What’s Hiding In Your Laundry Detergent

What’s Hiding In Your Laundry Detergent?

Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body? It is, and since it is porous it absorbs everything, you put on it. Many of our patients spend a lot of time and money detoxing their bodies but don’t realize the toxic burden they’re putting on their bodies every day, all day long. We’re focusing on laundry detergent in this blog, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Did you know that the laundry detergents you’re buying in the store aren’t actually soap at all? They’re filled with petrochemicals, which are synthetic chemicals made out of petroleum. Also found in the ingredients on laundry detergents are fragrance, phthalates, optical brighteners and artificial colors. You wear your laundry all day, every day and then lay down to sleep on sheets washed in your product of choice. Laundry detergent is almost never completely rinsed off, so these things also get absorbed through the skin and can cause rashes and allergic reactions, not to mention what they do to you systemically.

Then there are fabric softeners. They’re loaded with detergents and emulsifiers which can cause allergic reactions, interfere with nutrient absorption, can contribute to reproductive damage, have been known to cause blindness, and can lead to cancer. They also contain synthetic dyes and fragrances, heavy metals, and petrochemicals. These chemicals coat the surface of textiles with a thin layer of lubrication. This makes the clothes feel smoother and helps them resist the buildup of static electricity. It’s killing us slowly, but at least we’re static and wrinkle free!

Fabric softener actually makes material less absorbent and filmy over time. Not only that, but the same film that is put on your clothes ends up on your lint trap as an invisible film, increasing the chance of it catching fire. Just in case you were wondering; dryer sheets are just as bad as liquid fabric softener.


Thieves Laundry Soap (yes, we said soap!) as an alternative. It’s gentle, yet effective. Essential oils and enzymes take care of the grime without leaving a film on your clothes to build up on your skin that will cause health issues later. Thieves Laundry Soap is HIGHLY concentrated (6x more than those in the store) so you only need a tiny bit for it to work (we recommend using half a cap)! Best of all there are no dyes, petrochemicals, formaldehyde, or lab created fragrance. It is truly natural.

If you love fabric softener you can add a 1/2 cup of baking soda to the water in your washing machine and let it dissolve prior to adding your clothes. The baking soda acts as a water softener and helps make clothes super soft.

For a dryer sheet alternative, we like to use wool dryer balls! They typically come in a 4 pack, and you can throw all 4 in the dryer with a few drops of therapeutic grade essential oils on them. A few of our favorite oils for dryer balls are Purification, Geranium and Gentle Baby by Young Living.

Pro-tip: Put a large, metal safety pin in the dryer balls to help with static cling and dry on low heat!

Lessening the toxic burden in your home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You can do it one product at a time and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to better health. Want to grab a kit to help you switch out all the cleaners in your home in one fell swoop for under $125? We’ve got you covered here.

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Medically reviewed by Dr. Stephen Matta, DO, MBA CAQSM and Mary Anne Matta, MS, MA, LAC

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