What we use to clean our clothes that are in contact all day with our skin, the body’s largest organ, is often overlooked as far as the ingredients and chemicals that make up the detergent. Our skin is permeable and just like lotions or oils we apply, our skin absorbs what is put on it into our bodies. The chemicals that we put all over our clothes leaves a residue that is then on our skin and inhaled potentially affecting our health as a result.
What detergents contain:
Optical Brighteners – These will remain on your clothes and are meant to so the clothes you wear appear bright and vivid. They have been known to cause skin irritation and also cause bacterial mutation.
Bleach – The most widely known chemical and also the top household poison above all others. Containing chlorine, bleach is a possible carcinogen and endocrine disrupter. It will also degrade your natural and synthetic fibers, eventually ruining the fabrics.
Phosphates – Magic foaming ingredient found in all detergents to break down dirt and remove stains. Not only bad for your health but cause environmental ramifications. These remain in the water after treatment plants ending up in our rivers and lakes. This toxic fertilizer depletes water of oxygen starving out aquatic life.
Fragrances – Most fragrances contain phthalates which are linked to a number of health issues. Some of these are obesity, diabetes, hormone disruption, ADHD and autism.
Natural Laundry Detergent Recipe
Doing laundry in the river is apart of life around the community at Camp Cabarita. We use this natural laundry detergent so not to affect our health or more importantly not to disturb the environment. This recipe is contains mostly household items and will fill a 32 oz Mason Jar.
2 cups Water
1 cup Bronner’s Natural Soap
1 cup Baking Soda
1/3 cup Salt
1 tbsp Borax (optional)
Mix all contents in the Mason Jar. Be sure to mix well before using as the baking soda and salt will settle to the bottom. Use the same amount of natural laundry detergent as was used of store bought detergent.