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Episode 10: Natural Laundry Solutions

This episode Sharla Snow talks about using natural laundry solutions in her home. She'll answer questions like: What's the best natural laundry detergent? How can I make my clothes smell good naturally? Which essential oils are good for laundry? And more!


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Hi my name is Sharla Snow and I've been using doTERRA essential oils since late 2010; I've been able to use essential oils in the most amazing and sometimes kind of unexpected ways, and I feel like I've become a bit of an essential oil expert in my own home. But there's one thing that I would say I'm actually maybe even a little bit more of an expert in. As a mom of four kids, very, very active kids that have all played sports all through high school, love to do things outdoors and love to get really dirty, I would say I'm a bit of an expert in dirty, stinky, and really stained laundry. I would say probably most of us don't really love doing laundry. But I will say that I actually don't mind doing it anymore because I have some amazing tools that I'm going to be sharing with you today. 

What are the Dangers of Laundry Products?

So why does it even matter? Why should we care about our laundry products? I mean they're all safe anyway, right? I'm sure if it's sold on the shelf that someone surely is checking the ingredients to make sure that they're safe. And I certainly don't have time to be out checking all of the ingredients to make sure it's something that I'd want to use in my home. So what's the big deal? Aren't they pretty much all the same anyway? 

Well, I used to feel the same way and then I learned that that was actually not true. There's actually a lot of pretty nasty toxic ingredients in laundry products like 1,4-Dioxane dioxin, which is actually a used in a lot of the different laundry products, and it's actually a carcinogen. And then there's also fragrances. And fragrances, who knows what that really even means because it's so vague. But what we do know that it means is it actually can be a trigger for allergies and for asthma and it also can be a hormone disruptor in our bodies. And then there's another kind of hot topic right now which are the optical brightness which are meant to make your clothes actually look and appear brighter than they are. 

So, here's the actually kind of scary part is that the laundry product manufacturers actually aren't even required to disclose all of the different ingredients on their label. And there's also a lot of confusing or misleading advertising that you see in this in this particular space. So for example, I remember when my first son was born, and this was a long time ago, but I was told that I needed to go out and buy this really special laundry soap that came in a pink box. And it was meant for babies specifically, and it was supposed to be gentler and safer and better, and so because it was gentler, I assumed that meant it would be safe. And later on, right, I did what I thought was best at that time, but later on I learned that that particular product actually had many different chemicals in there like fragrances that I actually wouldn't use on my baby today. So when we know better, we actually start to do better. And I just did the best with the tools and the knowledge that I had back then. 

So yes, the dangers in the laundry products are really real. What happens is when we wash our clothes in traditional laundry products, we think that it's all being rinsed out in the rinse cycle, right? That that soap and whatever we're using is being rinsed away. But in actuality what happens is a lot of that product and also the chemicals get left behind in the fabric and that residue we then breathe in, and we end up having that brush up against our skin. And so when we start to sweat, that residue in those chemicals are absorbed into our body. 

What are Some Natural Laundry Solutions? 

So, what are some solutions? What can we do instead? So today I'm going to be sharing with you seven solutions that are gonna help you to swap out products you may have currently in your home for things that are more natural things that are going to help you make your home safer. It's going to be also cheaper; it's going to be better for your clothes. And it's just going to create a healthier safer environment for your family. 

Swap 1: On Guard® Laundry Detergent

Okay. So swap number one is going to be to swap out your laundry detergent for something that's safer. So you've a couple of options. You could make your own laundry detergent, which I did for years, actually, until doTERRA came out with this amazing product. So this is the On Guard natural laundry detergent, and I want to share it to some of the things I love about this particular product. So, first of all, it's super, super concentrated so you can see it's not a very big bottle but that's because it's ultra-concentrated and a little bit goes such a long way. For most loads you only need to use about one tablespoon. And so you're actually getting 64 loads of laundry with this bottle. 

The next thing that I love about it is that it has a full 10 mL bottle of the On Guard essential oil in it. So all of those amazing cleansing properties that you find in the essential oils are going to be in your laundry detergent, which is going to make it smell really, really clean but it's actually going to be really, really clean. 

And the next thing that I love about the laundry detergent is that there are all-natural other ingredients that are in it. Like one of my favorites are the enzymes. Now the enzymes, the purpose of those is to go in and to break up and eat away at the stains and also the odors. So enzymes are great at going in and dissolving grass stains or blood or dirt or any kind of like ice cream or anything that you eat. And so it really is fantastic being natural that it's actually able to get those stains and odors out. 

And I actually don't just use the laundry detergent for washing clothes. I've actually used it for getting—because of those enzymes—for forgetting those tough stains out of rugs and carpets and even in my car, you know, where the kids have spilled food in the carpets or on the seats. It's great for getting those stains up as well. If you do want to make your own laundry detergent you actually can do that there's a recipe over on the doTERRA blog that you can go and check out. 

Swap 2: White Vinegar Fabric Softener

Swap number two is to change out your fabric softener with white vinegar. So fabric softener actually has a ton of nasty chemicals, and so vinegar is a great replacement for those fabric softeners, and all you have to do is put a quarter of a cup of white vinegar into the dispenser in the area that says fabric softener. It's going to make your clothes softer, it's going to help remove static, and it's going to keep your machine clean and fresh as well. 

Swap 3: Homemade Stain Stick

Swap number three is to swap out your stain stick or your pen, whatever it is, for a DIY homemade stain stick. And all this is actually is just the On Guard laundry detergent in the concentrated form, and all I did was take a roller bottle and fill it about three fourths of the way with this, with the laundry detergent, and then topped it off with water just to make it roll a little bit so it would come out—that's why I just use a little bit of water. And this is a great stain stick so if you're on the go or you're traveling you can keep it in your purse or in your bag and if you accidentally spill on your blouse or your shirt you can just put a little bit of on there to pre-treat it so that you know that stain is gonna come right out. 

Swap 4: Melaleuca (Tea Tree) and Purify

Tip number four is to, of course, use essential oils. So think about those really smelly clothes that come home from the gym or from soccer practice, and you're just not even sure they're all of that odor is going to come out in the laundry. So what I like to do is take the kids dirty socks or my yoga clothes and throw them into a bucket or throw them into the sink in the laundry room with a few drops of Melaleuca and let them just soak in there while I'm getting ready to do another load of laundry. So pre-soaking—Melaleuca is amazing. 

Think about also those towels that you might leave in the washing machine just an extra day. What I like to do is add a few drops of Purify essential oil blend to my load to help just freshen up your towels and your laundry. 

Swap 5: Bleach Alternative 

Swap number five is going to be to make a bleach alternative. And the way that you do that is actually to use equal parts of hydrogen peroxide, the three percent solution, along with water. So maybe two cups of water, two cups of hydrogen peroxide, and then you can either add a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice or maybe a half a teaspoon of citric acid (I use citric acid in this one) and also 10 drops of lemon essential oil. And you can use this in instead of using bleach, and you don't not to worry so much about it hurting your colors either. 

So one maybe possible way that you would use that is if you have a baby and the baby eats bananas and it gets all over their white shirt, and you know what that's like right? It's just this yellow mess all over the shirt. That would be a perfect solution for that. 

So with hydrogen peroxide you want to always store it in a brown bottle because if it's a clear bottle it'll actually degrade faster. So if you store it in a brown bottle it will last up to about three months. 

Swap 6: Homemade Fabric or Room Spray

So tip number six is to swap out your fabric sprays or room sprays for a homemade DIY spray. I love this continuous sprayer that doTERRA makes and all you need to do is fill it up with water and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I personally have this next to my bedside, and I keep in it Serenity and Cedarwood, and I love it to spray down my sheets when I'm making my bed in the morning and just spray it down to make my bed and when I'm turning it down at night I give it a couple extra sprays especially on the pillows because it makes it smell amazing. But also what it really does is it helps me get a really restful sleep. 

Swap 7: Wool Dryer Balls

Last but not least is swap number seven and that is to trade out your dryer sheets for wool dryer balls. These are an amazing tool for a couple of reasons. So first of all, I love them because we get to make our laundry smell amazing by just adding a few drops of essential oils to the dryer balls. You can use Lavender, you can use Patchouli, you can use Serenity, you can use Balance, whatever it is that you love. I usually like to use the calming ones especially for like my bedding and my sheets. But some other reasons why these are so great is they actually cut down your drying time by sometimes up to 50 percent, which just saves money on your electric bill, which is awesome, and it prevents your clothing from having those wet spots. You know when you have your blankets and you pull them out there's that big clump of big wet spot in your jeans and your blankets. It prevents that from happening. So it dries faster, makes your clothes smell amazing, and they also reduce the static. 

So there you have it. That's pretty much everything I use to makeover my laundry room—a good detergent like the On Guard laundry detergent, an alternative to bleach, using the vinegar, using the dryer balls, having your stain stick. That's everything that I use; I like to keep everything simple. So hopefully those tips help you to make to make over your laundry room and to make your laundry time more fun, to make it safer, and to make it healthier for your family. Thanks.

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