What gets your clothes clean in the washing machine? Think again if you answered detergent, it’s the water of course! The purpose of the detergent is to make water more slippery, so that it slides through fabric more easily and lifts the dirt off with it. The problem with most laundry detergents is that they are highly toxic, to you, your family, our beautiful earth and many of her creatures.
There have been numerous studies confirming the harm caused by chemicals that are commonly found in laundry detergents, many of which are known carcinogens, endocrine system disrupters and skin and eye irritants. I’m not going to list the different chemicals and their toxic effects here. There are many sites explaining the toxicity of laundry detergents and this is a good article from Dr Mercola’s site: Are you poisoning your household with this chore?
Our bodies are so assaulted with poisons in the air we breathe, in the food we eat and in our medicines, as well as the unnatural electromagnetic disruptions we face, that it is truly a miracle that any of us live long and healthy lives. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that continuous exposure to multiple chemical and electromagnetic assaults, mean that our bodies have to work harder all the time to protect and eliminate. What can you do about it? Start by changing the things in your own life that are easy, relatively inexpensive and enjoyable. There is a feel good factor from making changes that are both kind to yourself and kind to the planet.
When we moved here, one of our big changes was living without municipal water and sewage. We eventually drilled a well for our water, which comes up clean and beautifully hydrating. We have a compost toilet, which was amazingly quick and easy to get used to – now when I go somewhere with a flushing toilet I feel appalled at the waste of water and good shit! And all our grey water goes out onto the land just a few metres from the cabin. I make all our shampoo, body was and toothpaste, but laundry was a problem. It is very hard and expensive to find organic laundry detergent here and I don’t want to pollute our garden, or the land which slopes down to the river, with petrochemicals.
We have tried various alternatives, such as no detergent, bicarbonate of soda, salt and vinegar. Castille soap works, but is expensive and home-made laundry soap (olive oil, caustic soda and borax) also works, but is time-consuming to make. I’m not sure about putting these out into the environment either.
I’ve been curious about how magnetic fields interact with living creatures for quite a while. Working as a kinesiologist I’ve often used magnets to help people release pain and tension with astounding effects. Our bodies are 70-80% water so the idea of magnets affecting water was not far fetched to me. The principle behind the magnets is that they change the surface tension of the water molecules. This has the effect of reducing the clumping of molecules, which in turn makes the water more slippery so that it moves through the fabric more easily and draws the dirt with it.
There’s lots of research available on the affects of magnets on water. Here’s one summary of some of the research used in different applications, from crop yield to reducing salination. There’s also the familiar sceptic, debunking and pseudoscience noise around magnetizing water. Isn’t it interesting how this noise tends to appear around things that might be beneficial to life? It’s like a sign post to something that warrants further investigation, at the very least! So I bought a set of magnets to try them out for myself.
I find the magnets to be far better, easier and ultimately cheaper than any of the other alternatives I’ve tried. You just put them in the back of the drum and that’s it. Clothes come out as clean or cleaner than with detergent, even on low temperature quick washes. No fabric softener is needed, but I sometimes use vinegar if I’m washing things that I want to be extra soft. I’ve also found that a few drops of essential oil added into the container used for fabric softener, makes everything smell much nicer than it ever did with the fake smells of chemical fabric softener. Lavender for sheets is lovely!
I bought our magnets from Life Miracle in the US and paid $70 for them, plus $19 shipping and import duty on top of that. We still saved money, when you consider how much laundry detergent costs (and we live on a farm, we have lots of washing to do) and it is an easy way to reduce poison in our bodies and our environment.
Initially, I bought extra to sell on and they are all gone now and I won’t be buying any more as the import duties are ridiculous, but we are still using ours and I’m still happy with them (the same ones) four years later. If you can find them still, they are worth buying.