Thanks to a super mild winter, our school was lucky enough to get an extra day for Memorial Day weekend, so I was home this Tuesday, a pretty eventful day. It just happened to be Beardslee's "birthday" (ie the day he came into our lives) and we had our first tornado watch/warning of the year. Exciting stuff!
After chatting with my #1 go-to advice-giver (next to...y'know...Google), my mother, I felt comfortable not using Dreft on the baby clothes, blankies, etc that I've been lucky enough to receive (either as new gifts or as very welcome hand-me-downs). So, with only slight hesitation, I went forth making the stuff.
It was an easy process. I just mixed a cup of each of the following together in a French air-tight container (we bought from The Christmas Tree Shoppe for quite the deal!): Borax, washing soda (NOT BAKING SODA) and an "oxy" (or "oxi") detergent. After reading recipes and reviews online, this combination seemed successful, along with the very important direction of using just one or two tablespoons of the stuff in your cycle. (I'm also considering, if necessary, an extra rinse cycle; if only we had an Energy Star washer that had features that you could simply *set* to do such things. ;-) But, again, we're terribly lucky to have a hand-me-down washer and dryer, so beggars can't be choosers.) Oh, and while I read that white vinegar can be added in the rinse cycle, sheer laziness dictated that I'd throw a splash in with the wash. And, with all detergents, it's a better idea to let the machine run a bit so the detergent dissolves before adding clothes...just a lil' trick.
And, guess what! The loads came out fine!! I haven't finished all the baby stuff (still have all the clothes to do; that's a tad more daunting task given tag-snipping and the sheer amount of items), but with how the sheets and blankies and burp cloths and so on came out, I'm happy with it! Of course, I'll update y'all with how things continue, and how the baby's skin eventually reacts. (If they're anything like Daddy or Mommy, they may have sensitive skin...although I consider all baby skin to be "sensitive." :-))
By the way, I'm going to continue using my "usual" liquid detergent on our own clothes until we run out, but try to continue using this method for the baby items (and, yes, probably even cloth diapers...just don't tell the company I purchase from ;-)) and eventually switch over completely for all our laundry needs. Given how far a tablespoon or two go, I'd say that this is a very cost-effective washing method (although the "oxy" detergent ain't cheap-cheap...which is why I'd like to keep an eye out for it in different stores; we bought the smaller container for a couple bucks rather than a huge one, but given how much smaller the package is compared to the Borax and soda, it doesn't feel as cost-effective), and by throwing in some vinegar, things stay soft and fresh-smelling as well as uber-clean.
So, whatchya think? Am I crazy for not using Dreft? Do you think I should've done the Borax/shaved soap/washing soda boiled-into-a-liquid-method? Do you have a brand that you wouldn't give up for the world? Do share!