The TRUTH about detergent

Let me start by saying everything you put on your skin enters your body through your pores. This includes, but certainly ins't limited to, the residue left on clothing from detergent. 
Detergents you'd find at your local grocery market contain petroleum, phthalates, phosphates, chlorine, optical brighteners, synthetic fragrances and dyes.
If you're anything like me, you had to goog those to figure out what they are. Those who didn't, I've gotcha covered!

Petroleum
A limited resource that we shouldn't be wasting and also it creates LOTS of pollution to extract and refine it.
Phthalates
Mess with your hormones! They essentially are endocrine distruptors that pregnant women and infants are supposed to avoid.
Phosphates
Think back to chem class freshman year of college. Nothing? Basically these kill our environment. Phosphates are banned in some states and all of Europe. They breakdown quickly yet stay in the water which in turn goes back into the community, promoting algae growth, causing eutrophication, then starves local water of oxygen and finally plants and animals die as a result.
Chlorine
Causes redness, burning pain, blurred vision and blisters on the skin if exposed as a gas. In liquid form it causes a burning sensation in eyes, nose and throat, difficulty breathing and chest tightness go hand in hand here as well. Better yet if you inhale it fluid in the lungs builds up (pulmonary edema) along with nausea and vomiting. I don't know about you but I'd rather limit my vomiting to early pregnancy and being too drunk, which I've had enough of already.
Optical Brighteners
Again they are hormone distruptors that actually bind to your skin. They may cause rashes and allergic reactions in children. They are the reason why things "glow in the dark". Very cool in a glow stick, not so cool in your body.
Synthetic fragrances and Dyes
We'll never know what is used to make these because they are "trade secrets" but I think that speaks for itself. If anyone doesn't list their ingredients you can bet its super sketchy.

Now they have these wonderful little pods of detergents which make it just a little bit easier for your little babe to mistake those wrapped up chemicals for candy. PERFECT!

Ok, end rant.
Making your own detergent is a lot cheaper and so so easy.
Here's two ways.

What you'll need:
Large Container
Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
Borax
Bar of soap*
Liquid Soap*
Cheese Grator or Food processor*

*depend upon which method you'd prefer
Steps 1 - 4 are the same for both methods



Please excuse the OxiClean in this picture. I originally used it to make detergent but then learned that "free and clear" doesn't mean natural so I removed it. There's no difference in the wash that I can see. If you'd like to use it, its the free label and you'd only use one scoop for this recipe.

For our container I used an empty cheese ball container.
Step 1
Add half a box of Borax to your container
(box is 76 oz, use 38 oz)
Step 2
Add half a box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
(box is 55 oz, use 27.5 oz)
Step 3
Add 2 cups of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
Step 4
Shake up all dry ingredients!

Here's where it varies.
The bar of soap we chose was Dr Bronner's Baby Mild Scent so it was safe for Greyson. This is an all natural brand. They have many scents. Any soap you like will work though.
If you're using a bar of soap with a cheese grator..
Step 5
Grate bar of soap
(you'll want small, thin pieces. I recommend using the medium size panel on the grator.)
Step 6
Mix soap with other ingredients
Step 7
Wash!

If you're using a bar of soap with a food processor...
Step 5
Break soap into small pieces
Step 6
Put in food processor to break up to desired size
(pea size would be perfect)
Step 7
Mix into dry ingredients
Step 8
Wash!

If you're using a liquid soap...
This is the liquid soap we use. It is also Dr Bronner's. This time the scent we chose was Hemp Almond Tea Tree. It smells amazing! You don't have to use the whole thing about half should do, maybe even a quarter bottle. I just eyeball this part so I don't have a measurement.



Step 5
Squirt into dry ingredients while breaking up the lines it creates
(you'll see what I mean when you're doing it. You can use a spoon to break it up/mix it in or your hand. Whatever is easier)
Step 6
Wash!

4 comments

  1. This is great information about the dangers of some laundry detergents. It's precisely why we switched to a nontoxic one! I've never made my own, but I know of people who have a lot of success with it! And I LOVE Dr. Bronners...I haven't tried that Hemp Almond Tea Tree yet, but I'm sure it's divine!

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  2. I love this idea. Every step we can take to protect ourselves and the planet is a good step! Thank you. :)

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  3. I definitely need to try this. There are so many chemicals in our life's it's crazy. People in the old days did their laundry just fine without all of the mess.

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Maira Gall