Maybe you've thought a little bit about what you put into your body and onto your skin but haven't really stopped to think about other household items that need to be swapped out.
Today, we're going to be talking about something we come into contact with everyday... laundry detergent. We use it on our clothes, towels and sheets-- things that are in contact with us virtually 24/7.
Dryer sheets were one of the first things to go at my house when I started researching safer products. If you check out a box of dryer sheets THERE ARE NO INGREDIENTS LISTED. I immediately wasn't cool with that. Further research revealed the presence of nasty carcinogens like formaldehyde (AKA embalming fluid), artificial perfumes (that contribute to asthma & contact dermatitis), and endocrine disruptors, Are those soft, fluffy sheets worth the risk? Decide for yourself but I don't think so.
Once my eyes were open to the toxins in dryer sheets, everything else in the laundry room was placed on the chopping block as well. I quickly tossed conventional fabric softener for many of the same reasons I quit using dryer sheets. I found out there were things like quaternary ammonium compounds, endocrine-disrupting fragrance and other unhealthy chemical lurking in the very products we use to keep ourselves clean. What's the irony of that?
Detergent is last but certainly not least. If you're a parent, you likely sought out the baby detergent for your infant to protect their delicate skin from irritation. The bad news is that Dreft, a common baby detergent, was actually given an "F" for safety on the Environmental Working Group's website! Most popular Gain & Tide products are also graded "D" or "F".
While my husband laments the days "when we used to smell good" he understands the changes we have made are better for our health and the environment.
So, what are some safer swap options?
For switching out dryer sheets & fabric softener, I recommend wool dryer balls. They are easy to find on Amazon & inexpensive, you can use a few your favorite essential oil to give your clothes a light (toxin free) scent. You can also check out Pinterest for alternatives if you're into DIY. In addition, there are brands like Ecover and Seventh Generation that have softeners graded "B" or "C".
Detergent favorites at our house are Seventh Generation and ECOS but you can check out www.ewg.org/guides/subcategories/49-LaundryDetergentHE#.W0vdrC3MzOQ for additional info!
Here's to hoping the start of this Safe Swap series helps you make the best decision for yourself and your family!