Monday, March 19, 2012

Non-Toxic Munchkin 123’s : How To Detox Your Laundry Room

It is hard to trust laundry products, even those who claim to be ‘green’ and ‘pure’, when the companies don’t disclose their ingredients and studies are repeatedly showing the presence of toxic chemicals in them.   What is a health conscious parent to do?  First, read our post:  Non-Toxic Munchkin ABC's AIRING THE DIRTY LAUNDRY.... on laundry products! to find out what is in your laundry detergent and why you should care.  Then, take matter into your own hands, and follow these easy tips for a healthier and cleaner laundry experience

  Buy fragrance free products
  1. Make your detergents at home (read our post :  Non-Toxic Munchkin 123’s:  recipe for green cleaning    )
  2. Avoid fabric softeners at all costs!!   According to the Canadian Environmental Health Association, fabric softeners are the “most toxic product produced for daily household use”.  These sheets are made up of a bunch of chemicals and fragrances and are especially dangerous because of how constantly they are used (weekly laundry)  and the technology these products have that allow the chemicals to ‘re-release’ over an extended period of time. Even ‘green’ softeners that contain fragrance probably contain -at a minimun- phthalates

    Alternatives to fabric softeners: 
     choose a well known trusted eco brand, like Seventh Generation (their dryer sheets are non-toxic in that they are unbleached, chlorine-free, use plant-based softening agents, and are not artificially fragrance.  Unlike most companies they actually disclose all of the ingredients in their products). 
     dryer balls, quite effective in reducing static.
    If your washer allows for this, add a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water in your washing machine before adding your clothes.   Let it dissolve prior to adding your clothes, the baking soda with naturally make your clothes soft.
  3.  Infants and children are mostly susceptible to the dangers of chemicals because their immune, neurological, and hormone systems are still developing. and quite often, are very allergic to harsh detergents.  Go out of your way to fund the purest detergent you can for use for babies.....   Seventh Generation Baby is a good option as is Dr. Bronner's Unscented Baby Castile Liquid Soap
  4.  REMEMBER some cleaners may advertise that they are "environmentally sound" but will fail to provide a full list of ingredients. In looking for products, make sure you can read the list of ingredients.
Some products are marketed as non-toxic and natural, but do not list the natural ingredients. Remember, the manufacturer that gives you the most information about its product is usually the manufacturer you can trust.

At the end of the day if you really want to make sure your laundry is safe and non-toxic the best thing is to do it yourself.  No hidden chemicals, no chemicals that will be found to be hazardous in 5 years to worry about.   Making your own products seems like a huge hassle ( I cant even say I always do it) but there are some REALLY easy and effective ‘recipes’  that can help you clean your clothes... with products you already have in your kitchen! 

Feeling adventurous?  ( I swear its REALLY EASY!!) Read our post :  Non-Toxic Munchkin 123’s:  Recipe for Green Laundry


  1. hey! we use seventh generation laundry detergent and it works pretty well but I have a hard time getting out oil stains out of nico's shirts (mostly food/olive oil stains...) do you think the borax would work? have you had this problem? thanks!

    1. Found a solution for you! Try treating the oil stains with your dish washing detergent. Then wash as usual. It is the best thing for oil stains!! Obviously will work better with fresh oil stains. I used Seventh Generation dishwashing detergent with Matteo's shirts (2 were stained with oil stains) and worked PERFECT ... !

  2. I have also traditionally used Sevent generation and had the same problem. This last load I tried the borax and did see s difference (but mostly with smelly/sweaty gym clothes that SG wasnt cleaning very well). The old oil stains from Matteo's shirts are still there.. but this might just be because they are old and set?
    I tried submerging matteos stains in vinegar and that also helped a lot..... but have not tried this on oil (tomorrow will finish a post on "recipe for green cleaning" want to try out 1-2 more before I post them!!!

    Def try the Borax (maybe on fresh stains) though...