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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Laundry series: Part 1- Reducing Fabric Softener

Truth time. I have been meaning to do a post about laundry for the longest time. I feel like I have SO much to say about it that I felt too overwhelmed to git'R'done. So, I'm going to start with a super simple solution and go from here. 

I want to be completely honest with everyone and let you know that I am not 100% 'au natural'... I'm getting better all the time, but sometimes I just need that poison fabric softener! :-( Well? I must tell you my truth! I'll provide facts as well as opinions, and the best part is... you get to make your own decisions! :-)

What I have done successfully is reduce the amount of commercial fabric softeners that I use on my family's clothes, and quite drastically at that. It's a great savings in dollars AND in toxins, so I feel good about doing better for my family. That's what my journey is about and I am passionate about encouraging you to do the same. Constant improvement, at your own pace. (Because stressing out is counterproductive!) I'm also a proponent of individual choices, nicely complemented with adequate education - but the education part seems to happen more like friend-to-friend. That said, after researching for this post, I will be making another drastic reduction in the use of this household product and trying harder to shake this out of our home altogether, like a good friend should.

I've shared why synthetic fragrance in air freshener is so bad, but fabric softeners are one of THE most toxic products we use in our homes today. At the very least, we can all reduce the amount we use. Here's what a doctor with the Environmental Working Group has to say about it.

Have we all seen the video of the dryer lint screen? If not, please click and watch. It's under 2 minutes and worth the eye-opening experience. We are covering our clothes in toxic goo that rubs onto us, and our bodies are taking it in.

Today I'd like to share one way that I have reduced the amount of fabric softener and that is with.... ***drumroll*** WOOL DRYER BALLS! ***cymbal crash***

***horns toot, 'Ta-daah!'*** :-)

Have you heard of these? I never had until I became a Young Living member and began to look for ways to reduce synthetic fragrance. Now, I see these 
all over the place in our oily circles and thought they weren't anything new, but after the class I hosted the other day, it's apparent there's much more need to share about this alternative product!

A couple impressive features of wool dryer balls are that they do an outstanding job of softening clothes and reducing static cling without adding ANYTHING AT ALL. So, there ya go! :-) They do a super job of fluffing things up and speeding up your whole drying process, too.

They also come in handy for me when I only have a couple things that need to go in the dryer. I put three or four dryer balls in with my items and they keep the clothes tumbling instead of smooshing up against the dryer drum wall. (hated that!) For today's healthier families, wool dryer balls are a must.

If you'd like to add essential oils to the dryer balls I have to recommend a few things:

1) They must be Young Living oils. Using a cheapie is no crime, but I know most other companies add synthetic oils that may stain your clothes, and I would sure hate for you to ruin something expensive while trying to save money. I've not had that happen with Young Living Essential Oils. Ever.

2) You may want to use a low-heat dryer cycle. That's because exposure to heat kills what's good in our oil. It's also come to my attention that high heat = crispy clothes, sooo...maybe "ix-nay" on high heat is in order, anyway. I am in the Arizona desert though, so if you're not ready to part ways with high heat, you can always pull out a few of the wool dryer balls and add oils when the cycle is complete. Then toss them back in and set your dryer for 10 extra cool, delicious minutes.

3) Avoid synthetic fabrics. Wow, weird suggestion, right? But I can see that it's true! Synthetic fabrics have more static cling and softness issues than natural fabrics. Mmmhm. One synthetic piece of clothing can 'static up' your whole load. Natural fabric is fabulous! (I ❤️ you, cotton!) I hadn't heard this before, but I will certainly be more conscious of this going forward.

4) You get to decide how much oil you use. I would suggest starting with about 4-6 drops on 4-6 dryer balls, wherever you feel comfortable. I like a lot of scent so I use oils like lemongrass, which is inexpensive and has a very powerful aroma. (One of many added bonuses is how much insects dislike lemongrass!)

I use the wool dryer balls because they do a fantastic job of getting clothes SOFT and help prevent wrinkling, but I do not add oil to them as often as I used to. (You want the truth, right?) I'm weird--I like to preserve the oil's health-promoting properties! (They're MORE than fragrance.)

I also like to get a little more bang for my buck, scent-wise, and I break my softening and my scenting down into two steps most of the time. 

So - next laundry post, I will share how I add more SCENT to my family's clothes with surprisingly, very little of my Young Living Essential Oils. I'
ll keep adding to this series of posts with other things I do to clean, soften and scent my laundry until allll my little goodies are shared, and we'll have a little giveaway - I can't wait! ;-)

When looking for information I noticed I'm finding more articles that downplay dangers of synthetic fragrance and even appear to shun natural substances. Here is a little blurb I found about fragrance that had more a neutral stance, still cringe-worthy to me. They really try to play up the synthetics! If you don't want to read it, here's MY summation: Don't believe what you see. (If a rise in genetic issues and the addition of...lab created crap we see in EVERYTHING today is really unrelated, that is one helluva coincidence!) In that same link I included some input from Dr. Mercola, whom I respect and trust, and we'll hear much more from him in upcoming posts.

After researching more, I understand now, that the industry has basically created it's own little fragrance safety council, called the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). They, um, self-regulate. Mmhm. And RIFM is the Research Institute of Fragrance Materials that does the extensive, independent testing on 'fragrance material' with a panel of experts, who then publishes it's findings with IFRA. Sooo...

I wanted to share some of the ingredients that are in today's fabric softeners and after pulling this up, I decided to try harder to get rid of this crap. I am sitting here with my jaw open and I actually have tears welling up. Please take an honest look with me at P&G's fabric softener ingredient list (They must be regulated by the Association of OMG)

I would not be doing my job if I did not make sure you knew that companies are practically allowed to get away with murder when it comes to 'fragrance'. That one word encompasses SO much that companies are not required to reveal to consumers, even if it's something known to be harmful, because the business' trade secrets are protected! OK, so yeah, I'm over the fact the big businesses and the government are in bed together. Back to happy thoughts...everyone, grab your favorite oil! Inhale...

Click the Amazon affiliate link t
purchase your own wool dryer balls. Smart Sheep is the brand I own and recommend. They have over 8000 great reviews. If you try a different brand and you love them, let me know! :-)

 Would you like to be a part of the shift away from lab-created junk, and toward all that is instinctually good? Join Young Living as part of the Anointed By Abba team. We are helping to change statistics, friends! If you'd just like to hear about our $25 back offer when you order your Young Living Premium Starter Kit (which gets you 24% off your future orders) you can start here, too. It's also a great place to check out why quality matters and why ours is unmatched.

Did you feel that? Your BP just dropped by 15 points. LOL. Oh, lavvy. XOXO

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