reactions to it as well. It's another company that doesn't list all of it's ingredients and has some naughty ones in there.
Home made laundry soap saves you a lot of money, in most cases doesn't irritate the skin and it's better for the environment and your clothes and other laundry. Here's Liz's one year experience with home made laundry detergent.
Check out our Clean, Clean, Clean board over on Pinterest for many more recipes for laundry soap and other really handy tips and tricks for cleaning your laundry and more.
I saw on Pinterest, how someone made home made laundry soap and gave it to their friends for them to try, too. I thought it was a fantastic idea. I've not tried home made laundry soap yet, but it's on my list. I can't find Borax here and it's in every recipe I've seen so far. Not sure what the Belgian alternative is yet.
Here's a list of awesome, safe detergents that you can purchase. Ecover seems to be a good one and I know I can buy that here in Belgium, too. I use other Ecover products as well.
Over on the Wellness Mama, a site I often go to, she also has a super basic recipe for both powder AND liquid detergent with ingredients that are right there at the grocers or perhaps already in your home. I may go with this one.
Borax is apparently a bit controversial on it's safety. It can irritate the eyes just like cayenne pepper or vinegar could, so take caution when preparing this detergent. If you see other information about the dangers of Borax it's most probably correlated to consumption. Way back in the Industrial Revolution, they put Borax in food. That's right! So, I'm sure you already know this, but don't eat your detergent. Hehehe...
I'll be back with the scoop on softeners next. Are they really necessary and what alternatives there are.