Just one quick stroll down a laundry detergent aisle can give me a migraine. I usually know exactly what I need and quickly grab it and go. (Always clear items and as eco-friendly as possible.) This is important to me for both my health and my family.

To provide a healthier household for your family, it is best to eliminate the excess of fragrance and chemicals in your household. Laundry is a great place to start!

Fabric softener is stuffed full of toxic chemicals. Many of the chemicals are not disclosed because they are part of the fragrance in the item. Take a look at the ingredients for any scented product you own. You will see fragrance and that is all. More than 75% of the chemicals found in the “fragrance” ingredient are known to disrupt hormones.

Vinegar is a cheaper and healthier alternative to fabric softener. In addition, it also helps clothes dry faster and it softens the water.

Homemade Fabric Softener

Ingredients:

1 Gallon White Vinegar 

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30 Drops of Essential Oil of Your Choice
(Great essential oils to use for your laundry are lavender, clove, tea tree, and lemon.)

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Directions:

1. Put mixture in a jug, preferably glass.

2. When doing laundry, dilute the vinegar mixture. (¼ cup vinegar mixture to ¾ cup water)

3. Pour the vinegar solution in during the final rinse. (Essential oils will dissolve plastic, so it is best to wait till the final rinse.)

During my first year on my own, I decided to try Tide as a detergent. Everything was fine until I got to work. My skin felt like it was on fire! I asked to take a small break so I could call my husband for some allergy medication. My arms were red and irritated at the end of the day even after multiple doses of allergy medicine. I have not touched Tide since.

Tide and many popular laundry detergents, are full of harmful chemicals. Tide contains 1,4-dioxane which the EPA (environmental protection agency) lists as a carcinogen. 1,4-dioxane has been linked to vertigo, drowsiness, headache, and irritation to lungs, nose, and eyes. Long-term exposure has been linked to kidney and liver damage. Tide also contains sodium hydroxide which is also a possible carcinogen.

These chemicals do not rinse out entirely during your wash cycle. They sit on the fibers of your clothes, and when you sweat, they enter your system. You also breathe in the fragrance and the chemicals attributed. The label for Tide is filled with complex chemical compounds.

What is a better choice for laundry detergent? There are several natural detergents available. Just a few are Ecover Zero Laundry detergent, Eco-Me detergent, and Planet Natural detergent. However, it is just as easy to make your own!

Here is a great video on how to make your own laundry detergent!

Happy Washing!

(h/t: Healthy Wild and Free)

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