This post is part of an ongoing series on Avoiding Toxins in our Lives. To read more on how to avoid toxins click here.
Have you walked down the laundry detergent aisle lately? I am sure you have, especially if you have children. They always seem to get dirty or change their clothes a million times a day. Have you noticed the sheer volume of choices when it comes to laundry detergents? It can be overwhelming. So why should you reconsider your current laundry detergent? Depending on what you are using there is probably an alternative. I have been researching laundry detergents for the past two month and checking out my alternatives. Why would I consider changing my laundry detergent to a natural laundry detergent? I had a laundry detergent that I researched when we moved out to the country. It was good for septic systems and appeared to be natural to boot. At the time it was GOOD enough for me. Living out in the boonies, so to speak the closest big store was about twenty miles away . While we did have a local store that has a a real butcher still, it was not suited for the bigger bulk purchases for things like laundry and cleaning supplies.
It is hard to say good bye to an old and trustworthy product. It did the job it was supposed to. But this past April, after looking around and mulling around the idea of making my own detergent I happened across my neighbors at the Farmer’s Market. They make soaps and lotions. They had added something new to their product line, concentrated laundry powder. It was concentrated. It smelled wonderful (lavender), it cost $7 for a little bag about the size of a lunch bag (smaller actually). My first thought was yikes! I just spent $7 for this tiny bit of detergent. But wait – this detergent was concentrated. I only needed 1-2 tbsp. of it to do laundry. This little bag of laundry powder lasted as long 3 weeks for me. The biggest box of detergent I was currently getting lasts me a month. Did I mention we do a lot of laundry here, at least two loads a day?
When the powder was all used up I went back to my regular detergent I had two unopened boxes of it home. I immediately noticed the chemical fragrance in my favorite detergent. However, since I had opened the big box I wanted to use it up and not waste it. But it is then that I started experiencing an uptick in allergy symptoms, itchy skin, watery eyes. My frugal side won out and I finished up the box. The second box went back to the store to be exchanged for the supplies to make our own laundry powder. When my husband saw the list of ingredients on the homemade laundry powder we bought in April he decided that WE could make our own. I took that to mean I would be the one researching the how, buying the raw ingredients, and mixing it up.
Why should you consider changing your Laundry Detergent?
This past week I began experimenting with making my own home made laundry detergent. For now we are mixing it in the washer as it fills with water. Not the most efficient method but we are having good results so far. We are using a mixture of Washing Soda. Borax and White Vinegar. I have seen a reduction in my allergy symptoms and hope to continue to see more reduction as we get all traces of detergents out of our laundry. In this up coming week I will be running some experiments to see what combinations or cleansers work the best and will share with you my results.
For now I am off to do laundry.