Sometime ago I blogged about how we humans are poisoning the earth and gave some hints on what we can do to reduce our impact on that process. Since then I’ve been thinking about more ways to get away from the toxic “stuff” of everyday use. Today I want to share some things I’ve learned that might surprise you.
One of the most surprising things I learned is that we really don’t need detergent to wash our clothes. Yes, I know you are skeptical. So was I, but I just had to try out washing clothes detergent-free. It seems that it is the friction that has all the cleaning power, thus the agitation of the washer will do the job just fine. So, I’ve been washing our clothes without detergent for months now and they are whiter and brighter than ever! Something else I learned is that residual soap in the clothes dulls them a bit as well as breaks down the fibers over time. For those of you who MUST add something to the wash, try tossing in a few teaspoons of salt! Yes, salt is the natural whitener and brightener for clothing. If you didn’t know already, when you buy new clothing that you think might bleed or fade with a washing or two, soak the garment in heavily salted water for an hour before washing. Clothes will remain colorfast. (Actually, I knew that one from years ago!) If you want to soften your clothes, add a quarter cup of baking soda to the wash. Not only will garments be soft, they will smell fresh. My laundry room has a box of detergent that has barely been touched for months now. Our clothes are looking better than ever, and we are not pouring toxins or $$$ down the drain.
When I worked with a county health department teaching HIV/AIDS prevention, I learned from the “health guys” that friction is pretty much all you need to clean just about anything. In fact they (they know who they are, I just don’t know if they read this blog) said that we really only need to use a lot of friction and water when washing our hands. Heavy use of anti-bacterial soaps are making us more resistant to antibiotics which creates havoc with our bodies when we need medicines for healing. So, unless your hands are heavily soiled or greasy, use lots of friction under running water to get them clean. At the very least, switch to purer soaps such as Ivory.
Speaking of friction, I heard a dentist years ago who told us (I was in the audience) that we really didn’t need toothpaste when we brushed our teeth. Brush well with water, and that will remove the plaque and tartar. Toothpaste gives us a good taste, maybe helps our breath for a while, but otherwise is unnecessary. Hmmm. I’ll have to think about that one. For now I use something like Tom’s that is all natural. (I tried brushing with baking soda, but to be honest, I couldn’t handle it!)
That’s it for now. Since I began work and graduate school a few weeks ago, I’ve found it difficult to blog. I miss it. This is simple, not very well written, but has some good information. I have tons more where this came from! So, expect more like this in the future, and I urge you to consider ways you can reduce the poisons that are wreaking havoc with our planet!