When you wash your clothes in conventional laundry detergents, you’re getting a lot more than you bargained for. From harmful chemicals that pollute our water supply to “fragrance” that lingers on your clean clothes, that box of detergent leaves a lot to be desired.
Detergent isn’t the only dirty part of doing the laundry. Dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener are not so clean from a health or environmental standpoint, either. They contain a laundry list of ingredients, many of which are rated high for toxicity or are even completely unregulated.
Not all chemicals are harmful, of course. Baking soda is a chemical, and so are salt, borax, and acetic acid (found in vinegar). The trouble comes in when we’re talking about chemicals that harm our health, that pollute the environment, or that breed antibiotic resistance. Luckily, you don’t have to wash your clothes in harmful chemicals! Here are some DIY alternatives to get your laundry truly clean and leave it smelling fresh.
DIY Laundry Detergent Options
Instead of potentially toxic conventional detergents, you can whip yourself up a batch of homemade laundry soap instead! Homemade detergents can be just as effective as the store-bought variety, and they’re often much less expensive to boot.
Soap nuts are one of the simplest DIY detergent options, because they only contain one ingredient: soapberries. When you agitate soap nuts in the washing machine, they release saponin, which helps the water dissolve dirt and stains from your clothes. You can toss them into the machine whole, grind them up, or make soap nut liquid detergent by boiling them in water. If you need more deets on how to use soap nuts, there are some great recipes here.
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