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  • Writer's pictureamyk73

The Side Effects of Laundry

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

Our washing machine has the most thankless job in the house. This machine runs every day if not every other day to keep up with the never ending need for clean pants, tops, towels and more. It endures smells, stains, rewashing, soaks, and only occasionally getting a cleaning of its own. It may not be thanked often but I sure miss it when it doesn’t work.

What we put into our washing machine ranges from the heaviest of sweaters and towels to the most delicate quilts I make and special clothing that require special handling to clean. I’m constantly turning the dial for the right washing cycle and adjusting water temperature and strength to ensure a proper clean for what’s inside.

There was a time I purchased the standard detergent, fabric softener, bleach and laundry boost products to do this cleaning. Clothes would smell nice and usually came out clean. Then I would switch them over to the dryer where I would add in a dryer sheet thinking I was working out wrinkles and enhancing the scent to ensure a freshness whenever the item was worn or used next.

It was life. It was laundry. I didn’t want to think about it I just wanted it done – cleaned, dried folded and put away.

Things that Make Clean Clothes Possible

The ingredients in your average detergent off the shelf consist of a high level of dangerous ingredients that can implicate your skin, respiratory system, cell health, physical and emotional well-being. It damages your sense of smell. It eradicates stains and smells at the cost of severely exposing your skin to harsh chemicals afterwards. It contributes to the gray water problem in our environment with ingredients that cannot be broken down and therefore harms water systems, fish and wildlife who use that water to live.

Here’s a video showing the effects of Tide in water:

The side effects of a bottle of average laundry detergent are as a long and as dangerous as some of the medications we are prescribed. Yet we pour it in out our washers every day without a thought!

Here’s another article on the human effects from using your average store bought detergent:

What’s even scarier is I know there is a kids slime recipe out there that uses Tide as the main ingredient. What kid doesn’t like playing with slime and here we are well-meaning parents giving them that fun stuff to play with and it’s loaded with hazardous ingredients that could seriously hurt them!

So what if there was a different way?

What if we could still get clothes clean, free of stains, smelling good and achieving the same well intended results we have now without those negative side effects? What if it were as simple, quick and efficient in character as the average store bought detergent?

There are lots of “natural” detergents on the market. They are commonly sold under labels containing the words “simple” “natural” “organic” and more to let us know they are ultra sensitive to skin and environment. However, even some of these contain ingredients that are similar to risk of the more dangerous products. Check it out yourself on the Think Dirty app that contains a large database of products that you can scan or manually look up to see the rating yourself.

The best way to ensure it is truly natural is to make it yourself or have a label on the product consist of ingredients you can pronounce and recognize as natural ingredients.

I have transformed our home to natural cleaners that I make myself or that I buy and can identify ingredients on. When it comes to laundry it’s not that I’m opposed to making my own but I found the doTERRA detergent that contains their OnGuard oil blend. It works great, fulfills my convenience, quickness and cost checklist and I can use additional essential oils like doTERRA Lemongrass, Purify, Melaleuca for stains and smells. Here’s a post I did back in 2018 about laundry:

Since writing this earlier post I have updated my approach slightly. Currently, I am using this method:

  1. doTERRA OnGuard detergent

  2. Borax

  3. Rosemary essential oil based fabric softener

  4. Basil essential oil salt based laundry booster

  5. Lavender essential oil on wool dryer balls

  6. Lemongrass and Purify for stains and overly stinky laundry

I’m loving the Rosemary and Basil combination. It’s fresh and pleasant. The lavender from the dryer balls adds a softer scent to the Rosemary and Basil. I especially love that it is an all natural solution that is not going to harm my family or the environment.

There are numerous recipes available for making your detergent, fabric softener and scent boosters. These are incredibly inexpensive to make and the results rival the harsher cleaners without the pollution or harmful side effects.

Scent Booster

  1. 1 1/2 cups epsom salt

  2. 1/2 cup baking soda

  3. 20-30 drops essential oil

Simple and quick to make, easy to use and personalized to your favorite aroma. Average cost $2 – $3 compared to the $5-$7 for the store stuff

Fabric Softener

1 Quart white vinegar 25 drops essential oil 1 tsp rubbing alcohol

Again incredibly easy and cheap to make! White Vinegar is $1 per gallon at my local supermarket and rubbing alcohol is literally another $1 or less.

Interested in more?

Laundry is a chore in and of itself without adding the burden of exposure to harmful things to your family or our planet. Whether you choose to make your own or purchase a natural option for your laundry products, it does not have to increase the cost, convenience or ease of just getting the clothes washed.

If you have questions about the doTERRA items in this post, please reach out. I’m happy to help.

With a doTERRA account you can purchase these natural products and oils at a savings of at least 25% off. Learn more at:

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