I wanted to share with you why I prefer a homemade liquid laundry detergent to those that are store bought. With the constant rise in everyday living costs and the impact of convenience lifestyles on the environment, wouldn’t it be nice to have something that is safer for your body, that helps save the environment and keeps money in your pocket? This is a sustainable living website and as such I want to provide ways to gain that sustainability in an eco-friendly way, without necessarily breaking the budget.
Green Lifestyle, Green Liquid
If you have been trying to live a greener lifestyle I have found a liquid laundry detergent recipe, which I will provide a link to at the end of this article, that is eco-friendly, safe and economical for you to make and use in your own home. There are probably quite a few recipes floating around on the internet, mostly
variations on the same recipe by the looks of what I have seen or heard about. We could achieve so much towards lessening the damage we do to our planet by merely changing to a greener laundry detergent.
Keep Money In Your Pocket
Likewise, by choosing to make our own laundry liquid we are lining our own pockets instead of those of the big commercial companies that gain so much from our weekly contributions to their funds while they dole out the ruination of our Earth instead of preserving it.
I say ‘our’ Earth because we all live here and we all have a vested interest in keeping our planet livable. It’s not just up to the big guns to save or destroy our home, we can do something to help maintain it too.
Why Would You Need A Safe and Environmentally Friendly Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe Anyway?
Most people, myself included will admit they love the smell of freshly laundered clothes, sheets and towels, especially when you add in that fabulous fabric softener to the wash so that it not only comes out smelling clean, but is imbued with a lovely fragrance to keep you sniffing all day long as you wear your clothes, or all night as you sleep in your sheets.
But what is it that makes it so, and how does it last so long? Chemicals!
Did you know that washing powders and laundry detergents are full of harsh chemicals that are definitely NOT what you would call eco-friendly, and they are certainly NOT all that great for your body either. The fabric softeners are potentially equally taboo. Even the best of the brand names out there contain these harsh chemicals that are toxic to us and can affect our skin. The better, more expensive ones are usually the worst culprits too. You can bet if it’s not safe for our skin, it isn’t safe for the environment either. But what does it do to us?
Our Highly Absorbent Skin Can Be Severely Affected By Washing Detergents
We need to remember that our skin is the largest organ of the human body. It literally breathes for us, it gets rid of waste and toxins through our pores, and is highly absorbent of just about anything you put on it or against it.
If you aren’t sure about this, just think about the number of topical creams you can buy for various ailments that are designed to be absorbed into the skin.
Why would they make topical creams if the active ingredients weren’t going to be transported into the body through the skin to where they were needed?
An example of this would be the creams for arthritis. The skin isn’t the part that is sore, it is the joints beneath that are inflamed and painful yet the cream is applied to the skin to absorb down into the joints for relief of arthritic pain.
If you look at the image here of the skin cross section, you get an idea of how thick it is and what those creams have to pass through to get to the arthritic joints.
Chemical Sensitivity Causes Reactions
When our body is sensitive to materials such as chemicals, it can trigger allergic reactions that manifest in rashes or hives across our skin, whether it be localised or systemic. It’s our body’s way of telling us that it doesn’t like being in contact with a particular substance and that it would be best to remove it so that we don’t trigger a worse allergic reaction because of it. It is also our body’s way of telling us that we might be nearing a toxic overload. Either way, the result is not advantageous to us. Believe it or not, laundry detergents and fabric softeners can irritate the skin and cause such an allergic reaction or toxic overload.
How Would I Know This?
My background is that I have a Bachelor of Health Science degree and a partially completed Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy, where immunology, the study of processes including allergies and allergic reactions, formed part of our study program.
I also have personal experience with skin irritants such as laundry liquids and powders, having sensitivity to certain ones. For many years now I have turned to companies that refuse to use anything with harmful chemicals in their products. They have taught me to be mindful about what I am placing on my skin or into my environment.
Just recently we had an incident with my granddaughter breaking out in hives to the point where I had to take her to the hospital. I had tried various means to reduce the irritation.
We bathed her, changed her clothes, cooled her down, used essential oils which worked temporarily to clear the hives, but after it settled, within an hour or so, she would break out again in a different spot.
It was really quite frustrating not to be able to narrow it down at the time. I even changed the bed sheets in case it was something that had been brought into her bed with her that was causing it, to no avail.
I Started A Process Of Elimination
Finally, after coming home from the hospital, I remembered that I had used some sheets that we had been given from my mother after she moved into an aged care facility. I had used them on my granddaughters bed. I noticed that when I changed my granddaughter’s sheets, I had replaced them with another set of sheets from my mother’s linen cupboard. The sheets always smelled so clean and lovely, probably due to the laundry detergent and fabric softener that she used when washing them.
After realising this, I decided to just place another sheet inside the bed and over the pillow cases rather than change the sheets all over again. It was already 5am and we had been up and down all night. We were both quite weary by then. This time, thinking that perhaps the sheet sets themselves were the culprit, I used sheets that we had washed in my own laundry liquid. As I mentioned before, I use products from a company that produce these kinds of things with safe ingredients, and therefore I haven’t used harsh detergents or fabric softeners for many years. So this wasn’t something we had come across with my granddaughter prior to this.
Finally The Culprit Is Discovered
There were no more incidents after this for the rest of the day and night. I then set about washing the sheets and put the sheets on again a couple of nights later to test it. She broke out again. I noticed the sheets still smelled of the washing powder or fabric softener that my Mum used. I had to wash them about 4 or 5 times and then tested them again. This last time she didn’t have any more problems in those sheets, and there is no more noticeable smell left in them.
It is obvious that the powder and fabric softener left residue in the sheets that lasted through quite a few washes before finally becoming loosened enough to wash free. Needless to say, we pinpointed the cause of the allergic reaction down to the washing powder and fabric softener and now that the sheets are residue-free, my granddaughter can enjoy a good night’s sleep in the sheets that she loved from her Great Grandma.
Recipe Link Below
So there you have it. A homemade liquid laundry detergent, here is the recipe that I promised you, that you can be assured is much better for the environment, you and your pockets and may just help with those allergies too. I hope that you will share this information with other people so that we can spread the word not only about the harshness of our standard laundry detergents and how it can affect our bodies, but also how everybody can limit how much of these chemicals find their way into our environment to destroy it piece by piece.
I hope you have learned a new way to interact with the environment and keep those nasties away from your body. Take care of it and yourself. If you have discovered any other recipes to help people here in this community, please share them in my comments. Keep spreading awareness.