Annie Goes Green: Why You NEED to Care...Talking all Things Laundry
January 24, 2018
Hi I'm Annie! When I hired on at Buckaroo Organics, I was shocked at the information I didn't know about products in my home. This is my journey in tossing all the crap in my cabinets for greener, cleaner stuff that works!
-Annie Goes Green
As we talked about in Part 1, I am choosing 1-2 products to swap out and kick to the curb. Once I’ve mastered the switch and found a healthier alternative, I will swap out a few more chemical filled bottles for products that are better for the environment and my family. Today we are talking about laundry detergent and fabric softener. I started with laundry products because as the newest hire to Buckaroo Organics, I felt like this was a solid place to start; the laundry room.
Honestly, I had no idea what was in my laundry room and wasn’t sure why I should care. After beating myself up about my lack of awareness for a solid day or two, I realized so many of us are in the same boat. We are trusting brands that shouldn’t be trusted. It’s sad that we live in a world where there are so many dangerous chemicals in products. Dangerous chemicals. Did you hear me? The chemicals are everywhere…The good news is, even if we change small things in our lives (like laundry detergent) we are not only benefiting ourselves and the people we love, but the environment, too! So, get your “hippy” on and make some changes! Start small. After reading this, I feel like the hippy in you will be screaming to come out. Mine did. It is information you can’t “un-know.” So from washer to dryer, here is the 411.
The average family washes 80-pounds of laundry weekly..(my home is a little different because I usually wait until we are all out of underwear to do laundry, so, if you’re like me it’s probably like 160 pounds of laundry waiting to be washed.) Anyways, however often you do laundry this equates to 35-billion loads of laundry per year. BILLION, 35-BILLION LOADS OF LAUNDRY??? Just this number, alone, made me sit up and start paying attention.
The scary part: laundry manufactures are not required to list all detergent ingredients on labels. That’s really scary, guys! For example, the word, fragrance may be referring to tons of other chemicals. Unfortunately, even the “fragrance free” products can contain synthetic fragrances. My number one reason for not switching laundry detergent before was, “I love the smell of my clean (eye roll, LIES!) laundry!” I used to love walking down the laundry isle in Target because of the smell. YUCK! Fragrances are a huge trigger to allergens, even asthma attacks. Fragrances have also been linked to hormone imbalances. I personally suffer from hormone imbalance and I’m trying to wrap my head around why no doctor has EVER told me to look at products I am using?
Scary ingredients to look for in your laundry room products…There are many chemicals to watch out for, but here are just a couple:
• Phenol - A highly toxic cleaning agent found in laundry detergent. This chemical is absorbed through our skin and gets into our blood stream. The toxins spread quickly throughout our entire body damaging the central nervous system, heart, kidneys and our blood vessels.
• Petroleum distillate or naphthas- this ingredient is used to dissolve grease. While doing that it also is linked to damaging the mucus membranes and lungs. It is even linked to cancer.
Immediately, I had started feeling severe “mom guilt.” I have pretty much been poisoning my daughter for 7-years. I feel like there are so many more health concerns now vs when I was growing up, OR are there? Maybe now we are just more aware of it due to the rise in skin sensitivities and health conditions linked to these nasty chemicals found in everyday products. Let’s talk fabric softener. Again, like fragrance, I LOVED my fabric softener! I got a new washer and immediately filled the middle dispenser with the smell of mountain breeze. I noticed after about a month my washing machine wasn’t smelling like mountain breeze it seriously smelled like a vet clinic. You know that smell when you first walk into the vet office….it’s not great. I also noticed a goopy, brown film in the compartment. It was so gross! If it is leaving that in my washing machine what is it leaving on my laundry and what is being absorbed into our bodies through our skin. I’ll tell you…
• Benzyl acetate: Linked to pancreatic cancer
• Benzyl Alcohol: Upper respiratory tract irritant
• Ethanol: On the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Hazardous Waste list and can cause central nervous system disorders
• Limonene: Known carcinogen
• A-Terpineol: Can cause respiratory problems, including fatal edema, and central nervous system damage
• Ethyl Acetate: A narcotic on the EPA's Hazardous Waste list
• Camphor: Causes central nervous system disorders
• Chloroform: Neurotoxic, anesthetic and carcinogenic…Did you watch Erin Brockovich???
• Linalool: A narcotic that causes central nervous system disorders
• Pentane: A chemical known to be harmful if inhaled
This is where wool dryer balls come in. They are a life changer. Even my husband loves them. For big loads, which I feel most of us do, you will need 6 wool dryer balls. They are good for 1,000 loads, averages about one year of use. You can drop your favorite essential oils on them to scent your laundry, naturally. When your clothes are dry, pull out one dryer ball and drop a 5-10 drops of oil on, toss back in and fluff for 5-minutes. Easy-peasy!
Cost breakdown- While I am not super far on this green road I can say I have found that switching to Soapberry Suds has actually saved me money. If you break down the cost per load it comes out to be .18 cents per load and my 200-load container lasts forever! Also, changing to the wool dryer balls I don’t have to worry about it for at least 1 year. Makes sense to me!
I think this is a really important topic and I feel like it is so important to educate ourselves on what is in our homes. Now that my inner hippy is in full force I will be checking labels and doing mad research, so stay tuned for what’s next. Unfortunately, I think I am going to have to give up my Lysol spray and Clorox wipes…mind you I am an over board germophobic, so I am sure this next one could get interesting.
Stay tuned. xoxo