I have a list of other items that I have learned that our family just doesn't need and that we can either do without or use an item that is similar but cheaper.
Today I am sharing what we do at the Williams house for our laundry.
Now, before you shake your head and start thinking negatively about changing the way you do laundry just stop and think about how much money you spend on laundry detergent, softener and dryer sheets. I don't use any of those name brand, fragrance full items that are very colorful on the shelves in the store. (Gasp!) And our clothes still get clean.
I first started thinking about going fragrance free when Quinn was born. All three of our kids had eczema really bad but Quinn had it the worst. At one well check visit at the Dr.'s office they noticed a spot on his face that was so bad that he was going to need an antibiotic because it was getting infected. The Dr. kindly mentioned that we should think about going fragrance free to help him and to also continue to help the other kids. At that point they still had bumps on their arms of eczema. I got rid of the smelly shampoos and soaps in their bathroom and bought a local brand that was safe to use. At that point I started purchasing fragrance free laundry detergent. That stuff is expensive!
We go through a lot of laundry at our house. With our family clothes and items, day care items...we have a lot to wash every week. The only time the washing machine isn't started at our house is if I am sick or we are out of town. Otherwise, we do at least one load a day but usually 2 or 3 a day.
How do I still get clean laundry but save on cost?
I searched, I tried and searched some more. (Pinterest is really a great resource!)
Our results are: 1) we don't use fabric softener and actually haven't for over a year or more, 2) instead of dryer sheets we use Norwex dryer balls. These works perfectly for us and there is no smell. I did try using the fragrance free dryer sheets but those still had a smell to them. 3) we now make our own laundry detergent.
I finally found a recipe for laundry detergent that I like and that works for us. I tried a few different ones. Some you had to melt the soap, others you had to do things in a certain order. Below is the recipe that I found that seems to work best for us:
In a bucket combine the following:
1 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 cup of Borax
1 bar of soap that has been grated and crushed. Make sure that it is a fine powder so the soap blends in with the rest of the ingredients. (I have a large supply of Ivory Soap but there are others that can be used too.)
Stir these together. I use about 1 Tablespoon for each load of laundry.
Result: Our laundry is clean and doesn't have a smell and this lasts our family almost 2 weeks.
I will also sometimes put in OxyClean for the whites.
I have seen others comment that they like a smell and so they include a few drops of essential oil in a fragrance that they like.