Avoid Laundry Toxins: Homemade Detergent and Softener

toxic-detergents-warning-labelWhile they may make your clothes smell nice, commercial laundry detergents and fabric softeners, often contain chemicals with negative health effects ranging from skin rashes to sore throats, and even cancer.

According to Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, researchers found that dryer vents can emit more than 25 volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets are used, including seven VOCs classified as hazardous air pollutants. This is particularly concerning when dryers don’t vent outside or are blocked, causing indoor air pollution.

There are products on the market which fall into the “safe” category. But, unlike food products, items such as laundry detergents and fabric softeners can not be certified organic, so consumers really need to read labels. A good rule to follow is, a truly green product’s packaging should include some or all of these words and phrases:

• Biodegradable (in less than a year)
• Plant based (or botanically based)
• Hypoallergenic
• No phosphates (which pollute rivers and streams)
• No chlorine (this potent environmental pollutant is the chemical most frequently involved in household poisonings)
• No petroleum
• No fragrance or synthetic dyes
• Concentrated
• Cruelty free (not tested on animals)

The very best way to clean and soften your clothes without chemicals is to make your own! It’s so easy and made from common household items that are Eco-friendly and biodegradable! You will save a bundle on detergent and fabric softener costs and you won’t be adding to the pollution of our environment. WIN! WIN! 🙂

Here are the (very) easy recipes:

Homemade Fabric Softener

How much to use, according to the size of each load:

1/4 cup for Small to Medium

1/2 cup for Large

3/4 cup for Extra Large

IngredientsMakes 4 cups

15 – 20 drops Essential oil (we love these!)

1-quart white Vinegar*

How To Mix

Take the cap off of the vinegar bottle and put 15 drops of any pure essential oil.  (Lavender relaxes, Citrus or Mint lift and rejuvenate.) SHAKE Well!
You may need to shake before each use also. Store with other laundry products.

*The vinegar removes bacteria causing odors and the essential oils add a pleasant scent. Don’t worry the oil will not stain your clothing!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Ingredients {Washes 42 – 62 Loads}

  • 6 cups washing soda
  • 3 bars of 4.5 – 5 ounce soap (One’s made with coconut oil works best.)
  • lemon essential oil

To Make:

  1. Cut soap into small chunks. Add to the food processor along with the washing soda. 
  2. Blend until you have a fine powder. You may want to lay a dish towel over the top of your food processor to prevent a fine mist of powder from floating into the air. Also, let it settle a bit before opening the container or the powder will float onto your kitchen counter and you don’t want to inhale the small particles.
  3. Pour into a clean container (keep the essential oil next to the jar and add 5 drops with each load)

To Use: 

These instructions are for a top loader.

  1. Add 2-3 tablespoons laundry detergent per load ( If you are washing in cold water, dissolve it in hot water before adding it in.)
  2. Add about five drops of lemon essential oil as a degreaser
  3. If washing whites, add a scoop of Oxiclean baby powder or pour 1/2 cup peroxide in the bleach compartment

 

 

Thanks to whole lifestyle nutrition and mommypotamus.com

 

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