The same rule applies everywhere from beauty products to household cleaners: if it touches your skin, it gets in. You may not have realized it, but everything you apply to your skin seeps right into your tissues and reaches organ level within 15 minutes.
This same notion applies to everything else that rubs on your skin, like fabric in your freshly laundered clothing, towels, and bedsheets, and Kourt takes no chances on her little ones’ natural barriers, nor her own precious skin. Be wary, though, because some products tout “vegan,” “natural,” or “organic” on their labels to lure you in but are still loaded up on sneaky and irritating ingredients. Always check the label—there are a few red flags to look out for.
It’s easy to get addicted to that super-fresh, “clean linen” scent, but that smell is typically formulated with dangerous chemicals to emulate a sun-soaked hang-dry in the fresh breezes off a farm in the South of France. This manufactured freshness, known mysteriously as “fragrance” in the ingredients list, can cause skin irritation, eye problems, and respiratory issues and may even pose a threat to our reproductive health.
Bubbles aren’t a sure-fire sign that your products are working hard for you, but often rather the illusion of efficacy. Sudsing sulfates are known to be carcinogenic, and many detergents contain chemicals called nonylphenols, which can be found in latex paints and automotive fluids. If that’s not enough to freak you out, this same chemical has been tested to show up in breast milk, likely absorbed from garments and linens worn after laundering with these detergents.
Kourt is a fan of Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda and Oxygen Brightener, economical and old-school powders in equally cute and refillable vintage-looking tins for regular detergent and stain-fighting power. If you’re a recovered Tide to-go pen addict, try Kourt’s favorite Wow Stick stain remover for an essential oils-based alternative that works wonders. She also swears by a brand I’m sure we are all familiar with, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Detergent, which is made of all plant-based ingredients.
If just the word “bleach” sounds intense to you, you’re not alone. Kourt gravitates to The Laundress Bleach Alternative. The brand name not only evokes glam images of bathing beauties corseted over a rustic washboard, but is completely non-toxic and safe for colors. It’s truly the OxiClean of the detox world, in that it’s amazing for all-purpose household cleansing as well, i.e. stubborn grout stains and bathroom or kitchen surfaces. The line also has some incredible delicate products for fabrics like silk, wool, and cashmere, as well as lingerie bags that are perfect for lacy bras, panties, and silk camis. Pro tip: wash all your delicates on cold and never tumble dry.
In the vast sea of cancer- and irritation-causing detergents that scored a big fat F on the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s healthy cleaning guide (think classics like Tide, Cheer, Gain, Arm & Hammer, All, and so many more), you’re not limited to Kourt’s aforementioned selects. We did a little homework for you and found more brands to clean up your laundering act with a few quick clicks.