Laundry Detergents: The Real Dirt
Ah, the smell of clean, fresh laundry!
It makes you feel good. So, who would ever think that the laundry room is one of the most toxic rooms in your home?
Worse, how can a task as simple as washing your clothes become such a toxic, complicated problem?
Let’s start with the law. It’s not on the side of the consumer, which is why it’s difficult for consumers to make an informed choice. Surprised?
The truth is, laundry care product manufacturers are not required by law to list all of their ingredients on the product label.
Even the term “fragrance” can refer to hundreds of laundry chemicals, many of them hazardous to your health. And laundry brighteners that manufacturers tout for making whites whiter? They can cause skin irritation.
These chemicals also decompose slowly and can be marine life toxic. Fabric softeners are no better. They have chemicals that remain in the fabric and come into contact with your skin.
While manufacturers don’t have to list all of their ingredients, you can get some very useful information from what is listed. Check out Mother Earth Living’s Laundry Chemicals To Avoid Chart here.
So Why Is Laundry Detergent Toxic?
Besides the lack of regulation, many of the chemicals in laundry detergent have not been thoroughly tested. Worse, the US government takes a hands-off approach regarding chemicals in commerce.
Since 1976, when the Toxic Substances Control Act was passed, the Environmental Protection Agency has only required testing on a small percentage of the chemicals used.
It’s only when a chemical presents “unreasonable risk to human health or the environment” can the EPA ban or regulate it.
Bottom line? Buyer beware and buyer be informed!
In fact, according to studies on laundry detergent, 1/3 of scented detergents contain at least ONE chemical the EPA says that could potentially cause cancer.
The most serious chemical offender of all is 1, 4 dioxane, which is a known carcinogen. It’s been linked to:
Nervous system impairment
Other offenders include:
Sodium Laurel Sulfate
All of these can cause many significant health problems once they have penetrated your skin.
Chief among laundry detergent offenders—and one of the best selling detergents—is Tide. Long valued by consumers, it often requires an anti-theft label to keep it on the shelves before purchase.
Unfortunately, Tide detergent contains a host of synthetic detergents, often made with petrochemicals.
It also contains phenols, an endocrine disruptor, phthalates, optical brighteners, bleach, and phosphates. Basically, it’s a gourmet goo of cancer-causing, or potentially cancer-causing substances.
Just Say No To Dryer Sheets!
The same goes for dryer sheets and fabric softeners. Both contain artificial fragrances, which are hazardous to your health. Instead, why not make your own softener?
Just use ½ cup baking soda in the wash and ½ cup vinegar in the rinse. This simple formula prevents static cling; clothes feel really soft and fresh-smelling!
Which Laundry Detergent Is Safest?
Look for laundry detergent that has the EPA Design for Environment logo. This indicates that the detergent was formulated with the safest chemicals possible.
But here’s a thought…
What if you didn’t need the “safest” chemicals to get your laundry clean? Heresy, you say? Not possible?
Well, we beg to differ.
Yes, you can actually buy laundry detergent that is filled with good stuff!
Natural Laundry Detergent
Here at Jewell’s Naturals, we recommend and carry Eco Nuts brand laundry detergent.
Made from soapberries, this detergent comes in a powder or liquid. Both of which are great for high efficient washers.
It’s a low sudsing detergent made with a blend of sodium carbonate, sodium percarbonate, certified organic Sapindus mukorossi, natural water softeners, salt.
It’s also certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.
Eco Nuts has:
No optical brighteners
And it’s completely free of sodium laurel sulfate, 1,4 dioxane, and phosphate-free.
But does it get your laundry clean? Of course! We wouldn’t recommend it unless it did. Eco Nuts is perfect for babies and sensitive skin.
Natural Stain Remover
But what about stains? We’ve got you covered there, too. OxoBrite is a mineral-based stain remover that removes stains by using oxygen. Huh?
Yep, it’s true! Oxo Brite is a dry, non-chlorine bleach that removes colored molecules, otherwise known as stains, from clothes.
Safe for high-efficiency washers as well as standard washers, Oxo Brite is also safe for septic tanks and greywater systems. Never tested on animals, it does not have any animal bio-ingredients either.
Another stand out is Better Life’s Stain and Odor Eliminator. This product goes beyond the washing machine to other stinky areas of life.
Featured in Real Simple, Oprah.com, and SharkTank, this jewel is color-safe. Use it to pre-treat clothing for:
Use it on carpet and furniture, as well as athletic gear. You’ll love it for yoga mats, fitness equipment, shoes, massage tables, and gym bags.
Better Life’s Stain and Odor Eliminator is non-toxic, biodegradeable, never tested on animals, made in the US with solar energy, and eco-friendly to marine life and waterways.
It Just Goes To Show…
There ARE eco-friendly alternatives that are good for you, your kids, and the planet. Plus, they work like a charm.
You’ll find these products are easy on your pocketbook and long lasting, too.
Why use harmful, scary chemicals when you have an eco-friendly alternative that gets tough on dirt and stains?
Visit Jewell's Naturals to pick up any of these great natural laundry detergent products!
If you're new to our store, take advantage of our new customer offer!
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