Creating a space that is free from toxins doesn’t have to send you hunting for healthy laundry room ideas all over the internet. In fact, creating a healthy laundry room is actually probably a lot less burdensome than you might think.
The health of your laundry room can not only impact your health when you’re in this space, but it can also impact your health as you wear clothing that has been washed in your laundry room.
This is why creating a healthy laundry room and using these healthy laundry room ideas I’m about to share will impact your health in a BIG way. Reducing toxins that we wear around all day long can drastically improve your health and wellness.
As with all of my healthy home ideas, pick a few things that are the easiest for you to change and then once you’ve got a good handle on it, move on to the next thing. In the end, you’ll have a space that will support your health and wellness.
HOW YOUR UNHEALTHY LAUNDRY ROOM IS IMPACTING YOUR HEALTH
Not only does the laundry room itself contain toxins, but oftentimes the products that we use in the laundry room become embedded into our clothing fibers. And those clothing fibers then sit on our skin day in and day out, exposing us to toxins constantly.
The largest group of toxins in a laundry room are fragrances by far. Think of all the products that promise to make your clothes smell fresh all day long — all synthetic fragrance. What we know about synthetic fragrance is that they often contain toxins that are never disclosed to the consumer. These toxins are often in the form of VOCs, which most have been classified as allergens, hormone disruptors and neurotoxins.
Imagine being in extremely close contact with chemicals that negatively impact normal hormone production, or aggravate allergies or negatively impact your brain all day and night. If you wash your laundry in detergent or softeners that contain these toxic ingredients that are found in fragrance, that’s exactly what you’re doing.
And this doesn’t even cover Dioxane, which is one of the worst additives in laundry detergents. This toxin is a known carcinogen and negatively impacts the kidneys, central nervous system and respiratory function.
But don’t forget about the room in and of itself. There are also dangerous toxins you could be adding to your space with your habits or appliances.
Increased humidity in laundry rooms can contribute to increased mold growth, increased dust mites as well as increased off gassing of VOCs. All of which are not only irritating to humans, but are also burdensome to our immune system and endocrine system as a whole.
Another newer toxin that we’re seeing in laundry rooms is electromagnetic radiation and fields due to smart appliances. Even when these appliances are not connected to Wi-Fi, they’re still sending out signals to attempt to connect to something, creating high levels of EMFs and EMRs in your home. COnstant, low-frequency EMFs and EMR can cause things like headaches, aggravate anxiety, cause fatigue and cognitive impairment and decreased learning ability.
But the good news is that you can quickly start detoxing your laundry space and reduce the exposure to all of these toxins in a short amount of time.
As with anything, but especially healthy laundry room ideas, we’ll talk about what you can do immediately, what you can work towards and what you can plan for in the future.
STEP 1: SWAP OUT LAUNDRY PRODUCTS
First thing on the list of healthy laundry room ideas is to thoroughly look through your products and make sure they’re plant based, fragrance free and don’t contain things like phosphates, dioxins or bleach.
You can use a third party app to figure out what you want to buy and then plan to make these purchases when your current laundry detergent, softener or brightener is gone. Or, you can use my favorites for your own laundry room:
Stain Treater: Baking Soda and Dish Soap (this is our go-to for just about every kind of stain at our house and it works like magic)
STEP 2: LAUNDRY ROOM IDEAS TO REDUCE TOXINS
Once you’ve got a handle on your products, which are most important, it’s time to focus on some simple habits you can change to make sure your space is as healthy as possible.
Clean Your Washing Machine: Making sure your washing machine doesn’t have mold or mildew anywhere in the basin or dispensers is key to a healthy laundry room. You could manually clean each of these areas or run a cycle with a washing machine cleaner in it to get the gunk out of your machine.
Remove Lint: Clean out your lint trap every time you run your dryer to prevent any build up of fibers that can not only be toxic (think textile dust, outdoor toxins, etc.), but also flammable. Every six months you also want to clean out the venting on the outside of your structure to remove additional lint that gets through the vent.
Dry Out Washing Machine Basins: Keep your machine as dry as possible. It could be as simple as letting your machine air out in between uses, but it could also include wiping down wet parts of the machine to ensure no mold or mildew can start. This will also help reduce the overall humidity levels in your laundry room, which leads to a healthier environment.
Keep Up On Dust Removal: Laundry rooms can be dusty places, and keeping on top of it can be a chore. But removing dust will also remove toxins as we know from research done on household dust. Wipe down surfaces and clean the floor at least once a week to reduce the spread of toxic dust into the rest of the house.
STEP 3: IMPROVE AIR FLOW
The best thing you can do in your space is to increase the airflow. Not only will this help the room stay dry, but it will also reduce the off gassing of VOCs, reduce mold growth and dust mites in the space. Here are some simple things you can do to improve air flow in your space:
Vented Fans: If your laundry room has a vented fan, use it! The best thing you can do is turn on the vented fan when the washer or dryer is working and then for about 20 minutes after they’re done. This will help draw out any air from the room, including air that could contain VOCs and air that has high levels of moisture. It’s a great tool to not only improve air flow but also to reduce humidity levels too.
Doors Open: If you have a laundry closet or a laundry room with a door, try to leave the doors open while the machines are working. Not only will this improve the life of your machines as they work more efficiently with fresh air, but it will also help reduce moisture levels in a small space where mold can grow. Anytime the doors can be open to the space, I recommend leaving them open to improve air flow and reduce humidity levels.
STEP 4: REDUCE HUMIDITY LEVELS
WE know that humidity levels in rooms play a huge role in just how quickly VOCs are off gassing and just how much potential mold growth there can be. Keeping a laundry room dry can be a challenge, but it’s necessary for a healthy laundry room.
Line Dry Outside: If at all possible, avoid line drying inside. Drying laundry inside can drastically increase the humidity levels in the space. All the moisture in the laundry is essentially evaporating into the air, increasing the relative humidity quickly. If you must line dry inside, you can use a drying rack with a fan or add fans of your own to speed up the process of drying. Otherwise, line drying outside is ideal.
Check Dryer Vents: Sometimes dryer vents can become disconnected and all the moisture coming out of the dryer is then expelled into the room rather than outside. This can happen through the machine being moved even ever so slightly. Every now and then check ot make sure that the dryer vent is in fact securely connected and if you see lots of lint in your laundry room, it’s a good sign that something could have come disconnected.
No Standing Water: Make sure that there is no standing water left in laundry tubs, washing machines or in disaster pans. All water should be fully drained out of sinks and appliances to ensure that it won’t end up evaporating into the air and increasing the relative humidity in the space.
STEP 5: PLAN AHEAD FOR LOW TOXIN APPLIANCE PURCHASES
Avoid Smart Appliances: If at all possible, avoid smart appliances, which can be emitting electromagnetic signals even when they’re not set up with your wi-fi as they’re always calling for a signal.
Top Load Washers: Front load washers are notorious for growing mold and mildew and not all of it can be easily cleaned out of the rubber boot and gasket that seals the water into the machine while it runs. Not to mention, these machines are much more likely to leak and cause water damage around your home. Top load is the best and healthiest option.
Stainless Steel Tubs: Stainless steel is one of the best materials because it’s not only free from toxins, but it also does not allow mold or mildew to grow on it. Most tubs nowadays are stainless steel, however it might be good to verify this when you’re on the hunt for new appliances.
Heat Pump Dryers: Heat pumps are the new way to dryer your clothes. Not only does it use less energy, but it ends up costing you less money and it’s easier on your clothing as it’s not a damaging heat being used. These are also typically ventless, and so there is no concern for lint building up to a fire hazard.
Don’t neglect that laundry room, even though it’s not the most glamorous room in the house. Intead, tackle it head on with these laundry room ideas and you’ll have just one more space that supports your health and wellbeing.