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I read somewhere about this anonymous guy working at a detergent producing company.
He said that we're overusing detergents when washing our clothes. That for most of our laundry pure water will do the trick more than well enough and only for the more heavily, I-kinda-rolled-in-the-mud-playing-with-the-dog dirtied clothes we will need some detergent and even then we need to use less than the box suggests.

I've started to reduce the amount of detergent I use but I haven't yet gone cold turkey.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? Will I be causing an epidemic soon or just save $ and the earth?
 

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I use less than the recommended amount but I personally wouldn't go detergent free. I like to wash most loads in cold water, I feel like it helps them last longer, and I don't think they would really get clean washing them in cold water alone. It would be interesting to see some research on this.
 

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I think you need something to remove the oils etc from clothes. I make my own though which is cheaper and no nasty chemicals.


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There are heaps of recipes online. This is the one I use but I can't remember where it came from.

1/2 cup bicarb soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1 cup washing soda
1/4 cup sea salt
1 cake of soap, finely grated.
20 drops, lemon essential oil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a large jar. Add a silica gel sachet to help keep it dry (if you have one. We live in the tropics and it didn't help much. The powder goes into a big lump but it's easy to scrape up.) Use a scant 1/4 cup per load.

I grate the soap with a microplane but I believe you can also use a heavy duty food processor if you have one.


ETA: here is where I got it from http://www.practicallyfunctional.com/homemade-borax-free-laundry-soap/

I don't use Dr Bronners soap as it is more than $6 a cake here. I use Sunlight soap which is $4 for a box of four cakes.

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Detergent is a chemical which helps to clean the clothes. But, if you don't want to use detergent, then i will suggest use natural chemical. Just search, You will find lots of information about this. Did you ever think what is the best smelling laundry detergent? You can find a good smelling laundry list their. Most of them are natural. So, worth to check that list. Because, It is not easy to make good quality detergent yourself.
 

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I heard or read somewhere the same thing and I believe it. I found online these magnets that supposedly assist the water in pulling out the dirt, grease and odors from the fibers. So you aren't supposed to need any detergent. But I have not gone cold turkey and ditched the detergent yet. I still put a tiny bit of detergent in the wash. I probably don't need to. I guess it's just all those years of doing it/conditioning that makes it hard to change. But I'm all for saving money on detergent and having fewer chemicals getting into our water supply and environment so I will eventually kick that habit.
 

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I use soda or mustard powder to wash dishes (and time to time for a cleaning house) but still use detergent for washing closes. I wish once I have an opportunity to reduce it at all0:)
 

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Even I did my research on this topic, but it is kind of hard not to use detergents at all. Agreed, that for most normal wash, plain water will do the trick, but for clothes that have rigid stains of are stenching badly because of sweat or any drink spilled on it, you have to rely on detergents. Simply using plain water will not work in this case.
Although we cannot completely eliminate the use of detergents from our day to day laundry, what we can do is change to oleochemical based detergents than petroleum based. The oleochemicals market makes use of oils and fats of plants and animals to manufacture detergents. Since these detergents make use of biodegradable substances like plants or animals fat, they are less harmful than petroleum based detergents. At the end of the day, the purpose of getting our laundry clean is also solved.
 
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