I’ve been working on eliminating the toxic chemicals in our house for a few years now. I started thinking about all the toxins we come into contact with during the day – shampoos, conditioners, soaps, detergents, dish soap, floor polish, the list goes on and on and it’s really overwhelming.
Things have really changed this year, and I’ve been able to eliminate so much in the past few months. It all really kicked into gear when I got my starter kit of essential oils from Young Living. Not only did I get the oils to just make the house smell good, but I’ve also started making my own shampoo using four simple ingredients, I can mop the floor with no toxins at all, I make my own sugar scrub that I use for shaving and exfoliating, plus so much more.
My favorite thing I’ve done, though, is eliminate the toxic chemicals that I was using in my laundry. It’s really intense when you think about how much our laundry, and the chemicals used, can affect our daily life. We are constantly wearing clothes that were washed in the chemicals, sleeping in sheets with chemicals, washing our faces with washcloths, drying off after showers, etc, etc, etc.
I found this website: The Environmental Working Group, that breaks down things and grades them based on the chemicals and toxins in them. I found my old laundry soap, the one that I bought because it was supposed to be chemical free and natural (the one I bought to wash our diapers, the things that are closest to our baby’s skin) – and it had a D grade. That isn’t good.
Now I make my own toxin free laundry soap and I’ve been really happy with it. It has simple, natural ingredients, that when individually entered into the EWG website come up clean. Here’s another surprise: Borax scores really poorly, in face it scores an F. This is something that a lot of people put into their homemade laundry soap but it has concerns for reproductive health among other things. So, I skip the borax.
My recipe is super easy and lasts a long time.
- 1 bar of Castile soap, 5 oz
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
- 10-20 drops essential oil (optional)
Just grate the soap, add the rest of the ingredients and store in an airtight container. I use 1-2 Tbs per load. For the essential oils, I like to add Purification, Lavender, whatever smells good.
Another huge contributor to chemicals in laundry are those stain removers. We’ve always had a bottle of that on the shelf and the amount of perfume has always bothered me. I looked up the kind we’ve used and guess what – D. It may get the stain out, but at what cost? A moderate concern for respiratory distress, asthma, developmental and reproductive problems and cancer. Doesn’t seem worth it to me.
I have another solution. I bought Young Living’s Thieves Laundry Soap a couple months ago, but since I’m cheap and love a DIY, I only use it as a stain remover. I just take about a tablespoon of the laundry soap, rub it into the stain and throw it into the washing machine (sometimes I let it soak for a bit). I don’t even add more of my homemade soap because a 1 Tbs of the Thieves Laundry Soap is all you need for a whole load of laundry, thus that tablespoon is doubling as stain remover and laundry soap. That’s music to my deal-loving ears. Also EWG hasn’t graded Thieves yet, but I went through the ingredients list and most things are A and a couple are B, so I’d guess it’s around an A-, which is way better than the D I was using before.
Want proof that this method works? When Alma got her head wound and my shirt was covered in blood that set up for days, the Thieves took it right out. Blood. Gone. Harriet’s favorite jellyfish shirt, covered in soaked in, dried hot chocolate:
And after treating it with Thieves Laundry Soap and washed like normal:
So, there you have it. Go to the EWG webpage and enter in your laundry detergent and dryer sheets and stain remover and decide if you want to keep using them.
I love this toxin free laundry soap and that I’m not leaching toxic chemicals into our clothes and towels and sheets. I love that my clothes get clean. I love that we’re saving money.
Oh, here’s a bonus! If you sign up for Young Living this month (September), not only will you be getting a diffuser, eleven bottles of essential oils, lots of other good stuff, but they’re also throwing in a bottle of Thieves Laundry Soap. There’s really no reason not to try it now!