Here are some links to articles about alternative non-toxic and cheap ways to do laundry:
Article Covering The Toxicity for Laundry Products — And Cheap Alternatives. This article also includes the “how” that companies can legally put toxic chemicals in our products and not disclose them. (Mother Earth Living)
List of non-toxic options for removing stains. (Biodwell blog)
Detoxing New Clothes (The Labyrinth Blog)
Detoxing New Clothes (Allergic to My Life Blog)
Safely Doing Laundry (Allergic to My Life)
Natural Cleaners (including laundry) (Sensitive to Chemicals Blog)
Sonda’s Blog referred me to a lot of other great resources. She uses Dr. Bonners (castile soap) and vinegar.
I put the links first because this blog post is about getting the information out there as quickly as possible. Many of these techniques or products I have not personally tried. As I stated in my first post — people with MCS react differently than other people so some of the suggestions here may work for one person and not another. I am not a chemist so I am not making a statement of the level of toxicity of any of these methods. However, if you go to someone’s site who has MCS and they can use a product then there is a very high probability that the level of toxicity is low and its one of the healthier choices.
If you have a safe, cheap nontoxic way of doing laundry please share. If one of these methods adversely affects your health in some way please share. Knowledge is power.
I presently use Seventh Generation Free and Clear Laundry Soap to wash and distilled white vinegar for the rinse cycle (never ever mix vinegar and bleach). In fair weather I line dry my clothes. I love the smell of the clothes and sheets when they’ve been hung out to dry and I really love my electric bill when I am not using my drier. In my area, the laundry soap I use costs a little more than nationally known brands but using vinegar instead of fabric softener saves money — so I come out even or a little ahead cost wise. But if you’ve checked out a few of the links you will find some very cheap homemade alternatives.
I personally do not use essential oils as is suggested as an alternative to adding fragrance via a fabric softener. My body is so sensitive to the toxins in fragrances that sometimes my body reacts to a strong fragrance even if there are no toxins present. The best way I can explain this is if a close friend threw a punch at your face and even if you were 100% positive they were not going to hit you — you instinctively would flinch and snap your head back in a defensive move. My body reacts to the strong fragrance first and assesses the level of toxicity after the fact. The major difference for me, however, between a toxic lab made fragrance and a strong natural fragrance is the recovery time. If there are no real toxins present — it does not take the sometimes 3-5 days to detox and for the symptoms to subside.
I gave away all my clothes that needed to be dry cleaned both due to cost and toxicity.
A year ago a friend switched to the laundry soap I can tolerate but when she gives me clothes I still need to detox them. She does not use fabric softener but I normally have to wash the clothes 4 times in my laundry soap before I can wear them. She previously used a national brand-named laundry soap. I find I can sometimes speed up the process by soaking the clothes in vinegar and water.
I hope this was helpful — if not ask questions — I will find the answer if I can — and I have many wonderful blog followers who live non-toxic lives that have the kindest most sharing hearts I’ve encountered — I know they’ll jump in and give the best advice they can.
Thanks for caring about your health, your family’s health and the occupants of planet earth.
If I’ve linked to anyone’s site that does not want to be linked just let me know.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation from writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.