Posted by Kimberly on May 26, 2011
Laundry detergent is easy to overlook when you’re taking steps to be greener; it’s in its own category. It’s not quite a personal care product like toothpaste and deodorant, but it’s also not a cleaning product like a floor or toilet bowl cleaner.
But laundry soap can contain ingredients that are harmful to your health and you’re exposed to them every day through the clothes you wear.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to know exactly what’s in which laundry detergents because, as with cleaning products, companies aren’t required to tell consumers what’s in them.
Tips for Finding A Safe, Green Laundry Detergent
- Avoid detergents with chemical fragrances and perfumes (avoid dryer sheets, too)
- Seek out a detergent brand that lists its chemicals, or stick with a green brand you trust.
- Skip detergents that might contain phosphates (harmful to waterways after use), parabens (hormone disruptors), and nonylphenol ethoxylate (endocrine disruptor).
- Make sure the bottle or box you buy is recyclable and, preferably, recycled.
Reviews of Green Laundry Detergents and Recipes
Trader Joe’s Laundry Detergent: We have used the Trader Joe’s Liquid Laundry Detergent for several years. It has a lavender scent that has just enough fragrance without being overpowering. The detergent works well for day-to-day use, but for tougher stains non-green detergents do a better job.
Dropps: Dropps sent us samples of the scent / dye free and the fresh scent detergents. Dropps are phosphate free, NPE-free, and chlorine free. It is made of “biodegradable plant-based surfactants (anionic and nonionic)” according to the ingredient list. Because they come in “toss-and-go” packs there is no jug to recycle; though the plastic packaging does need to be thrown in the garbage. Lastly, they were recognized for safer chemistry by the EPA. Overall, we found Dropps worked quite well for cleaning our laundry. The fresh scent smell was a little overpowering however. In the future I’d opt for scent free.
Vaska Herbatergent: Herbatergent contains plant-based surfactants and conditioners, lavender extract and.....