my husband (currently at academy) just learned that he should be using antimicrobial laundry detergent on his uniform, especially if there is a chance anything that antimircrobial detergent would be necessary to eliminate is on it. But we have a front loader, which means high efficiency detergent... plus I couldn't figure out what detergent is anti-microbial. Anyways, I'd appreciate thoughts from the police wife blog family on how they wash the uniforms in their house to be safe without going overboard on chemicals (I had been trying to eliminate them from the home, but apparently I don't get to).Fortunately for us, HF's department has a laundry service. At the end of a shift they can put their uniforms into a bag with their identifying information attached. Sometime in the night, the magic laundry elves come and gather the uniforms and when the officer arrives for their next shift, hanging in front of their locker is a nicely pressed and cleaned uniform. Isn't that incredible? I think so. However, that doesn't mean I don't have my fair share of on the job nastiness to wash on ocassion. So I have often wondered about this myself.
Is it enough to wash the uniforms separately from everything else? Do you always run a hot water rinse cycle after you wash work related laundry? Is bleach a necessity in this line of work? Or are there other options? (Mamma Val and Rebecca I know you guys have touched on the laundry topic in posts and/or comments). It seems like I heard that vinegar is good for cleaning laundry. Or is it for a rinse cycle?
We are a sensitive skinned family so we have to use natural detergents. Tide seems to be everyone's favorite detergent for cleanliness. To tree huggers, Seventh Generation is quickly becoming the preferred eco-friendly brand. We have family and friends that have been making their own detergent. Not only is it made with minimal ingredients, it is also friendly to your wallet, being that you can make a large batch and use a couple of Tablespoons at a time for each load. You can also put it in an a cute glass jar or other container so it dresses up your laundry room/area. It is essentially Fels Naptha soap, Borax, and washing soda. You can also add essential oils (which supposedly have antimicrobial agents) for scent. Here is a list of 10 homemade laundry detergent recipes from Tipnut.
Another thing that I have been hearing more and more about that I actually would like to try is soap nuts. I found this explanation to be pretty cool (found here).
Soap nuts might be new on the market but they’ve have been a staple in South Asian communities for many centuries. The soap nut is the dried fruit of the Ritha (Sapindus mukorrosi) tree, a tropical, deciduous tree native to Asia. When dried soap nuts are exposed to water, they release saponins which act as a natural surfactant, reducing surface tension and allowing dirt and oils to detach from clothing.
Soap nuts are a product of nature and are completely pure, containing no additives, fragrances, or chemicals. They also have antimicrobial properties and are 100% biodegradable.
To use soap nuts, simply place 2-3 whole nuts in a re-usable cotton bag and add it to the washing machine. When used in cold water cycles, soap nuts can be reused 4-5 times, but only 2-3 times when used in warm water washes. Between washes, remove nuts from the cotton bag and let air dry.
These natural gems can be purchased at most health food stores and on many websites.Isn't that interesting? I thought so at least. I think buying these are pricier, but since you can reuse the nuts a few times, it might end up being cost effective.
Please share how you handle the police laundry at your home.
Thanks for your email Luralyn. Best wishes for you and your husband while he's in the academy!