Toxic Free Laundry
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the changes that are necessary to live more healthfully. Some changes are hard, some have big learning curves. Doing laundry sans the toxic tide, though, is a snap, and did I mention it’s loads and loads and loads less costly, per load? Well, it is.
In case you’re not aware, though, here are some of the problems caused by chemical filled laundry detergents…
- Asthma/Respiratory issues
- Skin Allergies/Irritations
- Developmental/Reproductive toxicity
- Environmental Toxins
- Contributes to excess waste and pollution since products are purchased in plastic
- It’s expensive
That information was easily found on the EWG (Environmental Working Group) website. I was curious to know if Tide had a better score since I personally feel like it’s considered more “top of the line” in the laundry world. Based on EWG’s rating system, it had zero products that had the top two scores(A & B). The majority of Tides products scored an F. That means every time you wear your freshly washed “spring fresh” scented clothes, you are placing all of the above mentioned problems on the biggest organ in your body. And it is soaking it up, quite literally. My rule of thumb, for toiletry and cleaning items is this: if I can’t eat it, I don’t put it on my body, or clean with it. So using that as my guide, I went as fast as I dared through my house getting rid of all the standard items that were causing all these problems. Many things we don’t even think of (at least I didn’t) at first.
Natural laundry was the first of many steps I’ve taken to eliminate harmful products in my house. It’s easy to do, saves money, and is another step to bring down or eliminate the doctor bill. It’s worth noting that I’ve had breathing issues my whole life, and used an inhaler as needed which is no longer the case. Green cleaning ftw!
Natural Laundry Solutions
There are a few different ways to go about detoxing your laundry regime. When I first started I used a homemade recipe from DIY Natural, that is super easy to make.
I then started making my own recipe using that recipe, but cutting out the Borax and just using the washing soda.
Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe
4 cups Washing Soda
20 drops EO (opt)
Mix all ingredients. and store in sealed container.
Use 1 TBS/load 2 TBS for heavily soiled or XL loads.
Yields 64-128 loads depending on how many TBS you use/load
Now I use soap nuts, or soap berries. What they’re called depends who you ask. I switched to these for my main laundry detergent instead of the homemade recipe for a few reasons.
- To try them and see how well they cleaned….which turned out awesome btw!
- It’s one less thing to do, even though I didn’t mind taking the 5 minutes to make laundry soap.
- It’s one thing to buy, instead of the whopping three ingredients for the homemade detergent.
- You can compost used berries. And since I have a huge garden that I kill every year because it thinks it needs watered, composting is great!
Yeah, I’m not saying these are better than the homemade detergent, or that I’ll never use that again. But I bought a 1.5 pound bag of these for …I think $15, and it’s about halfway gone. They clean wonderfully, and the soap nut has a natural fruity wood smell to it.
Most brands you buy come with muslin drawstring bags, mine did. Do not use them with out it. Some people boil the soap nuts and make a liquid detergent. I opt out of this option of course.
To use soap nuts place 4-6 of them in a muslin drawstring bag and tie it shut. throw it in your washer with your clothes. This is reusable for up to 6 loads. I usually always use mine for 6 loads. I then empty out the muslin bag into the compost pile for my dying garden and place 6 new berries in the bag. That’s it, they’re wonderful! They clean gently, yet effectively. They make clothes soft and eliminate the need for fabric softeners. (Although I still use my wool dryer balls with essential oils for smells.)
Wool Dryer Balls > Dryer Sheets (By a long shot)
As I just said, instead of dryer sheets I use wool dryer balls and add essential oils for the smelly goodness we all love in our laundry. Dryer sheets have been getting a pretty bad rep lately, mostly because they are filled to the brim with skin irritants and are known to cause allergies and asthma. Wool Dryer Balls on the other hand are reusable, soften clothes and save energy by reducing drying time. You can follow this tutorial on how to make your own, check out your local farmers market for them or you can get yours —-> here!
And in case any one is interested, I buy this detergent for cleaning my cloth diapers. The only reason I use this instead of homemade or soap berries is because when I was researching cloth diapers I learned that for best results, it’s better to not use homemade detergent or soap nuts. Molly’s Suds cleans great with a clean ingredient list. And since I only use a small scoop/load it’s a great chemical free, affordable laundry solution as well.
That’s it. Clean green, friends! Do you already use any of these products, or know of some other ancient Chinese secrets? I’d love to hear about them if so!
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