Maison Belle Laundry Softness

maison-belle-laundry-softness

This is the stuff I’ve been using as laundry softener lately. I saw it on the shelf while I was pricing ingredients to make my own laundry detergents and softeners, and thought I’d give it a try, as a stepping stone away from the bottles of chemicals I’ve been buying.

Not that I find anything particularly wrong with many of those bigger brands, and I will happily go back to them if my experimentation (still in the very beginning stages) in homemade detergent ends up being an epic fail. It’s just that we have to be more careful than most about additives in the laundry, with my being allergic to the majority of them (once again, in that OMG-hives-HIVES sort of way). Hunting through the aisles for the unscented sensitive stuff gets to be a pain in the butt (especially since my favorite brand recently decided to change its line and I can’t seem to find their replacement for my old soap, so have had to switch to a more expensive option) and generally means I have to pay a premium, so it’s in our best interest to find a more affordable homemade option that lets me control what’s ending up on our skin.

But I digress. Especially since this isn’t about detergent, but softener. More often than not, I’m okay with just using a glug of white vinegar for softener if I happen to be out of the one brand (which luckily has not been discontinued yet. *fumes*) that I trust. But you see, this came in a cute bottle, claimed to have 100 washes worth, and used pretty-smelling essential oils. I’m such a sucker for a pretty package, we all know this. Luckily, this stuff actually ended up being effective, as well as decorative. Also, it wasn’t all that expensive, especially given how many loads it can be used on — probably because it’s a Scandinavian brand so we’re not having to deal with the import-inflated numbers that seem to be tacked on to all the prices I’m seeing online.

Right, so the actual stuff. Although it claims to be for 100 washes, I’ll probably end up using it up in about 85ish, because I just couldn’t be bothered to measure it out in tablespoons as the label suggested. Does anybody really do that? Anybody who’s done enough baking knows about how much a tablespoon is. I just eye how much I’m pouring, increasing or decreasing a bit depending on the load in question. Besides, using a measuring apparatus means one more loose item to keep track of in the laundry area, and one more used item to wash afterwards.

Does it work? Yeah, pretty much. Even though I’m using substantially less than I would with the other brand (which suggests a capful), it definitely makes a difference in the foldability of my dried clothes. And I line-dry in ye olde European tradition, so I’m quite familiar with the crunchiness of a badly washed, unsoftened shirt. The scent is more gentle than the artificial brands — those will usually smell like softener for a week after you’re done with them (which can be really annoying when you’re sneezing from it). Lightly scented works well for me, though, so there’s no complaint here. You get a whiff of cinnamon and jasmine (it’s reaaalllly nice) while you’re hanging up and folding, then don’t have to worry about being bombarded with it when you open the closet a couple of days later. Plus, the hubby doesn’t complain of smelling like flowers all the time.

There’s been some confused reviews online, it seems, due to the company reformulating this stuff in the not so distant past. It used to be yellowish and translucent with a stronger scent, now it’s milder and more environmentally friendly. Milder has always been better for me, so no complaints here. Anybody looking for a stronger scent, though, probably will have to use more or look for something with actual perfumes.

One final thing I found amusing was that quite a few sites were listing the ingredients as “15-30% Katjoniska tendisider”, which I’m guessing is from the original Danish version of “Kationiske tensider”, which just means cationic surfactants. Which says absolutely nothing about what’s in this stuff, really, since that just means it’s a softener. But whatever. Everything else is saying pure vegetable ingredients, so we’ll just go with that. The scent additives are listed as Cassia Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Eugenol, Linalool and Cinamal and all present in essential oils, so nothing amiss there.

Am I getting this again? Yeah, probably. It’s making me happy to finally use something pretty-scented for the laundry. I’ll still use regular white vinegar for the baby clothes and while I could do the same for ours with some additional essential oils, I don’t have the time or energy to work out correct ratios just now.

Edited 4/6/2015: Now linked in the VK Store!

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