When I am coaching people through greening their homes, we usually start with the Laundry room. Why? Because its the easiest place to start. And because these products can be the worst offenders for indoor pollution. And because we wear out clothes all day and night, and if they have toxins on them, they can be the cause of many of our physical issues.
Your skin and respiratory system can absorb the chemical residue leftover from conventional detergents. Not to mention, fabric softeners leave a waxy (flammable!) buildup on your clothing that you breathe in and wear all day long. YUCK!!!
Some of the nasty nasty junk in our laundry rooms;
- 1-4 dioxane- NOT REQUIRED to be listed in the ingredient lists, but it is a carcinogen.
- NPE- nonylphenol ethoxylate- can cause hormone and reproductive problems more info
- Phosphates- causes environmental problems, such as cell overgrowth.
- Sodium Hypochlorite (BLEACH)- highly poisonous toxin, damages body tissues info here
- Phenols- easily absorbed by the skin and is toxic to fetuses and embryos
- SLS- Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate- very irritating to skin and respiratory system ECO Toxic, Use is suggested at 1% or less in products, and many have 10-30%!!! You will also see this in shampoo, lotion, makeup… They are finding it in brains, lungs, heart, and livers and it creates hormone imbalance. ( Are we starting to see why so many people have hormonal issues now?)
- Phthalates, fragrance/perfume, food coloring, etc. – These things all are carcinogenic and can cause reproductive problems, lower testosterone, ugh, so many things.
These toxins also enter our water systems and are causing environmental disruption. They can kill off the good plants and eco-systems and allow things like algae to take hold and kill off rivers and ponds, frogs, fish, insects… They are also causing reproductive issues in our non-mammal friends, too. YIKES!!!
So the choice is yours, do you want to clean up your laundry?
GOOD! I KNEW YOU WOULD!!!
How to start?
Find eco friendly detergents;
Molly’s suds, biokleen, Honest company, Common Good, Ecos, Laundress, soap nuts… Or make your own! Baking soda, castille soap, Epsom salts, washing soda… all these things can be used to wash clothing.
Find ways to soften without using those toxic softeners, such as dryer balls, or a damp rag with vinegar and essential oils on it. Find dryer scent here dryer oil scent I have found that since i stopped using softener, I haven’t needed it! My clothes are soft and i honestly don’t have very much static cling. My washer and dryer also don’t need to be “cleaned” anymore either, after doing away with all the additives from the softeners.
For bleach, there is always Molly’s Suds Oxygen Whitener, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or Oxy Clean or other bleach alternatives that use oxygen instead.
Remember that you are doing yourself and your family a great favor by using these natural products! They may not work the same as what you are used to! BUT you will get used to them and begin to love them, just give them a chance! It is worth it for the health of you and your family, your pets, and the environment!