Monday, August 30, 2010

Allergies and Laundry


Along time ago, back when we were first learning about allergies, my son had a severe case of eczema. We went through many "remedies", homemade and store bought, before we figured out what worked for him and now our newest addition. Basically, we have found that removing as many allergens as, humanly, possible from their diet and environment, plus using mild soaps and detergents, and cutting back bathing to every other day(when possible) helps tremendously with their severely dry, and itchy, skin. Now there are many great allergy free products out there that I hear work wonderfully, but I have used very few of them. I found them expensive and several caused their eczema to get worse. A friend suggested a long time ago to switch to ivory soap. I did and haven't gone back since. I buy it by the caseload because not only do we all bathe with it but I make our laundry detergent out of it too. Sounds like a hassle doesn't it? That's what I thought until I started making it myself and realized it only takes about 1/2 an hour to make laundry detergent that lasts me about two months. Also, I can make it for pennies of what the store bought detergent costs! Bonus, huh? Wanna try it? Here's the recipe I use, it's from a great forum called Welltellme.com:

Stuff needed:
Water
2 bars of Ivory soap(I hear Dove is also very mild)
5 gallon bucket
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of WASHING Soda (not to be confused with baking soda!)
pot
cheese grater
large utensil to stir (BBQ utensils work great for this)

O.k. to get started take your two bars of soap and shred them with the cheese grater.
Next, place them in your pot and cover the pieces with water. Heat on low, stirring continuously, until ALL the soap is dissolved. This takes a while but be patient it is worth it!
When that is completed fill your 5 gallon bucket 3/4 full with HOT water, add Borax and Washing Soda, stir until dissolved.
Add your soap to the mix and stir, top off with additional water, if you have room!

It is ready to be used as is but will be watery. If you let it "set" up for about 24 hours it will gel up and it looks kind of cool. I use about 1/2 cup per load of laundry and it works great. You don't get the fresh, flowery, smell when you use this laundry soap, I kind of miss that but the fragrances used in the store bought detergents are a big part of the problem for us. Anyhoo, I hear white distilled vinegar makes a good rinse, but I haven't tried that. In place of dryer sheets I use dryer balls. These make your clothes and towels just as soft as the bottled or box softeners. I couldn't believe it when I tried them, but they really do work. You can get them at Wal-mart or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Enjoy!

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