Have you ever had a rash you could not explain, until you changed laundry soap and then it went away? Have you noticed that your pet has bare spots on their coats, and you changed from dryer sheets and their fur grew back?
Have you ever wondered about what you use to clean and dry your clothes and what it is made from? I saw a "How do they make that?" episode a long time ago and learned that soap is sprayed onto cardboard and then shredded and boxed for sale as dry soap flakes. I changed to liquid soap after that. The idea of washing my clothes in cardboard did not make me happy. Yes, I know, the problem with most liquid soaps is, that they are mostly water and still full of chemicals that are questionable.
So why does that matter you ask? The clothes are being washed and the soap and dryer sheets are not being used directly on your skin right? Remember we talked about the rash and bald spots above? Even though you are not using the soap and dryer sheets directly on your skin the ingredients can still be harmful to human health as well as to the environment, and your pets health. You are still being effected.
It has been proven that one of the most offending substances that is commonly used in soaps and dryer sheets is "fragrance". Yes, they leave your clothes smelling "fresh and clean", but these fake fragrances can also leave you with some major as well as common health problems (like headaches). I tried a scent booster when I washed my sheets and it made me sick for weeks. I had to rewash everything as I was suffering major headaches and had red patches on my skin.
A report by the National Academy of Sciences shows that approximately 95 percent of the chemicals used in synthetic fragrances are derived from petroleum (crude oil). These chemicals include things like carcinogenic benzene
derivatives, aldehydes, toluene, and a bunch of other toxic chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects, allergic reactions, and central nervous system disorders. (1)
Bleach is another common chemical found in soaps and while bleach may be excellent at getting whites their whitest, it has also been shown to irritate the eyes, skin and lungs. A study study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine and referenced in Science Daily
suggests that even just “passive exposure” to bleach in the home is associated with a greater chance of respiratory illness and other infections in children. (2)
Those are just two of the many ingredients in commercial laundry soaps or dryer sheets that are seriously concerning. The thought occurred to me, that making my own soap and dryer sheet alternatives would be a good idea.
I currently do not make my own laundry soap as I am happy with the OnGuard concentrated liquid laundry soap and the Abode laundry pods, but below you will find an excellent recipe for making your own. However, I did make cotton dryer balls and love putting essential oils on those. I love the smell left on my clothes (that does last for days) from Purify, Holiday Joy and other citrus essential oils. Another other option, and way easier than coiling cotton yarn into a ball is the dryer sheet recipe below. You can also buy wool dryer balls.
By making your own laundry soap you can avoid the harsh chemicals. When you avoid the harsh chemicals your clothing lasts longer, your skin and eyes will no longer have the exposure that creates health issues, your lungs will thank you. I used to walk down the cleaning isle at the grocery store breathing deeply and think "ahhh the smell of clean" I can no longer go near that isle as it hurts my lungs and eyes. I can feel them burning.
Homemade Laundry Soap Ingredients
Castile soap: Pure castile soap is eco-friendly and biodegradable soap made from plant oils. This soap is so gentle that it can be used to wash your skin and hair yet it is strong enough to thoroughly clean clothes. I used to use it to wash my geldings sheath. You can also use pure unscented castile soap to rinse fruit, clean dishes and so much more! Another day we will do recipes for dish soap.
Washing soda: Washing soda, or sodium carbonate, is a very affordable and highly effective natural cleaning agent. It is known for fighting tough stains when added to laundry detergent. Washing soda also receives an “A” grade from the Environmental Working Group for its safety to both humans and the environment.
Baking soda: Baking soda is inexpensive yet it is an effective non-toxic cleaning agent. What we call baking soda or sodium bicarbonate occurs in its natural form as the mineral nahcolite. It’s so non-toxic that it is commonly added to recipes (think baking, taken on its own for all kinds of health benefits, and can even be used to make a homemade face wash, face scrub or shampoo. I even use it to make my toothpaste.
Lavender essential oil: Adding essential oils is optional so feel free to leave them out an have a fragrance free homemade laundry detergent. Adding lavender essential oil not only makes an amazing smelling detergent, it also adds proven stress-reducing and mood-lifting aromatherapy benefits
Peppermint essential oil: Peppermint essential oil is the perfect complimentary oil to pair with lavender. While lavender is sweet, floral and calming, peppermint oil
adds a bright, herbal and energizing scent to this recipe.
How to Make Homemade Laundry Soap
Making laundry soap at home does not really take a lot of time, money.
Total Time: 5 minutes Uses: 12-15
INGREDIENTS: 1 bar grated castile soap
2 cups washing soda1 cup baking soda
15 drops lavender essential oil.
15 drops peppermint essential oil
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use 1/4 cup per large load top load. (adjust accordingly, especially for high-efficiency washers, for which you may want to wait until the water runs through soap dispenser).
Dryer sheets make things a lot easier, they give your clothing a lasting refreshing scent and prevent static cling. Making them yourself you can save money and help the environment with an effective solution. You can have creative freedom and make more than one scent or change it whenever you wish. Once again avoiding the harsh chemicals that are in the store bought sheets. Remember you can use your home-made dryer sheets over and over.
Homemade Dryer Sheets Materials
Vinegar: An inexpensive answer to the eco-friendly fabric softener question is vinegar. It can be used in the washer to replace liquid fabric softener and/or to create your own dryer sheets. Vinegar is a natural fabric softener, and the smell disappears when it dries.
Fabric Cloths: Use an absorbent material. Face cloths make a good choice. You will be able to reuse the cloths (10-12 uses) saving landfills from lots of dryer sheets. You can cut them into quarters and put 1-2 in per dry cycle. Cut fabrics into equal pieces of at least five-inch squares and do a quick stitch along the rough edge if you think it will fray in the dryer. Do not discount the use of old t-shirts, towels or other absorbent materials.
Glass Jar: Use a large mouth jar that you can easily get your hand into to pull out the sheets and put them in. Always keep essential oils in glass as they break down plastics.
Purify essential oil blend: Purify is a blend of refreshing and cleansing essential oils. doTERRA Purify is unmatched in cleaning properties and can help eradicate unwanted odors in the laundry and throughout the home.
Essential oils of choice: Use which ever essential oil that makes you happy. You may wish to use Lavender to match your soap and desire a calming scent. You can make more than one jar of dryer sheets and make as many scents as you which. Maybe the kids would like Wild Orange instead. Be creative. Choose an essential oil that you like, it will leave its scent on any clothes you dry with your new DIY dryer sheets!
How to Make Homemade Dryer Sheets
1/2 cup vinegar (if allergic to wheat use rice vinegar)
6 to 8 drops essential oil of choice
1 glass container with a tight sealing lid
several pieces of cloth (to fit glass jar and soak up liquid)
Essential oils of Choice
1) Fold each cloth to match the size of the jar and layer inside your jar.
2) Put Your Vinegar and Essential Oils in a separate bowl and mix together.
3) Add Just Enough Vinegar Solution To the Jar over the cloths until they are damp.
—but not saturated or soaking.
4) When you are ready to dry a load of laundry, remove one cloth and ring it out over the jar to remove any excess solution before tossing it in the dryer.
5) Place the cloth back in the jar after each use and it's ready for the next load.
You can use the left over solution to put directly into the wash as a fabric softener. You can also use it for cleaning around the house. Think glass shower doors and mirrors.
Add more scented vinegar as needed; it should be approximately every month or so.
If you have any recipes for laundry soap or dyer sheets please share them below. If you have any questions please comment or contact me via the events tab at the top of the page. Remember I am here to help you on Your Road to ReNew You.