"Hey, this tennis ball smells like lemons!"
Yes, yes it does, son. It's just one part of my continuing quest to go more natural throughout my house. First stop: laundry room. I've read too many things about the dangerous chemicals in our laundry rooms to not try making my own detergent and fabric softener. After a little bit of research, here's what I've been doing:
I posted this last month - my giant batch of laundry detergent, made from washing soda, baking soda, Borax, and three bars of castille soap that I shredded in my food processor (no, thankfully, my food does not taste like soap). My sister-in-law tried the same recipe and we both came to the same conclusion: it seems to get things clean, but they don't necessarily smell clean. They don't smell bad - they just, well, don't smell. Maybe we're just used to things smelling a lot, which doesn't actually mean they're clean; they're just full of chemicals that smell. Today was the greatest test - I threw in a pair of socks that were quite black on the bottom. After being washed they weren't sparkling white, but they were significantly cleaner - as clean as I'd have expected them to be otherwise, given that I did nothing to help them out prior to washing, poor socks. (side note: they aren't actually my socks. I don't know whose they are. Rachel? Missing some socks?)
Next, fabric softener. I decided to go with tennis balls. Hence, a tennis ball that smells like lemons because I put lemon essential oil on it first (actually I could have sworn I used lavender, but it might be that Ethan couldn't tell the difference) to make it smell nice.
The first time I used one, I realized that my towels felt different. I was afraid they would be stiff and scratchy, but they are actually very soft. The difference is that they don't feel coated with some kind of film. This I count as a good thing. Our clothes are not as static free as they might be, but it does enough.
So far, I like that it's less expensive, easy and better for us. Next stop: cleaning supplies!