Laundry tips

Countries with no dryers

Here only hotels and I guess 1% have dryers. The rest of us use air. I don’t know if I’m wrecking my washing machine using Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 pure castille soap but it’s all I could find and hey it’s safe for black clothes. I’ll never shop again + a friend doesn’t make clothes anymore so I’d rather my clothes would last. I don’t care about looks but my lycra started coming apart, maybe it’s the new machine or me. I’ve never used delicate setting, I sticked things in a pillowcase. Now I handwash lycra. The rest is fine the clothes don’t come out as when I used shikakai/soapnut alone or kind laundry detergent or even germ-buster (I thought it’s concentrated and more economical, never tried their laundry detergent). Without the latter 3 products, I feel the need for softening so as not to iron. Before I’d simply take off the line and hang in closet or fold and clothes don’t seem creased. I used baking soda only on whites but sheets (also ended up with a stain using soda alone in the machine, I might try lemon oil on that). Baking soda can be used as softener.

For extra soft clothing, add 1/2 cup vinegar (a natural fabric softener) to your washer with each load. Don’t worry, your clothes will not smell like vinegar once dry.

It defo won’t, I’ve pre-soaked in pure vinegar or used more than one cup for mold removal. No smell remained. I use essential oils to kill germs and try repel insects when it’s hanging, I doubt it smells of any once it’s dry. I wonder if softening shortens drying time? Mine seems longer compared to neighbours but overnight and a day suffices in Curepipe.

My old bedsheets smell similar to the time they were washed with Savon National, my grandma’s house didn’t have a stench like most modern houses do (scents from detergents), a kitchen smell lingered in the adjacent bedrooms, mixed with the smell of firewood and coconut oil. Be it sunlight and air and the cotton, I don’t know, but that’s what the bedsheets she embroidered still smell like. I take comfort in it. I’m allergic to softeners nowadays and to detergents too. I was forced to get standard laundry services overseas, even the animal-tested laundry detergents on their own are so toxic. I like to breathe when I sleep.

laundry on a line

Tip for no ironing: Hang stuff as pictured above, except hang t-shirts by the shoulders (or open shirts by collar fold) when very damp then flip if needed to avoid the line and pegs’ marks on the base.

Rest of the world

“I have had great success with removing static cling by putting a washcloth with a safety pin on each corner into the dryer with each load. I have used this for years and am still using the same washcloth and the same safety pins that I first started with. Give it a try. You will be amazed at your success with this tactic for eliminating static cling. I also put a few drops of lemon oil on the cloth for a fresh scent.” – Patti

Another commenter says the same. I didn’t even know there were ways to remove static, never seen anyone doing it at the laundromat overseas.


Humane products – are they all what they claim?

Lists are linked in first tabs/ pages above.

It should be is illegal for any product to wrongly claim “not tested on animals” on a label but it’s common practice. Aside from the cruelty to animals, cruel products are also often cruel to the planet.

Organisations like BWCSA certify products that want to be labelled as humane (and verifying their suppliers do not test either) and they do it free of charge. Animal-testing. on the other hand, is a business with vested interest that goes hand-in-hand with the development of new useless (e.g. with chemical fragrances, or fragrance-masking chemicals) and often harmful products. If you’re looking at products not listed here check the label for official bunny logos, not just any bunny; and the brand names would be listed on the sites too such as if you search by country of origin of the product here. If it is a local product, not that I’ve seen any, maybe suppliers won’t be local and I bet audits can be done from overseas.

I mentioned soapnuts/ reetha before, it’s also called quassia and here, shikakai and perhaps siaka (verlan? :D) is the same. It’s a plant whose fruit/nut sold as dandruff remedy. I’m going to get a tree and find a spot for it in someone else’s yard and find out eventually. I’ve seen branded shikakai products (Are their other ingredients tested on animals? They’re often strongly scented). The powder can easily be dissolved for shampoo and personal care, or as is in laundry – very little is needed e.g. 2 nuts for a load can be reused. People who have land available suck and make false promises. After all, we’re in (pro-) colonial Africa.


The BWCSA approved products aside from BUAV’s list in case any shop has begun to stock them. Sadly (quite like BUAV in the case of Marks&Spencer) BWCSA does not support BDS which is the biggest consumer-action since Apartheid because we supporters recognise that it is an Apartheid by the state of Israel. Since Woolworths supports the state of Israel economically, its products should be boycotted. BWCSA has a long-standing partnership with Woolworths, I used to only shop there or with small businesses/artisans. It is extremely hard for me to be housebound and my only mental references are Woolworths products. I should be happy Woolworths Home/clothing is popping up everywhere in my homeland but I boycotted them as long as BDS encouraged that as a tactic.

Businesses are not half as faithful as NGOs are towards them. PicknPay here would not stock BWCSA-approved South African products! In Mauritian PicknPays (3 stores, of the South African chain) all South African brands I was looking for seemed to have been replaced with animal-tested products from France and Australia, products I’ve never seen in SA. I wrote to one local PicknPay and until many months later, the manager didn’t get back to me… eventually in 2015 they closed down.

La Vie Claire sucks since ownership changed (2015/2016). Just as well no one contacted me for the letter action I proposed on this blog before.

Do PLEASE lemme know if people sell home-made products locally. I think one would need an insect-free kitchen/ space which is also mold-free then heat and humidity would decrease shelf life. Unfortunately it means privilege and air-conditioning.

If you’re wondering about the “fragrance-free”, multiple chemical sensitivity is an illness with reactions to fragrances and other chemicals. I have some chemical allergies, not fragrances a priori, but generally find fragrances unpleasant.

If you use cruelty-free in your home, I’m sure you’d like to find your hosts keep cruelty-free soap. If they don’t, you can tell them about it. Fragrance-free people don’t have that luxury, they may not be able to even enter a house with fragrances. Heck, even outside buildings, there may be tar, fertilisers and incense (which employs child labour, then these child workers will suffer from MCS for instance, and die of it). They can buy expensive masks if they get money to buy these online but what they or their friends use in their houses or on their skin has to be fragrance-free.