Ever spill water on a new shirt or pants and watch it bead up instead of soak in? That’s because clothes are often treated with plasticizers to help prevent mold and hold the shape of the item in storage. These petrochemicals form a light coating on fabric that can be broken down or removed by proper washing. Clothes are also often treated with pesticides as well, to keep insects or other critters away while in transit or storage.
To neutralize and eliminate the chemicals you can can follow these steps:
- Fill a washing machine with water that is as hot as the fabric will allow.
- Add a quart of vinegar and put the clothes in.
- Run the washer a few minutes with the lid closed, then let the clothes soak overnight.
- Finish the cycle the next day. Refill with hot water and run a full cycle with plain water.
- Run one more time with unscented detergent or a natural laundry product. Rinse thoroughly.
- If you supect some chemicals remain, repeat the process. Once dried, water should not bead on the fabric.
Too much trouble? Not if you’re chemically sensitive or wanting to be proactive and protect yourself or your family from unnecessary chemical exposures!