It’s likely that laundry ranks pretty low on the “favorite chores” list of households across the globe. It’s my least favorite. But even though I move that pile from the bed to the couch to the corner and put it off as long as possible.. it’s an important topic to me because laundry rooms are typically full of bleach, detergents, stain removers, dryer sheets.. thousands of chemicals.
Something to consider with laundry is that our skin is not a barrier, it’s a carrier. It absorbs what’s on it. Every day we are exposing our skin – our largest organ, to toxins we come in contact with – things we apply to our skin either directly like makeup and lotions or indirectly like cleaning solutions or what’s on our clothes – we’re absorbing it into our bloodstream through our skin!
When it comes to detergent, three things to consider parting with for good:
+ Optical brighteners
Optical brighteners make clothes appear brighter. These aren’t for cleaning. Clothes only appear whiter and brighter because these additives reflect blue light, giving the illusion that your clothes are less yellow.
Add into that the fragrances that you find in detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets – yikes! Those synthetic scents stay in clothes for ages – you can wash them 5-6 times with clean detergent and still smell the original because it attaches to all the fibers in our clothing. Have you noticed that you can smell detergent or laundry softener long after something’s been washed?
Most detergents (not just laundry either) contain SLS – Sodium Lauryl Sulphate – this chemical agent helps to make soaps ‘froth’/bubble. It’s is a known irritant to eyes & skin and a carcinogen. Inflammatory skin reactions include itchy skin, scalp, eczema and dermatitis make our skin more vulnerable to absorption of other chemicals.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Dryer balls & laundry detergent were the first couple things we ditched & switched when we started shifting our home to more natural options to reduce the toxic load.
We seek out soap that is free from SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate), dyes, petrochemicals, formaldehyde, phosphates, synthetic perfume, and optical brighteners.
Dryer sheets are loaded with carcinogens and endocrine & reproductive disrupters. Swap #1 needs to be ditching the toxic dryer sheets for wood dryer balls. Toss a few in with each load you dry to reduce drying time & static. You can add oils to the balls or mist with a spray (see recipe below) to scent your clothes & towels!
TIP: Two ways to combat static:
- reduce your heat level & dry time
- add a safety pin to one dryer ball
You have the power to make your own products- it’s not only cheaper, but they work better, are better for you.. and it’s the best feeling ever! You can use any spray bottles, mason jars and rollers you have on hand. If you need bottles, this set has a variety of sizes for a great price!
First things first..
LAUNDRY STRIPPING – detox your laundry from dirt, grime, grease and the film that conventional detergents leave behind.
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Laundry soap or powder
Pour into tub + fill with hot water. Add items to soak and let sit 4-6 hours. Stir once and we hour.
LAUNDRY BOOSTER – for those extra dirty loads.
2 cups Baking Soda
2 cups Epsom Salt
20 drops essential oils of choice
Combine in a glass jar, mix well.
Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup to each load of laundry – directly to the wash. (Use in addition to your Thieves Laundry soap).
HOMEMADE BLEACH RECIPE – this recipe doesn’t bring back the dead – it won’t whiten things that have become discolored, but it will help *keep* your whites nice and bright!
1/2 cup Hydrogren Peroxide 3%
1/2 tsp citric acid
10 drops Lemon essential oil
Top with distilled water
Combine in a quart-size glass mason jar and add 1/4-1/2 cup per load right to the wash.
LAUNDRY SOFTENER – white vinegar is a cheap & effective cleanser & softener. And it washes clean leaving your laundry smelling clean! No vinegar smells, I promise!
2 cups white vinegar
1/8 cup witch hazel
10-15 drops oils of choice
Add to a jar with a lid. We use 1/4 cup per load, (and it won’t make your laundry smell like vinegar, trust.)
DRYER BALL SPRAY
In a 2oz spray bottle, add the following:
1 tbsp witch hazel
20 drops oils of choice
Top with distilled water, shake well before each use and spray dryer balls before tossing in with clothes in the dryer to tumble.
In a 4oz spray bottle, add the following:
2 tbsp witch hazel
20-25 drops oils of choice
Top with distilled water, shake well before each use. Mist blankets, curtains, upholstery or any other linens that need a refresh.
In a 8oz spray bottle:
3 tbsp citric acid based fruit & veggie wash
1/4 cup non-toxic dish soap
Top with distilled water
Spray on stains and wash as usual.
ESSENTIAL OIL SCENT COMBINATIONS:
+ Rosemary + Lavender + Lemon
+ Lemon + Lime + Basil,
+ Grapefruit + Rosemary,
+ Cinnamon + Orange,
+ Bergamot + Black Spruce
Anything to make laundry less of a chore, right?! Tag me @happymamaessentials if you try these (it’s seriously makes my day).
Have you made any laundry DIY’s you love?
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