Homemade Green Cleaners

Sometimes you discover green cleaners in the most unique circumstances. A few weeks ago I spent an entire night working on a project and fell asleep around 5am, accidently leaving a red marker open on my bed. When I awoke later, I found it had created a large red blob on my white bedding. UGH! After treating it with a stain remover, and soaking the bedding before washing, I washed with a laundry detergent that boasts of its stain removal powers. Imagine my disappointment when the stain was still there! After some research, I tried salt – didn’t work. And finally, tried nail polish remover (Acetone) – which I diluted with water and placed on the comforter and quickly washed again. VOILA! No more stain.

[pullquote style=”left” quote=”dark”]I didn’t know laundry soaps include toxins[/pullquote]So it got me thinking – why was I wasting money on all of these cleaners, when “natural” products more often than not solved my cleaning issues. And then I started looking at the labels on the products I was using. These products contain so many chemicals, and many of them are toxins – a few of which are: phenols, phosphates and artificial fragrances. This means that our clothes, sheets, blankets, towels and everything else we wash with most commercial laundry soaps are transferring the toxins from these products into our bodies. 

Why Use Green Cleaners?

Take a look at some of the chemicals in many of the products you buy in the supermarket:

Phenols are made from crude oil by an industrial process. The dangers of phenols are many, including heart, lung, kidney and liver damage. Since the skin very easily absorbs phenols you should avoid any laundry products with these toxic chemicals. If swallowed, phenols can cause circulatory collapse, coma and even death.

Phosphates are used to soften hard water so clothes absorb water and detergent to lift soil from the fibers of your clothes. The problem here is that phosphates can cause skin irritation, nausea and vomiting. Another issue is that phosphates released into the environment cause an imbalance in the ecosystem. This is why many states have regulated the amount of phosphates that can be used.

Artificial fragrances are made from mostly petroleum products and various man-made chemicals that can be hazardous to your health. Man-made, or synthetic fragrances, contain phthalates. Phthalates are known endocrine disruptors which means they interfere with the natural hormone processes of the human body. Phthalates are linked to birth defects, learning and developmental disabilities and cancer. It’s hard to find out exactly what other chemicals are in these synthetic fragrances because they are considered “trade secrets” and manufacturers do not have to disclose them.

Those are just three of the many toxic chemicals found in commercial laundry soap, not to mention the many other home cleaners we use. That is why making your own homemade laundry soap is preferable for your health. Homemade laundry soap is easy to make and takes only a few ingredients, many of which you already have in your pantry.


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Next steps:

You can purchase decorative containers for your laundry soap as well as creating labels for them. As our neighborhoods become more focused on green living, like NatureWalk in Seven Hills, I’m sure more of us will be turning to natural products. Did you make your own laundry detergent? How did it work? Let us know!