Detox Your Laundry Habits Naturally

Did you know your clothes are in need of a detox? Sounds like science fiction, but it’s actually true! Chemical-filled, synthetic detergents and dryer sheets can actually trap dirt and odors in the fibers of your clothing and towels.

In addition to trapped dirt and odors, all those synthetic fragrances can wreak havoc on your hormones and your immune system. The perfumes and dyes found in most commercial detergents can be contributing to a host of physical ailments for you and your family including skin rashes, headaches, and sinus issues—just to name a few. Synthetic fragrances are becoming the new “second-hand smoke”.

You can buy “free and clear” type detergents and avoid some of these issues, but you are better off eliminating these products completely. It really is the best solution for your health and your budget. Find out more about the harmful chemicals in detergents and the health issues they can cause from Dr. Mercola.

This system is so simple and inexpensive you won’t believe it! Once you give it a try you’ll never go back to your old ways. It works for all types of machines with only minor adjustments for each. Here’s how to detox your laundry for good:

High Efficiency (HE) Machines:

  1. Use ½ cup of baking soda per load, place it directly in the washing machine prior to loading your clothes, and program as usual.
  1. Following the “liquid fabric softener” directions for your machine, replace liquid softener with the same amount of white vinegar in the compartment.
  1. Optional: if you prefer a light natural fragrance, add 2-3 drops of essential oil to the fabric softener compartment along with the vinegar. We like Now Brand Essential Oils.
  1. Optional: to reduce drying time and static cling, you can use wool dryer balls.

Basic Machines:

  1. Use ½ cup of baking soda per load—add it right on top of the clothes.
  1. Use a Downy Ball for the vinegar and follow the lines provided on the ball for the amount needed. This little gadget releases the vinegar during the rinse cycle.
  1. Optional: if you prefer a light fragrance, add 2-3 drops of essential oil to the vinegar in the Downy Ball. We like Now Brand Essential Oils.
  1. Optional: to reduce drying time and static cling, you can use wool dryer balls.

That’s it! Two basic ingredients and your laundry will be clean, fresh, and chemical free. Another bonus is you’ll have a little extra room in the budget because baking soda and vinegar are less expensive than detergents and dryer sheets!

A word about static cling: if you stick to natural fibers like cotton for most of your clothing, static won’t be an issue. The vinegar acts as a fabric softener and should help with static as well. Finally, if static is an issue, try the wool dryer balls.

Essential oils are a great addition to any home cleaning routine! They are chemical free (the reputable brands anyway) and they can even have immune-boosting and anti-bacterial properties depending on which ones you use.

For laundry, we like to use the Now Brand lavender, lemon, or tea tree essential oils. Lavender has a soft, flowery scent and is relaxing. The lemon oil has antiseptic properties and a clean, uplifting scent. The tea tree oil is great for the mold/mildew issues that can be a problem with towels and washcloths.

One last tip: store-bought detergents can actually form a water-resistant film on your clothes over time. You may need to wash your clothes 2-3 times before some of the film begins to break up and wash away, so be patient. It will be worth it!

We have heard from moms who use cloth diapers say that after switching to the baking soda and vinegar method the diapers were much more absorbent.

We have dogs, and nothing beats this method for eliminating the “doggie smell” from their bedding and toys.

So, what are you waiting for? Make the switch and enjoy your clean, fresh, chemical-free laundry today. Your health will improve, your budget will improve, and the environment will thank you for your efforts!

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