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Fluffy, Soft Towels and Sheets with Essential Oils

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Is there anything more luxurious than stepping out of a hot shower on a cold morning to super soft, enveloping towels? Wrapping up all warm and cozy, with a large soft towel–that is one of the simple pleasures in life!

But if you are using fabric softener to get there, then your towels aren’t as soft as they can be–and you’re wrapping your body with all kinds of toxic chemicals, as well. You see, fabric softener is a no-no for towels. Experts have said for years that you shouldn’t be using fabric softener on your towels. It doesn’t rinse off fully, and that in turn ruins the loft and the softness of the terry cloth loops. Not to mention that if the chemicals aren’t rinsing off in the wash, that means they are still there for your body to absorb.

So what is a crunchy, frugal mama to do? We all love our soft towels–you don’t have to give them up! I have discovered over the past couple of years that our towels and sheets are now softer than they were when we used loads of fabric softener. Thanks to essential oils, they smell great, too!

One of the reasons why towels come out of the wash scratchy is that most of us are battling hard water. Hard water doesn’t rinse well, and leaves traces of minerals behind. The trick is to use ingredients in your laundry that not only wash well, but help in the rinse cycle to remove those hard water deposits and break them down. My quick and easy laundry detergent includes borax and washing soda, which do that while also cleaning your laundry. From there, there are three simple steps you can take to make your towels as soft and fluffy as they can be!

1. Add lemon essential oil to your laundry mix. I add 15 drops to my container of laundry detergent and mix it thoroughly, then use as normal. The lemon oil helps cut through body oils and dirt that may be coating your towel loops. I have used this on all of my clothes, and found it both color safe, but also an excellent cleaning boost to my normal detergent.

2. Add 1/3 cup of white vinegar to your rinse cycle. Vinegar is a well-known natural softener. It cuts through hard water and softens clothes, while also setting colors (which means they don’t fade or run.) Don’t worry about your clothes smelling like vinegar–they won’t.

3. In the dryer, I have homemade dryer sheets that I use. I took an old towel and cut it into strips, then added safety pins (look at this post on static free laundry for why) stuffing them into a mason jar or old baby wipes container. I add water and about 20 drops of essential oils. Let these soak overnight, then toss one strip into the dryer with your towels to act as a dryer sheet. They will keep the dryer heat moist, add a light fresh scent to the towels, and the safety pins will absorb all of the static. You can use any essential oil you like–I personally use one of the citrus oils, because I like the bright scent it adds to the fresh laundry. But the options are endless–find your favorite!

4. Purification essential oil blend works wonders with any clothing or towels that might be smelly or have gotten mildewy. Ever forget a load of towels in the washer? The smell can linger for several washes! Purification cuts right through that. I add 3-5 drops of Purification directly to my detergent, then run the wash as usual. No more smell! (It is color safe, as well.)

It is important to note that the quality of the terry cloth does effect how soft and/or fluffy your towels will be. If you have thin, cheap terry cloth, there is only so much these tricks can do. That said, I will tell you that in my home I have expensive towels from a high-end department store, heavy thick towels from Lands End and inexpensive towels from Macy’s (that are almost 20 years old, to boot) and I have found that the older less expensive towels can be just as good (and sometimes better) than the pricier towels. All three types have improved since our switch to the three tricks above.

Also, these tricks work wonderfully on sheets as well! Most sheets come in the package stiff and rough, because they’ve had sizing added to them. Many people try to soften their new sheets by pouring on fabric softener, which is a mistake. Most experts will tell you that in fact, you should skip the softener and reach for the vinegar, which removes the sizing. Try it on your next load of sheets–you will like what happens!

What are your favorite natural scents for the laundry?

Looking for more information on essential oils? Here are a few other resources you can check out:

Quick and Healthy Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl!

Chia Seed Pudding for breakfast
Have you been introduced to the powerful Chia Seed yet? If not, pull up a chair, because this humble little seed is about to become one of your favorite foods!

If when I say chia seed, you think of this, then buckle your belts because I am about to blow your mind.

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Chia seed is more than some informercial fad! Chia seed have been used by many cultures for centuries as a staple of great nutrition. Loaded with omega 3’s, protein, fiber, iron and other vitamins, chia seeds are the definition of good for you. It is a great grain-free option for breakfast in the morning that will keep you full and powered for hours to come. These little seeds become soft and gel-like after soaking for a few hours in a liquid. When soaked in almond milk (or any milk, it is your choice) they are very similar to tapioca.

Even better, they cook up nicely. This is a no cook recipe that mixes up quickly but packs a powerful punch of nutrition. And it tastes so delicious they’ll be licking the bowl and asking for more! Even better, it takes almost no time to make when you make it ahead. Feel free to change the toppings, these are just what I like and had on hand. Chia seeds make a great base, because they take on the flavor of whatever you add. (I’ve even added raw cacao powder for a delicious but healthy chocolate treat!) I make up the chia seed pudding a quart at a time, and keep it in the fridge so that we can have some whenever we want. This can be a breakfast or a dessert!

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Chia Seed Pudding

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla

1 quart unflavored almond milk/coconut milk

 

Add all of the ingredients to a quart size jar, stir and let sit for at least four hours to combine. I like to make mine before bed, so that it is ready in the morning.

 

Breakfast Pudding

2-3 nuts, broken into pieces (I prefer pecans)

unsweetened coconut

1 tsp bee pollen

fresh blueberries

1 tsp of raw honey

 

Spoon out half a cup of pudding into a bowl and warm in the microwave for one minute. Add your toppings and drizzle the honey over top. Serve–it’s ready to eat!

 

Wasn’t that simple? Now, for the toppings–I use what I have on hand, but there’s a few specific health benefits to the ones I choose. Bee pollen is not something most people are familiar with, but it is spectacularly good for you. It is a complete food, meaning that not only is it loaded with proteins, but it is also loaded with amino acids, iron and other good things. It is a superfood in its own right, helping with health, immune system boost, microflora within the gut, improving energy levels and so much more! So I sprinkle a little on every day! From there I add pecans (healthy fats), fresh blueberries (powerful anti-oxidants), unsweetened coconut (healthy fats, lauric acid, medium chain fatty acids and powerful anti-oxidants) and that drizzle of sweet, delicious raw honey (powerful prebiotic for the digestive track and it helps fight infections!)

This really is one of the healthiest, quickest breakfasts you can grab!

What do you like on your Chia Seed bowl?

 

Simply Overwhelmed–Breaking Through Clutter in Fifteen Minutes!

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Over the holidays, we were so busy with events, family and resting, that many of my good habits in the clutter and cleaning department went by the wayside. A few weeks back I posted about 15 minute cleaning sessions, and how much you can accomplish in a short time. Many people were skeptical and challenged […]

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Handmade for the Holidays–10 Easy Homemade Gifts

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Pinterest, blogs and Facebook, oh my! The internet is awash with projects that put Martha Stewart to shame. One project after the next, and they’re all labeled “Easy!” and “Simple!”–but the honest truth is, they’re far from simple or easy. Now, I love making homemade gifts. I do it every year, for friends and family […]

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Natural Anti-Aging Makeup Remover

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    I have always been one of the worst at removing my makeup every night. I hate the process, because it seems so time consuming. After washing you have to moisturize and protect your skin, especially those of us with sensitive skin. About nine months ago I began using a totally natural oil-based method […]

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Outlander Inspired Loom Knitting

Outlander inspired loom knit cowl

Are you as obsessed with the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series as I am? I’ve been reading (and re-reading) these books for close to twenty years now. I love them! It has been so much fun to watch the books come to life through the new tv series on Starz. I love watching these characters I […]

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Homemade All-Natural Gumdrops

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  One of my favorite treats of the holiday season are spiced gumdrops. My grandmother used to keep a big bowl of them in her living room every year–and now my mother has carried on that tradition. Last year while we were making our holiday gifts, LittleMissSunshine asked me if we could make our own […]

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Homemade for the Holidays: Lucious Lotion Bars

Handmade lotion bars are

  Have you ever seen those fancy lotion bars at craft fairs or expensive beauty boutiques? They look so pretty and smell SO good! They promise all kinds of great benefits for your skin over the stuff you buy at the department store counter. But here’s a little secret: while they are fantastic for your […]

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All Natural Moisturizing Shaving Cream–for Pennies!

Homemade All Natural Shaving Cream

One of the easiest ways to save a little cash and make your beauty routine more natural at the same time is to make your own shaving cream. This recipe is very simple, takes only a few minutes to whip up, and leaves you with a close shave and soft, smooth legs. This doesn’t whip […]

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Ten Everyday Uses for Peppermint Oil

Ten Everyday Uses for Young Living Peppermint Essential Oil

  Peppermint, Peppermint, Oh how I love thee peppermint! Seriously, have you discovered how awesome this stuff is? We are in LOVE with peppermint around our home. It seems like every day we find a new use for Young Living Peppermint essential oil. It is our most-used oil, used several times a day around here. […]

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