Rebecca's Reviews > Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living

Better Basics for the Home by Annie Berthold-Bond
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Mar 18, 2009

bookshelves: to-read

This is in my "to-read" shelf simply because I've been looking for easy ways to cut out having to buy lots of different--and expensive!--products. I just happened to be searching for homemade soaps & laundry detergent recipes online yesterday, so coming across this book was quite serendipitous! I'm eager to check out the recipes and suggestions. (After experiencing the joys that come with adding a little Borax to my toddler's potty-training clothes in the wash when I'm used to soaking them in half a bottle of Kids 'n Pets before washing them, I've realized that there really are easier, cheaper ways to do things that we've left behind thru the years.)

However, I must say I'm getting a little tired of hearing about this whole "EVIL CHEMICALS" thing, so I'm probably going to have to skip through many parts of this book. Just because something is a chemical doesn't mean it's dangerous, and just because it's natural doesn't mean it's not toxic. (I'm not so big on things that encourage mass hysteria, especially when the way it's discussed causes more problems than it solves.)

And, while I'm at it: 1) just because something happens to bother one person doesn't mean it's "dangerous" to everyone else, like lactose-intolerance, and 2) I must say that psychosomatic symptoms are much more real than any of us tend to think. . . . Does the phrase "placebo effect" sound familiar?
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Christi (new)

Christi How much borax do you add? DO you add it to your wash or presoak?

message 2: by Rebecca (last edited Mar 21, 2009 01:07PM) (new) - added it

Rebecca Um, for my HE washer, I used to just add a little over a TBSP (like 1 1/3 T?) to the regular wash. Lately, I've started running a rinse first and then adding the borax to the regular wash. Her clothes came out fine without the pre-rinse, but it just seemed nicer to rinse those urine-soaked towels, etc, before washing them.

I haven't had to deal with #2 messes w/ little H, so I don't have any personal experience with how much it helps there. . . . But for those occasional times when her wet clothes have ended up being left out for a day or so before finally making it into the laundry--and they smell horribly!!--it's been wonderful!

Since I'm not sure whether or not you have an HE washer, here's what the box says:

In Regular Wash - add 1/2 cup . . . to each wash load along with the recommended amount of detergent. For large capacity machines add 3/4 cup. For front-loading [non-HE:] machines use 1/2 c.

Pre-soaking Stains - Add one tablespoon . . . per gallon of water or 1/2 cup in washer. Pre-soak for at least 30 minutes before washing.

Baby clothes and cloth diapers. . . . Soak items in 1/2 cup of . . . Borax and warm water. Follow up with a hot or warm water wash, adding 1/2 cup of . . . Borax and warm water along with the recommended amount of your regular detergent.

Hope that helps! :)

message 3: by Amanda (new) - added it


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