Toxin Free Laundry | Alternatives to Toxic Laundry Detergent

Did you know that the laundry room is possibly the most toxic room in your house??? If you use detergent, fabric softener/dryer sheets, and a fragrance boost like Downy Unstoppables, you’re exposing yourself to ingredients that cause allergies, skin irritation, neurotoxicity, and cancer. These toxic chemicals are sitting on our skin all day long, they’re getting absorbed through our skin, we’re sleeping in them, AND we’re breathing them in all day as well.

I don’t understand why people are okay with compromising their health for “fresh” smelling laundry. Clean laundry in and of itself already smells fresh without the need for added fragrances and harsh, toxic chemicals.

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Let me give you a real life example of the everyday burden toxic laundry causes. So, my mom is a piano teacher and she teaches a lot of elementary school aged kids. A lot of them come in EVERY WEEK for their lesson coughing, sniffing, and congested. The common denominator in all the kids that come in “sick” every week is they all reek of fragranced laundry detergent! Even after they leave, the smell lingers in the house.

When you wash your clothes with all these toxic chemicals, not only are you exposing yourself to them, but your neighbors are getting a whiff of toxins through your dryer vent, and these toxic chemicals are getting released into the environment through the water as well.

A few of the toxic chemicals commonly found in laundry products are…

(This is not a list of all the toxic chemicals…I’d be here all day listing all of them.)

Fragrance: Fragrance is dangerous because up to 3,000 ingredients can hide behind that word and we don’t know what they are. Fragrance is toxic to the immune system, it makes asthma worse, and it has chemicals that cause cancer and hormone disruption. Always avoid fragrance!

1,4-Dioxane: This chemical is a cleaning agent however, it is classified by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen. It can also cause headaches, eye, nose, throat, skin, and lung irritation.

Surfactants: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, and Quaternium-15 are a few examples of surfactants.  These ingredients can cause cancer and hormone disruption. SLS is a skin irritant that is also used as a pesticide and herbicide…why would you want to wash your clothes (or your face for that matter…but that’s a topic for another day), with a chemical that kills bugs and weeds?

There are better options out there for clean, fresh clothes that don’t require you to risk your health and cause the air quality in your home to deteriorate.

Lately, I’ve been using Branch Basics and I LOVE IT!!! Branch Basics makes a concentrate which you mix with water in different bottles to make different products. (Branch Basics provides all the bottles in their Starter Kit.) Their laundry solution works great and it’s completely TOXIN FREE! Also, the “laundry” bottle makes enough for 64 loads.

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I add ½ scoop of the Branch Basics Oxygen Boost to each load as well (instead of Oxy Clean, which is what I used to use.) The Oxygen Boost helps get any stains out and helps brighten whites and colors. If you have a really tough stain, you can put a few drops of straight concentrate on the stain and if it doesn’t come out with just the concentrate, you can sprinkle some Oxygen Boost on the stain and scrub it to remove! You don’t need any harsh, toxic chemicals to get clean, stain free laundry.

Instead of fabric softener, I use Wool Dryer Balls. Mine are from Branch Basics as well. They’re 100% wool and they’re pesticide free. I add all 3 balls to the dryer with my clothes to help soften the fabric and reduce static cling. These are a much better option than fragranced, toxic dryer sheets.

If you’re a fan of liquid fabric softener, or you want to add a little scent to your laundry, you can easily make your own! Add 15-30 drops of essential oil of choice to a bottle of white vinegar, then add ¼ cup of it to your laundry before the rinse cycle. Lemon or lavender essential oils are great for “fresh” smelling laundry without any toxic fragrance chemicals.

Getting rid of the toxins in your laundry will help you breathe better, can help with any sinus and respiratory issues, and improve your health in the long run! I definitely encourage you to swap your toxic laundry products for clean, toxin free products! Your body will thank you!