Our skin is the largest organ of our body and it can absorb things we touch or wear. This means that our clothes, sheets, blankets, towels and everything else we wash with most commercial laundry soaps are transferring the toxins from these products into our bodies.
“I didn’t know laundry soaps include toxins,” you say. Yes, they do. A few of which are: phenols, phosphates, sulfates, and artificial fragrances.
Phenols are made from crude oil by an industrial process. The dangers of phenols are many, including heart, lung, kidney and liver damage. Since the skin very easily absorbs phenols you should avoid any laundry products with these toxic chemicals. If swallowed, phenols can cause circulatory collapse, coma and even death.
Phosphates are used to soften hard water so clothes absorb water and detergent to lift soil from the fibers of your clothes. The problem here is that phosphates can cause skin irritation, nausea and vomiting. Another issue is that phosphates released into the environment cause an imbalance in the ecosystem. This is why many states have regulated the amount of phosphates that can be used.
Artificial fragrances are made from mostly petroleum products and various man-made chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Man-made, or synthetic fragrances, contain phthalates. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors which means they interfere with the natural hormone processes of the human body. Phthalates are linked to birth defects, learning and developmental disabilities and cancer. It’s hard to find out exactly what other chemicals are in these synthetic fragrances because they are considered “trade secrets” and manufacturers do not have to disclose them.
Those are just three of the many toxic chemicals found in commercial laundry soap. That is why making your own homemade toxic free laundry soap is preferable for you and your family’s health. Homemade laundry soap is easy to make and takes only a few ingredients, many of which you already have in your pantry.
• 1 cup baking soda
• 1¼ cups white vinegar
• 1 cup washing soda
• 1 cup borax
• ½ cup liquid castile soap
Combine all ingredients in a plastic or glass bowl one at a time in the order listed making sure to mix each one thoroughly before adding the next ingredient. Be sure when you add the liquid castile soap that you immediately blend it all together because if you wait it will get hard and really tough to stir.
Store in a non-metal container with a lid. Use approximately ¼ cup per load of laundry.
Add the vinegar very slowly to the baking soda because it will bubble up and overflow if you’re not careful.
If you prefer fragrance in your laundry soap you can buy scented liquid castile soap or add 5-6 (or more to your liking) drops of essential oil to each batch.
Using a food processor to combine ingredients makes a quick job of it.