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  • Writer's pictureEd Dana

DIY Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent

While you may not willingly pour toxic chemicals straight into the ground water outside, it is happening everyday through the use of most common cleaning products.  The chief of these pollutants are laundry detergents. The ingredients used in the common laundry cleaners, and their effects, are being examined and the results are quite startling. 

Several health concerns have recently been brought to light, and the prime suspect is none other than off-the-shelf detergent.  Many side effects such as skin irritations, headaches, and allergies may seem mild, but the underlying causes of these conditions is much more problematic. 

Certain chemicals added to laundry detergent to provide a “fresh” scent comes with risks of their own. As one smells the “lavender soft” fragrance in their newly washed clothes, they are breathing in more than just a natural lavender scent. A recent study done at the University of Washington  unveiled the truth about fragrances used in cleaners. The results showed that over 58 differed volatile compounds were used in laundry detergents. Seven of the compounds are considered to be hazardous under federal law. It is no surprise, as people have long reported to have headaches come on at the smells of some laundry soaps.  This may be because they are breathing in poisons designed to act as a natural scent.  

You may ask, how do laundry soap manufacturers get away with placing harmful chemicals in our everyday cleaning products? The reason is due to producers not being required to disclose the ingredients of their cleaning products. Cleaning product manufacturers can use almost any ingredient and place it on market without any second thought or supervision. According to the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning, an organization that analyzes and rates household cleaners based on their eco-friendliness, laundry detergent toxicity is a sad reality. Many of the largest selling laundry soaps scored a “D” in their eco-friendliness, when tested and evaluated.  Not only are these products a concern to the environment, they are causing issues in the consumers as well. This lack of monitoring leaves the average consumer in the dark about the toxins in their homes, clothes, and what will eventually be put back into the Earth.

Furthermore, consumers are paying top dollar for their favorite brands, without a thought for a more wallet friendly solution.  Instead of falling into the trap of laundry soap chemicals and cost, create your own eco-friendly laundry soap for a fraction of the cost of the toxic alternatives. Follow the recipe below for a quick and easy laundry soap that works effectively to give you clean linens, and also a clean conscience for protecting your loved ones and the environment.  

Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Recipe


◾1 bar of pure castile soap

◾1 cup of washing soda (sodium carbonate)

◾2tbs citric acid or Lemi shine

◾1/4 c. Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate)


Begin by grating the castile soap. If you have a food processor or high-speed blender those can be used to turn the castile soap into a powder (just chop the bars into small pieces before blending). Next, combine and mix the rest of the ingredients, then store in containers of your choice. Each small load of laundry will take about 1 Tbsp and 2 Tbsps for larger loads.

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