Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The consequences of using homemade laundry detergent

In 2008, I waxed poetic about making my own laundry detergent and loving the smell of line-dried clothes. That first batch of homemade laundry detergent has lasted me over eight months, a good bargain in my book.

When I first returned to using my dryer rather than my clothesline after winter weather struck, I reluctantly added a dryer sheet when tumble drying my clothing. Why was I so hesitant? Because when I used nearly scentless laundry detergent, vinegar in the rinse cycle and outdoor drying, I had become used to the low-key natural scent of clothing dried outdoors. The artificial scent saturated in the dryer sheet not only softened my clothing, but to my sensitive nose, added lots of offensive chemical odor.

I started to routinely add add vinegar to the wash cycle to help rinse away detergent and soften my clothing when dried outdoors. I had also read that vinegar would continue to soften clothing when a dryer was used. In fact, I discovered that vinegar alone does work well. There is no need for a dryer sheet. Bonus points for no additional chemical softeners and artificial scents that I can no longer tolerate. My clothing smells clean and nothing else.

Who know I would no longer tolerate artificial scents in dryer sheets when I started with my homemade detergent and outdoor drying?

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