I’m a child of the 70’s and 80’s. It was the era of fast food becoming “a thing,” convenience foods, making a statement with name brands like “Guess” and “Esprit,” and ridiculous hair. What it was NOT was a time period when you really heard about cooking from scratch, making your own detergents, living off the land, organic or grass-fed anything, or why grains might not be the most healthy choice to be the foundation of the food pyramid.
That doesn’t mean I regret or would change anything about my childhood at all. It was pretty awesome. I played outside all day during the summers, bologna sandwiches and bagles with cream cheese were a food staple and margarine was king, and I wasn’t tethered to anyone with a cellphone.
My dad was a geek (Trust me when I say the force runs strong in my family.) so we had all the latest technology…Commodore 64, Atari, screeching and astonishingly slow (yet I thought it was so fast) internet service to send emails and dot matrix printers to print all of the infinitely important things, though we had no idea what that really was. We even got a Nintendo to shoot ducks and play Mario. That’s a lot like Maria, only I don’t add an a to the end of all my words. Life was grand.
As I’ve gotten older it has become clear that maybe some of the convenience lifestyle was not quite what we’d call “healthy” and I’ve started examining all of the things that fill my home. Learning that “low-fat” doesn’t necessarily equal healthy and grains are just a cheap way to fill a belly, and nitrates, preservatives and food coloring can do wicked things to a body, might have brought the occasional unwelcome revelation accompanied by a tear or two. I do love bread. And Cheetos. LOVE LOVE LOVE. They bring me pure unadulterated food joy!
While I feel that my family is much healthier for learning to adapt a more natural lifestyle, I’ve kept a lot of convenience items around. One of those being laundry detergent. Mostly because I’m just too lazy to make my own. And because I hate laundry. And I know it would save me money, but it just seems like a lot of work for laundry that won’t be quite as white or quite as fresh smelling. BUT I know it’s full of chemicals. And our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs whatever is put on it so very well.
I recently got the opportunity to try out a really cool, very crunchy yet at the same time technologically advanced, laundry detergent alternative called Crystal Wash. (They provided me with a free set of Crystal Wash balls in exchange for my unbiased review. In my opinion that means that they stand behind their product since they have no idea what I’m about to type.) Unfortunately there was some kind of mixup with their shipping department so I didn’t get these in time to try out the product before their Kickstarter campaign wrapped up, but the good news for you is that it was funded and they’ll have a new product coming out soon.
So here’s my take on their product.
First of all…the newly funded product will be a step up from mine as it will have a sensor that will talk to your phone and tell it when your washing machine is done and when to “recharge” the Crystal Wash balls. How cool is that? So mine don’t do that. I’m okay with that because of two things.
- I have a permanent location based reminder from Siri that goes off every time I pull into my driveway to put the laundry in the dryer. Because yes…soured laundry stinks. And it wastes money and water. And I’m totally forgetful like that.
- I also have a recurring reminder from Siri to pop up every two weeks to set the balls out on the porch to recharge.
How it works? It’s really cool y’all…
- You take the two balls out of the pretty box and throw them in with your load of laundry. First you shake them to hear all the little crystals because they make a cool clinky noise, though. If you have any clothes with tough stains like, you know, blueberries or grease or little boy grassy knees, you’ll want to pretreat those because this won’t cut it. But wouldn’t you do that anyway?
- Wash as usual. I add about a cup of vinegar to every load because it helps soften clothes and knock out tough odors. I have a 14 year old and an 11 year old and three cats and a husband who goes to the gym and mows the lawn and works on his project car in the garage. We have odors. I’m not sure how these will hold up to the summer odors, but so far I haven’t felt like they couldn’t handle what I give it.
- Then you have to remember to put your clothes in the dryer. And you’ll probably want to double check and make sure they dry all the way. (Not that I would ever fail to do those things. Heh.) And if you’re really on top of it, you’ll take them out AND fold them AND put them away. Or you’ll make your kids do it. Or if you’re like me, you’ll throw them in the basket and put the next load in the dryer and get around to folding it later. Maybe.
That is all. It’s that easy. Then once every two weeks you set them outside to soak up the sun. And maybe you’ll soak up some sun too. Because it just makes us happier and nicer people to be around when we get enough vitamin D. Thank you, Siri, for that reminder.
I’ve been using these Crystal Wash balls for a couple of weeks. Now I’ve got a standard washer that’s 16 years old, so keep that in mind. (They don’t make them like they used to. Also, I might have just spoken it’s death by bragging on it…ack!) It does work for all types of washers, though. I had a pair of yoga pants that got grease on them (I don’t even know how, y’all. This is my life. I’m a mess.) and that’s the only thing that didn’t come out of the wash looking as good as the Tide would have made it look. My laundry smells fresh and clean, but not the kind of fresh and clean that comes from perfumes. Just fresh and clean. It makes me happy.
The initial cost is higher ($49.99 for the set that is just like mine) but that lasts for 1,000 LOADS of laundry. If you do a load a day that will last you 2 1/2 years!!!! A bottle of tide will last you a month and it costs $15. And I KNOW I could make my own detergent. But I’m lazy. This let’s me be crunchy AND have the convenience I’m used to. Plus it appeals to my inner geek, which I’m embracing, y’all.
So if you want to save money and make a healthy choice for your family, I recommend this product. In fact, I’d give it a 5 star review. Thank you Crystal Wash!