While conventional laundry detergents may leave your clothes smelling fresh as spring, they often contain chemicals with negative effects ranging from skin and throat irritation to carcinogenicity. That is why you should make your own at home, with only a few ingredients and minutes of your time.
Toxins in Laundry Detergents
Some research has even found that dryer vents can emit more than 25 volatile organic compounds when scented laundry detergent and dryer sheets are used, seven VOCs are even classified as hazardous air pollutants. This is particularly concerning when dryers do not vent outside or are blocked, causing indoor air pollution.
Because laundry care products are not required to list all the ingredients on packaging, it can be difficult for people to make an informed decision. Just the term “fragrance” could refer to a combination of several hundred laundry chemicals including many that are hazardous to human health. And it is very unfortunate that very few of the chemicals used in laundry care products have been thoroughly tested, particularly in combination with other chemicals, and some chemicals that have been shown to be harmful are still widely used. Our government has taken the “innocent until proven guilty” approach to the use of chemicals, and the EPA has required testing on only a small portion of all the chemicals used in commerce since the Toxic Substances Control Act was passed in 1976.
According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 82% of most laundry detergents are between mildly to highly hazardous, with more than 40% being considered highly. There are many health risks associated with using commercial laundry detergent, a few of which are:
- Asthma/Respiratory system problems
- Skin allergies or irritation
- Developmental and reproductive toxicity
- Healthier Alternative
I know the idea of using essential oils in your laundry has probably never even crossed your mind, but you would be pleasantly surprised to know that they work amazingly! The great part is that they do not come with the same harmful side effects that most detergents do. Aside from not harming your body, using essential oils as a detergent can even provide some wonderful health benefits! They are antibacterial as well as anti-fungal.
In one study, the effects of 10 different kinds of essential oils were tested against 22 different strains of bacteria and 12 different types of fungus. It was found that aegle and palmarosa oils were effective against 21 of the strains. Patchouli and ageratum oils were effective against 20 different strains. Citronella and geranium oils were effective against 15 and 12 strains of bacteria. And all 12 types of fungi were stopped by aegle, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa and patchouli oils.
So as you can see, you can use essential oils in place of chemical laundry detergents and feel completely at ease that your clothes will be squeaky clean!
- 1 ½ Cups of rock salt or Epsom Salt
- 35 Drops of essential oils
Blend the essential oils with the salt until they are completely mixed, and store in an airtight container.
Use One Tablespoon of the mixture for every load of laundry, it is important to remember to put it into the washing machine before the clothes and to let it dissolve into the water.