Airing Our Dirty Laundry

Have you ever thought about how much a thick coating of Aquaphor on your skin multiple times a day would completely saturate and eventually destroy your clothes?

Yeah, probably not. But, wow. Aquaphor is fierce for skin moisturizing, but so hard on laundry!

It actually took me a while not to be sad about ruining Brenna’s clothes. I wouldn’t even want to use some of the “nicer” clothing items we’d been given. But I’m over it. Because she just looks so darn cute. And she uses clothes about 20 times longer than most kids since she grows so slowly, so we get our money’s worth!

It also helps that, through trial and error, I’ve figured out how to preserve her clothes much longer – and ours.

I’m definitely a laundry person…which works out well, because Brenna goes through laundry like crazy!

I think this was about 2.5 days. To save you from counting, there are 12 outfits there. Not pictured are her towels, socks, hats, etc!img_1657

Cotton is really our go-to material when it comes to our heavy Aquaphor use – and I’ve discovered that not only does Aquaphor just completely soak into materials like fleece and terrycloth, but it also eats away at elastic. So Brenna’s cute little leggings are ENORMOUS around the waistband now.

But now I feel like I have a winning game plan when it comes to laundry that has made a noticeable difference with her clothes and with our machine…

Step 1: Soak the clothes in hot water with powdered Oxi-Clean, preferably for a couple of hours. This really seems to break up and loosen the Aquaphor.cimg_8891

Step 2: Wash in hot water on “heavy cycle” with detergent AND anti-grease cleaner. I have had good luck with Stanley’s Original Degreaser, but I currently use Dawn dishwashing detergent most of the time. I also do a medium-sized load but run it as a full load.cimg_8899

Step 3: Be amazed at the grease.

The inside top ring of our washer after a Brenna load…laundrygrease

Step 4: Dry as usual. I don’t use a dryer sheet in Brenna’s laundry because it doesn’t really need it. (Someone on Facebook did point out that the heat from a dryer actually makes the Aquaphor/grease soak into the clothing even more…so hand-dry if there is something you want to save from this.)

Step 5: Clean your washer. I use paper towels to scrape off all of the grease that I can, both on the inside of the washer and inside the ring. It took me a while to figure out that the Aquaphor builds up in the ring…when I finally discovered it, it was COATED with thick Aquaphor and anything else that sticks to Aquaphor (ahem, cat hair. yuck.)

Step 6. Run an empty heavy load on full with hot water and a degreaser. I use Dawn dish detergent for this task.

And now your washer is good to go for the next non-greased load of laundry!

As for what washing machines work better, a top loader is definitely preferred over a front loader. But many ichthyosis families just use a cheap washer and replace it when it goes out.

I know for certain in our next house, when we move hopefully in a couple of years, we’d like to try to have one washer for Brenna and one washer for the rest of us, to keep our clothes separate from the Aquaphor-soaked clothes. I’m glad that we are figuring out exactly what we/Brenna need for our next house (hopefully our ‘forever home’), so we can house-hunt with her needs in mind (I’m looking at you, bathroom.)

Eventually, I do end up pitching most of Brenna’s sleepers and outfits that she wears on a daily basis because after months and months of use, they are done. But I’ve been able to save a decent amount of clothing that she only wears a handful of times now. I really try to make a concerted effort to save clothes that can be saved!

So if you’re ever in the situation where you have some greased up clothes…I hope this helps 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Airing Our Dirty Laundry

  • November 7, 2013 at 9:15 pm
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    Wow! That’s incredible to think about! I’m glad you’ve gotten it down to a science.. Just one of the many things no one really thinks about before you’re in the situation, I suppose!

  • November 7, 2013 at 2:15 pm
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    Wow! That’s incredible to think about! I’m glad you’ve gotten it down to a science.. Just one of the many things no one really thinks about before you’re in the situation, I suppose!

  • November 8, 2013 at 12:27 am
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    Hi Courtney!
    My daughter uses Rockin Green laundry detergent. There are several choices, but she uses Classic Rock Bare-Naked Babies. This can be purchased from Amazon. When I did laundry about a month ago for them, her hubby had a work out shirt that smelled a little manly….This stuff took it right out, after 2 washes in reg detergent didn’t…..Not sure if this would work or not, but maybe you could skip a step if it did. You are one smart mommy to figure all of this out!

  • November 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm
    Permalink

    Hi Courtney!
    My daughter uses Rockin Green laundry detergent. There are several choices, but she uses Classic Rock Bare-Naked Babies. This can be purchased from Amazon. When I did laundry about a month ago for them, her hubby had a work out shirt that smelled a little manly….This stuff took it right out, after 2 washes in reg detergent didn’t…..Not sure if this would work or not, but maybe you could skip a step if it did. You are one smart mommy to figure all of this out!

  • November 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm
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    I know you’re well into a great skincare routine with Brenna, and I think you do a wonderful job in caring for her. I was just curious as to have you ever considered or could you use Eucerin in keeping her skin moisturized? Eucerin is the maker of Aquaphor and I know that it (Eucerin) isn’t as sticky/greasy as Aquaphor.

  • November 15, 2013 at 11:47 am
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    I know you’re well into a great skincare routine with Brenna, and I think you do a wonderful job in caring for her. I was just curious as to have you ever considered or could you use Eucerin in keeping her skin moisturized? Eucerin is the maker of Aquaphor and I know that it (Eucerin) isn’t as sticky/greasy as Aquaphor.

  • May 11, 2016 at 7:17 pm
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    Hi Courtney,
    I’ve been reading your blogs for a while now! I was just wondering since your washing all this laundry are you in a city and have public septic? I couldn’t imagine what it would do to the pipes and septic system. Anyhow Brenna is a beautiful little girl thank you for opening my eyes to this condition as I had never known about it.

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