Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics soft and flexible. They’re present in many products, including cosmetics (shampoos, perfumes etc), solvents and toys. While modern regulations have restricted diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in toys since February 2011 some will slip through the cracks, so its good to be aware. While every individual has a different sensitivity to chemicals based on our age, pre-exposure and health, the Australian government does detect a risk to children, but not the general public. Some research has found high exposure to Phthalates to cause damage to the reproductive system. More info can be found here.
So what’s the alternative? How do we make our home-made alternatives smell nice if we don’t have ‘parfum’? Essential oils are the solution. These are the pure essence of a myriad of different plants, extracted so that we can enjoy both the sensual and therapeutic effects of plants and flowers. The Self Seed Green Cleaning Guide has 6 pages of recipes including a list of basic supplies and the best essential oils for cleaning. If you are living in the Northern Rivers you may like to come along to the Self Seed Green Cleaning Workshop 6-pm, Wednesday 25 November - more details and book here.
Basic Laundry Gel
4 Cups water
1/3 cup grated pure soap flakes
¼ cup washing soda
4 drops Lemon Myrtle or other essential oil
Dissolve soap flakes in boiling water, mix and part cool. Stir in remaining ingredients, cool and pour into storage container. Use ¼ cup per average load, ½ cup for large or heavily soiled load.
More information on toxins in Australia see the National Toxics Network: www.ntn.org.au.