Hang out your dirty Washing!

environmentally friendly washing hypoallergenic washing natural fabric softener natural washing powder ideas toxin free living

We have all heard about toxic washing products and how we should avoid them but do we all know why and more importantly where they are lurking?
Heres a quick guide to why these toxins should be given a wide berth and what to ditch from our clothes cleaning cupboards .....
Toxins, whats all the fuss?
When we expose our bodies to toxins they not only cause damage such as irritating our lungs, causing disorders of the nervous system and fatigue to mention just a few, they divert our immune system from its job (fighting against disease and illness) to fighting against toxins. Thus weakening the immune system and giving disease and illness a better chance to win. 
For us fabric softener and washing powder are generally very toxic and exposing ourselves to their toxins is an all day affair when wearing the clothes washed in them. 
Heres some more info on whats in them and the alternative toxin free options.....

Fabric Softener:

The number one toxic product in the home!
Full to the brim with chemical nasties to get that flowery scent we all love but it does come at cost...
Heres a selection of chemicals you will find in most shop bought fabric softeners and their alarming effects.....

Benzyl acetate
Linked to pancreatic cancer

Benzyl Alcohol
Upper respiratory tract irritant. Linked to headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and depression

Ethanol
On the Environmental Protection Agencies Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders

Alpha-Terpineol
Can cause respiratory problems and disorders of the brain and central nervous system damage, loss of muscle control, headaches and depression.

Ethyl Acetate
A narcotic on the EPA’s Hazardous Waste list

Camphor
Causes central nervous system disorders

Chloroform
Neurotoxic (toxic to the brain and nervous system) listed on the Environmental Protection Agency's Hazardous Waste list as an identified carcinogenic

Linalool
A narcotic that in studies caused loss of muscle co-ordination, central nervous system and brain disorders and depression

Pentane
A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled. Causes drowsiness, depression, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and headaches. 

So what are the alternatives?? Well panic not as there are a few....

Dryerballs
These are made to eliminate static cling, soften clothes and reduce the drying time. 
They have no chemical residue but do not have a scent but you can couple this up with the following...

Essential oil and muslin cloth. 
Load a muslin cloth up with a few drops of your favourite essential oil scent and put in the dryer with the load and a dryer ball 

White vinegar and baking powder
Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and baking powder to the water of the rinse cycle to soften the water and reduce static cling

Toxin Free Fabric Conditioner
We stock Bio D Fabric Conditioner at a reasonable £2.89 for 1 Litre.  It is made of sustainable and naturally derived raw materials. It protects clothes and their fibres leaving laundry static free and soft. Accredited by Allergy UK it is hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin. It is readily biodegradable and suitable for septic tanks and cess pits. Made without petrochemicals, phosphates, preservatives, enzymes or synthetic perfumes. Its the go to toxic free product for those wanting a ready to go alternative. 

Washing Powder

Most laundry liquids and powders contain an array of toxic chemicals leaving more on your clothes than just a nice scent. 
Residues on your clothes can be absorbed by your skin or evaporated into the air for you to breathe in. 

Typical nasties found in laundry detergents are:

Petroleum distillates (aka napthas)
Linked to cancer, asthma and lung damage and inflammation

Phenols
Which can cause toxicity throughout the entire body. People have been known to react at very low exposure causing serious side effects and even death. 
Phenols wreck havoc on your entire system from your nervous system through to your heart, lungs, kidneys and blood vessels. 

Artificial fragrances
According to the Environmental Working Group, fragrances are considered to be among the worlds top five allergens and have been known to trigger asthma attacks. When tested the EWG found that 75% of the fragrances tested contained Phthalates which has been linked to diabetes, obesity and hormone disruption. Additionally the Childrens Environmental health Centre in Mount Sinai has linked exposure to synthetic fragrance in the 1st and 3rd trimester of pregnancy to ADHD and Autism.

Phosphates
Stimulate the growth of certain marine plants when they’re released into the environment and contribute to unbalanced ecosystems

Optical Brighteners
Toxic to fish and can cause bacterial mutations and allergic reactions. They are made to stay on the clothes so they look brighter for a longer period of time. Thats also longer for you to breathe in the chemicals. 

EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) 
This is used as an alternative to phosphates to mainly reduce mineral hardness in water. EDTA has been found in lab animal tests to be cytotoxic (kills cells) and also genotoxic (damages DNA). Oral exposures cause reproductive and developmental effects. EDTA is not removed with wastewater treatment, it does not readily biodegrade, and can redissolve toxic heavy metals in the environment which allows them to be reintroduced into the food chain.

Alternatives please i hear you cry......

Wash your clothes less
Do you really need to wash your clothes after every wear?
If they are still clean why not hang them up for another use which will save on washing and the effort of it along with the wear and tear of the clothing

Baking Powder
Adding baking powder to the wash will brighten whites naturally and inexpensively. 

Natural laundry bleach 
Ecover do a fabulous natural laundry bleach which we stock in store. Made from naturally derived Sodium Percarbonate and nothing more its a great natural go to without fragrance, optical brighteners or chlorine. It makes white sparkle, removes stains (we tested this with beetroot stains on white wool) and can be used as a natural bleach around the home. Its a small box but it goes a long way and at just £2.19 a box its super affordable. 

Our favourite!...Soap nuts
Soap nuts are from india and nepal and have been used there for many years not only as a detergent but as a treatment for ezcema and psoriasis and so an excellent choice for those with allergies to chemicals. Soap nuts are all natural and contain Saponin which is a natural detergent and is released from the soap nut shell after water is absorbed. Saponins then circulate as a natural surfactant in the water and free dirt, oil and grime from clothing. 
We stock Soap Nuts to buy in store and at just £3.99 for 75 washes including the muslin bag, these truly are all round winners in the natural washing stakes. 

For us using alternative clothes washing products is alot less hassle or expensive than you may think and the benefits gained for you and your family and often your pocket are vast!

Make the switch today...


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