Friday, July 2, 2010

My Detergent Dilemma

I've mentioned it before and I'll mention it again, the boy and I both have sensitive skin and eczema.  When I was young the dermatologist gave me all sorts of advice, including the fact that I should never use fabric softener or brand name laundry detergent.  Fabric softener, is pretty much all chemical and fragrance, which essentially just means its all irritants for lucky people like us.

The laundry detergent on the other hand seems a little odd right?  You'd think the big brand name laundry detergents would be the best, but its just not so.  Apparently you get what you pay for; more money equals more pretty smells which equals more irritants and a very itchy, uncomfortable body (at least for me).  Growing up, my Mom bought the cheapest, store brand laundry detergent she could find and we all suffered through crunchy natural smelling towels.  Personally, when I go somewhere where the towels and sheet smell all flowery or scented, it kind of grosses me out, I just like the smell of clean.

I like to use Nellie's All Natural Washing Soda, and let me tell you there's no room for fillers in Nellie's.  One tablespoon of washing soda does an entire load of laundry in my large front loading machine; it dissolves easily in cold water and leaves our clothes clean and residue free.  The package pictured to the left, is only slightly larger than a medium sized Ziploc Freezer bag and it will wash over 50 loads for only $10.  Nellie's is high efficiency compatible and great for traveling since you need so little and it dissolves so easily.  I took a Ziploc snack bag half full of Nellie's on my three week trip to Asia (with an 8 month old and all the mess that entails) and still came back with about half of it left.  Oh and did I mention the most important part?  With Nellie's there's no filler, no fragrance and no itching or irritation.  Yay Nellie's!

I've pretty much only used Nellie's on the boy's clothes and although he constantly itches from his eczema I'm confident that Nellie's is not the culprit.  In fact his skin has cleared up dramatically now that I've taken soy, as well as dairy out of his diet, but that's a story for another day.

The boy and I are on a little mini-vacation this week with my Mom, we're at a cabin a couple hours away from home and we've really been de-stressing and enjoying the chance to have one on one time for an entire week.  Well knowing that in a week the boy could go through tons of clothes, or barely any, I packed for somewhere in between with the inention of doing laundry while I was here.

But I forgot to bring the Nellie's.

Of course, we'd already started the laudry and let the machine fill up with water before we realized that we had no soap.  We had to use the soap at the cabin.  We had to use Tide.  We used a very scant amount in the hopes that we could get our clothes clean without any irritation and things seemed to be going fine.  The boy wore pants that had been washed without any concerns, so after bathtime, I lubed him up with his Aquaphor, dressed him in his freshly cleaned sleeper, read him his books and popped him into bed.

Around 11pm, he started to whine, when it started to elevate into crying, I went in to his room and he was barely awake.  A hand on his tummy and he drifted back to sleep, but as soon as I lifted my hand, the whining started again.  Then I started to notice that he was itching his head, and his neck, and his arms with some serious vigor.  I got him up and immediately felt that his body was covered in a fine sandpaper type rash.  Stupid Tide.  I changed him into his dirty sleeper from the night before, gave him some Benadryl and he drifted back to sleep.

Now I'm kicking myself for forgetting the Nellie's.  Its essentially irrelevant now since we're going home tomorrow, but I know better than to use brand name detergent and it annoys me that I took the chance.  I guess I was just in need of a gentle reminder.


  1. Thanks for being part of Baby Blogger Thursday. Congrats on making it through another week - see you next Thursday!
    Deals and reviews from a stay-at-home mother of 1

  2. And Thank you for stopping by!
    amber :)

  3. I use Vitamin A & D ointment instead of your Aquaphor. My mom was a Neonatal ICU nurse and they used it all the time on the premies. It really helps those eczema patches. Also, I've added a vitamin D3 gummy supplement to their daily multivitamin and that has helped considerably. We haven't had any eczema patches since then. I am vigilant with the A&D ointment. I use the Fougera brand (ask the pharmacist to order it for you--nonprescription but not always in stock). It is cheaper than the smelly version on the shelves. Anyway, works for us.


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