Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Failing at Being Green

In January when I was making New Year's Resolutions, one thing I really wanted to do was try to incorporate a few things into my family's daily life to make us more green. One of the big things I chose was switching to a more concentrated, earth friendly laundry detergent.

I am totally anal about laundry. Don't hit me, but it is my favorite chore to do around the house. I love taking warm clothes out of the dryer, folding them carefully, and putting the loads away. I feel so accomplished when a load is done! I am BIG on the smell of detergent and fabric softener, it has to be noticeable in the clothes days later. I am anal too about my kids smelling good. Okay, so I admit to having a bit of an OCD problem.

Since almost all of my kids clothes also get passed through three boys, I am a stickler about stain removal. I get as many as I can with a pretreater, but with boys, I am ALWAYS missing something. And whoever thought it was a good idea to require the students at Evan's school to wear white polos as part of their uniform was obviously a man who was not in charge of the laundry. I want a detergent that will step in and erase the spots I've missed.

I have tried three different detergents this year that are concentrated and touted as earth friendly. including Melaleuca's MelaPower, All small and mighty, and Seventh Generation. I even tried a friend's reciped for a homemade mix. All of them brought terrible results.

I guess my kids play in the dirt all day long, because the washcloths were the first to bite the dust. I watched in horror as they all turned a sickly gray after trying to tackle the dirt of three boys in our daily battle to keep the kids clean and presentable. Next, I started to notice set in stains-the BANE of my existence!!! Then, the whites load, which includes that most stubborn of male garments, the undershirt, turned gray, even with bleach. What is it about mens armpits that can cause such stains?!!!

So this weekend, I gave up. I threw out undershirts and washcloths damaged beyond repair, and with a relish, I went to the store and bought my favorite liquid Tide, Bounce dryer sheets, and Downy fabric softener (yes, I use both dryer sheets AND liquid softener! Like I said- OCD.) I threw in a load, and when it came out of the dryer, I will admit to you I stood there and sniffed for 5 whole minutes. My clothes and my family smell and look great again.

So, I guess I am a failure at green laundry. Have any of you ever tried this? Any success?


Chris said...

I am forced into being green to an extent. My hubby works in recycling for the city and is single handedly saving the planet. We recycle and conserve energy and us more environmentally freindly products. I'm not complaining because I know we need to save our planet. But my hubby is like a Going Green Nazi!! LOL!

C said...

Could you send the laundry bug over to me, because I love all the things you love about laundry, except the actual doing it! I am glad I clicked over here from the give away...I will be adding you to my blog roll!!!

sectheatre said...

My compromise was to use regular laundry detergent, but only about half as much as it calls for and to add baking soda to each load. This works well for me but I am definitally NOT anal about my laundry. I'll let it go weeks until I am desperate before I do it. :)

Christy M. said...

Okay, I am right there with you. I'm a laundry freak. I also tried to go green with my laundry items, as I'd done it with all my other household cleans. I really didn't like the results either. I tried Method and Seventh Generation detergents. SG was just downright stinky. Method wasn't too bad. The fabric softeners is what did me in.

I'm like you, I want my clothes to be soft AND smell good days later. The green softeners left my clothes smelling wierd and feeling heavy, like weighed down.

I also have an issue with my whites graying, but it has more to do with my well water. Ugh. I just try to avoid buying white clothes!

Have you tried the new Tide with the 7 signs of clean? Can't remember the exact name, but I LOVE IT! Also, Febreeze has a laundry refresher liquid that is wonderful.

Sheesh, I think I could do a whole post on this subject. Come to think of it, I already have. A LONG time ago. I'll have to go back and dig it up!

Way to go for trying to go green! Maybe someone from the green companies will read your blog and improve the product offerings!

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