last july i gave up the dryer entirely for a 3-month span. every little baby sock was hung on the line or on a drying rack indoors if it happened to be raining (rare). now, with a near-toddler in my presence, it seems i barely have time to get the wet clothes from the washing machine into the dryer. yes, teeny babies are time-consuming, but those who crawl and get into everything bring a whole new level of hurriedness into the daily routine. how fast can i get this load into the wash? how fast can lucy get into the dog food?
anyway, here's how the laundry goes down at our house:
for diapers & wipes, we use 7th generation delicate care. i've never had any issues with this detergent. it gets the diapers very clean, and i don't notice buildup or anything like that. my only problem is that i've never seen it available locally, so i order through drugstore.com. which reminds me, i'm nearly out of cloth diaper detergent. (i did run out once, and ever since, i keep an 8 oz. mason jar tucked out of sight, just in case.)
for our clothes, we use ecos liquid detergent, which is available at costco. love everything about this eco-friendly soap (especially the essential oil fragrance), except it doesn't seem to get jeremy's work clothes all that clean sometimes.
for cloth rags and towels, we use tide. horrible, horrible tide, a holdover from our less eco-friendly days. thankfully the massive jug is almost empty--the super-strong smell that i used to love now gives me a headache.
bleach? i use it on very rare occasions, mostly when i'm doing an all-white load of items that are particularly stained. i really hate to use bleach (mainly because it is such a toxic substance and horrible for our waterways) but i have not found anything that removes set in stains. i tried my very best to love oxyclean for this purpose, but it was a no-go for the really set-in stains(though i do find it excellent at whitening yellowed vintage clothing). baking soda does help with some stains, as does setting clothing in the sun to dry. if anyone has another remedy for whiting clothes, lay it on me!
for wool and delicates, we use ecover delicate care. no complaints. love the scent.
in the dryer, we use wool dryer balls. we used to have 7, now we have about 3 or 4. where do the balls get to, i have no idea. with their use, i have noticed much less static cling on our clothes. this can also be achieved by not overdrying.
now here's what inspired this whole post (besides the fact that i am mad at myself for not hanging diapers on the line today even though it was 70 degrees & sunny): the back of my ecover bottle states the following: "no optical brighteners – research has shown that optical brighteners bind to the skin irreversibly."
i did a bit of googling around but couldn't find much research on this. the best info i could find was here which still doesn't have much information. personally, we're in the clear. none of our detergents have brightening agents. thank goodness--i don't need anything permanently bound to my skin. really, isn't the idea of it just kind of unsettling?