detoxing the laundry room















With all the detoxing I've been doing around the house, I thought I'd share some photos of our laundry room.  It's a pretty tiny room that has a stackable washer and dryer, a sink and toilet. It is where we keep extra towels, sheets, light bulbs and house tools.  But things have a way of getting clutterd so I cleared everything off the shelves, washed them and did some touch up painting.  I washed the old ticking stripe curtains that used to cover the bottom shelves.  They shrunk 5 inches so I just cut a white sheet in half and stitched up the hem and created new curtains.  I  put my
Sal Suds and vinegar on an old ironstone platter.  I also brought a little glamour to the room and filled a  silver bowl with my clothespins and added a print from the office, spray painted an old beat up basket navy blue and added a blue and white ginger jar.   So far I really love the Sal Suds for laundry (I use about a tablespoon per load)  and the vinegar helps with softness.  Actually I'm loving all Dr. Bronner's products.  How's your detoxing going?

41 comments

  1. It's just perfect. Janet, you are such an inspiration to me, regarding so many things, thank you for sharing your life with us!

    /bea

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  2. Janet,
    Thank you again for sharing Sal Suds. I bought some immediately after your last post. New to me even though I use other DB products. I especially love the pop of green from the box in your sweet laundry room!

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  3. Gosh I love your home and blog...if there was a Janet Fan Club I would want to be a member!
    I have yet to find the Sal Suds but the other Dr. B products are easy to find.

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  4. Janet,
    I happened to be in Target the other day looking for travel size things for my son who was leaving on a graduation cruise. I noticed in the small size offerings a little bottle with an orange liquid and picked it up and realized it was the Dr Bronner's you had been talking about. I bought it to try as a face soap. (I usually use Bare Minerals products or the Simple line of face care). I used it with my clairsonic and my face was very refreshingly clean (and smelled really good). After a few days of use I thought one day in the shower, I wonder if I can use this on my hair? and so I did. I have thrown out all my products. I am using just the Dr Bronner's and a bottle of Redkin conditioner for my hair. But I just went to Dr Bronner's site and discovered they make a hair creme, so i will be looking for that to buy also. I love how clean my hair feels, without being stripped by using the Dr Bronner's and I love love love the convenience of having one product for all things in the shower. I have cut my showing time from about 25 minutes to about 15 minutes, easily. I have long, thick, curly hair that has always needed daily washing because of being oily and while the Dr Bronner's hasn't necessarily let me go longer between washing's, it has made a difference in my hair's texture and I feel so much better knowing that it's all natural, chemical free, but does a nice job of cleaning! I want to get my two boys off the use of commercial antiperspirants/deodorants, but have not found anything that they will use, since most of the natural ones we've tried are ineffective. Do you have any recommendations for a chemical free deodorant or does it just not exist?

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    1. I recently started using Schmidt's deodorant and it works remarkably well. It actually works better than my Dove stick deodorant. I use the kind that comes in a pot, but you can also buy it in stick form. I was worried it would be irritating because it contains baking soda, but it is not. And it doesn't leave marks on my clothes. Schmidt's works much better than any other "natural" brand I've tried before.

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  5. Hi there Janet, I just wanted to remind people not to use vinegar on stone such as marble, granite, and such (or hardwoods). It will damage it. Take a look at the Good Housekeeping website for this info. Otherwise I love my vinegar. I use it to clean so much in the house!

    Basically, all I use for household cleaning is vinegar, baking soda, soap and water, and highly diluted bleach. I know, I know, bleach is not exactly green, but I don't know of anything that gets rid of mold in the shower. I've tried everything for it. That mold is the bane of my life!

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    1. Try peroxide for mold and mildew. Dilute 1:1 with water, unless it's a really bad case, then use full strength, spray it on, let it sit and wipe off with a damp rag or paper towel. Um, if you're spraying a high part of your shower, cover your head with a cap so you don't give yourself accidental highlights like I did the first time I tried it as I had sprayed and went outside to weed while the peroxide worked. :-(

      Also, peroxide works wonders for anyone who has an outdoor water fountain to remove algae and other yuck - just pour in some peroxide and let the fountain bubble away, the peroxide converts to oxygen in about 24 hours. I used to use a commercial product but worried about my dogs (who think it's their drinking fountain) and the birds who dip in for a drink and a bath so I researched other options. I've been using it for 3 years and it works beautifully.

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  6. Janet,

    It's the most beautiful and orderly laundry room I have ever seen in my life. Also, we have been using Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps for body wash a few years now per your recommendation. Like it or not, Janet, you are a great salesperson! We purchase most of our products from Dr. Bronner's website(except for the 32 oz. Lavender Magic Soap at Food Lion -Walgreens carries it too, but it is $6 higher per bottle - no kidding). After we nearly run out of our "poisonous" laundry and dishwashing detergents, I plan to buy Sal Suds. I have not tried Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap on my hair because I noticed that it leaves a film (aka soap scum) on the shower curtain and the faucets. It is hard to get that film off (any recommendations?). Dr. Bronner's Lavender scent is just Heavenly and it actually smells like the plant!

    I concur with Hostess of the Humble Bungalow - I would also join the Janet Fan Club!
    (I still have some of the Mrs. Meyers Red Clover dish soap left - see what I mean?)

    Sincerely,
    Debra from SENC

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  7. Hello Janet. Love this and your prior post, so thank you. For my laundering I use Seventh Generation liquid laundry soap in my HE washer. For most items, I run them for a short time in the dryer and then air dry the rest of the way. I have been using wool dryer balls for almost two years now, and love them. I use 9 of them at a time and periodically wash them in hot water in mesh bags (three per bag; along with some hand towels for balance), then I just toss them in the dryer on high until the hand towels are dry.

    I wish we could use Dr. Bronner's products, but they actually irritate our skin if you can believe it. So, I use a combination of Seventh Generation and homemade cleaning products. For skincare, it's still a journey to find what works best, and on a very limited budget (so experimenting a lot is out of the question). So far, it's Aquafour ointment to moisturize my dry skin, but I'm not a fan of its vaseline-like texture. My hair stylist is looking into a vegan brand of shampoo and conditioner that has worked for other clients of hers.

    Cheers to everyone, Ardith

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  8. Janet,
    I use soap nuts from NaturOli or Molly Suds for laundry. I recently bought Puracy stain remover to replace Shout. I'm happy with all of these. Jan K

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  9. Janet, I really need you to come to my house and sort out my life!!

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    1. Ha! My thoughts EXACTLY!

      Janet, seems like you could make a mint being a professional home organizer. That's not a leap. I can't even find a good one in my area and, man, do they charge a lot for their services! Many, many people need help with downsizing. The baby boomers are a huge segment of the population and they're all at, or nearing retirement age, needing to downsize in a lot of cases and for a variety of reasons.

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  10. Janet, Such a beautiful laundry room...but none of us would expect anything less in your gorgeous cottage. Love the print you moved from the office. I think this is exactly one that I purchased last week (Olive Tree)in a set of four from the (now closed) Bombay Company. I actually have them propped up in our den trying to decide if I should hang them - two on each side - of a newly purchased arch top mirror that is made of recycled wood. Decisions...decisions. Our home is so traditional so adding a mirror of recycled wood is a step off the beaten path for me. Wish me luck in making this decision. The mirror is 34 x 54 and the prints are 9 x 12 so want to make sure two on each side works.
    Again...your home is beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Mary R (Birmingham, AL)

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  11. NOT GOOD!I need to locate where they sell the STUFF..........will DO NOW PROMISE!!!!

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  12. You are such an inspiration to me in so many ways. Thank you for your posts.

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  13. Going slow...but determined.

    Your laundry room is so, so nice. I always loved having a sink in the laundry room and I haven't had that in a home for a long time. And my washer/dryer is currently in the car garage, which I also don't like. But, as I count my blessings, I'm lucky to have my own laundry space at all. I have to remember the too-many years I lived in apartment buildings where I had to put in the coins to do a laundry load and share the equipment with other tenants. A gal-pal of mine in the same building had all of her panties and washable lingerie stolen once (creepy, huh!), so you had to kind of hover to watch over your stuff and there was never anywhere to sit in those small laundry rooms...not to mention that I always lived upstairs, lugging a heavy basket of clothes up and down them, and the laundry rooms were generally a bit of a distance for me to walk as it was. At the end of the day, I'd feel like my arms had been stretched to their limits. So...to finally, in my later 30s, have my own washing machine at my own house...well, it's nothing to ever take for granted. I'm lucky.

    In our last house, which was a small cottage like yours, we turned a entry/coat closet (cedar-lined) into a half-bath because, otherwise, we only had the one bathroom (one bath sink; one toilet). I hated to take out that cedar-lined closet...it even had a window in it, which we kept...because, as you know, cottages from the 19th century and early 20th century, at least in the U.S., just have NO closet space! In the closets we DID have, we had to double hang everything (staggered the poles, high and low, for hangers). Due to the nature of my husband's work, a lot of which is outdoors, he has big-heavy jackets that take up SO much space. I've dreamed of a mud room but with where we are now, you open the front door and you're in the living room...

    Anyway, thanks for reminding us to rethink our spaces; spruce things up!

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    1. Vicki,

      My washer and dryer are in the garage too if that makes you feel any better! Years ago when I was in an upstairs condo my washing machine hose burst while I was at work. I didn't know at the time that the hoses are supposed to be replaced every 3 years. There was a shut off valve on the washer and of course in my rush to get to work I forgot to turn it off that morning. Luckily my homeowner's policy covered the damage...$20,000 plus...mostly to the unit below. The renter in that unit also slipped on her wet floor and broke her arm. What a nightmare. Guess there are some advantages to having the laundry area in the garage!

      Linda

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    2. Yes, that's what my husband has been telling me (the advantage over inconvenience of location!). In my last house, the little cottage, we didn't even have a drain in the floor for the washing machine; the plumber/contractor said it couldn't be done. One thing they did advise to get was this type of hose which is burst-proof...a silvery-metal thing...which we of course then bought...but I did always worry about it; the force of water can be tremendous. When we renovated that cottage, the little kitchen/eating annex/extension (built ten years after the house was constructed in the 1920s) had to go so that I could have inside laundry (wasn't possible to put the laundry equipment in the detached garage). It was a small cottage, so if I'd had a broken hose with no floor drain, within seconds my hardwood floors in the rest of the house, which had been painstakingly sanded and re-stained (expensive!), would have been ruined. Water is SO damaging...wow, $20,000+(!)...but I always wonder, too, about lingering mold after clean-up, which I'm deathly allergic to (asthma).

      I'm now living in my childhood mid-century-era home (unglam, modest tract-style; nothing custom although it's built like a tank) with attached garage, and I do remember my dad drilling it into me, even when I was a teen, to always turn off the faucets/hoses at the wall after I was done with laundry in the garage. We had a neighbor who had a burst hose (happened while they were away) and it really severely damaged the garage/kitchen (common) wall although the floor of the garage was indestructible concrete/cement.

      I had a friend who walked into her house and water was dripping from her second floor bathroom into her family room downstairs. The ceiling almost caved in. I feel fortunate I've never had anything like that...or your nightmare!...happen!

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    3. All very true!! I was concerned about mold but if I remember correctly they put something into the drywall...some type of mold preventative? I was also worried about the floor caving in!

      The worst of it was when the renter below me called the HOA to ask where the water shut off was they wouldn't tell her!! By the time it got shut off gallons and gallons had gushed from that hose. Also to make matters worse, State Farm was trying to tell me I only had a renters policy and I wasn't covered! I had converted to a homeowner's after I bought the condo, even remember driving down to their office to do it. My husband (boyfriend at the time) showed up to find me wading through an inch or so of water crying & saying "I'm screwed"!! Luckily my agent found where the mistake was made and in the end covered almost everything. I was also worried the renter downstairs was going to sue me for the broken arm but she didn't.

      We do not even have our ice maker in our fridge hooked up. (another homeowner in the condo complex had a flood and it was from her ice maker) It's funny because visitors will be at our house and go to use it and nothing comes out. Then I have to tell them why. We use the old fashioned ice trays.

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    4. Off topic, Janet...but on the subject of old houses not having closets...just read something from that home improvement guy who's on TV a lot, Bob Vila, and this is what he has to say..."Many older homes didn’t have closets because tax rates were based on the number of doors you had. Storage for clothes and linens was outsourced to wardrobes, trunks, and chests." I never knew this. Someone had told me once that closets weren't needed because people just didn't have so many clothes as we do today.

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    5. wow vicki, i never knew that either. as far as we can tell this house had no closets in it. somewhere down the line they walled in a small hallway and made one and then in 1930 they added the addition of our bedroom which included a closet. i bet that the tax and the fact that working people prob did have less clothing. thanks for sharing.

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  14. your laundry is so pretty!

    Love how you are so keen to simplify things.

    xx

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  15. Your laundry room looks so ... clean! :-) Love the clothes pins in the silver bowl. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  16. Your laundry room looks like somewhere rich people would pay to spend a week detoxing in. It is a beautiufl, clean space, I love it.
    Not sure if you can track it down but if you can I think you'd love a book by Jane Cumberbatch called "Pure Style Living". Her style and advice echoes yours and I can flick through it for hours. xxx

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  17. Janet, your laundry looks so lovely and fresh. Not sure if we can get Dr Bronner here in Australia, will,have to check it out.

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    1. yes its available - in david jones, or just recently in melbourne in a tiny shop next door to restaurant - up in smoke in footscray.

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  18. Looks fab and I love the palm beach green box. I'm still in the tox phase of my detox.

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  19. Thank you for this post! And you published it on my birthday. It was a big medicare birthday💟 Love love your cottage and how you never let things get "stale" You are such an inspiration to me!

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  20. Thanks to yo, I'm now a Dr. Bronner fan! I'm loving their products! You have inspired me to do a detox of my home as well. Thank you for the posts! BTW,I've restarted my blog, www.happyhydrangea.wordpress.com. I hope you don't mind, but I linked to your blog in a recent post.

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  21. Hi Janet, my detoxing is going slow but I'm determined. I did buy some Seventh Generation dish soap at Target the other day. Smells so much better than Palmolive or Dawn. I couldn't stand the scents anymore...too strong and God knows what was in it.

    I also have some Seventh Generation fabric softener although it's a little thick...I've been diluting it with water in the dispenser. (I never put softener in with my towels or sheets though so I think I'm going to try the white vinegar. Maybe I'll end up ditching the fabric softener all together. I have been using All Free & Clear for laundry detergent for years but I'm going to try something more natural next time.

    I'm really glad that you did this little series on detoxing...I needed a kick in the butt. :)

    Linda
    xo

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    1. Seventh Generation is what I've been using for a few years. Not cheap. I only, in the old days, could find it at Target but now Von's is carrying it and I've also seen it at CVS - the laundry detergent, 'free and clear' (and I also use their dish detergent at the kitchen sink). I'm not near a Target but the last few times I've been there and wanted to stock up on their dishwasher powder, I couldn't find it. I haven't checked yet to see if Seventh Generation in general is okay to use.

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    2. Hi Vicki,

      I did see Seventh Generation on a list of the best natural products. There were quite a few of their products listed. I did get both the dish soap and fabric softener at Target. Maybe it varies from store to store?

      That is good that CVS and Vons have it too. Thanks for the info!

      Linda

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  22. All things good and pure here... And your simple small space beauty shows off the best in small wonderful spaces.
    I smell the fresh clean air here.
    I two have an indoor laundry room part way over leaping my front room space and kitchen, and hid behind shutter doors and always organic in nature....wanting to keep the air controlled in my home at its best level of toxic free.

    Really Janet your home is living my dream.
    Xx
    Beautiful wall shelving vignettes

    Dore

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  23. Hi Janet, has anyone mentioned the actress who plays "Louisa" on Doc Martin
    looks like your twin? You're both lovely.
    Kathleen in Oregon

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    1. thank you kathleen. i'd never heard of her and so looked her up. you are WAY too kind.:) xo

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  24. Janet, you seem to have quite a few readers from Australia, who are wondering if Dr. Bronners products are available over here, so to answer them as I did before, yes they are availbale in David Jones stores, also a small side shop to a restaurant in Footscray Melbourne - called Up in Smoke, we were there over the weekend and I saw a whole shelf dedicated to different dr bronners products.

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  25. Your blog entries are like therapy for me! Simple, pure, clean goodness!! And very inspirational too! It is so good for my soul. Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us!

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  26. I've been wanting to try Sal Suds. Local health food store doesn't carry it. Reading your recent posts convinced me to order it direct. BTW, I used a handful of plain old baking soda in my HE washer on a medium load of laundry and it did a very good job. That surprised me. It didn't get out the sun-block residue, (nothing does), but everything else came out great.

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  27. Thanks for the tip on Sal Suds. I sent away for it and it is fantastic. Great for cleaning walls. It doesn't make me sneeze or choke up. (I have asthma.) I did a load of laundry with it and it worked great. Everything came out odor-free which often isn't the case with detergents. I did use Shout on some of the more difficult spots, but next time, I think I'll just dilute the Sal Suds 50/50 and use that for stains and stinky spots. Thanks! Dee

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kindness is never out of style.

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