It is the first Monday of the month, which means it is time to make over a room!
October = Laundry!
Laundry is a chore. But despite the separating of clothes, the tedious folding, matching of socks and ironing of shirts there is one light at the end of the hallway- the clothes smell fantastic! I LOVE the smell of clean laundry. I love the way laundry makes the house smell and the comforting fragrance of towels and sheets straight out of the dryer but I never considered the chemicals used to create that clean smell I adore.
So let’s talk laundry-
Efficient appliances are key to saving water and energy; fortunately, I can check those off of our makeover list thanks to the wonderful Maytag front load washer and dryer residing in our laundry room. (whew- no big ticket expenses in this makeover) Front load washers offer better stain removal using less water and less energy. We will never go back to a traditional washer and dryer!
What products were in your grandmother’s laundry room? I remember mine referring to a gigantic book that advised the use of club soda (not chemicals) to remove stains. Those days are long gone and you can find stain removers to remedy any kind of spill if you just look hard enough.
Here are the products I use in the laundry room; one might call me a minimalist…
I am pulled in by the pretty packaging but I have never taken time to read the labels on the back of these products…
What is in your laundry room?
Chlorine Bleach– vapors can irritate the eyes, skin, nose and throat and direct contact may cause dermatitis (source: The Cleveland Clinic)
Detergents- effects of “cationic,” “anionic” or “non-ionic: can range from nausea and vomiting to skin and eye irritation, asthma and accdiental poisoning if swallowed. (source: The Cleveland Clinic)
Fabric and Air Spray: “Note: Keep children and pets off treated areas until dry. Do not spray on pets. Do not spray around birds. Do not use in small confined pet areas without adequate ventilation.” It continues “ CAUTION: Eye irritant… sensitive individuals should use in small area before treating large rooms or whole house. Contains alcohol, surfactant and fragrance.”
This is our gentle giant, Bacon. He rocks. I do not want to expose him to unnecessary chemicals and fragrances around the house; fragrances cause him sneeze and rub his nose into the floor to remove the scent. This project is not just for us, he is part of the family!
Stain Remover: “CAUTION: Eye and skin irritant. Contains surfactants and enzymes… wash hands thoroughly after handling. Do not mix with household cleaners. DO not use while wearing garment.”
Fabric Softener: “Liquid fabric softener can increase fabric flammability. Using more than recommended can increase this effect. Do not use this product: on children’s sleepwear or garments labeled as flame resistant as it may reduce flame resistance. On garments made with fluffier fabrics (such as fleece, velour, chenille, and terry cloth).
Laundry Detergent: “Contains no phosphate” Yay! “Ingredients include biodegradable surfactants (anionic and nonionic) and enzymes.” The particular kind I use contains chemical fragrances and dyes. The effects of “cationic,” “anionic” or “non-ionic” enzymes can range from nausea and vomiting to skin and eye irritation, asthma and accdiental poisoning if swallowed. (source: The Cleveland Clinic)
Clutter– It is time to tackle the pile of grocery bags and unmatched socks sitting on our shelf.
So this is slightly scary right? The fact that everything you touch in the laundry room can lead to an irritation or other complication?
Well, I learned some new things today. Throughout the month, I will present natural substitutes for laundry room products including cost comparisons, reviews and results. I cannot wait to make the transition to homemade stain remedies, natural laundry detergents and softeners and explore new ways to freshen our home and cars outside of the spray bottle.