Laundry–final analysis?

So, after posting at least twice about how I make my own laundry soap, and it’s super environmentally friendly, and super cheap, and totally just as good as regular store-bought laundry soap . . . I broke down today and bought some regular ol’ detergent from Superstore.

What changed?  Just last week or so, I was posting about how great things were going: I made a new batch of goop, and getting my money’s worth out of my washing soda / borax purchases.

Well, the final straw was the tea towels.  It could be the humidity, or possibly my imagination, but my very best tea towels that I used to prize as being the very absolutely best tea towels one could ever hope for (from the now-long-defunct, but oft-mourned Caban), started to “smear” the water in a wet dish rather than soak it up lickity-split like it used to.

Also, though I very recently posted that the diapers were getting super clean and smelling like a fresh spring morning and all that, I’ve recently detected some odour emitting from them, especially when they are, ahem, freshly wetted.  They didn’t used to make that smell, but maybe some detergent residue has built up in them.

Some other things I noticed: the collars of a couple of my partner’s white shirts were still quite besmirched after washing; things have been seeming a little extra “stiff” on the line lately; and our colours seem to be fading a little more quickly than I feel comfortable with.

So I broke down and I bought a big box of Tide Free.  It wasn’t even on sale, but I had a ride to the grocery store, so I could bring it home without lugging it on the bus.

And how do I feel?  I’m glad I did the experiment.  I’m disappointed it wasn’t the magic bullet I believed it was for the last few weeks.  I feel a bit guilty about not even getting an eco-brand of detergent (next time!!).  But I’m also relieved to be back on a more normal track for laundry.  I was ignoring some of these failings for awhile now, so I’m glad to face and accept them.

I still have 90% of the last batch I made.  I think I will continue to use it, perhaps alternating with the regular stuff to reduce buildup.  But I will definitely avoid using it for my nice tea towels.

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4 thoughts on “Laundry–final analysis?

  1. Oh, I love your enthusiasm for these types of experiments and your refreshing ability to evaluate them when they don’t turn out as expected!!

  2. Might I suggest you are using too much of your homemade laundry soap?

    I personally don’t do homemade laundry soap because I wasn’t pleased with what I found googling Borax (its quite toxic) and fellsnaptha soap. But if you are finding ring around the colar you might want to pretreat the colars with Felsnaptha.

    Try washing your laundry in hot (I know everyone is going green with cool water, but if you have to use laundry soap and stain remover with cold water, did you really save anything?) and without laundry soap.

    My personal washing routine is seventh generation soap (eco friendly) in a HE washer, every third or fourth load. For the in between loads I wash with either vinegar (1/4c) or baking soda and hot water. I find this keeps my clothing the way I want it.

    Towels I wash every once in a while – when I notice they smell – in just hot water to remove the soap build up.

    Hope this helps.

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