This has been a long time in the making but I’ve finally fully transitioned over to a non-toxic laundry routine and have been so happy with it! I thought it would be fun to take you through a little “tour” of it in case you are looking for safer, more cost-effective options for your home, too.
When I first started to try to be more careful about what we used in our home, I switched to commercial Free & Clear detergent and stopped using dryer sheets. Then, for a few years I made laundry detergent out of borax, Felz Naptha soap, and washing soda. It was fairly simple and very cost effective but for some reason it still felt like a lot of work and I eventually found out that it wasn’t as non-toxic as I once thought. Which brings us to now!
Laundry detergents, laundry boosters, and dryer sheets are some of the biggest culprits for synthetic fragrance and endocrine disruptors hiding in homes. I’m so excited to share with you what’s in our non-toxic laundry room and what we use each item for!
First off, we have been using and loving these washing balls from Crystal Wash. You can watch a short video on their site to see how they work but I love that they are safe for our septic system , are so easy to use, and work so well. They are also very cost-effective! They do come with a bottle of commercial essential oil that I didn’t use – I prefer to use Young Living oils since I know what’s in them and how they are produced. I’ve used these washing balls on stained clothes (pre-treated with what I’ll share in a minute), my husband’s dirty work clothes (he does a lot of construction and his clothes get filthy), and a load that had some (ahem) excrement on it (I love/dislike that dog). In each case they worked fantastic! I’ve been so happy with them.
The washing balls were purchased by a friend who passed them on to me. She really liked them except they didn’t do as good a job as she would have liked on her whites and she wears a lot of white. We don’t have a lot of whites around here so it’s not a big issue for us but when I do have a load I want to keep extra white, I have found a couple things that work really well! I either hang the clothes in the direct sunlight for a few hours (it does a surprisingly good job of whitening!) or soak whites in a 1 capful of Thieves Household Cleaner (undiluted) and some of this plant-based “bleach,” before washing.
I know I’m not the only one that has let a load of towels sit too long and get musty smelling. Right?! There is nothing better than Thieves Household Cleaner for a good washing boost! I have tried many other things and nothing else does it like Thieves Household Cleaner (this is one of my very favorite products ever!). Just add a capful of the undiluted cleaner to your load of laundry, let it swish around and sit for a few minutes if you’d like, then wash as normal. The Thieves Cleaner and washing balls do great together.
There are a few items we keep on hand for treating stains.
Thieves Household Cleaner, diluted in a spray bottle, is one. This is what I use for most stains. Spray it on, rub it in, let it sit for a minute, then wash it. If it’s an extra tough stain, I use undiluted Thieves cleaner on it. I’ve used this on BBQ sauce, pen, marker, grease (although the next method works a little better for this one), makeup, and dirt.
Lemon oil is what we use for gummy, waxy stains (like crayon). A couple drops of lemon oil plus Thieves Dish Soap is great for grease stains!
I’ve heard that the Thieves bar soap makes for a great pre-treatment laundry stick but I haven’t tried it yet. I’m very happy with what we are using now but it still might be fun to try sometime. If you try it, let me know what you think!
Between the Thieves Household Cleaner, Lemon oil, and Thieves Dish Soap, I can’t recall any stains we haven’t been able to successfully remove yet when we’ve gotten to them in a timely manner. There have been two times I remember that we had to treat and wash something twice (without drying between washes) but I don’t mind doing that if it saves a piece of laundry. And while we are on that topic, does anyone else feel like legit Super Woman when you get a stain out without using anything toxic and save a piece of laundry?! It’s a very satisfying thing. If you’d told me that I’d get this excited about laundry ten years ago, I would have laughed at you, but here I am, killing it – and non-toxically, too (I’m going to claim toxically as a real word).
I honestly never cared for the scent of dryer sheets and stopped using them years ago but once in a while I wished there was something to help with static cling. That, and, even though I know clean isn’t a smell (and it’s definitely not “Mountain Mocha Breeze Cupcake”), it is nice when your clean stuff smells nice. Wool dryer balls were exactly what I was missing! They speed drying time, reduce static cling, and you can use essential oils to add a scent to clean clothes. Some of my favorite oils to use are Purification, Christmas Spirit, Lavender and Lemongrass, or Lavender and Geranium. To add a scent, dry your laundry with the dryer balls. Once laundry is dry, remove balls and add a drop of essential oil to each one or a couple drops on a couple balls. Throw them back in the dryer and dry for another few minutes. These are the dryer balls I use and I have loved them. We use 3-4 large balls for small/medium loads and 5-6 large balls for medium/large loads of laundry.
I referenced several Young Living items in this post that we have used for years and love. If you don’t use Young Living yet and want to, you can click on the “Young Living” tab on my home pate – I’m here to help!
And there you have it! Non-toxic, safe, effective, and easy on the budget. That’s a win in my book!
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