I’d like to talk to you about your dirty laundry.
No, no. Not the clothes pilled on the floor or the ones that actually made it into the hamper.
I want to talk to you about what’s neatly folded in your drawers and hanging in your closet.
We all know that laundry detergents and fabric softeners can cause skin irritation, especially in babies and children. But did you know they contain chemicals that can lead to infertility, damage organs and disrupt hormones? The government doesn’t regulate many of these chemicals and doesn’t require them to be listed in the ingredients. Scary!
So, what’s to be done? There are some safe commercial detergents but they come with a pretty high price tag. Let me suggest Laundry Detox: Two Ways.
Landry Detox One: You’re still a normal person
DIY laundry detergent and Nellies PVC Free Dryer Balls.
This has been my laundry routine for a while now and I am very happy with it. Our clothes get clean and my wallet doesn’t take a hit. And it’s still pretty normal so when I tell people about it they don’t think I’m crazy.
I use this simple and effective detergent recipe. You should even be able to find all the ingredients at the grocery store, like a normal person!
Homemade Laundry Detergent
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1 bar soap, such as Dr Bronner’s Pure Castille Soap or Fels Naptha
Cut soap into small chunks. Put all ingredients into a food processor (or blender) and blend together. Use 1 tbs for a load of laundry.
While this really is a great almost non-toxic laundry option, Borax can be considered mildly toxic (as in don’t let your kids eat handfuls of it but otherwise it’s safe kind of toxic) and even though the dryer balls are PVC free, I’m not 100% excited about my clothes being tossed around with hot plastic.
So here’s another option.
Laundry Detox Two: You’re totally granola
Okay, are you ready to dive into the deep end? Me, too!
Soapberries aren’t actually soap; they’re seed pods whose chemical compound acts like soap. They’re safe, effective and not overly expensive. I’m already in love with dryer balls (they cut down on dry times) and making them out of a natural material only makes them better. And I don’t hear the wool balls bouncing around in the dryer like I do the plastic ones (which is amazing because our bedroom is directly above the laundry room and I usually put diapers in the dryer right before going to bed.)
Beyond detergent and dryer balls
I recently came across this stain remover recipe and I am excited to try it. I’m currently using something similar but I like the looks of this one better.
While I think dryer balls are pretty great, the absolutely best way to dry your laundry is in 100% air. We’re pretty spoiled in North America to have dryers. When we lived in Hungary there was a drying rack permanently set up in our bedroom. When it was hot enough to sun-dry TWO loads of laundry in one day I was one happy woman. So if you have the space or when the sun is shining, skip the dryer entirely!
I’ve yet to find an affordable, non-toxic detergent for cloth diapers that actually works. And apparently both Borax and soap deteriorate elastic thus disqualifying every DIY recipe I’ve ever found so I’m still on the hunt. Maybe soapberries? Maybe I’ll just risk it and try this one? If you know of or use anything you like, let me know in the comments! I (and my baby’s bum) would appreciate it.
Cleaning up your laundry routine is fairly easy. It’s a great place to start removing chemicals from your home and surrounding your family with a little more goodness. It’s the simple changes that make a difference, and what a big difference simple changes make!