Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Mad Science!: Laundry day

Image found at Blue Jeans and Cotton Tees

I work with the skin and the body, and I believe everything that can be absorbed through the skin, will be absorbed whether we like it or not.  I've had many dear friends over the years with extreme skin sensitivities and I've seen the effects harsh chemicals and some products from nature can have on them, and the pain it causes.  Bearing these things in mind, I do my best in my practice to not intentionally put anything on another person's body that has a reasonable potential to cause a reaction if they have or could have sensitive skin. 

This goes right down to my laundry.  I do my own wash at home, I don't send my linens out to a service.  Brands and products I use at various points or various times (depending on sale prices, availability, or as a result of one being closer than the other to reach) are:
  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear (considering moving to the powder to avoid SLS)
  • Ecover Delicate Wash 
  • Oxyclean
  • I do not currently use any fabric softener either in the wash or the dryer because I haven't found one that I would feel totally comfortable with being against a sensitive person's skin.  I do occasionally use dryer balls (handfelted from upcycled wool... I know, I sound so greener/craftier-than-thou hip or whatever.  Yee haw.) if the noise won't bother other people.
I've been looking into homemade detergents, considering using a mixture including borax.  I'm a little hesitant, though, because we have a septic tank that leeches out to our apple orchard.  If I moved to a homemade mixture, I may feel more comfortable doing my laundry in town at the laundromat just up the hill from the salon, or the one next to my favorite deli, which is closer to home.  This, of course, would raise my overhead costs, an idea that doesn't particularly thrill me, so this will be an area of continued exploration until I settle on something I love without a doubt.

It's sort of like dating!

Jena Vincent of Abundance Massage


  1. We use Rockin' Green. I got it for our diapers and now we just use it for everything. I didn't want to do the homemade stuff b/c it doesn't work with diapers.

  2. If you are daring (and imo it's sufficient so long as you don't tend to have uber nasty stuff in your clothes, you know, like barf or poo the way my baby clothes always do!) then try washing with just salt and vinegar. I use about 1/4c of each, mixed together in a cup (I add a little hot water so it dissolves) then pour it into the laundry. if you have a front loader use a little less...
    Salt loosens the fibers of the fabric which allows the water to move through them, thus cleaning them without 'scrubbing' or soaping. In my experience, it works best with a top loader, since there is lots of water... But in my front loader I still trade off doing salt loads with detergent loads, and it's something.
    I basically stick to "free & clear" whatever for my laundry, as I get headaches from perfumes.

    Alternately, use the homemade recipe sans borax. I betcha it would still work. :)