Why Your Shampoos & Soaps Are Harming Your Daughter (And What To Do About It)

Why Your Shampoos & Soaps Are Harming Your Daughter (And What To Do About It)

Time for a truth bomb. If you use commercial soaps and shampoos from big box stores, the dollar store, etc, chances are you’re exposing your children to phthalates.


What the heck are phthalates?


I’m glad you asked. (Like, really glad). Phthalates are chemical compounds commonly found in all sorts of consumer products, like household cleaners, toiletries, children’s toys, and makeup.


They also happen to be linked to depressed thyroid function, particularly young girls, according to scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.


I bet if you look in your bathroom right now, you’ll find at least 10 items containing phthalates. That’s a big fat scary thought, isn’t it?


So, how did all these products end up in the hands of consumers anyway?

Well, that’s a funny thing. The large corporations that produce these products aren’t required to disclose what’s in their product’s fragrances.


So those dryer sheets you love so much?


Chances are they’re full of phthalates, and potentially wreaking havoc on your children’s endocrine systems.


Another common culprit? Nail polish (who knew?). Window cleaning products are another.


Those scented soaps you buy? Possibly messing with your daughter’s thyroid every time you bathe her.


In fact, skin exposure is a huge factor in endocrine disruption. As you know, the skin is our largest organ, but it has no defenses against phthalates.


Any exposure heads straight through your skin and into your major internal organs.


Yuck, who needs this, right?


Why going unscented won’t stop your problem

So, from now on you’ll just use unscented or fragrance-free products, right?


Well, that’s not going to solve the problem of your phthalate exposure any better.


Unscented means that the product probably has a large chemical smell naturally – and more chemicals have been added to mask that scent.


Fragrance-free just means that more fragrances weren’t added…but the product’s natural fragrances are still there, and there’s still likely phthalates lurking in the bottle.


So, what should you do instead?

Here’s our handy list of swaps you can make, switching your phthalate-laden shampoos and other household products with greener, healthier versions:


Shampoos – use organic castile soap like this here. For fragrance, you can use 1 drop of essential oil per 16 fluid oz of castile soap. Peppermint is a favorite with many people. Rosemary is great for maintaining full, thick hair.


Please don’t buy your essential oils on Amazon – there’s no quality control. 


Soaps – try to buy from small, artisan soap makers to avoid any unnecessary exposure to chemicals. You can also make your own soap in minutes with our recipe here. Use lavender, rose, or geranium essential oil for great all-natural scents.


Window cleaners – Mix 1 drop lemon essential oil with 8 oz white vinegar in a spray bottle (Look for bottles with recycle numbers 1 or 2). Spray windows, wipe with newspaper.


Counter top cleaners – Mix 1 drop of lemon essential oil with 8 oz white vinegar. Use like you would normally. You can also use these all-organic counter wipes. Buy direct from the manufacturer here.


Room fresheners – diffuse 1 drop of essential oil. For tough odors, try 1 drop melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil with 1 drop lemon. For a floral scent, try 1 drop geranium! For bedtime, diffuse 1 drop lavender. Get your oils here.


Again, please don’t buy your essential oils on Amazon – there’s no quality control. Buy direct from our trusted source here.


Laundry detergent -You can also make your own recipe here.

We love this brand: 100% all-natural.

Here’s where you can get it.


Dryer sheets – Use wool balls with 1 drop of essential oil of your choice. Lavender is a good one to try.


Baby wipes – We love this brand of baby wipes:

No phthalates, 100% natural. Can also be used as makeup wipes! Get them here.


Makeup – We love this brand. Pure mineral makeup, no phthalates. Get it here.



How to Make Laundry Detergent at Home

How to Make Laundry Detergent at Home

For years, we simply purchased laundry detergent from the dollar store, not ever thinking about making our own. When we moved to our homestead, and as the desire to produce more than we consumed became greater, I researched how to make laundry detergent at home, and found that we could save more by producing our own. It takes a little more leg work, but it’s super-easy, and I get a lot of satisfaction creating my own.

I like knowing that we aren’t using the chemicals in mass-produced laundry detergents! And the bonus is that I can choose my own scent!

If you’ve ever been interested in making your own laundry detergent at home, and it’s an important skill to have as a homesteader, then this post is for you. I decided to make powdered detergent over liquid detergent because liquid detergent takes longer to make.

Here’s how to make laundry detergent at home. Any of these ingredients can be found at your local big box store, so no excuses why you can’t produce your own, even if you’re an urban homesteader.


Shredded Fels Naptha soap

Homemade Laundry Detergent

1 bar laundry soap (I used Fels Naptha, you can also use Ivory or Zote or your own)

1 cup borax

1 cup washing soap (like Arm & Hammer)

Essential oils (if desired)

Shave your laundry soap until it’s shredded. (You can use a cheese grater. I purchased one especially for this project.) Mix with the borax and washing soap, and store in a clean, air tight container.

That’s it! It’s really that easy to make laundry detergent at home. As a homesteader, you can go all out and produce your own laundry soap too. I plan to do this the next time we burn a bunch of wood. I have the fat sitting in the freezer! (Stay tuned for the tutorial.)

You can use your own laundry detergent at home in both regular and HE washing machines.

So, how to make laundry detergent smell good? Well, the good news is the ingredients, as they stand, smell like clean linens. But if you want to add your own scent, simply add essential oils. I personally like the scent it already has, so I leave it alone.

What scent will you use?

Links to: Simple-Lives