Written by Jodie Pappas
Want to know a little secret of mine? I love doing laundry! My laundry rituals have changed over the years, and now include lots of healthier, eco-friendly and sustainable laundry ideas which are easy to implement in everyday life. Here is a rundown of the important aspects I focus on, with easy tips to help you implement a new laundry ritual in your life as well.
A Non-Toxic Approach
I care about the quality of my laundry, in a healthy non-toxic way. I will not use toxic chemicals in my laundry room nor in my house anywhere. I have switched to fragrance-free, natural detergent; did you know that the word “fragrance” can be used as a catch all for 10,000 chemicals that manufacturing companies do not need to disclose to you, the consumer?
Why Should You Care about Synthetic Fragrances?
The fragrances in detergents can trigger allergic reactions, including skin rashes, headaches, fatigue, and more critically they can cause hormone disruption. Synthetic fragrances contain phthalates, petroleum based chemicals, which are hormone disruptors called xenoestrogens and can also affect all hormones including testosterone. They pass from the skin into the blood which is why reading labels and being careful about all things that you put on your skin including personal care products such as skin care, hair care, makeup, laundry products, and cleaning/chemicals is so vital to your health.
Think of the Environment in your Laundry Ritual
The second major change I have made to my laundry ritual is to always consider the environmental impacts of the choices I make; not only in my laundry room, but in my whole home. I choose sustainable laundry options such as bottle-less laundry detergent. I am now a huge fan of Tru-Earth laundry strips and have bought a years’ supply for my family to use. It works great and I feel like we are doing our part by keeping plastic laundry detergent jugs out of landfills.
I banned fabric softeners from our home years ago, also because of the phthalates and other toxic chemicals, in lieu of some eco-friendly wool dryer balls which I adore! The only issue with these is that when my teen daughters do their laundry they gather up all my wool dryer balls and I have to go searching for them to get them back. If you also have teens that do their own laundry, you may want to invest in about twelve of these wool dryer balls like I have. It’s a small price to pay for having a healthy, sustainable, eco-friendly solution in my laundry ritual. Now I do know that not every woman or man sees laundry in this positive fashion, in fact many think I’m a tad nuts because they detest doing laundry, but here is why after a lot of introspection I have come to understand my laundry lovin’ obsession and encourage you to also embrace it. Let’s talk about why your laundry ritual really is a metaphor for life.
Dirty laundry is like a chaotic day you want to forget about.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could just simply throw your days’ problems into the washing machine, add some soap and hot water and boom, problem solved! You watch it swishin’ all around with soap and just know that it’s coming out the other end fabulous. If only life could really be that simple…
Maybe there is a way that we can take that same principle though and find ways to deal with our life’s problems more easily. One way that I like to cope with my problems is through daily meditation and breathwork, called pranayama, which means life force. Since I am a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT200) I have taken training in both meditation and breath work and wanted to share this quick and simple way to get started with meditation, by balancing your chakras. Give this quick 5-minute meditation a try for some calming and grounding relief. You will feel like a fresh load of clean laundry at the end of this meditation!
You choose your attitude. Your day, your way.
I am scent activated — natural scents of course, not those artificial, chemically scented fabric softener fragrances, again for the harmful toxic reasons explained in the previous point. But I do love, love, love to spray my freshly laundered clothes with a beautiful linen spray of therapeutic grade essential oils that are safe and that I feel great putting on my body. Some of my favourites include:
- lavender & cedar wood to give me peace and calmness
- fresh lemon to brighten my spirits
- rosemary & peppermint to help me focus and feel like I’m at the spa
You can choose to make every day fresh and make it your own! Here’s an easy DIY Linen Spray recipe you can use to implement in your laundry ritual:
Stains are the challenge and I am the master problem solver.
Bring on the stains! When my daughters were young and they would dribble sauces and milk down themselves, I couldn’t wait to strip them down and run that cotton tee straight to the laundry room like a good challenge that only I could solve. If only Pinterest existed 20 years ago to give me all the greatest stain solutions. I had to use my own trial and error and actually ask my fellow mommy friends or call my own Mom for stain advice the old fashioned way. But those good stain challenges excited me like nobody’s business (ok they still kinda do). I realize I probably needed to get out more now in hindsight.
Nowadays my teen daughters do their own laundry, and have ever since I taught them at age thirteen, their own rights of passage to the wonderful world of laundry satisfaction. However I may have made them a tad “stain obsessed” because as soon as they stain themselves they run to me for stain advice and a quick remedy to treat the stain. How rewarding as a mom and master problem solver!
Not everything in life gives you a re-do.
… but dirty laundry does. You wear it and mess it up but can then wash it, iron it, hang it back up and do it all over again. Mix it up. Wear it with a different combo, different shoes, different belt. Again, if only everything in life gave you a second, third, tenth chance to enjoy it again and mix it up to make a statement especially if you messed it up the first time.
I love taking my favourite pair of yoga pants and pairing them with a different sweater or yoga top, change up my jewelry, and of course put on a pair of fun socks to match and bring it all together. Since most of the world has been working from home all through 2020, being comfortable and cozy has become a paramount part of our self-care, but you don’t have to be bored with the options. Try out new ways to wear your fave clothes.
I hope this article gave you a good chuckle and an even better appreciation for laundry, the necessary chore that can actually inspire you!
Jodie Pappas has leveraged her passion for wellness through clean living and a balanced lifestyle of yoga, fitness, and organic gardening. The creation of her natural skincare product line, Clean Kiss, is a display of her passion for women to take charge of their health by reading labels and encouraging all women to find healthy personal care products that really work. Jodie is a mom and wife, serial entrepreneur, public speaker, yoga teacher, a Certified Organic Skincare Formulator, and an avid student of life for all things health and wellness.
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A version of this article was previously published on Jodie’s blog at cleankisslifestyle.com