When I walk down the aisle for cleaners and laundry detergent at Harris Teeter, I suffocate from all the harsh smells. Each bottle claims they are “dermatologist-approved” with their skin-friendly ingredients. Yet by the time I reach the end of the aisle, my head feels tight. Once more, when I used them, I would suffer an allergic reaction. Thus, I figured it was time to wake up, which is why I completely revamped our cleaning regimen to a sustain a chemical-free laundry method.
Traditional companies package their liquid laundry detergents in high-density polyethylene – the most popular plastic in the world. Because 68% of these bottles are not recycled, they end up contributing to 275 metric tons of plastic waste annually which end up in our oceans and waterways.
| Nature’s Chemical-Free Laundry Detergent
For my clothing, I wash all my non-delicates in warm water to activate my soapberries.
Yes. You read right – soapberries. As it turns out, these particular berries release a surfactant-like cleaner that penetrates the fabric’s fibers to lift stains. The best part of all is that the soapberry is natural, organic, fair trade, and cruelty-free.
All you have to do is place 6-8 berries in a cotton wash bag (most soapberry companies include this), and throw it in! The berries activate in warm water so unfortunately for delicates, I have to wash with a different product – discussed next – to avoid shrinking and damage.
You can reuse the berries 3-4 times before needing to replace them. After they have served it’s purpose, keep the soapberry remains because you can boil them and use its juices for other cleaning products. Otherwise, you can compost them!
| Convenient Chemical-Free Laundry Detergent
- Optical brighteners
The company’s laundry pods are biodegradable as it consists of plant-derived ingredients! When Dropps arrives in the mail, the packaging is waste-free in that it lacks excessive packaging. Unlike Lush, who packs two tiny bottles in a massive box filled with Cheeto puffs, Dropps’s packaging is 100% recyclable and compostable!
The detergent pod’s membrane consists of polyvinyl alcohol, which is a water-soluble film. When the water in washer enters a natural stream, the solution enters as micro particles. In one month, 55 species of micro-organisms that already exist in nature will convert those micro particles into water and carbon. #scienceforgood
| Dryer Sheet Replacements
Did you know that a car would fail an emissions test if its exhaust were the same air that comes out of most dryer vents when using dryer sheets? Um…no more for me!
An alternative solution is using 100% wool dryer balls which have 0 toxins. These wool balls are from MightyNest and are handmade from Nepal. It aims to last for 1000 loads while softening clothes, and reducing static.
All you have to do is toss all three balls in the dryer, and they will help dry clothes 25- 50% faster. If you like having comforting scents from dyer sheets, add some drops of lavender essential oils to the dryer balls for the SAME effect but without cancer-linking, synthetic chemicals. If you want to switch up scents, you can wash and dry them just the same.
There you have it, eco-friendly science that allows you to enjoy fresh-smelling laundry without all the mean junk. I hope these three tips for achieving a chemical-free laundry method were helpful.