A long time friend just asked us a really great question and we need your help offering her solutions that really work. So activate your Non-toxic Ninja superpowers and help us out, will you?
Do you know if there's anything a person can do to get the toxic fragrance chemicals out of clothing sooner? If Grandma washes something she brings over for the kids, I end up having to wash it 10 times and still the scent lingers. What can I use to get rid of the allergy-inducing smell quicker?
We've always tried various combinations of vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. But we'd love to know what magic formula have you found to get the job done without having to put the clothes through 10 wash cycles.
Here Are the Helpful Tips We've Heard from You
Kathy T. Says:
If the smell still lingers after that many washings and a vinegar rinse, it sounds like Grandma may be using dryer sheets or fabric softener, which are fat/wax-based, and fuse with the fibers of the clothes. She'll need to strip the oily/waxy residues. I know it isn't the most wholesome choice, but running the clothes in a hot cycle with 1 tbs (1tsp for HE) of dish soap, followed by a hot cycle with 1/2 cup vinegar, should do the trick. This is the method cloth diapering parents use to remove things like rash cream build-up. Hope it helps!
Betsy of Eco Novice Says:
We have this problem frequently with hand-me-down clothes. I buy a lot of kids clothes in thrift stores as well, and try to avoid the most heavily fragranced ones. But I have two SILs that use the whole arsenal of products on the clothes we get as hand-me-downs. I wash with RLR, which is what cloth diaper users use to strip their diapers of detergent. Then I might wash another time with just hot water until no suds (just like stripping diapers). Finally, I line dry FOREVER. Until I can't smell or barely smell the fragrance. Some fragrance I never really can remove completely : ( especially synthetics like a fleece jacket, so then I just have to make a judgment call about whether my kids will use it or not. I mention this process in a couple of posts HERE and HERE.