Ever since I was young and diagnosed with asthma (I also had eczema as a child), my Mum always used unscented powders. I've never done anything different, always using a Tesco unscented non bio powder and the cotton scented, gentle fabric conditioner with a few drops of a scented oil. However, I'm a bit fed up of the fact that my clothes really don't come out clean and more importantly that they just smell stale.
So I don't know whether to try one of the scented washing powders and how best to try them so I don't waste money. Any advice? Are there any sort of in-between ones that aren't too strong?
I had eczema in the last year too so that makes the decision even harder!
I would recommend that you NOT change to a fragranced product. If you have other fragrance free options, you might try those. You could end up paying for that experiment for a long long time while the eczema calms back down.
You can try adding vinegar or baking soda to your wash. That will help eliminate some odors and make your laundry smell a little better. Vinegar is a sanitizing agent and will kill odor causing bacteria. While baking soda is an odor absorber. You could also try adding an esential oil to your rinse water if there is one that won't cause a flare up of your eczema. That would add a little fragrance to freshen things up a bit.
To make your clothes look cleaner you can use a product called Oxy Clean here in the states. I don't know where you live or if it is available where ever you are. A color safe bleach should work as well.
If neither of those is an option, you might try pre-soaking your clothes in vinegar and baking soda. Just a thought. I have never tried that. I would disolve the baking soda in warm to hot water depending on the fabric, add the clothes, and then stir in the vinegar. I would have no idea about how much would be needed, but it should foam and the bubbles help remove some of the dirt build up.
Just some thoughts. I live in a fragrance free world because of asthma, and have been studying alternative cleaning options. I hope those ideas help.
I would let the tub fill with water and then add maybe a cup of baking soda or vinegar to the water. I would use white distilled vinegar. It is cheaper and colorless.
Retry the Oxy Clean. Put your cloths in a bucket or some other container. I have a wash tub I use. Then add a half load's worth of the Oxy Clean on top and fill with hot water and agitate a little to make sure the bubbles can get through all the clothes and that the Oxy Clean is all disolved. Dark colors would probably fade, but they would not be showing the stains as much. Then let the clothes soak for a day or two, long enough for the water to cool at a minimum. I have found that this helps dinginess and some odors. This has brought the brightness back to white T-shirts that had greyed significantly over time.
As far as freaky chemical reaction goes, that would depend on how sensitive you are. Personally, I would be wheezing and coughing in minutes (maybe seconds), but I am extremely sensitive to any odor. Only you can decide if it would be worth the risk for you to take. I don't know how sensitive your eczema or asthma is either.
A mild mixture of hydroden peroxide and water (about a ratio of 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 8 parts water - testing your math skills there, but it is better than giving English measures to someone who uses metric) sprayed on the sweat stains might help eliminate them. It will reduce lingering odors.
The vinegar might cause a chemical reaction with the metal of the tub, but I have never had a problem with that. I don't do it very often though. There shouldn't be any adverse reaction between the vinegar and your laundry detergent (powder).
Cultural issues too... we don't call any part of the machine a drawer here. Soooo, I really have no idea what you are talking about there. I do know that your machines are quite different from ours. I had a friend in college who lived in London for a while. He told me that the washer and driers are combined and that steam is used to dry.
Well ours is just a washer, no dryer and u have a drawer where you have 3 sections, one for powder prewash, one for powder for your wash and one for softener which then go into the main machine to wash your clothes. So I was going to put the vinegar and soda in with the powder in the drawer in the washing machine? Would that work? And how much of each?
And do you think, if I didn't do that and just mixed two washing powders together into the drawer that they would react in the washing machine?
You should put the vinegar in the water after the tub has filled. The baking soda can go in with your powders.
I am sure that you have at least seen science fair volcanoes. Baking soda and vinegar is what makes them react. So don't mix them together directly. Let the machine do that in the full tub to control the reaction.
You can't put the vinegar directly in the tub in our machines once it's filled unfortunately, unless I put the soda in with the powders and then open the drawer once it's gone into the wash and then put the vinegar in a minute later so it goes through into the wash?
And how much do I use?
I've also tried a wash with a bit of scented washing powder mixed int my normal powder so we'll see how that feels over the next few days!
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