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Take the guesswork out of backyard chicken keeping with MY Printable Bundle

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Easy Non-Toxic Ways To Do Laundry

Laundry is a chore that's a part of our daily routine, but have you ever considered the impact of your laundry products have on your health? Think about it, we douse our clothing in toxic chemicals while doing laundry to get them “clean.” 

How did this ever become a thing?

Well, because we have been told and marketed that we need chemical-loaded cleaners to actually get our laundry clean. That couldn’t be further from the truth! 

We wonder why allergies and skin conditions are exploding when we have been quite literally drowning our skin in toxic chemicals. Our skin is our biggest organ and absorbs what we put on it rather quickly.

Traditional laundry detergents and fabric softeners often contain harmful chemicals that can affect our overall health and hormones. We may wonder why we are sick more often, having mysterious skin rashes and acne outbreaks, and part of the answer is staring us right in the face when we do laundry! We are overloading our biggest organ, skin, with toxic chemicals.

Now is the time to make the switch to no-toxic laundry!

Making the switch to non-toxic laundry products will benefit you and your family’s health. In this blog, we'll explore the world of non-toxic laundry swaps, their benefits, common ingredients to avoid, tips for making the switch, and much more.

Why is it important to switch to non-toxic laundry products? 

Traditional laundry detergents contain a cocktail of chemicals that can have adverse effects on our health, ranging from skin irritation and allergies to more serious respiratory issues and hormonal disruptions. Imagine what these chemicals do to the animals in our surrounding environment when they are swept into the water.

When I was younger, I noticed I kept getting a nasty rash with raised large bumps. I suspected it was the new fabric softener pellets my mom was using. I went to the laundry room, put them directly on my skin, and lo and behold, my skin erupted in ginormous hives.

No more fabric softener for me! Who knows what mystery ingredients caused this harsh reaction. Overtime, I realized my entire laundry process needed an overall and I know this has improved my health and well-being.

When I travel down the detergent aisle at the stores now, I get a headache because the fragrances and whatever other chemicals that have penetrated the air are so intense.

Toxins in conventional laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and dryer sheets:
Sulfates: Sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), are surfactants commonly used in laundry detergents to help remove dirt and grease from clothes.

However, sulfates can be harsh on the skin and cause irritation, especially for individuals with sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema. Eczema is becoming prevalent and all the doctors generally do is prescribe a topical steroid cream, when instead they should be asking what you are using for laundry detergent.

Chlorine: Chlorine bleach is often used in laundry detergents as a whitening agent and disinfectant. However, exposure to chlorine bleach can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory system, and prolonged exposure can lead to more serious health issues, such as asthma and respiratory problems.

Synthetic Fragrances: Many conventional laundry detergents and dryer sheets contain synthetic fragrances to impart a pleasant scent to clothes. However, these fragrances can contain a mixture of potentially harmful chemicals, including phthalates, which have been linked to hormone disruption and respiratory issues.

We never take a moment to consider why infertility is on the rise. Our hormones are under attack. We truly soak our clothes in chemicals, then we wear those chemicals 24/7. A plethora of issues that arise, but are treated with prescribed medications instead when it could be as simple as swapping your laundry detergent.

Optical Brighteners: Optical brighteners are chemicals added to laundry detergents to make clothes appear brighter and whiter. However, these chemicals can remain on clothes after washing and may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some individuals. This could have been the cause of my allergic reaction, I will never know as it was a conglomerate of ingredients.

Artificial Dyes: Conventional laundry detergents often contain artificial dyes to give them a colorful appearance. These dyes can contain heavy metals and other toxic substances that are harmful to us. We are already under such high heavy metal loads from our environment, we don’t need it from our laundry too.

Alternatives and clean swaps for laundry products

DIY Laundry Detergent Recipe:


  • 1 bar of natural soap (such as Castile soap)
  • 1 cup of washing soda (sodium carbonate)
  • 1 cup of borax (sodium borate)
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil of your choice


Grate the Soap: Start by grating the bar of natural soap using a cheese grater or food processor. You can choose a scent-free soap or one with a mild fragrance, depending on your preference. I would go as natural as possible to limit skin reactions.

Mix the Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated soap, washing soda, and borax. Sprinkle in drops of essential oil for a natural scent if you wish. Whisk ingredients together thoroughly.

Store the Detergent: Transfer the homemade laundry detergent to an airtight container, such as a glass jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Make sure to label the container with the contents, date it was made, and the instructions for using it.

Use in Laundry: To use the DIY laundry detergent, add 1-2 tablespoons of the mixture to each load of laundry, depending on the size and soil level of the load. You can add the detergent directly to the washing machine drum before adding clothes or use a designated detergent compartment if your machine has one.

Shake Before Use: Before each use, mix together the detergent to disperse the ingredients and freshen it up.

It is important to note that if you are on a septic system like me, you will want to make a liquid version of this laundry detergent. Septic-safe DIY laundry detergents are generally going to be liquid as there is a possibility of the powder to build up. Small chance, but it can happen. My neighbor warned me of this when I moved in actually!

Septic-safe DIY Liquid Laundry Detergent Recipe:


  • 1 bar of natural soap (such as Castile soap)
  • 1 cup of washing soda (sodium carbonate)
  • 1 cup of borax (sodium borate)
  • Water
  • Essential oils for fragrance (optional)


Grate the Soap: Start by grating the bar of natural soap using a cheese grater or food processor. You want to create small, uniform shreds of soap to ensure it dissolves easily in water.

Boil Water: In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil.

Add Soap Flakes: Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the grated soap to the pot. Stir continuously until the soap flakes have completely dissolved in the water.

Add Washing Soda and Borax: Once the soap flakes have dissolved, add the washing soda and borax to the pot. Continue stirring until the powders are fully dissolved and the mixture is smooth.

Cool the Mixture: Remove the pot from heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 10-15 minutes. It will thicken slightly as it cools.

Add Essential Oils (Optional): If you'd like to add fragrance to your laundry detergent, now is the time to add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Stir the mixture well to distribute the oils evenly. You can also add essential oils directly to your laundry later on in the detergent dispense area.

Transfer to Containers: Carefully pour the liquid detergent into clean, empty containers, such as gallon-sized jugs or repurposed laundry detergent bottles. Use a funnel, if necessary, to avoid spills.

Dilute with Water: Once the detergent has been transferred to containers, add enough water to each container to fill it to the top. Leave a little space at the top to allow for shaking.

Shake Before Use: Seal the containers tightly with lids and shake well before each use to remix the ingredients. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the liquid detergent per load of laundry, depending on the size and soil level of the load.

Enjoy Clean, Fresh Laundry: Wash your clothes as usual with the DIY liquid laundry detergent. It will effectively clean your clothes while being gentle on your skin and safe for your septic system!

Another alternative to laundry detergent is simply vinegar with essential oils. I will use 1/4-1/2 cup vinegar per load and a few drops of my essential oil of choice. This is easy to whip up in a pinch if you don’t have any DIY or clean detergent on hand.

DIY laundry detergent is going to save you the hassle of running to the store and risking harsh skin reactions. I love making my own laundry detergent and knowing exactly what is going into it. These laundry detergents are safe for use in both standard and high-efficiency (HE) washing machines. It's also suitable for all types of fabrics, including cotton, linen, synthetic blends, and delicates.

What is an alternative to chlorine bleach? 

A wonderful alternative to chlorine bleach is hydrogen peroxide. In place of bleach, you can 1/2 cup to 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide in your laundry cycle. Bleach is incredibly toxic and the fumes can be damaging to your respiratory system from simply inhaling them while doing a load of laundry.

DIY Dryer Sheets:

Making your own DIY dryer sheets is a straightforward and cost-effective way to soften clothes and reduce static cling without relying on commercial dryer sheets, which often contain synthetic fragrances and chemicals. Here's how you can make them:

Materials Needed:

  • White vinegar
  • essential oils (optional)and
  • cloth squares or reusable dryer sheets.


In a small bowl or container, combine white vinegar with a few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional) for fragrance. I love the smell of lavender essential oil but citrus scents are refreshing too. Vinegar helps to soften clothes and reduce static cling while also acting as a natural fabric softener.

Prepping the Cloth Squares: If you're using cloth squares or reusable dryer sheets, place them in a container with a tight-fitting lid. I used an old cotton shirt that I cut up into squares.

Pour the vinegar and essential oil mixture over the cloth squares or dryer sheets until they are saturated but not dripping. The vinegar solution will evenly distribute during the drying cycle, imparting a subtle fragrance to your laundry and helping to soften fabrics.

Seal the container with the lid to keep the cloth squares or dryer sheets moist and fragrant until ready to use. To use, simply remove a cloth square or dryer sheet from the container and add it to the dryer with your laundry. Run the drying cycle as usual, and the DIY dryer sheet will work its magic to soften clothes and reduce static cling.

After each use, you can refresh the cloth square or reusable dryer sheet with more vinegar and essential oils for continued use. If using reusable dryer sheets, wash them

periodically with your laundry to remove any buildup and maintain their effectiveness.

DIY dryer sheets made with vinegar and essential oils are an non-toxic alternatives to conventional dryer sheets. They are gentle on sensitive skin, help reduce chemical exposure, and are customizable with different essential oil blends to suit your preferences. I love that they are budget-friendly and easy to make at home.

Benefits of Using Non-Toxic Laundry Products

Making the switch to non-toxic laundry products is one of the best decisions you will make on your homestead. After a while, you will start to see how we are completely surrounded by chemicals, so small changes like this lead up to a big difference in how you are feeling.

I used to struggle with constant headaches, I can’t help but wonder if the toxic fumes I was inhaling when doing my laundry had a part to play in those as I hardly get them anymore!

By choosing natural and DIY alternatives, you can enjoy clean, fresh-smelling clothes without compromising your body, skin, and overall health. If you don’t want to make your own laundry solutions, you can screen laundry products and their ingredients and use what you feel comfortable with. So why wait? Make the non-toxic laundry swaps today!


Are non-toxic laundry products as effective as traditional detergents? 

Non-toxic laundry products are just as effective at cleaning clothes while being gentler on your skin and the environment. Many users report that they achieve the same level of cleanliness without the harmful side effects.

Are non-toxic laundry products more expensive? 

While non-toxic laundry products may have a slightly higher upfront cost, they often offer better value in the long run due to not compromising your health. Plus, creating your own non-toxic laundry products is a budget-friendly option.

Can non-toxic laundry products remove tough stains? Yes, many non-toxic laundry products are formulated with natural enzymes that can effectively remove tough stains without the need for harsh chemicals.

Do non-toxic laundry products have a strong scent? 

Non-toxic laundry products often use natural essential oils for fragrance, providing a safer and more pleasant scent without the harmful side effects associated with artificial fragrances.

Can I use non-toxic laundry products for washing baby clothes? 

Yes, non-toxic laundry products are safe and gentle enough to use for washing baby clothes, making them an ideal choice for parents who want to create a safer environment for their little ones. 

Easy Non-Toxic Ways To Do Laundry