This past week I did a couple of loads of laundry using my homemade detergent which I posted about here. On Mondays I usually wash the sheets and towels. Using the detergent, it was hard to tell if they came out clean, since to begin with, they didn't look dirty. When I washed our clothes, the same thing, they were not soiled, so it was hard to tell if there was any sort of real 'de-griming' going on. The real test I think came when I washed my Sweetie's gardening clothes. He had been cleaning out the pond filters, and had really gotten his jeans all muddied up and stinky. I usually only prewash whites, but in this case I did run his clothes through a prewash, using only 1 tablespoon of the detergent. For the actual wash cycle, I used two tablespoons, which really, was more than called for seeing as how it was only those two articles of clothing. But since the powder concoction does not produce suds, you almost feel tempted to use the amounts that are normally called for with regular detergents.
And therein lies my struggle. I can't wrap my brain around the idea that you have real 'washing' going on without the evidence of suds. That's what I've always done when I wash, is produce lots of suds! It would be fair to say that I tend to be heavy handed with the use of detergent. Which is not a good thing, I know. But then I am reminded that two of the products in the homemade mixture, the borax and washing soda, are actually detergent boosters. They are supposed to enhance the washing capabilities of commercial detergents. And that settled it for me, at least in my mind. Those ingredients do have cleansing properties. The Zote certainly doesn't hurt, and makes the wash have a slight citron scent.
What really convinced me though, was the fact that the gardening clothes came out of the washer sparkling clean! And even without any suds.
Therefore I will continue to use my homemade detergent. I will do so because I know it does do a good job at keeping clothes clean. And also because I have a huge, heavy box sitting out in my garage by the washing machine. I suppose I could use one tablespoon of my mix and one tablespoon of regular sudsy detergent, just to ease my mind. I would then have the best of both worlds, right? But that would defeat the purpose of trying to be more health conscious about the products I use in everyday life. It would thwart my effort to get away from the harmful chemicals which I know are in commercial detergents. And it would put me back in square one of spending mucho dinero on detergent. So those three reasons are enough to keep me on track, at least for now:
I. I have to use up what I have.
II. I want to use less toxic ingredients.
III. I would like to save some money.
Yes, I think I can wrap my brain around that.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8~