Doing the Laundry

by Donna Schoenkopf

For a long time I have searched for an earth-friendly laundry detergent.  I have dug through article after article on the Internet looking for something that would not hurt the grass and plants that I watered with the greywater from my washing machine.  Everything either had some kind of salt or citric acid in it or some other ingredient that was harmful to green living things. 

My grass turned a yellowish green, then orange.  It became stunted.  That poisonous water even shriveled the leaves of my redbud tree. 

This went on for a couple of years.  I kept on searching.  (I AM a pitbull sometimes.)

Finally, FINALLY, I can say that I have found a solution. 

I have stopped using any kind of detergent, bleach, bluing at all, and now I wash with plain water!

It took three times through the washer on succeeding wash days to completely wash the soap out of my clothing and sheets.  Three times!  My clear flexible vinyl drain hose lets me see exactly what is coming out of my washer.  It has shown me not only the suds, but also the collection of some kind of muck (mildew?) that formed inside of that hose.

And here is the kicker:  My clothes and sheets have NEVER been so white and soft and sweet.  There are still stains from clay smears, but even bleach never took those out.  And if there is a grease smear on a favorite blouse, I put the smallest drop of stain release on it and that solves the problem.

Laundry soap.  Another corporate lie. 



Hi, Donna. Just taking a break from my various photo/writing projects and ended up reading your detergent story. Think we will try w/o this week. See how it goes. We too use the grey water in the garden and even the rinse water smelled strongly of chlorine which must be in the detergent. The best way to get rid of stains seems to be attack by hand before putting in machine . Label detergent is in Spanish so need to work on translation to check what is actually in the stuff.
I have a whole new story brewing from your US experience. Stay tuned about forced sustainable living in Costa Rica. There are a lot of things we have learned we don’t really need down here. And unless you have lots of money, you had better learn how to handle it.

2011-11-12 by Jeanita Ives

I literally jumped out of my chair and dnaecd after reading this!

2011-11-30 by Bryson

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