Sunday, April 17, 2011

Laundry Detergent

This week has been frustrating. On Wednesday I started breaking out in hives from an allergic reaction to the laundry detergent I had been using. I came to this conclusion first because I had similar symptoms around Christmas last year, and second because it was only in areas where my clothes touch not on my face or hands. The last time it happened it was due to the fragrance/dye in the soap, and a simple switch to free & clear kinds did the trick for awhile. This time I was a little frustrated because I've been using free & clear since then. So I tried a different brand, but it didn't get any better. I started using Benadryl lotion as well, but it would go away for a bit and come back again. I'm assuming that over the last year or so my skin has become sensitive to the chemicals in the soap. I looked in the store for organic, and found that it costs about $8 for a 24-32 load bottle. Being a poor college student I can't afford that. Then I went looking online for homemade recipes. Some were for liquid and others were for powder, but all used the same 3 simple ingredients. The recipe I chose is as follows:

Homemade Powder Laundry Detergent
1 bar of soap (I used Target brand Sensitive Skin)
1/2 cup Borax (I found it at Target)
1/2 cup Washing Soda (I found it at Ace Hardware)
Grate the soap with the fine grate into a bowl. Add the Borax and Washing Soda and mix well. Store in an air tight container. Use 1 Tbls for regular load, 2 Tbls for large or extra dirty load.

After a quick Google search where to buy borax and washing soda I headed to the store. I found all 3 items with no trouble. Right away I found an old bowl, fine cheese grater, measuring cup, and a storage container. I got to work grating the soap (which is the most work you do for this), added the other 2 ingredients, mixed it together, and started a load of wash. By this time I was desperate for clothing that wouldn't make me itchy! As of today it's only been 2 days of wearing clothes washed with my homemade laundry detergent, but the hives are going away. :) All that remains is light pink outlines where the spots used to be, but with Benadryl they're fading. I hope this never happens again. Although, I'm thankful that I could figure it out on my own, and not have to pay a doctor to try figure it out for me.

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