Trying to Find an Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent? Look No Further!
Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents
To help you understand detergent manufacture's technicalities, we're discussing exactly what goes into a laundry detergent, what ingredients to avoid, and safer suggestions.
What Are The Ingredients In Laundry Detergent, And How Do They Work?
Laundry detergent formularies can be divided into four basic building blocks: surfactants, builders, bleaches, and enzymes.
Surfactants are responsible for cleaning out the grime released in the water once the washer starts spinning. Builders remove calcium, magnesium, and other dissolved minerals from the water so that the surfactants can exclusively target the filth.
Both bleach and enzymes target stains. The bleaching agent available is often hydrogen peroxide, and it eliminates tough organic stains. Bleach is also why hot-water washing has become common. Hydrogen peroxide only activates once it reaches temperatures above 60C/140F.
It is, however, very tricky trying to figure out which building blocks were used. Manufacturers are not mandated to disclose exact formulations as they are considered 'trade secrets.' This enables unscrupulous businesses to sneak harmful chemicals into their products
Chemicals To Watch Out For
Many harmful chemicals in detergents are released into the environment, which leads to pollution. Also, as we wear clothes and sweat into them, the chemicals may be absorbed into our bodies and cause health issues.
Nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates (NP/NPEs) are surfactants that get washed out with each laundry load done. Research has shown that NP/NPEs affect the reproductive and endocrine systems of marine life.
Phosphate is used as an ingredient in many laundry detergents. Its impact on the environment is known to be very destructive. When introduced into water bodies, phosphate encourages algae's rapid growth, which robs marine life of oxygen and sunlight.
Dioxane is a chemical omitted from the list of ingredients on labels because it is not an added ingredient but a byproduct of the making process. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is a possible human carcinogen. So far, in the U.S, the state of New York is the only one to have imposed a ban on this dangerous chemical.
Phthalates are also omitted from ingredient lists because they are hidden behind the 'fragrance' list. This chemical, used in washing detergents to extend that fresh laundry scent, is known to disrupt the hormone and reproductive systems. Many other chemicals used in fragrance can cause irritation or are carcinogenic.
Optical brighteners create the illusion of brighter whites by coating your clothing with UV-light reflectors that give blue light. They are known to irritate sensitive skin, eyes, and lungs and decompose very slowly in the environment.
This list of toxic chemicals is not exhaustive. Regrettably, hundreds of toxic materials get added to our laundry detergents and other cleaning products.
Should You Then DIY Your Detergent?
Various eco-conscious individuals have opted to make their own laundry detergents. The ingredients, which often include washing soda, Borax, and a bar of soap, are harmless to the environment. However, the efficiency of these homemade detergents is sub-par.
What Are The Best & Safest Laundry Detergents?
Recently, biodegradable detergents and environment-friendly laundry cleaners have entered the market in full force. Environment-friendly laundry detergents are free from harsh chemicals and use 'green' surfactants, builders, bleaches, and enzymes.
To ensure that you are choosing a safer detergent, avoid overzealous advertising gimmicks that seem too good to be true. This likely shows that the formulations are packed with harmful chemicals to deliver the results advertised.
CleanPacs laundry detergent is safe, effective, and affordable. You can avoid the hassle of traveling to the store and help eliminate wasteful plastic from ‘pod’ containers and conventional detergent products. Our Laundry Pacs offer powerful stain fighting capabilities and leave clothes fresh and healthy without leaving a large footprint in your wallet or on our planet.
Also, you can opt for 'fragrance-free' laundry detergents to evade potential toxic chemicals hidden in our competitor’s fragrance formulas. The same scent can be achieved if you pour a few drops of your favorite essential oil into your washing machine.