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Chemical Free Product Recipes:
Chemical Free Baby Wash Recipe

chemical free baby washYou might assume that because a baby wash has been marketed for babies or as “gentle”, that it’s perfectly safe.  However baby washes can actually be chock full of toxic chemicals, and “fragrance” in a baby shampoo can contain over a hundred toxic ingredients.  If that weren’t scary enough, did you know that toxic chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream? And that babies are 10 times more vulnerable to those chemicals than adults?  It’s no wonder that lots of parents are on the hunt for a toxic chemical free baby wash!

No matter how much you scour labels, it’s really hard to know what’s hiding in that sweet smelling baby wash.  That’s because many of the harmful chemicals are actually manufacturing byproducts, so they aren’t listed on labels at all.  An example is the known carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane.  It is thought to be in more than 50% of all baby soaps but because this one is a chemical produced during manufacturing, it’s not required to be listed on labels. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 1,4-dioxane is readily absorbed into the lungs and results in nausea, drowsiness, headache, and irritation of the eyes.  Long-term exposure to 1,4-dioxane results in skin, liver and kidney damage.  Luckily, you can always make your own chemical free, natural baby wash for your children and we’re here to help with the recipe!

What You’ll Need to Make Chemical Free Baby Wash

This recipe is for a 12 ounce pump or foaming bottle. Keep in mind that without any preservatives, you’ll want to use this up within a couple of weeks.

  • 1 cup of warm water (you can add more to get to your preferred consistency).
  • 1/4 cup of liquid castile soap
  • Optional:  1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel to add a little extra moisturizing power
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of your preferred oil (almond, olive, coconut). If you intend to use this as a shampoo too, we recommend omitting the oil.
  • Optional: Add 2-3 drops of essential oils.  Lots of families avoid these due to allergy or other health concerns, but add if you find they work for you.

How to Make Your Chemical Free Baby Wash

  • Add the 1 cup of warm water to your bottle.
  • Slowly add the ingredients (the soap will suds up quickly).
  • Once you’ve added everything, check the consistency and add more water if you prefer. Or if you want more suds, add more castille soap.

A couple of things to note:

  • This recipe doesn’t have foaming agents so it might not suds up like you’re used to.  The suds don’t make the baby wash any more effective or gentle anyway. However, you can add a bit more sudsing action by adding a little more castille soap.
  • Castille soap typically isn’t “tear-free” but it’s very gentle, so do your best to keep it out of your baby’s eyes just like you would normally do.

Now you have an all natural, toxic chemical free baby wash!

Okay, we’re busy parents too, and we know not everyone has time to make their own, even though the recipe above is quick and easy.  So here is a quick checklist of the most harmful ingredients to watch out for until you get around to making your own chemical free baby wash:

The Top 5 Ingredients to Avoid In Store-Bought Baby Wash

1. Fragrances:  Fragrances are associated with hormone disruption, skin & respiratory allergies.   And the one word “fragrance” on a label often hides a toxic cocktail of multiple ingredients. Why? Because fragrances are considered trade secrets for manufacturers. Always go fragrance free. 

2. Pthalates:  These are associated with a host of health concerns including reproductive issues and developmental problems in unborn children, as well as asthma and respiratory problems. You won’t see these listed on labels, since they fall under the mystery label of “fragrance”. 

3. Parabens:  These are synthetic preservatives common in baby washes and baby shampoos.  The CDC has detected them in almost all Americans tested. They are linked to a multitude of health risks including cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation.  

4. 1,4-dioxane:  Stay away from polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, sodium laureth sulfate, ceteareth, oleth, oxynol, -xynol, PEG, ingredients ending with -eth, -oxynol and those containing the words laureate, myrrh, ceteareth or oleth.

5. Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives: These are known carcinogens yet are common in baby shampoos.  They can be added directly or released by other preservatives. There is a long lost of chemicals that could fall within this group, so our advice is to look for the words “formaldehyde- free”.

Congratulations on making one step further towards healthy chemical-free living! Want to know more about chemical free products? Click here to see our other chemical free recipes.


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