Photo courtesy of Branch Basics.
Photo courtesy of Branch Basics.

Give Your Body a Break: Why Choosing Safe Laundry Detergent is a Key Ingredient to a Healthy Home

3 min read

It’s counter-intuitive, but it’s something we shouldn’t take for granted: Just because something smells good, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe. This is especially true if the clothes you wear and the sheets and bedding you sleep on are washed in a concoction of synthetic fragrances, endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins and potent cancer-causing chemicals—i.e., conventional laundry products. Your “clean, fresh smelling clothes”  provide a cocktail of toxic residues and signature fragrances that not only are designed to impregnate and linger in the fabric, but are also in direct contact with your skin.

So you end up inhaling volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that even the EPA cautions against using, while your skin, the largest organ of your body, also absorbs whatever it touches. In fact, studies published in the American Journal of Public Health show that the skin absorbs about 64 percent of the contaminant dosage it comes into contact with and that the absorption rate for fragrance ingredients is 100 percent. Your skin and lungs truly take it all in!

But even these staggering statistics don’t need to incite fear; there are easy changes you can make today that will impact your health dramatically.

Photo courtesy of Branch Basics.

Three Steps to Create a Healthy Home Free From Toxins

Think about it: You wear your clothes 24 hours a day and you never get a rest from exposure to these chemicals. This is especially critical when sleeping since your body is supposed to rest, repair and rejuvenate—not continue to detoxify toxicants from your pajamas, sheets, and bedding.  When you choose safe laundry products you give your body a break, take a significant load off, and reduce immune stress as you are no longer constantly bombarded with harmful chemicals!

Take these three steps today to give your body (and your home!) a break:

1. Focus on your laundry room: Does your laundry room smell like fresh clean clothes? If conventional laundry products are used, then it is typically the most toxic room in the home. Throw out any products that have labels that include the words WARNING, DANGER or CAUTION. Get rid of detergents and dryer sheets that have synthetic fragrances and replace with products that are fragrance-free and nontoxic.

2. Choose safe products: Use the EWG Skindeep database and Think Dirty to evaluate ingredients for the best laundry detergent options. We recommend ingredients with a 1 rating on EWG Skindeep, an A product rating on EWG and a product rating of 0 on Think Dirty. Your body will thank you!

3. Detox your clothes + laundry room: Once you’ve found a safe laundry detergent, make sure you run all of your clothing, linens, bedding, etc. through several washings to remove all fragrance. You may even find that the scent of your conventional products is lingering—in that case, take advantage of the summer sun by laying the clothing outside so they can off gas. Read more tips on the best way to detox your laundry room here.

By taking these steps, you can truly start to create a home free of harmful chemicals and endocrine disruptors. These steps will make a huge impact on your health!

Branch Basics recently released their new laundry bottle, meaning you can use one safe concentrate and Oxygen Boost for laundry and literally every cleaning need in your home! You can check out their Starter Kit, which includes the new bottle, here.

About The Author

Marilee Nelson

Marilee Nelson

For almost 30 years, Marilee Nelson, co-founder of Branch Basics, has been advocating clean, natural living. She is a dietary and environmental consultant and materials specialist who works from the premise that removing immune stressors facilitates the body’s innate design to heal and that eliminating harmful chemicals from the diet and products in the home are foundational to health. When she’s not consulting or researching for Branch Basics, Marilee enjoys the beautiful Texas Hill Country where she resides with her husband, Doug.