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Clean Living: The First Step is the Hardest

Posted by Brandy Booth on

One misnomer with being a co-owner of an all-natural home store is that we have always been well-versed in all-natural, sustainable living. And that's far from the truth. Let's just say that three years ago, although I knew organic food was important, thinking about bath and cleaning products was not so much a focus as needed to be.

Over the past three years, we've lived by the saying, "The more you know, the better you do" many times as our vision has grown. And as soon as we knew we wanted our store to focus on all-natural products, as an educator by degree, I immediately started studying and researching about both products as well as the implementation of the products into a cleaner lifestyle.

If you've ever read our Brand Story, one part reads, "we also want to do our part to protect the environment to leave a better world for our children and grandchildren." Our motivation of Lemon & Lavender isn't just for us but also for our children. We want to be good examples in living a Clean Lifestyle. We understand that the knowledge we gather and implement into our lives will stream into theirs and flow to others.

 

Since my sons were little, I had tried to incorporate clean food into our lives. I would shop organic foods as much as possible. I was well-versed on what was most essential to purchase organic. But I didn't really think about the toxic chemicals that were in the laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, shampoo & conditioners, and beauty supplies that I used on a regular basis. Not until I started researching about these products and the harmful health effects they could cause did I realize the harmful effects they can cause.

In January 2021, when Lemon & Lavender initially opened, we sourced companies that had a vision like ours and many were also women-owned. But as an educator who is inspired to create things, very quickly it became my desire to create products for Lemon & Lavender. The first product I chose to make for Lemon & Lavender was laundry detergent.

As I researched, I came across articles that shared some of the harmful effects of grocery store laundry detergents: skin problems (rashes & redness), headaches, hormone disruption, respiratory problems, immune dysfunction, nervous system issues, infertility, vision loss, organ damage, cancer, and other health problems. The effects just grew and grew in intensity as I read. I knew this had to be the first step toward my family living a Cleaner Lifestyle.

After researching and testing, I came up with these basic ingredients: sodium carbonate, baking soda, Epsom salt, carbonate peroxide, & sea salt. Yes, it was really just that simple. One day in the store I overheard two customers talking, and one whispered to the other, "You could make that at home." I thought to myself, what a wonderful compliment. We don't have any weird unknown toxic chemicals, only basic everyday clean products. And yes, you could technically make it at home. 

Here's what I love about our specific recipe and ingredients, though. Besides knowing that it doesn't have any harmful chemicals, I love how the incorporation of Epsom salt as well as sea salt allow the detergent to be gentle enough for me to wash my delicates but also have enough grit to it that it will clean dirty white baseball pants.

One significant mindset shift we've had to educate guests on is why we chose to leave our powder detergent unscented. With all of our products, we only use essential oils. So with our powder laundry detergent we could technically scent the powder with essential oils. However, in the washing process, the essential oils would not cling to the clothes. They would simple rinse down the drain. So our suggestion is to use a Room and Linen spray to spritz towels, sheets, and other desired items when they come out of the dryer or to use a Wool Dryer ball spray for the dryer cycle. 

 

I was very pleased with how well received the laundry detergent was with my own family. At the time, they weren't quite as motivated to move toward the more natural products as I was. Honestly, for my husband, his most important focus was simply how well it cleaned his clothes. So just know, especially for the wives out there who want to move to a Cleaner Living lifestyle for their family, it's important to have products that aren't simply more natural but also do what they are supposed to do. And my husband gave me the best compliment one day by telling me he was really impressed with my laundry detergent. And for anyone who has created something, you know that nothing motivates you more than someone to be impressed with what you've created. And that motivation was the dopamine boost that propelled me to create more! I have come to thrive off the opportunity and ability to create products that not only are free from harmful chemicals but get to hear guests of the store echo my husband's words of how much they love our products.

So if you are reading this blog and don't know where to start, I highly suggest with your laundry detergent. We wear clothes constantly. These clothes touch our bodies, and whatever is in the clothes comes into contact with our pores. So you can either have all-natural ingredients or toxic chemicals absorbing into your skin. I have chosen the first.

In the creation of our laundry detergent, price had to be an important motivator. I couldn't create something that my family wouldn't be able to easily afford. We charge .23 cents an ounce. A regular load of laundry requires 2 tablespoons of our laundry detergent where an extra large load requires 4 tablespoons. That means a regular load of laundry costs .23 cents while an XL load costs .46 cents. In contrast, a well-known powder laundry detergent is .16 cents an ounce, which means one regular load of laundry of this powder laundry would cost you .20 cents. I felt really good about that.

So I hope you will follow along with me and my family to chronical our journey toward Cleaner Living.

 

XOXO,

Brandy