The heat wave has moved on and my brain has finally awaked from its heat-induced coma. Man! that heat and humidity just sucked all the life out of me….but storms rumbled through last night bringing sweet relief, better attitudes and a beautiful day.
I've been meaning to get back to the discussion about my pursuit of healthier and greener laundry practices. So finally today I want to share a few more things I've found and I have a giveaway!!
One of the other products I tried from the Gaiam catalog, (which I love) was the Wonder Ball. The Wonder Ball claims that you can eliminate all laundry soap from your wash, which is good for the water supply, good for the environment. And by eliminating laundry soap, you obviously eliminate any chemicals or dyes that might be irritating to your skin. Apparently, there are some petrochemicals and minerals inside the ball that change the surface tension of the water in your machine that make the water "wetter" and allow it to penetrate your clothes fibers and wash more deeply.
Did I lose you on that one? I'm not sure I completely understand it myself.
But here's why I am liking the Wonder Ball: I have to confess that I have not been brave enough to try it sans all detergent. But the other claim it makes is that you can use it with less detergent. So when I ran out of Nellie's Nuggets and had to go back to regular detergent for awhile, I was able to use about one third of the detergent I normally would. This made everything seem less harsh and perfumey, it was still making my water less chemical-laden and it was saving me money. The wonder ball may seem a bit pricey, but it lasts 3 years or 2000 washes and if you can cut back on the amount of detergent you are using, it would save you money in the long run. So if Nellie's Nuggets or other green laundry detergents are out of your price range or inconvenient to come by, this might be a good option.
The other laundry product that I'm really excited about is for the dryer. When the temperatures start to warm, most of my laundry goes on the clothesline which is the ultimate in saving money, energy and avoiding sticky dryer sheets. But in the winter months (though I've been known to hang out laundry with my mittens on) and for those personal items that I don't like to hang on the laundry line–I am now in love with dryer balls.
Two of these little blue-spiked beauties go in with your laundry and work to separate and soften your laundry. This also allows more air to pass through your clothes and speeds up drying time. Once again, I was skeptical, but I was proven wrong. I definitely noticed a difference in length of time it took my clothes to dry. I would estimate they were drying about 25% faster–which ironically is what it claims to do. The other thing I like about the dryer balls is no more dryer sheets which make my clothes feel sticky and slimy–a difference I did not notice until I stopped using them. But what a difference it was! And I also like the fact that when I put just a few things in my dryer–not exactly "green", I know–the dryer balls help to keep things fluffed and moving around instead of all clumping together in the corner–and those few things are dried so quickly.
The dryer balls are inexpensive. And they will last two years–as long as they don't get lost in the same land where socks disappear to. And thankfully, they are made from non-toxic materials because my teething babe really enjoys chewing on those bumpy spikes. And before your children chuck them across the room to see how high they will bounce–they really don't bounce. Oh, and one more thing–they aren't noticeably noisy–at least not to me. And remember, my washer/dryer is in my kitchen, which is in my living room, which is in my bedroom. And I really don't notice it.
They sound good, don't they? Good! Because the lovely people at Nellie's All-Natural (thank you, jackie!) sent me a set to giveaway!! Yippee!
So leave a comment and let me know you're interested and I will draw a name at the end of the week. But do me a favor…would you mind telling me your secret to stain-removal? Do you have a product you love? Or a technique?–besides not letting the stained clothes sit in the laundry bin for a week. Guilty. I'd love to hear it. And if you don't have a secret, no big deal–I have no special secret either.
But did you see those strawberry stains???
********THE WINNER IS: MARYBETH! Send me an email with your address and I'll pop them in the mail!*****