There’s nothing better than the smell of freshly-washed clothes lying out to dry on a clothesline. Most people use commercial laundry detergents to have this scent, however these are filled with numerous chemicals that are harmful to our body, even when just using them on our clothes. However, you can make an amazing homemade, scented laundry detergent using just two ingredients that don’t contain the harmful chemicals that commercially sold ones do.
Toxins in Laundry Detergents
According to the Environmental Working Group, more than 82% of most laundry detergents are between mildly to highly hazardous, with more than 40% being considered highly hazardous. Some of the health risks associated with using commercial laundry detergent include:
- Asthma/ respiratory system problems
- Skin allergies or irritation
- Developmental and reproductive toxicity
Although there is moderate concern for all of these health risks, the one that raises the most concern is developmental and reproductive toxicity. This basically means that laundry detergents pose a huge threat to developing children or pregnant women, and they should avoid it at all cost.
Essential Oil for Laundry
A healthier alternative to laundry detergent can be found in the use of essential oils. They can come in a variety of different scents that can leave your clothes smelling amazing after using them. You can use peppermint essential oil for a clean, refreshing smell, or you can use lemon or other citrus essential oils for a more fruity scent. Other essential oils popular for their delightful smells include Cedarwood, Chamomile, Rose, Jasmine, Lavender, Sandalwood and more!
The main reason essential oils are a healthier alternative to laundry detergent is because they don’t come with the same harmful side effects that most detergents do. Aside from not harming your body, using essential oils as a detergent can even provide you with some preventative health benefits!
The health benefits of essential oils mainly stem from their antibacterial and antifungal properties. In one study, the effects of 10 different kinds of essential oils were tested against 22 different strains of bacteria and 12 different types of fungus.
Researchers found that lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint and orange oils were effective against all 22 strains of bacteria, aegle and palmarosa oils were effective against 21 strains of bacteria, patchouli and ageratum oils were effective against 20 strains of bacteria, and citronella and geranium oils were effective against 15 and 12 strains of bacteria, respectively.
All 12 different types of fungi were inhibited by aegle, citronella, geranium, lemongrass, orange, palmarosa and patchouli oils while eucalyptus and peppermint oils inhibited 11 of them.
Using the summary of this study, you can determine which essential oils you think are best. I suggest usingpeppermint or lemongrass as they contain both antibacterial and antifungal properties, which will ensure that any residue of bacteria or fungus on your clothes will be cleaned during washing.
How to Make Laundry Detergent with Essential Oils
- One cup of rock salt or Epsom salt
- Twenty drops of essential oil
- Blend essential oils with the salt until they are well mixed
- Use one tablespoon of this mixture for every load of laundry
- Place in washer drum before you put clothes in to let it dissolve into water
- Put on regular cycle
Using essential oils as laundry detergent will not only leave your clothes with a pleasant, natural fragrance but it will also allow you to avoid all of the harmful chemicals found in commercial laundry detergent and ensure your clothes get the ultimate deep clean.