Natural Living Laundry

December 12, 2018

Natural Living Laundry - Oakwood Natural Living

We encourage you to rethink your laundry routine.

Using store bought detergents, adding fabric softener and then dryer sheets are exposing you to thousands of chemicals in the air and on your skin.

Do you still smell the "summer fresh flowers" that your detergent claims to be? That's because the chemicals are still in your clothing and allowing your skin to absorb tons of synthetics all day and especially in the heat or if you're sweating. Our skin can absorb toxins and chemicals from hard surfaces and the clothing that it touches and many times, we aren't even aware of it.

Its true... toxins and chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and then into our blood stream.

You can save money AND live a more natural life with using basic clean ingredients.  There are some laundry detergents out there that are a better choice  with more plant based ingredients and  you can easily wash your clothes with Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap.  If you really want to be hard core, look into using "soap nuts". 

Citrus Laundry Liquid DIY  Use 1/2-1 cup of liquid castile soap, 1 cup of washing soda, 1 cup of baking soda, 4, 3/4cup of hot water, 1 tsp lemon essential oil, 1/2 teaspoon of grapefruit essential oil.  Directions - stir the washing soda into the hot water and gently stir until dissolved. Then add the baking soda. VERY gently add in the castile soap and careful while blending it,so it doesn't froth up. Add the essential oils last and gently stir some more. Store in an air tight container in the laundry room. To use, gently shake to remix and add 1/4 to 1/3 cup per load of laundry. Shelf life is 1 year.

For fabric softener, use plain white distilled vinegar and for the dryer, skip the dryer sheets and use natural wool dryer balls.  The dryer balls just tumble around with your clothing to soften and help prevent static.  We keep about 6 of them inside the dryer at all times. They do a wonderful job!

Baking soda!  Everyone has it in the pantry and it is an excellent laundry booster.

Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your washer to enhance the effectiveness of detergent, absorb odors and help remove stains.

Use 5% white distilled vinegar in your rinse cycle instead of fabric softener.  It makes a huge difference in removing detergent residue, softens clothes, locks in colors and it will not break down your clothing fibers like commercial fabric softeners will.  You will be amazed with the results and it additionally keeps your washing machine clean and gunk free.  Simply add 1/2 to 1 full cup of white vinegar to the softener dispenser instead of fabric softener.  Your clothing will NOT smell of vinegar, we promise.

Essential oils for laundry - We do not like to recommend using essential oils in the laundry.  Honestly, your wasting good EO's in the laundry if your trying to get a lasting scent.  Now, if you want to use Tea Tree oil in the laundry to help kill bacteria and fungus... that works but your clothing will not keep the scent of tea tree oil.  Some EO's, like Lemon, can bleach the clothes or stain them.  Other oils that are darker or resinous like Myrrh or Cinnamon can most definitely stain your clothes.  Use caution if using any EO's in the laundry.  You could add a few drops of cinnamon if you're washing brown towels, but I wouldn't do it with delicate fabrics or light colors.

Using EO's in the dryer can pose a problem as well.  Many essential oils are flammable and could react to heat if used in large amounts when your machine dries at 125 - 145 degrees.  The best way is to dry your clothes first, and then use a small damp cloth to apply the essential oil on, then toss it in with the clothes and run the dryer a short time on low heat.  Many essential oils will lose their fragrance from the heat though, and you will need to practice with a few to see what works for you.

Another way to scent your laundry is to make your own fabric mist.  I have a few bottles on the laundry room shelf.  I use the fabric mist when I pull an item out from the dryer, I will hang it up and then mist it before putting it in the closet.  You could also keep a fabric mist in your closet and mist the clothing before wearing it.  Just use a small fine mist bottle of distilled water and add a few drops of essential oil like lavender, lemongrass or geranium.  Be sure to shake the bottle with each use.

You can also scent your laundry by placing cotton balls with essential oil on them throughout your drawers or in the closet. If you have fabric padded hangers, then just add a few drops of essential oil to them.  

Its amazing on how we adapt to fragrances and smells.  Once you start living a cleaner life and get rid of all the synthetic fragrances, you will find that your sense of smell will change.

Fragrance in personal-care products is the second most common cause of allergic skin reaction after nickel in jewelry.

Bottom line?  Fragrance does not equal clean.

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