Pesky social norms require that we use clothing. Even someone who frequently sleeps nude to enjoy the thrill still nestles in pillowcases and snuggle up to soft bed sheets.
As harmless as they may seem, the cheerful plastic bottle containing the laundry detergent houses plenty of issues, beginning with the bottle itself.
Conventional detergents are usually manufactured with hundreds of harmful compounds. These include optical brighteners, carcinogens, and petrochemicals.
All these could linger on your clothes and harm your body and are also dangerous for marine life.
Why you should start using natural laundry solutions
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Health wise, the ingredients for manufacturing laundry detergents pose a range of health risks.
These may either be minor problems like allergies and irritated skin or even severe issues like poisoning, cancer, and neurological illnesses.
The effects of these products are not only limited to personal health but also extend to the health of the environment and the general public.
All the chemicals contained in these detergents may enter the atmosphere, wash down the drain into water bodies.
According to the results, 58 of these compounds were highly concentrated, going beyond 300 micrograms for every cubic meter.
Federal laws classify about seven of them as hazardous or toxic. While all the products tested positive of at least one toxic chemical, none of these was indicated on the respective product labels.
Another almost similar study was carried out in 2011. Its findings indicate that air that comes from machines that use poplar scented detergent and dryer sheet is packed with over 25 volatile organic compounds.
Two of these chemicals – benzene and acetaldehyde – are categorized as carcinogens. The Environmental Protection Agency has not established their safe exposure level.
Apart from these toxic fragrances, common detergents also contained chemicals such as sulfates, phenol, phosphates, optical brighteners, EDTA, and more.
All these could cause problems such as allergies, rashes, itches, and sinus problems. Furthermore, they leave behind long-term environmental effects.
Finally, the energy sources and natural resources used alongside the waste generated to create billions of gallons of toxic detergents in plastic packages are too significant. That is why small footprint families should never ignore the associated dangers.
Ingredients for Creating Natural Laundry Detergents
Here are the ingredients you need:
- Bar soap – This is a crucial ingredient anytime you want to manufacture your natural laundry detergent. Coconut oil-based bar soaps are the most suitable for this job. However, lard and tallow also work just fine.
- Baking soda – Commercial formulas do not rely on this ingredient, but it is also crucial as it helps soften water. Furthermore, the compound prevents the cleaning pH level from going higher. But it is not as effective as washing soda.
- Borax – People hold different opinions on the safety of this product. Well, here, we will be referring to sodium borate or sodium tetraborate and not hydrogen borate (boric acid), which is the harmful one.
- Lemon essential oil – This is definitely a must-have among the ingredients. It is an effective stain remover and can also de-grease stained garments.
- Vinegar – This ingredient will not be used in the main recipe. However, you can always have half a cup of this substance as a rinse. It helps rest the pH to levels that are friendly to the skin and also dissolves excess salts and detergent from clothes.
- Powdered Oxygen Bleach (with no fillers) – This is also an important input for brightening whites, though not compulsory. Chose brands that have hydrogen peroxide (or pure sodium percarbonate) as they are usually non-toxic.
Recipe for natural laundry soap
Here are the steps to follow:
- Grate or chop the bar soap of your choice into small pieces or use the food processor to mix till the bits are finely ground. You can choose exceptional quality brands, as most of them have different natural scents such as peppermint, lavender, or tea tree.
- Pour two parts of washing soda into a huge bowl then add one part grated soap and two parts Borax.
- Keep the mixture in a closed container. If yours is bigger, then you may as well do away with step two, combine all your ingredients in the storage container, then shake.
- Use between two tablespoons and a quarter a cup per a load of laundry.
Making liquid laundry detergents
The procedure of making liquid natural detergents at home is as below:
- Use a food processer or cheese grater to break your bar soap into tiny pieces.
- Pour the soap pieces that you have grated in a pan then add two parts water. Heat it gradually as you stir consistently till all the soap has been dissolved completely.
- Pour about 4.5 gallons of hot water in a bucket, then stir in two cups each of the borax and washing soda till they are dissolved as well.
- Pour your soap mixture from the pan into the bucket as you stir.
- Cover the container and leave it overnight
- Continue shaking and stirring till the mixture is smooth enough to be poured into any container
- Use between 0.5 to 1 cup for a laundry load.
Soaps versus detergents – Which is better?
Most soaps, on the other hand, are designed to interact with skin; hence they are not as strong.
You can also use between 2-3 tablespoons of Sal Suds to get rid of odors and tough stains. Technically, the natural product is not a soap, but a detergent.
Creating your natural nice smelling laundry detergent by yourself is an excellent strategy that could save lots of your cash while at the same time, keep your family members away from toxic chemicals.
The entire process is not only simple, but the ingredients can also be acquired easily at pocket-friendly rates. What’s more, you can make a bulk purchase that can last you some extra months.