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5 Ways to Detox Your Laundry Routine


By Erin Odom [2], contributing writer

It wasn’t long after I started my natural living journey that I realized that I needed to detox my laundry routine. Most conventional laundering supplies contain dyes, perfumes and many other toxins. 

At first, I simply began using a free and clear detergent. But even those are not quite as pure as they may appear.

The final push for me to fully detox my laundry routine was when I made the switch to cloth diapers [3]. When I discovered that I needed to use a naturally-friendly detergent and skip on the stain removers, fabric softener and dryer sheets, I knew it was time for a full over-hall of my laundry routine.

Check out these 5 ways to detox  your laundry routine:


Image by brittreints [5]

1. Switch to a natural detergent.

What to stay away from:

Natural detergent recommendations:


Image by Violentz [13]

2. Use natural stain removers.

My favorite stain remover is free and 100 percent natural–the sun! If I have a tough stain, I will hang the article of clothing out in the sun while it is still soaking wet. The sun usually bleaches it within a few hours!

You can also try:

3. Ditch the fabric softener.

I’ve never used a liquid fabric softener. My mother didn’t, so I just never thought it was important. However, I know it’s a normal part of many laundry routines.

White vinegar [17] is the perfect alternative to fabric softener. And not only does it soften, but it can also take the sour smell out of wet clothes that have sat in a washing machine for too long.


4. Forget the dryer sheets and use wool dryer balls instead!

Up until I started using cloth diapers, I always used dryer sheets. I would get the cheapest ones and cut them in half to make them last longer.

But when I started using cloth diapers, I found out the dryer sheets would leave residue on them. Plus, that residue was leaving toxins on our clothes, too!

I immediately switched to using wool dryer balls [19], and I’ve never looked back.Wool dryer balls [20] can help speed up drying time, reduce some static cling, and, as an added bonus, wool is antibacterial!

I purchased my original ones from Re-Diaper.com [21], and I also have some from Mighty Nest [22]. Mine have lasted for years. Many Etsy shop owners also sell them, or, if you’re crafty, you can even try making your own.

(Can’t bear to part with your dryer sheets? Give these homemade dryer sheets [23] a try!)

5. Stop taking your clothes to the dry cleaner.

Traditional dry cleaners contain many potential toxins. I have always avoided clothes that required dry cleaning anyway–even before my natural living days. Back then, I just didn’t want the expense!

However, there will always be some items that absolutely must be dry cleaned. Our comforter set is one of those items. Thankfully, we have an organic, non-toxic dry cleaner business in my hometown. If you don’t, you may want to check into eco-friendly and non-toxic alternatives to dry cleaning [24].

What are your ideas for detoxing your laundry routine?

Top Image by …love Maegan [25]
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