How to clean laundry without detergent (yes, it’s possible!)

SmrtKlean Laund BallSounds crazy, I know… but I’m not kidding.  You can actually skip the detergent in every load of laundry and STILL get your laundry clean.  Imagine what that means… okay, it means a whole bunch of things, but I’ll get to the point…

I’ve been using the SmartKlean Laundry Ball and it’s really amazing! The ball is made of recyclable thermoplastic and filled with little ceramic beads, each comprising a combination of earth minerals.  When they come in contact with water, they form oxygenated water that goes to work cleaning and deodorizing your laundry! I’m literally amazed at how well it works…

Imagine… NO detergent! So, there is (1) NO environmental impact, (2) NO potential health impact or skin sensitivity, (3) NO soaps or chemicals to shorten the life of your clothing & laundry, (4) NO need for a rinse cycle (water & energy savings!), (5) NO need for hot or even warm water (choose cold!), (6) NO extra packaging & bottles to recycle or (gasp!) throw away… impressive list of qualities, right?

I was really skeptical, but it’s really worked for me.  Sure, some of the tougher stains still require a little extra attention but that goes without saying, no matter what method of laundry cleaning you choose.  It still has plenty of use left in it tSmrtKlean logooo… in fact, one SmartKlean Laundry Ball = 365 loads of laundry! I think I might need to get a second one though… it works best on medium-sized loads (limited to about 18 lbs.) and I am notorious for overloading the washer!

I just think it’s an impressive product that literally eliminates some of the chemical and environmental concerns we have about the massive amounts of laundry we do every year. (If I could only teach the SmartKlean Laundry Ball to also dry, fold and hang my laundry, I’d probably buy seven of them!)

Check them out… maybe you’ll be willing to ditch your detergent too!

A little “Laundry Room Love” for method (+ giveaway too!)

mthd laund(This giveaway is now closed for entries.)

I made a confession quite some time ago declaring that I’m a “method head”… yes, I am clearly addicted to method products.  And I’ve talked about them again, and again, aaaaand again.

I just happen to love pure products that are committed to a healthy environment and a safe “us”.  Since I started using their products they just get better and better.  They’re constantly improving them and I happen to like that too.

I’ve been using their laundry detergent forever (okay, not really, but for quite a long time). Now they’re super concentrated, so just one bottle tackles 50 loads of laundry, and the pump makes sure you don’t overuse.  Add to that the fact that the ingredients are 95% natural and renewable, in a recyclable bottle, and oh yea… you guessed it… the love and addiction continues.

Now they’re making a “Laundry Room Love” music video where YOU can be one of their stars!  Just visit their Facebook page to get the details and learn how to submit your award-winning performance.  As an extra reward, you’ll get a $2 off coupon at the end of the how-to video.  Savings… nice!mthd clean

They’re also hosting a little giveaway here at Mom Goes Green.  Would you like to see why I love method and score a bottle of your own?  Well, just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winners will be randomly selected on April 22!

Now, join me in some “Laundry Room Love”… grab your video camera, perform your heart out, submit your entry, become a star, earn a coupon and enter to win my giveaway!  Phew!… (and you wondered what you were going to do today)… get to lovin’!

Simple green tip…just “concentrate”!

Today I’m going to keep it nice and simple…

method detergentIf you want to “buy” greener, just “concentrate”… buy concentrated formulas of anything and everything, that is.  It helps to eliminate a lot of packaging waste, even if it happens to be recyclable.  As much as I hate math… it’s simple math.  Less volume = less packaging.

Another tip is to buy in bulk.  Sure, you’re buying a bigger package, but it’s still less packaging than what is needed for multiple smaller sized packages versus the one larger size!

Final tip… avoid excess packaging.  Over-wrapping and over-packaging results in excess waste, recyclable or not.

So “concentrate”, “go big” and “keep it as skimpy as possible”… wow, this post has gone someplace else entirely…

Nasty, nasty chemical cleaners: the top 10 criminals

Undoubtedly, any one of us could look in a cupboard and under the sink and find bottles and cans of household cleaners that contain the harshest and most toxic of chemicals.  But do we really need them?

Don’t get me wrong… I want my house clean and germ-free too, but what if the means to that end requires us to spray, scrub and wash surfaces that we touch… that our kids touch countless times every day… with harsh chemicals? Kinda sounds like we’re defeating our purpose!

Knowing the worst household offenders is the best place to start making this change.  So here is the condensed rap sheet on those “bottled criminals”:

  • Bleach – can cause irritation & burns, and edema or coma if ingested
  • Mold & Mildew Cleaners – contents include known carcinogens and chemicals that can cause fluid in the lungs, memory loss and shortness of breath
  • Oven Cleaners – can cause irritation & burns, and effect reflexes and tissue if ingested
  • Ammonia – damaging to eyes, respiratory tract and skin
  • Air Fresheners – commonly contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen
  • Dishwasher Detergent – contains highly concentrated/highly poisonous chlorine in a dry form
  • Laundry Products – contains elements that can cause liver damage and can irritate and/or burn skin, eyes, mucous membranes and the respiratory tract
  • Carpet & Upholstery Shampoo – contains a known carcinogen that damages the kidneys, liver and nervous system, plus irritants & burning contents
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaners – contents can damage kidneys and the liver, irritate skin and eyes, and cause edema or coma if ingested
  • Drain Cleaners – contains elements that can damage kidneys, liver & the digestive tract, and depress the nervous system

Are you scared yet?  I know I am! If you want more details and the actual chemical contents, click here, but I assure you, you won’t like what you read.  It convinced me that I really, really need to give up a bunch of these commercial cleaners!

So… what to do? I say the answer is in three little words: distilled white vinegar.  It has more uses than you can imagine — it’s safe, it’s environmental and it’s inexpensive.

We already know that it can clean a clogged drain like a champ, but did you also know it can: cut grease, brighten your laundry, remove mineral deposits and stains, clean tarnished metals, remove carpet stains, clean the floor, remove stains from clothing and (what we all want)… kill germs and sanitize! will give you 75 ways to use and formulate vinegar for everyday cleaning and 20 tips for using vinegar with your laundry!  I’m impressed!

The only other thing that comes to mind is “do they sell vinegar in barrels” (!?!).

Great “green-ifying” with the GoodGuide

Going green can be a long process…it certainly doesn’t happen overnight, in a week, or even a month, without massive changes and a lot of expense.

You can’t just take everything from the cupboards, cabinets and under the sink and toss them.  (Wouldn’t that be contradictory… just blobbing it all down the drain!) And sometimes it’s really difficult to leave behind those products that you’ve given your loyalty to for so long.  But don’t you just wonder… what have I pledged my allegiance to?

My dear husband (yes, he’s finally catching on… if I could just get him to turn off that perpetually running faucet!) told me about a brand new fab site he discovered called the GoodGuide.

They have researched, reviewed and rated over 61,000 (!) personal care and household chemical products for safety, health and green criteria, so they’re making it easy to find products that are right for you and good for the planet. Can you believe no one else has done this! You can “verify” manufacturer claims, “identify” the content and make a “green-ified” decision… Finally, a central resource for seeing what’s behind the label instead of trusting what the label tells us we need to know!

And they don’t just pan some products…they actually give you alternative choices. It’s really hard to explain how much great info they give you, but they even rate the companies that manufacturer the products – if their products are good, but their business practices stink, they let you know.  You really have to try it…

Isn’t it great to sometimes land on the ground floor of something new and cool.  Congratulations… you have landed!

(if you feel compelled, this is a video of the creator of GoodGuide talking about the site at TechCrunch50 earlier this month — Click here.)