Spring cleaning is a big job, and when the cleaning bug hits it’s difficult to know where to start. To help you along, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) has identified three major home toxin hotspots to which extra attention should be paid. Roll up your sleeves, read on for tips on what to avoid and what to use instead, and tackle these three chemical-laden areas naturally: the kitchen, the bathroom, and the laundry room.
Doing laundry is a common chore in a household. But when your fresh-smelling clothes come out of the wash, how clean are they really? The detergents we use in our laundry machines can remove stains and dirt from our clothes, but what’s left on the fabric can actually be quite unpleasant. Did you know that your skin absorbs over 60% of what’s put on it, including chemical residues from detergents? To help you keep your family healthy and still making sure everyone’s clothes are clean, CHFA suggests avoiding certain chemicals commonly found in detergents and dryer sheets, and opting for easy to use, cost-effective, natural alternatives.
When shopping for your detergents or dryer sheets, be wary of synthetic dyes and petrochemical derivatives which are contaminated with heavy metals implicated in several types of cancers. The pleasant, refreshing aroma your clothes give off after a fresh wash is the result of chemical irritants that can trigger allergies and migraines. Other chemicals often found on the labels of these products include: chlorine, which is a skin irritant; phosphates, which promote algal blooms that kill aquatic life; and trisodium nitrilotriacetate, which can actual re-dissolves heavy metals in our waterways and is also toxic to aquatic life.
This may all be intimidating and avoiding these chemicals can seem nearly impossible, but that is not the case. In fact, it may come as a shock to you when you realize how simple the solution is. The next time you need to stock up on materials for your laundry room, don’t go for the product with the best marketing campaign. Instead, opt for a trip to your local health product retailer and stock up on these simple and cheap ingredients: baking soda, liquid castile soap, and coarse salt.
Re-use an old laundry soap container and blend the following ingredients (Use ½ cup for a full load):
Natural laundry detergent
- 2 litres hot water
- 2 Tbsp coarse salt
- 6 Tbsp baking soda
- 6 Tbsp liquid castile soap
Dissolve dry ingredients in hot water. Add soap and stir.