Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Green Your Routine: Watch How You Wash

From the beginning of our married life Ben and I have used plant-based, family safe detergent and cleaners on our house, clothes and dishes. I used to love the strong smell of chemical cleaners because I associated it with a tidy house. Once I switched to more natural products I found that when I was around the heavily perfumed cleaners my nasal passages felt sore and my skin became irritated. If you track the increase of petrochemicals in cleaning products post WWII with the rise in cancer rates, allergies, asthma, and birth defects since the end of the war, there is a chilling parallel. That information was a propelling force in leading me to seek out the safest possible products for our home. 

Here are some products I'm currently experimenting with.
From left to right: Seventh Generation Free and Clear Natural All Purpose Cleaner, Earthscience Almond-Aloe moisturizer, Seventh Generation Natural 4x Laundry Detergent, Jason Glowing Apricot Pure Natural Hand Soap, Seventh Generation Lemongrass and Clementine Zest Natural Dish Soap, 365 Everyday Value Shampoo.
In all my products I look for these key things: Full ingredient description, no phosphates, no sodium lauryl or sodium laureth sulfate, no parabens, no artificial fragrance, and no animal ingredients or testing. I promised full disclosure with all the Seventh Generation products and I confess I was disappointed to see that their laundry detergent contains sodium lauryl sulfate (it's a foaming agent).  I would love to hear if people make their own detergent without sodium lauryl sulfate or know of a brand that does not contain this toxin.

 I set myself the challenge of greening our routine by how we dry our clothes as we are already careful with how we wash. We have a clothes line which often goes unused and while the weather is still favourable I'm making an effort to hang dry our clothing. When the rain comes I hope to use our indoor dry rack frequently without my children having to go naked. Hang drying clothing is a great way to conserve energy and  the environment.

As a reminder it's not too late to enter to win a Seventh Generation Starter Kit. 


  1. I found your blog! Yay!

    We use Tandi's Naturals detergent, it contains no borax or SLS :)


  2. Thanks Abigail! I'll look into that. Where do you purchase it?

  3. Hi Michelle, Jill and I love you blog. It's wonderful! This is why we've decided to nominate you in the Liebster Blog Award. Check it out! xo

  4. That's so sweet! I will check it out!

  5. Hi Michelle, I enjoy your blog. It's inspired me to live greener.

    I wonder if the soap dispensary would have the items to make your own soaps/detergents without SLS.