Our modern lifestyle allows us to enjoy a lot of conveniences.
Unfortunately, this comes at a price.
We’re also surrounded by toxic chemicals, everywhere we turn.
It’s impossible to avoid potentially hazardous compounds altogether. (Unless we retreat to a remote wooded area and live off the land.
Fortunately, there’s another option. We can make our homes chemical free. Starting with our laundry.
Actually, it’s easy to clean your clothes without detergent. Here’s how.
Natural Way To Wash Clothes Without Detergent
It’s really easy to make your own laundry detergent with just a few simple ingredients. This way you can avoid toxic chemicals and artificial fragrances.
Once we got rid of commercial laundry detergent, I noticed just how noxious those fragrances are.
Occasionally, I do laundry for a relative who’s sick. I’ve noticed the smell of the detergent makes me sick. So I try to avoid it as much as possible.
Smelling this brand of detergent gives me a headache. Possibly because we use now use safer, less toxic laundry solutions.
One of the easiest ways to ditch the detergent is to make your own laundry powder. You will need just three ingredients, plus the essential oils of your choice.
Essential oils are not optional. But they’re nice to add to homemade laundry powder. They smell nice. It’s also possible they add some extra cleaning power.
It is known that certain essential oils contain natural antimicrobial compounds. So I like to add them to my DIY laundry powder.
How To Make Non Toxic Laundry Powder
1 c washing Soda (You can get it here)
1 c baking soda
1/2 c Epsom salt (You can get it here)
15 drops of the essential oils of your choice. You can use various kinds essential oils. I like to use the ones about to go bad. Essential oils have a limited shelf life of approximately 1 to 6 years, depending on the type. Citrus oils only last about a year.
Mix these ingredients together and use 1/8 cup of this powder in your laundry. Heavily soiled clothes may require more.
I’ve seen other recipes that call for borax instead of washing soda. This is a possibility. But even though borax is a natural mineral, it may cause skin or lung irritation, if inhaled. However, I think borax more cleaning power than washing soda. So it’s a trade off.
Personally, I prefer borax. But it’s a personal choice. I’m giving you two possibilities, along with the pros and cons.
Do Soap Nuts Work for Washing Clothes?
Soap nuts are little dried berries that can clean your clothes. They are 100 percent natural and they do work, at least for lightly soiled laundry.
You can add 1/4 cup of white vinegar to your washing machine cycle for moderately soiled laundry.
Soap nuts do clean. But they do it without bubbles or suds. That can be disconcerting, until you get used to it.
I worried at first the soap nuts weren’t really getting my clothes clean. But they smelled really fresh coming out of the drier.
Soap nuts are also very economical. Actually, if you’re on a tight budget, I can’t think of another method of doing laundry that comes close.
Even DIY laundry detergent isn’t cheap, because you still need to buy the ingredients.
We bought one box of soap nuts and it’s lasting a long time. On the box, it says it will last for 360 loads. But it seems as if this can be stretched even further.
You can reuse soap nuts multiple times. You don’t have to discard the dried berries until they become paper thin.
The brand of soap nuts we use is called Eco Nuts and it comes with three little linen bags. (You can see it below.) You put 4 to 5 soap nuts in one of these little bags and drop it in your washing machine along with the dirty laundry.
Wool Dryer Balls for Your Laundry
Fabric softener is something else you may want to avoid. There are some newer green products on the market. But many of the commercial softeners contain ingredients that don’t pass muster with the Environmental working group.
(Plus they just smell dreadful.)
One area of concern cited by the EWG is that many of these formulas contain what’s known as “asthmagens,” which means they’re capable of causing asthma.
If soft clothes are a priority, you may want to think about using wool dryer balls instead. These can be used in the dryer, just like dryer sheets. Without any concern over exposing yourself and your family to potentially toxic chemicals.
You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oils to your dryer balls, for a clean natural scent.
If you can’t find dryer balls locally they’re available online.
For More Reading
Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Laundry Detergent
Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Fabric Softeners