It seems like every day there is some new study suggesting the potentially harmful effects of chemicals found in cleaning products. While many products, especially for laundry, are safe, it is necessary to note that some things that people routinely use, like dryer sheets, can harm your appliances, leading to costly repairs or replacements. If you are interested in avoiding any potential health risks and you want to hold onto your appliances for the long haul, then maybe consider using natural products for your laundry cycles.
1. Essential Oils
Many people choose a laundry detergent not based on its cleaning abilities but rather its smell. While there is no getting around the marketability of names like fall showers or natural spring, what benefit do you get from the scent other than odor?
Essential odors provide significant benefits beyond a pleasant smell. You can choose lavender, which has the advantage of being antimicrobial, anti-mold and anti-mildew, or if lavender is not a favorite scent, you can try tea tree oil, which is also antibacterial. However, purchase therapeutic grade oils to avoid skin sensitivity.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a versatile product, especially when it comes to cleaning kitchen appliances, but did you know it can also be used on laundry. Baking soda will lighten stains and deodorize clothing, which should not come as a huge surprise since that is why many people place an open box in their refrigerators. However, what some people may not know is that the product can also balance the pH levels in your washing machine, leading to brighter and fresher clothing.
While vinegar may not be a person’s first choice when it comes to laundry softeners or washes, it is a useful product, especially for musty smelling materials or items that are frequently damp. The residues that build up on clothes can lead to stiffer materials and hold hard to remove odors, but if you add vinegar into the wash cycle as a laundry detergent or fabric softener, the acid in the distilled white vinegar will eliminate the persistent residue, leaving clothes softer and fresher.
4. Tennis Balls or Wool
Dryer sheets, while well-loved, are among the most harmful products to your clothing and appliances. The fragrances that make dryer sheets so appealing can damage your dryer, and the chemical coating that affects the dryer can also affect the wearer. Many people cannot use dryer sheets because of allergies or sensitive skin.
Instead of using the sheets, consider using dryer wool or tennis balls. While you will not get the same pleasant aroma, a tennis ball or wool will leave your clothes softer and smelling fresh.
5. Warm Folding
Folding laundry is among the most hated laundry tasks, and many people find it frustrating when they fold and find their clothes wrinkled when they go to wear them. The problem is that most people wait to fold clothes instead of doing it right out of the dryer. If you fold clothes when warm, you can prevent post-laundry wrinkling.