Toxic Laundry Detergent: DIY Green Laundry Detergent
Laundry a never-ending task in every home. What type of detergent or soap do you use? A detergent that contains synthetic compounds and is loaded with petrochemicals that are hazard to your health, your family, and to the health of our environment. Have you made the smart choice of a natural, healthy, and green soap made from natural materials like vegetables oils? If you are using a conventional chemical detergent — are you concerned what this could be doing to the health of our children not to mention the environment?
If you choose synthetic toxic chemical detergents residues of these chemicals are left on your clothes can be absorbed into your skin and inhaled. Detergent is made with synthetic petrochemicals, surfactants and dyes that are not biodegradable and are toxic. Many detergents have toxic scented fragrances added to boot. There are many toxins and allergens in detergents.
How do we keep our clothes and planet clean?
- We need to use Eco-Friendly and Green Soap made from natural plant-based materials that is biodegradable. The ingredients are derived from vegetables oils instead of petroleum.
- We can make our own detergents and cleaning products that are planted based, natural and that can save us money.
Every year Americans wash about 35 million pounds of laundry which adds up to about 50 pounds per household. Now that’s a lot of dirty clothes! Did you realize that if every American replaced just one gallon bottle of petroleum-based liquid laundry detergent with a vegetable-based product, it would save more than 250,000 barrels of oil, which is enough to heat and cool about 15,000 homes per year. Amazing isn’t it?
Dangerous Toxic Ingredients that are typical in most conventional laundry detergent and laundry products:
- Linear alkyl Sodium Sulfonates (LAS) — This causes lung, eye, and skin irritation especially in powdered detergents. They are non biodegradable. During manufacturing they release benzene which is a carcinogen and reproductive toxin.
- Ethanolamines (triethanolamine, diethnolamine) (EDTA)— An irritant to the skin, eye and lungs, may cause allergies, are corrosive to tissues and a carcinogen. They absorb through the skin and may cause central nervous system depression, liver and kidney damage.
- Sodium Silicate — Irritant to the skin, eye and lungs and evidence to cause allergies. They are non biodegradable.
- Sodium Sulfate — Contact irritant of the skin and can cause allergies. A severe lung irritant and may cause asthma attacks. Is slow to biodegrade in the environment.
- Sodium Hypochlorite — Severe eye and lung irritant and is a contact irritant to the skin. Releasing toxic corrosive chlorine gas that can damage the liver, kidneys, , blood, heart, and immune and respiratory systems. Is extremely hazard to people with asthma or heart conditions. It reacts with organic compounds in the environment to form toxic organochlorine like dioxins that harm plant life and is toxic to aquatic life. The EPA classifies it as Toxicity Category 1 – the highest degree of toxicity.
- Sodium Dodecylbenzene Sulfonate — Mostly found in heavy-duty detergents. Toxic to the lungs, nervous system, mucous membranes, and hazardous to the eyes and skin. Hazard to the environment too.
- Triethylene Glycol — Can cause liver damage and central nervous system depression through repeated exposure. It is biodegradable but is toxic to aquatic life when it leaks into the groundwater.
- Trisodium Nitriltiacetate — Eye and skin irritant and a known carcinogen. It harms aquatic life.
Natural Soaps — Alternatives to Store Bought Laundry Detergent – Do It Yourself:
DIY Basic Liquid Laundry Soap:
- 2 1/4 cup liquid Castile Soap
- 1/4 cup white distilled Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Glycerin
- 3/4 cup water
- 10-15 drops of essential of your choice (optional)
Dr Bronner’s is one of the most popular liquid Castile soaps and is widely available in a variety of scents (then you can skip the essential oil).
Directions: Combine all ingredients into a plastic container or squirt bottle. Shake once or twice before adding to the wash. Add 1/4 cup to average load; 1/2 to extra-large or heavily soiled loads.
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup scented baking soda
- 1 cup soap flakes or finely grated pure soap bar
Combine all ingredients and store in a heavy plastic or glass container. Use 1/2 cup for average load. (This recipe does about 6 loads but you can make as much as you want at a time double or triple)
- Adding herbal essential oils can be blended into laundry formulas or added to the softener dispenser in you washer. They not only boost cleaning power, but leave a fresh clean scent. Essential oils can also lend therapeutic qualities such as — tea tree oil can help if you suffer from frequent yeast infections or eucalyptus is great when you or someone in your family has a cold or is down with the flu.
- Herbal-scented baking soda is another way to use essential oils in the laundry. Baking soda adds whitening power and is natural water softener. For a 16-ounce box, use 15-20 drops of essential oil. You can make it quick and easy – just add the essential oils drops to the baking soda box and shake well.
- Another easy solution is use 1 cup white vinegar with 3-5 drops of essential oils.
Essential Oil Guide for your Laundry:
- Cedar — adds a clean woody scent
- Chamomile — soothing
- Eucalyptus — Great for colds and sinus problems
- Lavender — Relaxes and eases pain
- Lemon — Stimulating and helps whiten laundry
- Peppermint — Helps colds and sinus problems
- Rose Geranium — Adds a touch of romance
- Sweet Orange — Helps to remove stain and whiten clothes
- Tea Tree — Antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral
Check you laundry detergent and make sure you are going green! Be sure to you read labels before you buy any laundry products and definitely avoid brands that don’t tell you what’s in them. If there is no information that’s a good sign that they have something to hide. A good rule of thumb is if you can’t pronounce it then don’t buy it!
Whatever choice you make in your detergent make sure it is healthy, toxic free, natural and green!
Other Sources:The Natural Clean Home, Author:Karyn Siegel-Maier Easy Green Living, Author:Renee L