- Soap Nuts- you can find them many places but NutriOil is one of the best. ($0.09 per load)
- Biokleen Free and Clear Laundry Liquid ($0.10 per load)
- Ecos Free and Clear Laundry Detergent ($0.14 per load)
- Tide 2x Ultra Liquid ($0.20 per load)
- All Small and Mighty Free and Clear ($0.20 per load)
Laundry is one of those things that everyone has and no one can ignore. If we did, well lets not even go there…. The point of this series is to share with you tip on how to wash laundry without chemicals, save money, have cleaner, better smelling clothes and find joy in the task.
The first year I moved to Mexico my main responsibly was laundry. Boy was there a lot of it. Between 30+ kids and kitchen laundry I was doing up to twelve loads a day! Thankfully I had three machines most of the time. Everything was line dried. I was able to soak up lots of vitamin D and had beautiful highlights! Hey, there’s go to be some perks when you spend that much time doing laundry.
That year I became a laundry detergent and fabric softener snob. To say I was obsessed is putting it lightly. I knew what I liked, which brands cleaned the best and what stain removes were most effective. Most of the time thought I didn’t have an option, I used whatever was donated. Normally it was a huge bucket of a cheap white powdered detergent that didn’t work well and left film all over the clothes. Sometimes I had stain remover, sometimes I didn’t. I remember going to San Diego with some friends to get some supplies. We stopped at a grocery store and I got lost in the laundry aisle. It was like I had died and gone to heaven! There was a myriad of colorful bottles full of detergents, softeners and stain removers. I stopped and smelled almost all of them. My friends had to practically drag me away.
The problem with all that was that EVERYTHING was riddled with harsh chemicals. These chemicals are harmful to our bodies. Many more natural detergents contain Sodium Laural Sulfate which is another chemical that was considered “safe” but isn’t. These detergents are riddled with fragrances (perfumes), fabric softeners and brighteners that stay on the clothes after they have been washed. They leave harmful chemicals rubbing against your skin that can lead to skin irritations and many other problems. Over the past five years I slowly made the switch to more safe, frugal and eco-friendly options. Now that I’ve made the switched I’ve noticed that I the smell of laundry products make me feel sick and light headed, hum I wonder why……
My friend Mare, who used to serve here with me is now a missionary wife and mama living in Honduras. She has a great article on Natural vs. Chemical Laundry Detergents. I’ve know for a few years now that I didn’t want to use chemical based laundry detergents and her article reaffirmed it. I get chills just thinking about how harmful they are to our bodies!
My progression to safe and eco-friendly detergents was a slow one. I started with All Small and Mighty Free and Clear. It was fragrance and dye free but that was about it. After a couple years I won a giveaway on Passionate Homemaking for a sample of liquid soap nuts detergent. I loved how it cleaned despite the hard cold water that I have. After the sample I had ran out I went to NutriOil’s site to buy more. The liquid was a bit expensive so I opted to buy just the soap nut themselves. I love soap nuts, the one disadvantage is that if you aren’t washing in warm water you need to soak them in warm water before washing. Then you add the soap nuts and warm liquid to the wash. Because of this I switched to Charlie’s for awhile. Charlie’s works great in cold water but unfortunately I’ve been reading that they aren’t as safe as I once thought. So it’s back to soap nuts. Next time I place an order with my co-op I am thinking about giving Biokleen’s Laundry liquid a try. Or I might just make my own.
Here is a comparison for different laundry detergents you can find on-line or at your supermarket.
As you can see not only are soap nuts a safe option for your laundry but it is also the most frugal option for washing your clothes, unless you are making your own. Some homemade laundry soaps cost about $0.06 per load.
Stay tuned for more up coming posts on gentle and safe fabric softens, stain removers, bleach alternatives. line drying vs. driers, alternatives to drier sheets and a tips on making a routine.
What kind of laundry detergent do you use? Do you make your own? If you do I’d love to read your recipes!