I have tried many experiments in my life as a young adult. I once tried to go no 'poo and a few weeks later - with a crusty, oily scalp - went crawling back to Tresemmé and never looked back. I tried to use non-toxic cleaning products and the only ones that have stuck are the Kirkland "environmentally friendly" dish soap I buy in bulk at Costco, the hand soap I make from castile soap using this method, and my beloved Method surface spray. Everything else I use involves bleach or some sort of scent or toxins that tree-huggers disapprove of. I TRIED. But I need POWER in my cleaning products. I need HOSPITAL clean around here (especially these days).
My philosophy on cleaning stuff is this: If it works the best, I will use it. If it doesn't work, I won't, even if it IS good for the environment, non-toxic, etc. For example? The dish soap and hand soap we now use in our house solved my wedding ring dermatitis issue. That's right! When I started using the castile soap and water formula to refill our foaming soap dispensers my finger TOTALLY cleared up and I've been able to wear my wedding rings around the clock for the last few months. SOLD.
So, I once ranted and raved about the virtues of Charlie's Laundry Soap. Remember that? We are about halfway through the tub I bought in September, which I think is pretty good. I do laundry for a family of four (one of whom works out 3-4 times a week, two of whom are MESSY CHILDREN), we have a friend living with us right now who does laundry here, and we often let friends do their laundry on our back porch laundry station. It's no wonder the large appliance repairman has to visit our house about twice a year, eh? I have appreciated not having to buy a $20 jug of Tide every week (and sometimes every other week) since September. But in the last month or so, particularly through the last two weeks of barf laundry I've been doing, I've been noticing that our clothes aren't getting as clean as I'd like (ahem HOSPITAL clean is my standard).
I concede that preschool clothes get trashed, and there's not really anything to get them 100% clean. And our washing machine is on it's last legs. But as my husband searched through his closet to find a pair of jeans to pack on his business trip the other day and couldn't tell which ones were clean or not (and that's partly his fault because he sometimes hangs dirty jeans back up instead of putting them in the dirty clothes basket), I paused. When I sniffed at a pair of my son's newly washed pants to discover they still smelled like the rancid poopie diapers he'd been having thanks to the stomach bug our family passed around last week, I recoiled (dudes I am pregnant, BAD SMELLS OFFEND ME). And when I plucked a pair of my own washed underpants out of my drawer post-shower yesterday to find that they were not clean? I WAS DONE. I washed a load of laundry THREE times yesterday as a test with Charlie's and checked the same soiled item each time to discover that it was STILL dirty. Sorry, Charlie. I marched myself immediately to the neighborhood grocery store and bought a box of these:
Tide PODS in spring meadow.
I re-washed the same load and MAGICALLY? It was all spanking clean. I don't know how they do it (blood of virgins? Deal with the devil? I honestly do not care but I'm pretty sure they're in touch with the same guys who invented Mr. Clean Magic Erasers). I'll admit, when I opened the lid of the washing machine the scent was pretty overpowering after months of using unscented detergent, but I couldn't deny how much cleaner our clothes were. After a few loads of wash the scent didn't bother me as much and I have to tell you, I really love these little premeasured packs. I was attracted to them because I also buy my favorite dishwasher detergent in premeasured packs because it helps me "portion control" ... I'm the type of person who squirts in way too much detergent pretty consistently and can burn through bottles of the liquid stuff quickly. This solved my problems with the dishwasher stuff and maybe this will help me stretch the laundry soap further.