Recycla has been having some laundry woes this spring, in the form of clothes that still smell bad even after they’ve been washed. Specifically, her running gear, her husband’s soccer and biking gear, and her kids’ athletic clothes. After discussing things with her running friends on Twitter, she decided to try some new laundry detergents to deal with the stinkle.
A few years ago, Recycla switched from conventional laundry detergents and experimented with different organic versions. Conventional brands contain harsh chemicals and strong scents that are bad for humans and the environment. And, in Recycla’s household, both she and one of her daughters have very sensitive skin and other allergies, so they have to be careful with what they use on their skin and their clothes.
Recycla’s favorite eco laundry detergents are Zum, Seventh Generation, and Method. Unfortunately, Recycla’s husband does not like these detergents and does not feel that they do a sufficient job of cleaning the family’s dirty clothes, sheets, and towels, so there has been a back-and-forth tug o’ war between husband and wife over laundry matters for the past few years. For a while, they compromised by using a conventional detergent that is scent- and dye-free; however, neither Recycla nor her husband has been totally satisfied with this one either. It’s the worst of both worlds — it’s not organic, nor does it do a great job with cleaning their laundry.
Getting back to the stinky athletic clothes, Recycla perused the laundry aisle at her local Target and decided to try a brand that was conventional, but at least was concentrated, so far less detergent was needed for each load. Unfortunately, the detergent contained a very strong perfume that lingered and could be smelled long after the clean laundry was folded and put away. Recycla wasn’t pleased with the scent, but at least her running clothes didn’t reek before she even went for a run.
Last weekend, both of Recycla’s daughters developed strange rashes on various parts of their bodies. One daughter, as mentioned before, has allergies, but since the other daughter also developed a rash, Recycla assumed that the girls had picked up some horrible disease. She called the pediatrician and took the girls in for an appointment. The doctor took one look at the girls and asked if they were using a new soap or lotion or laundry detergent. Yep, both girls are allergic to the new, heavily-perfumed laundry detergent. Recycla isn’t throwing the stuff out, but she’ll save it for when she washes cleaning rags and other things that won’t be touching her family’s skin.
So now Recycla is on the hunt for a new detergent — one that will actually clean and remove the smells left by running, biking, soccer, and other sports, while containing no strong perfumes or harsh chemicals. She honestly doesn’t know what laundry detergent will offer all of the above, so is hoping that her fellow Eco Warriors will have some suggestions.
Tell the Eco Women: What do you use to wash your clothes? Are you happy with this product?