Natural laundry detergent

Zwoice . Jun 27, 2019

Legs with jeans and black sneakers coming out of a large yellow washing machine.

Did you ever think about why do we use special laundry detergents, why are softeners not recommended and why do we need that extra rinse when washing our little one’s clothes? It is to protect their sensitive skin, but from what exactly?

The facts

Removing stains and dirt is not easy, which is why even though your clothes smell as fresh as a summer breeze, regular laundry detergents often contain harmful chemicals, colorants and perfumes in order to be able to efficiently deal with them. These often lead to negative health effects, such as headaches, skin irritation, allergic reactions, respiratory problems or even carcinogenicity, as well as a negative impact on the environment.

To mention a few offenders: phosphates, that help soften water, are known to be poisonous to fish; sodium lauryl sulfate, which traps oil based dirt, can cause skin, eye and lung irritation; phenols, that act as a disinfectant, may damage the lungs, heart, kidneys and liver, and dioxane, a trace contaminant, is a know likely carcinogen.

Residues of these chemicals remain in the clothes after a wash cycle and they can be easily absorbed into the skin, especially when you sweat or when your clothes become damp or wet.

White clothes hanging and air drying on a rope on the street of colourful orange houses.

Ready to detox your laundry?

Good news is that you can stop worrying about all of the above as soon as you start using a natural laundry detergent, as these are better for your health, as well as your clothes and the environment.

They help rid your home from toxic chemicals and you won’t need to worry neither about skin or eye irritations nor your child inhaling toxins anymore.

All-natural detergents are formulated to clean your clothes by surrounding dirt and pulling it away from the fabric. This means your clothes come out of the wash completely clean, not just looking and smelling good on the surface. They help reduce colour fading as well as the wear and tear of fibres, resulting in clothing looking newer for longer.

Because natural detergents do more than just mask dirt and smell, many are powerhouses for getting out unwanted odours and stains. Imagine all that cleaning power extending beyond your clothing and cleaning your washing machine at the same time.

The simple swap to a natural laundry detergent also cuts down on the chemicals seeping into soil and groundwater supplies and improves overall water quality. There are a few brands offering natural laundry detergents on the market, however, unless you are lucky enough to have access to a refill station, these often come in plastic bottles.

DIY

The most environmentally friendly alternative is thus to go for a homemade laundry detergent. Don’t worry, it is quick, easy, fun and inexpensive to make. And given our recipe uses the same ingredients you already use in the kitchen, such as vinegar or baking soda, this simple gesture will avoid an accumulation of unnecessary cleaning supplies taking space in your home.

Ingredients

  • 65g grated pure olive soap
  • 1l water
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 drops essential oil tea tree
  • 10 drops essential oil lavender

Preparation

  • Boil the water in a saucepan
  • Remove from fire and add grated soap
  • Stir until the soap melts
  • Add white vinegar and stir
  • Let the mix cool down and stir it now and then
  • Once cold, add the essential oils

Storage & Use

  • Pour into and store in a bottle
  • Add one cup directly into the drum or into the detergent compartment of your washing machine
Colourful clothes hanging and air drying on a rope above the street.

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