Anatomy of a Ritual: Melanie’s Laundry Ritual

Pile of beige woolen clothes on a white background. Warm knitted sweaters and scarfs are folded in one heap
On August 15, 2017 by Team EO in ANATOMY OF A RITUAL

Anatomy of a Ritual — Melanie Galuten’s Laundry Ritual

We all have our rituals—the things we mindfully do every day, each week or sometimes, simply as often as we can, that help to center us. Whether it’s dabbing a beloved scent on a wrist each morning or phoning a friend at the end of a long day, our rituals remind us that there’s beauty in the little things and help us to find and celebrate the pause in life.

Below, EO community member Melanie Galuten describes the ritual that makes doing a regular chore like laundry into an intentional, meaningful moment for her.

I have always had a heightened sense of smell. That’s why I’m very much into incense, and why I’ve always been very green in terms of how I keep my house—I don’t like the strong scent of chemicals.

As part of my laundry ritual I have a small, ceramic dish that I keep in my laundry room. There, I have these felt balls that I purchase from New Zealand (although you can just use a wash rag) that I scent with essential oil. It’s always different, and very much dependent upon my mood. Right now, I have EO Geranium, Orange, Grapefruit, and Bergamot. I also have French Lavender, which is just incredible Lavender. EO—they’re experts in their field, and they have a passion for it. It really makes all the difference.

Because I’ve always been deeply connected to Greece—I spent a semester abroad there—Geranium is a favorite. I literally could not go through my day without Geranium oil. I find it to be a real mood enhancer. If I wake up in the morning and I smell like geranium all day, it just makes me happy—that’s why it’s a part of my laundry ritual.

I’ll scent the little felt ball in the ceramic dish using a dab of essential oil, which then makes the whole laundry room smell fantastic, and I toss it into the dryer with my clothes. Then, when I open the dryer, the smell is amazing. It’s this beautiful, softer, kinder, scent that’s really mood lifting. Most people don’t like to do laundry, but the smell of essential oils gives me true pleasure.

All of the things that you launder are things that you either wear on your body or sleep in. Clothing is such an intimate thing—day and night—you don’t want to have chemicals all over it. My son in particular notices if I don’t use the oils. He’s a little bit of a comfort creature. So, if he’s lying on the couch and I have, say, a big load of towels, I’ll dump them on top of him and all of a sudden it’s almost as though he’s purring. He just loves it.