There’s nothing quite as satisfying as the fresh scent of clean laundry. Savoring the warmth of your clothes as you pull them from the dryer, folding each piece before tucking them back into your closet — there’s just something soothing about getting laundry done.
Photo by Maude Frédérique Lavoie
What’s less soothing, however, is that most conventional laundry detergents can cause harm to both people and the planet. Remember when kids started eating Tide Pods for fun a few years ago? (Note: please never, ever eat Tide Pods - or any other kind of laundry detergent, for that matter!) A lot of them ended up hospitalized because Tide Pods, among other conventional laundry detergents, contain a cocktail of toxic chemicals that frankly don’t belong in household products. And you don’t need to eat laundry detergent to be exposed to its harmful effects. Sodium lauryl sulfate, for example, is a common ingredient found in detergents that’s known to cause acute skin and eye irritation with prolonged contact.
The good news is that you can still get that crisp clean (and great-smelling!) laundry without the use of toxic chemicals. In this article, we’ll give you some tips for leveling up your laundry by opting for natural laundry products.
Getting Started With Natural Laundry Products
Photo by Planet Care
If you’re ready to make the switch to doing laundry the natural way, here are a few pro tips.
First, start by investing in a quality natural laundry detergent. We’ll shamelessly admit we think ours is pretty great (and home goods mag Domino agrees!). Slow North laundry powder is free from synthetic fragrances, brighteners, and dyes, so you can rest easy knowing that our products are safe for you, your family, and even your septic system. You can opt for our unscented version, or try out our naturally-scented powders, like Meadowland (a fresh, herby citrus scent) and Eucalyptus + Lavender.
To use, simply add 1-2 tablespoons directly into the washing machine with laundry. There’s no need to add any fabric softeners or stain removers when using our natural laundry powders, so you can completely skip that step! These jars will last you for about 40 loads of laundry.
(Psst… If you want a pretty and convenient way to scoop your laundry powder from the jar, try using one of our wooden scoops!)
Once your laundry is ready to dry, your first instinct might be to grab a dryer sheet and toss it in with your clothes. Dryer sheets are also known to contain toxic chemicals, but luckily, there’s a natural alternative to these, as well!
Wool dryer balls make for a fantastic eco-friendly, natural fabric softener that shortens dry time and keeps single-use dryer sheets out of your home — and out of landfills. Ours are good for over 1000 loads, and when they need to be replaced, are 100% backyard compostable.
Here’s another pro tip: try adding a few drops of essential oils to give your laundry a major scent boost. I love adding Lavender + Mint essential oil to my wool dryer balls, but you can choose whatever natural scent you like best.
Once your laundry is clean and dry, you can add an extra oomph to your load by freshening it with a spritz of linen spray. These naturally-formulated, non toxic sprays don’t just make for great laundry fresheners, but also for things like your pillows, the inside of your car, or your closet.
Switching out toxic chemicals for natural products is easy and effective. We think it’s totally worth it to make the switch and treat our homes (and the Earth!) a little kinder. Give it a go and let us know what you think!
Shop Slow North's entire collection of natural laundry products here!
Cecilia is a freelance writer and contributor to Slow North. She writes largely about sustainability, especially as it applies to beauty, wellness, and the future of technology. She is a graduate of the journalism department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and is based in Oakland , CA.