Fragrance is a huge thing for me. It has actually been one of the hardest things to let go of when going non-toxic and natural in our home. I miss the lovely floral, fresh linen and ocean breeze scents of some of the old cleaning products I used to use. Most of those smells in store-bought cleaning products are from chemical and synthetic sources, though, so they are no longer an option for my family.
Now that I am making a huge effort to combat mold, in addition to removing toxins from our cleaning products, I am in an even harder position. Those “clean” smells that most people are used to in their laundry, are not a choice for me. In fact, most of those fragrances actually permeate your clothes and can be hard to remove. The perfumes can also seal in bacteria, making biological odors, like body and food odors difficult to remove. So, even though your laundry is fragranced with “fresh linen,” it is, in fact, full of biological odors. That’s pretty gross, right?!!
It is also notable that, because many fragrance compounds are considered “trade secrets” in the fragrance industry, companies are not required to display the list of what comprises the scent on the packaging. For example, on the back of a Crystal Rain-scented Windex bottle, the list of ingredients reads as follows: Water, cleaning agents, carriers, wetting agent, pH adjuster, fragrance, dyes, SCJ formula #35 17344. What? Does that tell you anything about what is in the product? Not me. I have less understanding than before I read it!
After concerns started to arise about these chemicals and how much was unknown about them, in 2008, the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) issued a master list of over 3,100 known chemicals that are used by the fragrance industry. Among those on the list are carcinogens, hormone disruptors like galaxolide and tonalide (both synthetic musks), the phthalates diethyl phthalate (DEP) and di-isononyl phthalate (DINP), which have been shown to cause reproductive and developmental harm in laboratory animals, and are linked to similar impacts in humans, and disinfectants, like triclosan and ammonium quaternary compounds, which might contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant germs, interfere with hormone regulation, or be harmful to the immune system. Not surprisingly, numerous allergens are also included in the list. That list alone is enough to terrify me. Unfortunately, there is no data provided on how commonly these chemicals are used, by what amount, or even by type of fragranced product. That’s even scarier to me.
I would also like to add that fragrance is used to mask underlying odors that are caused by bacteria and mold. It doesn’t eliminate the cause. And, when mixed with underlying odors, synthetic fragrances can create a stench with hints of perfume, which can sometimes be worse than the musty smell.
I do have some good news, though, for all of you fellow fragrance folks out there: One product that I’m loving lately and using for many applications, in addition to the product’s description, is EC3’s Laundry Additive from Micro Balance Health Products. In my opinion, it smells fantastic. It does have a subtle, but distinctive tea tree oil smell—sort of medicinal, clean, and grassy—but, I really like it. It also contains tangerine oil, which gives it a citrus kick. It mixes well with any laundry detergent scent, or gives unscented laundry detergent, a clean-smelling lift. The extent to which it actually works is the icing on the cake. It will totally eliminate mold, body odor, musty and food smells from your laundry. Even those hard-to-remove musty smells that have become trapped in your jeans or towels are no match for the EC3 Laundry Additive.
When using it for laundry, just add it to the rinse cycle reservoir (the place where you add liquid fabric softeners) to your washing machine. I sometimes even add it directly to my wash basin while it is filling and allow my clothes to soak in it with detergent to help with especially stubborn smells, or when I think my clothes have had a mold exposure that I want to safeguard against.
EC3 Laundry Additive is fast acting—works on contact, safe for all regularly laundered fabrics, eliminates mold smells, contains zero harmful chemicals, works with high-efficiency appliances, and is doctor trusted and endorsed. I would say that list is better than the unknown chemical list and fragrances in most laundry additives. Wouldn’t you?
I also have started to use EC3 Laundry Additive for mopping our kitchen and bathroom floors. I add about 2 ounces of it to my mop buckets with all-natural castile soap and hot water. It gives my whole house a fresh, citrus, clean fragrance that is not toxic or harmful.
What products do you love lately? Are there any all-natural, non-toxic fragrances that you have fallen for?