How to Reduce the Toxic Load in Your Laundry Room
(Intentional Home Detox Part 2)
Are you looking to reduce the toxic load in your laundry room? (Pun intended.) Knowing which ingredients to avoid is key and it’s easier to make a safer switch than you might think! Learn how to choose laundry products that are safe for your family's health. After all, a healthy life is a beautiful life!
Did you know that fabric softener is the #1 cause of indoor air pollution? Whenever you smell that “laundry smell”, you are inhaling toxic VOC’s.
I’ve been on the hunt for a natural, non-toxic, and environmentally laundry detergent for some time. Something that doesn’t cover up the stinky smell with a stinky fragrance, but actually gets the job done!
Why? I’m a natural Mama and have been healing from Chronic EBV (Epstein Barr Virus) for a couple of years now. I’m one of those somewhat crunchy mamas who makes her own herbal tea as medicine, cleans with essential oils, practices positive affirmations with her daughter and juices almost daily.
What I put in my body is certainly key, but what I put ON my body matters just as much to my health. Because of my EBV, I’m extremely sensitive to fake fragrances, dyes and chemicals… those things literally feed my virus and make me sicker, so I NEED junk-free products in our home, including our laundry room!
And it’s not only my health I’m highly concerned about… I try my best to choose products and ingredients that are safe for my husband and 4 year old daughter. And come September, I’ll be make sure my newborn daughter isn’t overexposed to fragrances, dyes and chemicals as well. And we all know how sensitive newborns are to fragrances and toxins!
The health of my family is immensely important to me because when we are healthy, we have the best opportunity to live our best lives. Or, as I like to put it…
“When we’re healthy, we have the best opportunity to pursue a beautiful life full of intention and purpose.”
And you’re like: um, is this blog post still about safer laundry room products? Yes. Yes, it is. Pursuing a beautiful life through health and intention is my life’s main focus and it gets wrapped up in even the simple things… like laundry detergent.
Thankfully, in this day and age we are learning more and more about what’s secretly harming our body and what’s safe. I’m so grateful there are healthy alternatives for home products by now!
Even though I’ve been trying out natural laundry detergents for some time, they just don’t seem to get the job done… especially for my husband’s laundry! (Ya, ya…we all know guys are stinky. But, my husband’s work laundry is extra stinky because he works in construction.)
Then, sometime last year I learned how toxic that dryer sheets can be! Ugh! Something else to figure out a safe alternative to! So not only was I looking for laundry room products that didn’t aggravate my EBV, but also removed the stink from my husband’s work laundry! And SOON: also does the tough job on cloth diapers!
Did you know that 26 seconds is all I takes for chemicals to enter your bloodstream and be found in every organ of your body?
This not only applies to the food we eat, but also: what goes ON your body also goes IN your body. So, choose what goes on your skin very carefully because it's the only skin you'll have.
Here are the ingredients that are so important to avoid
when ditching those toxins in your laundry room:
Sodium Laurel/Laureth Suflates
NPE (Nonylphenol ethoxylate)FormaldehydeQuaternium-15
And here’s why you should avoid the above list…
These toxins can have a cumulative, negative effect on your health in such ways as: cancer, organ damage, asthma reactions, allergy reactions, skin irritations, rashes, and/ or burns, eye irritation or even damage, hormone disruption, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, ecotoxicity, lung damage, respiratory dysfunction, kidney toxicity, liver toxicity, brain toxicity, central nervous system toxicity and carcinogenic effects.
I’d like to pay special attention to artificial fragrance. Manufacturers aren’t required to disclose the ingredients that make up that one single laundry fragrance that seeps into your clothing. There’s a lot of secrets behind the word “fragrance” and there can be up to 100s or 1000s of ingredients to make up that one single fragrance. (This goes for all artificial fragrance on the market such as perfumes, colognes, beauty products, cleaning products, air fresheners, etc.)
Fragrances are manufactured from petroleum and coal tar. (Yuck. These are also common ingredients often found in everyday makeup, btw.) It’s no surprise that:
“Artificial fragrance is the new cigarette smoke.”
… because of the enormity of the toxicity it can reap on our respiratory system. Not to mention how harmful it is to our skin, hormones and brain health. Artificial fragrance is a known carcinogen.
So what does this all mean? To put it in terms of what this means for your quality of life: Have a tendency towards rashes? Avoid artificial fragrance. Compromised immune system? Avoid artificial fragrance. Cancer runs in the family? Avoid artificial fragrance. Have trouble getting pregnant? Avoid artificial fragrance. Asthma? Avoid artificial fragrance. You get the idea.
Can one thing in your laundry detergent box (that’s filled with up to 1000’s of toxins) cause your one specific health issue? Maybe; maybe not. But what I do know is that it can contribute in a cumulative type of way along with all the toxic exposure in this modern world to cause your health issue(s).
One can’t avoid all the toxins in the world even if one wanted to. But the way I see it is if it’s possible to avoid as many toxins as I can, to make the healthiest choices in which products I bring into my home (and therefore my body), then an all-around less toxic exposure means an even better possibility to a healthier (and happier) me.
Along these lines, because cancer runs in my family, because I’ve had issues with rashes in the past, because my EBV makes life miserable and I avoid a flare-up at all cost, I make healthy and safe choices for me and my family in all areas of life. Such as: beauty products, shampoo/conditioner, sunscreen, cleaning products, first aid products, food (obvs.), water (pure water is a must!!) and non-toxic weed spray.
When we built our last house, I chose to go with all-wool carpet AND padding because the chemicals in both products can off-gas for up to 10 years and cause infertility, miscarriage, birth defects, asthma and other respiratory problems. And we were getting ready to conceive baby #2! I’ve also researched how flame retardants (which are often sprayed on furniture) can negatively effect our health. So, I made sure to buy a flame-retardant-free-couch. It will finally arrive in approx. 10-12 years (just because I picked the prettiest one that doesn't have a 2 week delivery.) That champagne taste, I tell you, it'll get you sometimes!
I may have seemed to get off on a tangent, and I did a bit, but my point is this: Be aware of everything you’re exposed to and make the best, *most informed* choice that you CAN for the sake of your health, for your life.
Like they say, health is wealth. And if you’ve ever been miserably sick or injured, you know how incredibly true that saying is!
Back to finding the right laundry products! (Spoil alert: I did!) Jeez, doesn’t that sounds cheesy!? But it’s true. And when you’re a mom doing a bazillion load of laundry a week, you get excited about finding the right laundry detergent!
What I was needing in laundry detergent and static minimizers:
Biodegradable and Eco-friendly. (I’m passionate about doing my own little part to save Mother Earth because every little bit adds up.)
Detergent that’s safe and WORKS on cloth diapers.
Fragrance Free, Chemical Free (Basically just JUNK free.)
Detergent that DOES THE JOB. (My husband is a contractor and boy do we need a detergent that cleans the clothes as hard as he works!)
Something to deal with the static that’s not those darn toxic dryer sheets.
Here’s I found that not only meets my requirements,
but goes above and beyond:
Buckaroo Organics Soapberry Suds
This organic laundry detergent is so pure, safe and simple. It’s made from 100% organic "Soapberries" that come from the Ritha tree. (Yay for plant based!) And a little goes a long way! I know a couple of people who bought the 200 load container of Soapberry Suds and it lasted them for over a year! What other laundry detergent have you used that lasted over a year!? Ya. It’s that awesome.
This plant-based, organic laundry detergent is:
Sensitive skin approved (good for baby girl when she arrives)Biodegradable (compostable and recyclable container!)
Eco-friendly (doesn’t harm wildlife or water)
Cloth Diaper Safe Safe for “HE” machines
No sulfates, pthalates or toxins of any kind!
GETS THE JOB DONE! (A friend who runs a farm was looking for a safe but EFFECTIVE detergent and was thrilled when she found this one.)
Check, check, checkity-check. I just loaded up on the 200 load container and it looks like I haven’t even used any because a little goes a long way!
Wool Dryer Balls
Not only have I found that Buckaroo Organics' laundry detergent lasts FOREVER, but I figured out what to do about the static situation. 100% Wool dryer balls. I had heard about them and just didn’t delve enough into it to know how awesome they are and how they can last for up to 1000 loads! (Um, am I in laundry heaven right now!?) Seriously, two items I only have to buy once a year and save moolah on that ol’ grocery store list! Score!
Help to eliminate wrinkles
Work for up to 1000 loads
Since traditional dryer sheets have so many toxins in them, consider making the incredibly easy switch to wool dryer balls. Pure wool dryer balls reduces static, adds softness to laundry and they LAST FOREVER! I’ve been using mine for 3/4 of a year now and they’re still going strong! It’s so easy: just one purchase, throw them in the dryer and don’t worry about buying or adding dryer sheets or fabric softener! I even have a friend who’s been using them for over a year! Talk about getting the best bang for your buck!
Once the dryer load is done, pull out a wool dryer ball and add a few drops of your essential oil (s) or choice for a natural, plant-based scent on your laundry! Pop the ball back in the dryer and run for 5 minutes. Wah-lah! Fresh scent laundry with no added chemicals!
By the way, it comes as no surprise that the essential oils that Buckaroo Organics offers is pure and high-quality. I have a set that I keep in my laundry room to add to not only wash loads but to (the last 5 min. of) dryer loads too!
And if it can’t get any better, I have a 15% OFF coupon for you when you place an order with Buckaroo Organics! Just enter “SAVE15” at checkout. And to answer your question, yes. Yes, you are in laundry heaven now. You’re welcome!
Ok, enough with the cheese. But, I do honestly hope that this information has been helpful to you in reducing the toxic load in your laundry room! Why? Because a healthy life is a beautiful life.
Happy laundering and have a beautiful day,