Alternatives to detergent

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grayjk
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Alternatives to detergent

Postby grayjk » 20 Jun 2013, 02:49

I'm not sure if this belongs in here or Greening Gaia... If its in the wrong place, I ask an admin to kindly move it whereever it belongs.

Lately I've been having dry, itchy and sometimes red skin, and I think my laundry detergent is to blame. I switched this winter (my roommate left a big jug when he moved out, so I just continued using it) and thought that the problem was dry skin from winter. But now it's summer and I'm still having issues. This payday I'm going to buy a hypoallergenic detergent and see if that helps, but I hate the idea that all the chemicals go down the drain (we're having a problem with nitrates in the tap water right now from fertilizer runoff here in Iowa, it got me thinking about it). The "No Soap or Shampoo" thread got me thinking... Are there any alternatives to detergent in general? Maybe a mix of baking soda and something, or just letting water do the work? I know there's detergents out there that are supposed to be better for the environment, but it seems like avoiding detergent at all, if its practical, would be the best route (not to mention cheapest). Any ideas?
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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Cosmic Ash » 20 Jun 2013, 08:41

You could try soap nuts. They're quite gentle, I believe. My mum was using them, but stopped. Possibly they didn't get her washing clean enough, but might be worth a try. I use an unscented Eco liquid that is pretty much just soap and nothing else. It works well, although it doesn't keep whites very white.

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby mabby » 20 Jun 2013, 15:42

When I was growing up my mother still washed diapers. She used a combination of 20 Mule Team Baking Soda and Dreft. I don't know if Dreft is still around, but I suppose Ivory would work at well.

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby thistleoak » 10 Jul 2013, 21:09

Dreft is still around.

Any updates in terms of trying out hypoallergenic detergent? Did it help?
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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby feranaja » 10 Jul 2013, 21:27

I see an awful lot of skin reactions in dogs, from the type of soap used on their bedding. I hope you found relief - bit can take some experimentation.
I haven't made this, but the blog often has some good stuff: http://www.mommypotamus.com/homemade-na ... made-easy/

If nothing seems to help, consider that it might be internal - fatty acid deficiency? Low VitaminD?
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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby katie bridgewater » 10 Jul 2013, 23:27

In my experience, laundry is cleanest with minimal soap when using a good old fashioned posser and washboard, so if you want to minimise detergent use, try doing your laundry with these simple tools. At some points in my life, I have done all my laundry this way and can honestly say that I have never found a modern machine that did the job so well with so little soap. I do recommend a good mangle and a decent outdoor washing line to complete the effect. You will never want to go back to laundry products and crappy machines again.

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Tynan Elder Oak » 16 Jul 2013, 11:20

As a family we all have allergies to modern detergents smelly stuff and softeners etc. So we switched a year ago to home made detergent and we will never go back.

Recipie:

1 part of Borax or Borax substitute
1 part of washing soda - NOT CAUSTIC SODA!!!! :o
1 1/2 parts of soap - tallow made or vegetable based
1 part of bicarbonate of soda if you live in a hard water area as we do.

A few drops of your favourite essential oils if wished. I like to use a few drops of lavender and tea tree, or sweet orange. I swap when I get bored.

Combine the lot.

I buy new supplies from summer naturals once every 6 - 10 months and it is staggeringly cheaper than the shop brought stuff.
It has no optical whiteners etc so if you want brighter than white boil if you can. It works well on a cool 15 c wash and can be used on a cold wash if you add it to a little warm water, whisk and then put it in the drum. It's lovely for hand washing too.

I also now make my own soap and t hat is good fun but a little scary at first.

No problems with rashes etc since we changed over. None at all, nope nothing. :hug: :) :gulp:

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Mountainheart » 16 Jul 2013, 13:16

In my experience, laundry is cleanest with minimal soap when using a good old fashioned posser and washboard, so if you want to minimise detergent use, try doing your laundry with these simple tools. At some points in my life, I have done all my laundry this way and can honestly say that I have never found a modern machine that did the job so well with so little soap. I do recommend a good mangle and a decent outdoor washing line to complete the effect. You will never want to go back to laundry products and crappy machines again.
That takes me back to my childhood helping my grandmother poss her stuff in a Dolly tub, with Dolly Blue to make things whiter.

Good memories :)

There is a good overview here of herbal possibilities: http://www.pfaf.org/user/cmspage.aspx?pageid=49 Soap Wort I knew about already: but didn't realise that you can use bracken and horse chestnut for washing.

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Crinia » 16 Jul 2013, 23:56

Tynan Elder Oak

Do you know how your detergent goes environmentally? Being in a rural area we are not linked to the community septic/waste water system, we have our own system and if we put anything like bleach, fabric softener or nappy wash solutions down the drain it kills the good bacteria in the septic system.

Also can your recipe be used on woollens?

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Tynan Elder Oak » 17 Jul 2013, 07:17

It is by every account I have read so far, environmentally friendly. :)

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby LadyKatlinel » 17 Jul 2013, 17:16

I've used soapnuts for years with good results. I do still occasionally need to pretreat with dish soap on collars and stains, but for the most part, soapnuts do a great job for me. Whites still require bleach on occasion as soapnuts don't keep things perfectly white.

I do like the skyclad suggestion, by the way!
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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Crinia » 21 Jul 2013, 02:01

Tynan Elder Oak

I have made some of the washing powder you mention above: how much of this mix am I using in a load of washing?
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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Tynan Elder Oak » 21 Jul 2013, 06:35

Well for my household I use a UK measuring 3/4 cup per load. If its a heavy load I use a full cup sometimes 1 1/2 but that is most unusual. I do at least 1 wash a day, sometimes 2. Two of my lads work on the land so occasionally the load is very heavy, but I have to say that for the most part I find my soap powder to be most effective.
Occasionally whites are not as bright as I would prefer, so if possible, I save a good whole load and put them in a higher 40 degree temperature. For the most part, I was at 30 or lower. :shake:

I made a load recently with lavender e.o and tea tree e.o. I love the fresh smell, and that mixed with sunshine has proved to be intoxicating! :)

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Crinia » 21 Jul 2013, 08:01

Thank you. I have made the first batch with 3 drops of Rosemary e.o. as it is a favourite around here.
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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Tynan Elder Oak » 21 Jul 2013, 08:18

Lovely. Sounds really great. Hope you enjoy the feeling of making your own stuff. There is a real satisfaction knowing that you made cleaning materials that do only that, no nasties to cause problems later.

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Sarie » 02 Feb 2015, 22:35

We use soapnuts and have really good results, two of our family have very severe eczema. I occasionally use purezone oxygen brightening powder with the pixies white school t-shirts and still have had no reaction :)

I hope that helps, I ordered 500g of soapnuts from amazon and they should keep me going for a few months!

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Re: Alternatives to detergent

Postby Nerys » 20 Feb 2015, 11:49

I remember Ivory soap flakes sold in the 60's 70's for laundry. Recently I saw on some website Marseille soapflakes but very expensive.


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