I’ve been wanting to make our home/lives (since we aren’t always at home) chemical free for a long time – not an easy transition. I’ve slowly started replacing things that really matter like our soaps, lotions, air fresheners, and other things that we put on our skin or breathe into our lungs with natural and organic options. I just figure that there are enough chemicals in places we have no control (not just in public, but in things like our carpets and couches even) that I would like to do my best to keep my family safe and healthy in the ways that are in my control.
Like I said, it’s not an easy transition. It’s just that I was in the habit of buying and using certain products that made switching feel like it could wait, or often I would just forget… and then of course, once you’ve got it you have to use it, right? But then came sweet Ezra. I think that I’ve mentioned before that Ezra has really sensitive skin. This was the push I needed to just go full force. This felt overwhelming at first to have to consider everything I was putting on Ezra or on myself – for instance, I had to rewash EVERYTHING he might possibly come in contact with and put it all through an extra rinse cycle (I never knew laundry could take over my life so fast). One problem with all this was that I had to stop using fabric softener – and there is nothing worse than a crispy blanket (among other things). So I looked up natural options for fabric softeners.
There were actually a lot less options than I thought I would find. The two most common were baking soda and vinegar – sometimes used together, and sometimes not… I tried them in various ratios but was never happy. I HATED the vinegar. Not only can I smell even the slightest amount in my clothes, but it left the clothes feeling lifeless and stripped. I did however like the baking soda, but it just didn’t seem to be enough. So I looked around some more and noticed that people were using conditioner (yes, hair conditioner) in their fabric softener concoctions. I didn’t love this idea because it didn’t really fit into my “chemical free” goal, but I thought that if I could find a gentle conditioner made from natural and organic products that maybe it could work.
Luck would have it (I didn’t feel that lucky at first) that I bought a conditioner that left my hair looking limp and oily when I used it – as if I had just washed my hair in hand lotion. However, it was an organic natural hair care product and I had picked the large pump container of it too. So the experiment began… and I still haven’t come up with an exact recipe, but the result: SOFT TOWELS AND BLANKETS!!! I couldn’t be any happier.
So here’s what I do:
- Add 1 cup baking soda to the basin at rinse cycle
- Dissolve 3-5 pumps conditioner in water (depending on what you are washing – I like my towels, socks, and blankets really soft so I add more) then pour directly into basin.
Now I use a top load old school washer, so if you try this and have something fancy, you will have to adapt this as needed. In the end it’s just as simple as can be, and makes for worry free soft, gently scented results that haven’t seemed to bother Ezra yet, hooray!