Soap I like.

I have had a few discussions with various people about environmentally friendly soaps and detergents that actually work. If you have hard water like I do, undoubtedly you have tried one or two ‘eco’ cleaners and wondered where the clean part was.

After a bit of trial and error, I am happy to report that I have found detergent that actually cleans in hard water. (You people with soft water are lucky and can use almost any detergent without trouble. You also have softer, easy to manage hair. Just go sit down and be quiet, we don’t want to hear any comments from you.) I will link to the vitacost.com website for these because they have lower prices than most places and anyone can order from them, but your average healthfood store and maybe even grocery store will carry them too.

Laundry-
I have a front-loading LG Tromm machine. It uses an amazingly small amount of water and gets clothes much cleaner than my old washer, especially when I use the steam option. I use Earth Friendly Products Ultra Ecos Liquid Laundry Detergent, Free and Clear Unscented. (Also available in varieties scented with flowers, not perfumes.) I often add half a scoop of Earth Friendly Products Oxo-Brite, Color-Safe Whitener & Brightener, 57.6-Ounces (3.6 LB.) (Pack of 2)
“>Oxo Brite, also by Earth Friendly Products to keep the stains at bay. Finally, I fill the fabric softener cup with vinegar to help rinse away any remaining detergent residue. It’s the crunchy soap that makes your clothes stiff and itchy, not the cotton. Petroleum based ‘softeners’ are not necessary.

The dryer-
Dryer sheets are evil. They are made of petroleum based chemicals and are loaded with perfumes that almost everyone is allergic to whether they realize it or not. Since I use vinegar in my rinse water my clothes do not come out all soapy. The majority of my clothes are natural fibers such as cotton, bamboo or hemp, so I do not need to worry about static cling. To help the clothes dry faster and to give them some extra softness, I use dryer balls. You can get these almost anywhere now. However, I have read that most of the ones you see at the stores have vinyl in them, which you are avoiding if you are a reader of Teresa’s Tips. Instead, you can use wool balls (search on Etsy for some cute ones) or a couple of clean tennis balls.

I think that’s enough for now, I’ll move on to the kitchen later in the week.

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