Think for a minute about all the things that touch your skin throughout your day. What touches your skin the most? Let’s walk through an average morning. You wake up in the morning feeling the softness of your 800 thread count sheets and the warmth from your favorite comforter. You get a good stretch and then swing your legs over and slide out of bed. You slip off your silky pajamas and jump in the shower. After going through your everyday clean routine, you turn off the shower and wrap yourself in the comfort of a cozy oversized towel. After completing your daily beauty regimen, you try on several different outfits before deciding and you head out the door.
Your skin, as your bodies largest organ, holds you all together and does its best to protect you from outside invaders. Due to its absorbent nature…sometimes…you are your skin’s own worst enemy. Where to start?
What’s in your laundry detergent? What’s your laundry detergent in?
Let’s start with the first. Laundry detergent companies are not required to put their ingredients on their packaging because their product is not used for consumption, provided you did not participate in a Tide Pod Challenge. So, I went to their website and found a very large list of chemicals. I found a list of ingredients that are “likely known carcinogens” and some that need further testing to determine if they are detrimental to humans. Really? What’s the hold up? Some of these chemicals are known to be harmful to fish and wildlife but declared safe because they degrade overtime and are less harmful as they degrade. Seriously?
Secondly, even if you are using environmentally friendly laundry detergent, chances are your laundry detergent comes in a plastic container. Plastic can be harmful in several ways. The chemicals that plastics are made of can leach into the products that they contain and end up on your skin and in our water supply. Something like 80% of plastic ends up in a landfill and can take 500 years to decompose. Also, plastic often ends up in the ocean and is harmful to the marine life.
So, do we walk around in dirty, stinky clothes?
Uh, I think not. Then how do we clean our laundry? I will tell you my secret. I purchased a glass container with a metal lid that holds about 64 oz. and I mix together 3 very simple ingredients.
1 cup Borax- a naturally occurring mineral that is non-toxic, does not absorb into the skin and does not pollute the water.
1 cup Super Washing Soda- a naturally occurring mineral that is also non-toxic and has been estimated to be used for over 5000 years.
1 bar of grated soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s All Natural, almond scented is my favorite)
And then all it takes is 1-2 tbs per load depending on soil level and it can even be used in a high efficiency washing machine. While this recipe is quite useful in removing dirt and odor from your clothing, it will not help with getting the laundry folded or put away. I know, I hate to disappoint.
Are you considering reducing or eliminating plastics from your everyday life and/or trying to reduce the amount of chemicals that you put in or on your body? What’s holding you back from it? Have I inspired you to try? I recommend this recipe as a good place to start. Laundry soap was the first kind of soap I made on this journey into the DIY lifestyle. Hopefully next time you wrap yourself in a cozy oversized towel it will be freshly laundered in your very own homemade laundry detergent.