3

votes

Hack conventional laundry detergents?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 01, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I've been using home made laundry detergent scented with essential oils for about two years now, and I've gotten pretty used to the faint, natural, pleasant scents.

I bought a scarf from a local knitter that vends at a few craft events in town this week, and it reeks of conventional detergent; Tide I think.

The weird thing is... I CAN'T STOP smelling it. Literally every time I walk into my room I get it out and smell it again. The first time I wore it I couldn't keep it away from my nose constantly. I find myself thinking about it at odd times. I'm obviously planning on rewashing it with my detergent ASAP, but this got me thinking:

Is there something in these detergents that makes the scent addictive, akin to the way that artificial flavorings are designed to encourage repeat usage? Are scents designed by the same labs?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 02, 2012
at 10:25 AM

Haven't tried them on DIRTY clothes, but maybe just use more?

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 01, 2012
at 10:51 PM

I've tried soap nuts, but my kids clothes get DIRTY and it didn't work to get them clean.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 01, 2012
at 03:17 PM

Oh speaking of Old Spice! The blue body wash they sell smell exactly like those swans you hang from the rim of the toilet (do they still sell those?!?!).

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on January 01, 2012
at 02:45 PM

I agree that there is definitely an olfactory + memory connection. Old Spice and insta grandpa memories anyone? I now use soap nuts but for bedding, I throw a soft bag of plain old dried lavender in the dryer. The scent is gone in a day but that first night? Most definitely I have extra good sleeps. No memory connection, just.. nice. If it's been a long time since you've smelled commercial soaps it could just be something cozy and fascinating for now.

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8 Answers

4
9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 01, 2012
at 10:18 AM

Of course they are designed to be attractive. There's been quite a bit of research on this.

Addictive is probably a bit too strong of a word to use in this context, thought. Most likely you have some emotional connection to the smell from your past - scents create the strongest sense-tied bonds.

Oh, and I use soap nuts instead of detergents. No, that's a real thing, honest, natural nuts which can be used as soap.

C4134ed417dbc0a6b79ab2cee32632d3

(1811)

on January 01, 2012
at 10:51 PM

I've tried soap nuts, but my kids clothes get DIRTY and it didn't work to get them clean.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 02, 2012
at 10:25 AM

Haven't tried them on DIRTY clothes, but maybe just use more?

2
19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on January 01, 2012
at 11:16 AM

I got a migraine after my boyfriend got home from his parents, bringing me presents. There were perfumed things, you know, that "new thing" smell, which I hadn't noticed were lacking from my home! There were some things I just had to trash because it just smelled so strong to me. It wasn't even anything fancy, just kitchen stuff, clothes, accessories...

But anyway. I don't know about laundry detergent, but I can tell you:

Many lemon and orange flavorings are used in toilet cleaning products. I can't take a sip of Arnold Palmer Arizona iced tea because as soon as I smell it... I think of toilets.

I don't remember exactly, but a lip balm I tried once tasted like a honey scented soap I use (no real honey, just scent).

Chocolate in ice cream is hardly chocolate. It just tastes like metal to me.

Regarding laundry detergent, I use Arm and Hammer dye-free scent-free, but only use half the recommended amount, then add a little vinegar. No, the clothes do not smell like vinegar, but vinegar is good for disinfecting and removing bad smells.

When I run out of vinegar sometimes I add baking soda instead.

About your scarf: if I were you I would wash without detergent a few times. Don't want to mix scents with the nasty one, do you? That could get freaky!

About scent/flavor addiction: Yes, I think it can be addictive. Flavors in particular are much stronger than they'd be found in nature, so with only a few bites, you have much more tasty reward than you would with a natural food! Why eat natural foods when artificial food gives you much more tasty reward?

That's why so many people have to adjust their tastebuds when they start the Paleo way of eating. They're not used to the lack of flavorings.

1
Medium avatar

(3029)

on January 01, 2012
at 12:31 PM

I'm staying at a friend's house, and whenever someone uses the air freshener in the bathroom, I feel like heading for the hills. STINKY

There are oh so many stinks I'm happy to live without.

0
Df7cf48be85c91165f9f39f1fe462e41

on January 08, 2012
at 03:18 AM

I'm a sucker for Original Tide used in combination with the original blue Snuggle liquid fabric softener. I know it's because that's what my mom used when I was growing up. For me, that scent combo instantly relaxes me. I love doing laundry because that scent just carries me to a happy place. I know, it's bad for the environment and far from anything near Paleo, but it's one thing I just can't seem to quit.

0
8ddab1674c2e7bd11cb022c7f0dbff64

on January 08, 2012
at 02:35 AM

We can't stand the scents left by detergents anymore either. We use soap nuts for all our laundry. We once washed our comforter in a laundromat, but the detergent residue in the machine gave it a chemical perfumey stink so bad that we couldn't use it anymore.

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on January 01, 2012
at 11:49 PM

i physically become ill in the cleaning isle at any store. because i cant use deodorants i shave my arm pits and shower as often as needed. some time 5 times a day. most days its twice to three times.i cant go near burning candles either. its a hydrocarbon thing. some flowers make me sick also. most women because of scented stuff are off limits. oh my wife complies with my handicap so i still enjoy women.

0
4a7929c2aa05bf11349d9e55cb542d47

on January 01, 2012
at 10:01 PM

We use Planet unscented liquid. I've found it to be much more effective than many of the other "green" detergents, and it is apparently less toxic (ingredients, amount of residue, etc).

0
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32566)

on January 01, 2012
at 04:00 PM

We wash our clothes with laundry balls or Seventh Generation detergent (no scent). Have done for over 20 years now

My mom sent a gorgeous wool sweater she'd knitted & washed in conventional detergent. The smell disgusts me. No addiction here, lol!

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