Welcome to my third blogging experience...created in order to keep my other blogs free of my crazy rantings. This space will be dedicated to the day to day trials and tribulations of motherhood and life in general...as well as the experiences that come with trying to rediscover the many basics of life that have been lost to the constant hullabaloo and cookie cutter mentality that has become the 21st century.

I am a proud mama to our first born, Gracie, who waits for us in Heaven, and her very lively little sister, Jenna. I am a semi-crunchy mama who works full time outside of the home. If you come here to read, expect to find posts related to cloth diapering, breast feeding, homemade baby food, organics, cooking and recipes, day care & working outside the home, baby wearing, natural childbirth, general fitness, general nutrition, environmental topics, etc.

Feel free to ask questions, share valuable information that you might have or share your thoughts and/or opinions. Please do not come here to attack the things that I believe or the way I live. I will respect your opinions as long as you respect mine, even if it means agreeing to disagree!! :-)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Simple Laundry Secrets...Who Knew??

Jenna is 3 1/2 months old now, and for the last 5-6 weeks we have been using cloth diapers.  We have been using a combination of various pocket diapers and prefold diapers inside little gPants (using disposable/flushable gDiaper inserts if necessary when outside the house).  I am quickly becoming a fan of the pocket diapers (and the amusement that can be found in watching my husband try to figure out which insert 'matches up' with which diaper!), and I will very likely touch on specific diapers at some point down the road.

Since beginning our use of cloth diapers, some of my laundry habits have been transformed.  We have switched to a 'free and clear' detergent, which seems to be working well on all of our laundry.  Exit artificial perfumes and dyes!!  I have started using the soak/pre-wash cycle on my washer, which is something I have never used in the past.  I started doing this before washing each load of diapers, using cold water.  Later I started doing it before each load of whites.  I cannot believe what a difference this simple step can make.  It's obviously not a cure-all, but I have not had to use Biz or bleach on our regular laundry once in the last 5 weeks.  Yipee!!

I decided that I wanted to try to cut down on my use of dryer sheets, so I started doing a little bit of research.  I read about wool dryer balls, but I also found several sources that recommended use of 3-5 tennis balls in the dryer.  We have an overabundance of hand-me-down tennis balls that were intended for our dogs, so I figured I would try the tennis balls before investing money in wool balls.  Insert 4 tennis balls here.  While they didn't cut waaay down on the static, they did help a little bit.  I was also able to reduce my drying time by about 10 minutes when leaving the heat setting on high, or leave the time alone and reduce the heat setting to medium.  After doing a bit more reading, I found several sites that suggested using vinegar in a Dow.ny ball during the wash cycle.  I figured that it was worth a shot, and YEP, it works!  I use 1/3 cup of white distilled vinegar with each load of laundry (diapers NOT included); between the vinegar and the tennis balls, no static!!  :-)

It's all so simple...kind of makes me wonder sometimes how we ended up with all of these other products in the first place!!


Holly said...

I've heard about the vinegar reducing static. We have the dryer balls but they're getting pretty used up. I'd really like to try the wool ones.

Lori said...

We (I!) switched to free and clear detergent for our regular laundry when I started to wash things for Matthew as we got the nursery set up and haven't left! I bought Country Saver (have you heard of it or used it?) powder for the cloth diapers..they are all washed (several times :)) and dried and waiting...hoping the Country Saver lives up to what others say about it! Love tips--vinegar is one of my favorite 'cleaning' products!!

The Hackerts said...

Something else that works as a great spot stain remover that most people have around the house is powdered dishwasher detergent. Whenever Ben would have a massive blow-out I would make a past and put it over the stained parts and let it sit for 15-20 minutes and it would rinse right out under the faucet.