The mission

The purpose of this blog is to report on my experiences with various parenting-related issues. Reviews of advice, crafts, and whatever else comes my way. (Originally this was meant to be a Glass Explorer project, but I was unable to procure funding... in case you're wondering about the title. Pending retail release..................)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Multi-use household supplies

My son has eczema. It is stressful and annoying, no matter how you try to relax there's a special sort of compulsion that arises when your kid's skin isn't flawless.

Step one: breathe. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post. It is important because you need to be objective.

Step two: try to isolate the problem. This can be tricky, because some times these skin problems will just come and go and before you know it you think your kid has a dairy allergy when it was just dry skin or maybe the detergent your mother used on his clothes at her house or whatever.

Ok, so, in my son's case, seems to be related to his clothes in some way. Did not fully realize this right away because we use a "free and clear" detergent and never had unusual problems with diaper rashes or anything. There was improvement when we changed soaps on the Dr's recommendation but we figured we were stuck.

What changed is when we started potty training. Once my son realized he could take his clothes off, that's what he did. All the time. He's still doing it. As soon as we get home, he tears his clothes off.

And guess what? His eczema disappeared. He stopped saying "it's itchy."

Now, one thing to understand about eczema. When it's there. It is there. Its not like an allergy where you rub something wherever on the skin and it flares up. It's always there, hiding, in whatever area its in. It can eventually go away, but a lot of the time its just there, waiting for something to irritate it.

So, the question is, is it the quality of the fabric, detergent residue, or what? One shirt I put on him, he took off 10 minutes later and he already had a flareup. Some take more time. I suspect it has to do with continuous contact with clothes with detergent residue. I say this because laying against my chest or sleeping on his sheets doesn't cause a problem. And, its easier to test.

When I accidentally put my cellphone in the wash a few weeks ago I noticed there was a substantial residue on it. So, first step, rinse away the residue. I'll be doing this with vinegar. 

Step 2, change and reduce detergent.
I decides to use one of numerous online recipes. In this case:
1 bar grated ivory soap
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda

Then I may or may not use a vinegar rinse. Since I'm going to try to use only a tablespoon of the mix, it may not be necessary but I haven't used home made detergent yet, so we will see how it goes!

If it works, perhaps my son will not be such a nudist all the time. I can only hope!

And there will be a lot of clothes rewashing to do...

BONUS: the Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda is perfect for stripping flesh and fat from skulls. I didn't have any when I botched my deer skull so I ruined it and ended up resorting to cutting off the cap instead. So even if this new soap doesn't work out, all the ingredients have another use! You can of course also use the borax, soap, and washing soda for other cleaning uses... but Google what happens when you put ivory soap in the microwave for a minute or so! Some fun kid activities, there..!

Update: nailed the cause down to an essential oil I used in a home made air freshener. It would be on the furniture and my son would come in contact with it then. It would get on his clothes and continue to irritate.

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