To me, luxury is so much more than lavish spending. Sure, it’s the big things – designer handbags, exotic travel and fine food – all of which I love to share here on Rich Little Poor Girl. But, it’s also about all of the teeny little things too. That indescribable ‘ooohhh…‘ feeling of slipping on cashmere socks, the way a bespoke bra gently hugs your body like no other and the soft scent of jasmine that lingers in your laundry long into the working day and stays seeped softy into your sheets helping you slip into sleep. Yes, washing my laundry with essentials oils is a new level of luxury that I’ve discovered lately and it’s glorious. Here’s how:
There are a few different ways that you can wash your laundry with essential oils but I tend to go for the most simple which is to add a few drops to the fabric conditioner drawer of my washing machine when I put a wash on. Exactly how many drops is dependent on both the strength of your essential oil fragrance and personal preference but right now I’m putting in about 15 as I want enough to last the whole wash cycle. Many people recommend just adding 5 drop during the rinse part of the wash cycle but I’m personally way too forgetful to remember to come back and add it then! If you use a dryer, others swear by dampening a dryer sheet with water and than adding a few drops of scented oil to this before it goes in. As I prefer to air dry though, if I want an extra boost of fragrance, I’ll dilute 10-20 drops of fragrance oil in 1l of water in a spray bottle and spritz my washing once it’s on the line.
When I first heard about this I worried that fragrance oils might stain my clothes but it turns out that proper essential oils aren’t actual oils in that sense but rather the liquid scent essence of the natural plants. Just make sure you get the pure kind with no carrier oil mixed in like coconut oil – the ingredients list on the back of the packaging should tell you. There are all popular essential oils (though there are many more): lavender, jasmine, sweet orange, lemon, cinnamon, pine, grapefruit, frankincense and rose. As for where to buy fragrance oils, they’re pretty easy to purchase online on sites like eBay and Neals Yard amd while Holland and Barrett and The Body Shop on the high street sell them, I’ve even recently discovered some at my local TK Maxx.
Another benefit of doing laundry with essential oils is that, as they’re natural, they’re said to be kinder on your skin than artificially fragranced fabric conditioners. This is something I’m really experimenting with at the moment as I’m getting these sudden flare-ups of skin irritation and I’m not sure what’s causing it so I’m trying to eliminate as many chemicals as possible. If you’re worried about losing fabric softness if you ditch the conditioner in favour of essential oils, just add half a cup of white vinegar to your wash drawer instead – it works wonder for luxurious softness and doesn’t make your clothes smell at all! (Just don’t use vinegar) along with bleach as this is a chemistry no-no.
Washing your laundry with essential oils really does make a difference when you’re in a busy day of meetings and you catch the soft scent of lavender wafting from your shirt. In the winter, you can experiment with mixing warming, inviting scents like orange and cinnamon to fragrance your towels – something to tempt you out bed on a cold morning and in the summer it’s so nice lying down on fresh sheets that smell like sicilian lemon instead of sweat!