Saturday, April 6, 2013

My [new and improved] laundry and shampoo routines

Dr. Bronner's Organic Fair Trade Personal Care
(Image from Dr. Bronner's website)
I think I've mentioned before that I am slowly switching from commercial products in favor of the more natural homemade stuff. If I haven't, well, now you know. Well, one of those projects turned out to be laundry detergent. I have to buy all the "free and clear" stuff, since my skin is super sensitive to the fragrances and dyes found in most detergents. Despite the fact that there are fewer additives in these products, they still smell and they charge a premium for the "hypoallergenic" stuff. Which I find super annoying. So I said, "Enough" and did some research online. And by research, I mean Mommypotamus posted a DIY laundry detergent recipe like 3 loads before I ran out of  my commercial stuff. Oh Mommypotamus, how I love you!! I looked at the recipe and thought, "Hey, that looks easy... and natural... and... oooh, balls of yarn!" (She has a link to making your own dryer balls... check it out!)  Also, I am not ADD.

So I went on my merry way expecting to have cute, colorful balls of yarn for cheap! Yeah! (You CAN buy cute, colorful dryer balls online, but they are PRICEY! Like, $20 for 3 pricey! I said no thanks.) I drove on over to JoAnn Fabrics and looked at their yarn. To make the dryer balls, the yarn has to be 100% wool and able to felt, not "machine washable." They had exactly four (4) options for me. Light tan, brown, dark brown, and a speckled brown one. Ohh, fun...not! And one thing (skein?) of yarn was 11 bucks! Still cheaper than online, so I got a tan one. It was enough for 3 balls. Which was fine. But they're all a boring tan color. Oh well, these are for functionality, right? I keep trying to tell myself that. Ha. (Also, making dryer balls was FUN. I was surprised. I wanted more yarn just to make more, not because I needed them, but because I just wanted to make more.) (I have since found yarn several dollars cheaper at Wal-Mart, but it's the same colors... poop.)

The best part of the dryer balls? I can dry my towels in the dryer, without having tons of static! Before, if I used a fabric softener sheet in the dryer, I had to hang my towels on our [huge] drying rack in our [tiny] apartment OR not use a fabric softener sheet... but then they got super staticky! So I love my dryer balls.

Then, a few days later I officially ran out of commercial laundry detergent. Huzzah, time to make my own! I had purchased a couple bars of Dr. Bronner's peppermint bar soap from my local grocery. I only made 1/3 of a batch as written by Mommypotamus, because I wanted to try it out. I have used it a couple times and I love my new routine!

The clothes feel soft, clean, and have no scent or residue on them. I thought they might smell pepperminty or lemony (she suggests adding a bit of lemon extract as a degreaser), but there is no smell whatsoever. With which I am fine. I am going to keep track of how many loads I get out of my 1/3 of a batch and also how well it cleans, and if it continues to work I will make a full batch later. Check out Mommypotamus' website for the full tutorial.

As for shampoo, I am using Dr. Bronner's Liquid Soaps for that. They also have a conditioning hair rinse available that I use and love, but it is a bit pricey, especially if that's the only thing you're having shipped. (The bottle is 8 oz and costs $10 before shipping. I have used just over half of it since the end of February/beginning of March...when money is tight, that's just too expensive.) So instead, when this is gone, I will go ahead and use apple cider vinegar--it works just as well. (The purpose of both is a pH balancer, as the shampoo pH is different than my hair, so it makes the follicle stand out, making it feel sticky. Using the rinse makes it lie flat and feel soft again.)

So those are my new homemade products. I am looking for a good dishwasher detergent, but they all use Borax, and I've heard that that is poisonous... so I don't really want to put it on my dishes that I put my food on/in! So if you have a good dishwasher detergent that is homemade, please let me know. Other homemade DIY projects are for toothsoap, deodorant, body scrub, and cleaning supplies. I already make lotion, sunscreen, citrus infused vinegar (for cleaning), and most of our food. I love it! Can't wait to be "all natural!"

p.s. guys, I give up on trying to take pictures for my blog. They're always awful. Like, blurry, bad lighting,  and most of the time you can't even tell what it is... so... yeah. You'll have to use your imagination, unless someone wants to be my photographer... for free.

May you never be as crazy as me!

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