I’m sure most have heard of the viral “Tide Pod eating” challenge.  Even before this so-called challenge laundry pods have posed a serious health risk.  The EWG states:

Laundry pods came on the market in 2012. The American Association of Poison Control Centers says that between 2013 and 2017, there were more than 56,500 reported incidents of children 5 years old or younger ingesting, inhaling or touching the highly concentrated detergent found in single-dose laundry products. Vomiting, burns, corneal abrasions, breathing problems and at least 10 deaths have been linked to pods.

This pod eating craziness may have one bright side…which is that it has brought attention to the fact that these laundry detergents are TOXIC!!!  And don’t be fooled thinking it is just Tide.  Just about every laundry detergent on the market is toxic, even some of the “green”, “natural” ones still contain toxic chemicals.

One recent study, by Mike Adams on Science.news, using state-of-the-art mass spec instrumentation (LC-MS-TOF) in an ISO accredited laboratory, found that these Tide Pods contained over 700 unique chemicals, even though, Adams reports:

“Tide packaging claims the product is made of just three things: Detergent, stain remover and color protector. The Tide website admits, ‘Every Tide detergent contains many ingredients with long, complicated names,’ but it only lists 14 ingredients.”

Mike Adams explains “Tide laundry pods are widely described by doctors and health professionals as being toxic to human health, and eating them is said to cause severe health consequences or even “permanent damage” to human health.”  He goes on to make the point that if these are hazardous to our health if ingested then they are hazardous to your health JUST by wearing the clothes that were cleaned in them.  Mr. Adams points out that as we sweat in our clothing this releases these toxic chemicals directly into our pours.  He also expressed real concerns about what ALL of these toxic laundry detergents were doing to our ecosystems.  You can watch his full video explanation here.

I would go even further than Mr. Adams and say that, even if you are not sweating in clothes washed in toxic laundry detergent or dried with toxic dryer sheets, you are at risk JUST from breathing in the “scent” that comes off of it.  Sadly, many companies have turned to new nano technology to bind these toxic, synthetic scents to the clothing so that “fresh smell” lasts until the next wash.  What comes with this is the ability for these chemicals to now cross the blood brain barrier.  Just breathing in the scent is toxic on so many levels!!

Many laundry detergents use added optical brighteners to make the clothes appear brighter.  This has nothing to do with getting the clothes cleaner.  These clothes only appear whiter, because these additives reflect blue light, giving the ILLUSION that your clothes are less yellow.  These chemicals remain on the clothes and up against your skin all day long!!

What about babies & children?

Now consider the effects on children and babies. Their little bodies are taking in WAY more chemicals, percentage wise, than an adult. Not to mention, how many babies and teething toddlers drool on and chew on their clothing!!  And the sleeping baby…with their face pressed against those freshly cleaned sheets for hours, just breathing those toxic fumes in, makes me sick just thinking of it.  Many of these chemicals are known cancer causing chemicals and endocrine disruptors.

So what to do about this?

Here at Swell Living we are not just going to scream the sky is falling and leave you with no solution.  You have to wash your clothes and nobody really wants to stink!!! I like to give several alternatives to hopefully help a wide range of people make the NON-TOXIC switch.  Taking into consideration everyone has a different level of time and money to devote to this seemingly daunting task.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easy it will be to clean up this toxic part of your daily living.

  • First, you must STOP using toxic laundry products, detergent, dryer sheets, fabric softener, stain removers, etc.  ALL of them
  • I recommend loading them all in a box and dropping them off at your local chemical recycling place.
  • Laundry Detergent Options:
    • For the DIY’er you can make your own.   Here’s a GREAT recipe.  I would not use Ivory soap, but instead one of Young Living’s many bar soaps or another favorite of ours is Five Star Soap.
    • If you are not a DIY’er, in my opinion, the best laundry detergent on the market is Thieves Laundry Soap.
    • Store bought options are SLIM!!  After much research, I have not found one that is available at my local stores that I can recommend as being free from toxic chemicals.  Not even at the crunchy stores!!  To be on the safe side you may just want to use a capful of Thieves Household cleaner per load or try out the washing soda and Borax, which can be purchased at most grocery stores. (If you have a suggestion that is clean let me know in the comments!!)
  • Fabric Softener Options:
    • VINEGAR!!  Yes, you heard that correct.  Use plain old white vinegar in the liquid fabric softener well in your washer.  I promise, your clothes will not come out smelling like pickles!!
  • Dryer Sheet Alternatives:
    • Wool dryer balls, with a few drops of your favorite Young Living essential oil on them.
    • If you don’t have the dryer balls, use a kitchen rag and put your oils on it and throw in with your load.
  • Stain Remover:
    • The Thieves Bar soap is great to keep in the laundry room to rub on stains.
    • The washing soda and Borax are great for stain removal as well.
    • For a tough, greasy/oily stain I like to put Young Living’s Lemon essential oil on it to sit for a bit and then spray it with diluted Thieves Household Cleaner.  Works GREAT!!

Getting these toxic chemicals out of your home is a great step in living the Swell Way!!  Be kind to your neighbor and stop polluting the neighborhood air with your laundry!!!

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