Would you believe me if I told you that I don't use laundry detergent, fabric softener, bleach, or dryer sheets? Would you believe it if I also mentioned that I have small children that play outdoors and get dirty regularly but go to school in clean, non-stained, soft clothes? It's true!
Obviously I do wash their clothes, just not the same way that I used to. Before I get into the how, let me go into the why.
Laundry Detergent and Dryer Sheet are Expensive
The average American family spends up to $680 a year on laundry detergent plus up to an additional $450 a year on the extras like bleach, fabric softener, and dryer sheets. That's a total of up to $1,130! I don't know about you but I would rather put that money towards our next family vacation.
You Don't Need It
For decades, attractive marketing campaigns have had housewives everywhere falling for a huge myth. Turns out we have been duped into thinking we need all these laundry products.
You really don't need much laundry detergent at all because the agitation of washing machines often does the job on its own. And the real kicker? The residue from the detergent left behind on our clothes actually attracts more dirt, causing them to get dirtier, faster.
The Harsh Chemicals
We all know that there are synthetics and chemicals all around us. It's just a fact of life that we have come to expect.
We all believe that in small quantities these chemicals are safe. I always trusted that my family and I was not going to be harmed by detergents as long as we don't drink them.
But I began to question this logic when I realized that it only takes seconds for chemicals to become absorbed by the body when in contact with the skin.
And what about that "fresh clean" smell?
The nose is like an entrance into the brain. When we smell something, those tiny molecules pass straight through the blood brain barrier and into our blood stream.
There are in fact toxic ingredients in these products and each of them comes with a list of known side effects. In The Politics of Poison, Nina G. Silver PhD points out that detergents, bleach, and fabric softeners contain seven out of the eight known poisons found in our personal care and household products.
Each ingredient also comes with its own list of known side effects...
By the looks of this list, I think it's reasonable to assume that as these poisonous molecules absorb through our skin and seep into our brain via the nose, that perhaps over time, there is a cumulative effect that happens. Perhaps we truly are getting sicker as a result.
What I Use Instead
"Magic" washing balls!
These "magic" washing balls are inexpensive and they do work. There are no chemicals inside, just magnets that help to oxygenate the water. It is recommended to switch them out once a year but I've had mine for over two years and they still work great.
Also, 100% wool dryer balls! These, too, are not expensive and last forever. They leave our clothes nice and soft and without static.
If you are the bargain hunter type, check Home Goods, Marshalls, or T.J. Maxx for these. Or you can get them here.
I like to add a drop of a citrus essential oil to each ball before drying. This gives my laundry a nice fresh scent that is actually good for me. My faves are Orange and Lemon but Lavender and Purification (all of which come with a Young Living starter kit) are also very popular.
Just as with homemade perfume, experimenting is key when it comes to picking my favorite oils and scents.
But What About Tough Stains?
I know what you're thinking. You've got tough stains and this ball stuff is just not going to cut it. I too have tough stains and sometimes they require a little pre-treating. When that happens I do use my Thieves laundry soap.
I trust the Young Living brand because they provide my family with the highest quality essentials oils, so I expected nothing less when they rolled out their new detergent. I works beautifully. Better yet it gives me full peace of mind that there is nothing harmful inside.
I make my pre-treat spray by adding a quarter cap-full of the detergent to a plastic spray bottle like this. I fill the rest with water.
If you prefer you can skip the washing balls and use a quarter cap-full of the laundry soap, per load, instead. It's still a great value because you will get a whopping 64 loads out of this seemingly small bottle!
I found that both ways work just as good. If you'd like to try the laundry soap make sure to get a starter kit first, then you can buy the soap at the wholesale price, which is a savings of 24% off the retail price.
Once we made the switch to a chemical free laundry room it made a huge difference. Not only are we saving money but also my husband's skin irritations are a thing of the past.
I hope this inspires you to make the switch as well. Let me know what you think in the comments below and as always please like and share if you got some value from this post.
I better sign off for now, this laundry is not going to fold itself.