What’s so bad about laundry detergents anyway? Why bother buying a green detergent?
A few things that are not cool about conventional detergents:
- Companies are not legally required to disclose all ingredients, and most choose not to.
- Synthetic Surfactants. These suds-makers biodegrade slowly, and will stay in our water ways for a very long time. Did I mention they are made from petroleum? They also have a very high biological toxicity, according to an English study they have been shown to increase growth of breast cancer cells and also make boy fish more like girl fish. So weird and wrong.
- Artificial fragrances, these are bad always, again made from petroleum, toxic effects on animals are not clear yet…
- Optical brightners, maybe let’s work on getting our clothes brighter without being toxic to fish.
- Most detergents come in concentrated versions now, because really why would we want to pay money for a bottle that is 3/4 water anyway, try to buy the detergent with the least amount of packaging.
- Plant based surfactants ( biodegradable and safe) are being used by greener laundry options like Method.
- Can’t beat local and cheap! Try Down East Liquid Laundry
To skip detergent every now and then try these tips
- Soak whites in hot water with lemons for a few hours instead of bleach (discard lemons before putting them in the washing machine)
- Use baking soda. While I use detergent with my cloth diapers, I always through in some baking soda for a little extra kick, my sister uses only baking soda.
- Try a recipe to make home-made laundry detergent
Funny story, In the 1960s, when surfactants began to gain in popularity detergent manufacturers battled over who had the longest lasting suds. This led to suds appearing in streams, rivers, lakes, and 8 feet of strangely colored bubbles at the foot of Niagara Falls. Was this a hint that what we use in our homes goes directly back into the environment?
Oh and by the way Green Laundry detergents are WORTH IT! I like Method free and clear detergent, my favorite part is no measuring, you just squirt it in!!