Natural Laundry: Clean Your Clothes Naturally and Efficiently

Find a more efficient, environmentally friendly way to wash your clothes.

| May/June 2000

Recently my family and I moved to an "ecovillage" co-housing community in Ithaca, New York. We were seeking relief from the maladies of modern American living: not enough time, lack of community, and an uncomfortable sense of overconsumption, to mention just a few complaints. One morning while I was physically and emotionally wrestling with the task of doing my family's laundry again, I was struck by a passage from Kathleen Norris' "Dakota, A Spiritual Geography" posted on the laundry-room bulletinboard:

"I get started early before six," Norris writes. "It promises to be a good laundry day: a steady wind but not too strong. Here (on the prairie) no rain is likely unless as so often happens our most beautiful summer days turn dark and violent in late afternoon, thunderstorms pelting us with hail or rain. I think of a friend who is dying, who saved up all of her laundry for my visit. 'I can't trust my husband with it,' she whispered conspiratorially. 'Men don't understand that clothes must be hung on a line.' She was right. Hanging up wet clothes gives me time alone under the sky to think, to grieve, and gathering the clean clothes in and smelling the sunlight on them is victory."

This powerful prose connects me to my feminine life and daily work. Her images of a clothesline on the prairie transported me back to my foremothers. Unlike spoiled me, these women, settlers on the Iowa prairie and the Colorado lowlands, did laundry as a matter of course. I'm sure they never thought to question whether it was their turn to do the laundry, or whether they had time to do it, given all the items on their agenda. These women were not allowed to vote, own property, earn an education or maintain a vocation, might have been writers, educators, policymakers, great thinkers. Their fruits were never brought to bear because the yoke of women's work deprived them of the opportunity to grow.

Check out the May/June 2000 issue of Natural Home for more about the natural laundry, including:

• Softening and folding

• Make your own laundry supplies



September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds

click me