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Laundry: Back to the Basics

I used to ignore clothing tags that said “hand wash only,” figuring if it couldn’t survive the gentle cycle in the washing machine, it wasn’t worth the extra fuss. Recently the tables have turned, and instead of only doing laundry in the washer, my arms are elbow deep in a tub of water – hand washing clothes, no matter what the tag says.

Since our bodies aren’t ridding themselves of toxins as efficiently as they should be, I’ve been doing my best to minimize exposure to toxins in the first place. Hand washing our clothing and bedding has successfully lowered the frequency and duration of hives and anaphylactic reactions.

Detergents build up inside washing machines, and when our clothes run through a machine, they pick up the residue of the detergents used in previous loads. Even our favorite dye-free, scent-free, hypoallergenic detergent caused rashes on a couple of the kids, so I’ve resorted to gentler options like vinegar and baking soda.

I go through a simple process with each load, usually soaking the clothing in water and vinegar for a few hours or overnight, then agitating, scrubbing out any stubborn stains with a goat’s milk soap bar, a quick soak with EC3 Laundry Additive, then rinsing and wringing out the excess water.

Here’s a tip that speeds up drying time when clothes are needed stat!

Hand washing laundry is not something I normally see in a list of “healthy living” choices, but our list isn’t looking very normal these days. For right now, it’s up there with priorities like eating organic foods, having mold-free housing, and using natural body products.

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