Aside from the fact that it smells completely chemical, one main ingredient in detergent (especially Tide) is 1,4-dioxane, which also just happens to be in paints and varnishes. The Environment Protection Agency considers this solvent a human carcinogen. Directly from their website:
“1,4-Dioxane is used as a solvent. Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in humans. It may also irritate the skin. Damage to the liver and kidneys has been observed in rats chronically (long-term) exposed in their drinking water. In three epidemiologic studies on workers exposed to 1,4-dioxane, the observed number of cancer cases did not differ from the expected cancer deaths. Tumors have been observed in orally exposed animals. EPA has classified 1,4-dioxane as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.”
So, while there are affect by inhalation, long term exposure is even worse. For instance, when you sweat, the chemicals on your clothing are absorbed into the skin much easier going directly to your blood stream. Again, this is just one ingredient found in conventional laundry detergents.
Another known chemical is propylene glycol, which is a known endocrine (hormone) disruptor. It is even used in anti-freeze.
Every other ingredient in Tide, for instance, is a carcinogen, or irritant to the lungs and skin. The body reacts due to the chemicals being foreign substances.
Here is the complete list of ingredients in Tide detergent:
water, alcoholethyoxy sulfate, linear alkylbenzene sulfonate, propylene glycol, citric acid, sodium hydroxide, borax, ethanolamine, ethanol, alcohol sulfate, polyethyleneimine ethoxylate, sodium fatty acids, diquaternium ethoxysulfate, protease, diethylene glycol, laureth 9, alkyldimethylamine oxide, fragrance, amylase, disodium diaministilbene disulfonate, DTPA, sodium formate, calcium formate, plyethylene glycol 4000, mannanase, Liquitint Blue (dye) and dimethicone.
If that’s not a crazy ingredient list, I don’t know what is! So, needless to say, whether it be through inhaling or through skin absorption, you and your family are being exposed to harmful chemicals.
Aside from the chemicals in the detergent itself, we will start from the dirty water that comes after washing your clothes. Washing machines use an average of 25-30 gallons of water per load. This water is not only dirty from your clothes, it is toxic from the use of conventional laundry detergent. This nasty water then goes into the septic systems, which get into our rivers, streams, ocean and groundwater. In fact, there are some chemicals that take 10+ years to breakdown in the environment.
Further into rivers, streams and oceans, this chemical packed water is detrimental to aquatic life. Surfactants (surface-active agents) are chemicals that aid in removing oil from clothing, but once it goes down the drain, it removes the protective mucus layer that coats all fish, which helps protect them from bacteria and parasites. Once this layer of protection is gone, it makes it easier for aquatic life to absorb pesticides, phenols as well as other pollutants. It also is an endocrine disruptor for humans and animals, which in the long run with decrease the breeding rates of aquatic species.
Moving onto the packing laundry detergent is packed in is usually non-reusable and non-recyclable. It usually goes straight to landfills, and just to give you an idea, the laundry detergent industry is a 6 BILLION DOLLAR A YEAR INDUSTRY in just the USA!
Now, as always.. there has to be a better way, right?
Buckaroo Organics makes a completely natural 100% certified organic laundry detergent using soapberries, aka soapnuts. Not only do they clean, they also naturally soften fabric. This, my friends, is a detergent you can trust that is completely safe for you, your family and the environment. It does not contain any harmful chemicals that cause skin irritations or pollute water. This amazing laundry detergent is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for those with sensitive skin. It is also designed for high efficiency (HE) washing machines.
I tried this out using a sample through the website. Obviously, I loved it and went back and purchased the 200 load container. This entire container of laundry detergent will cost me .18 cents per load that I do. Considering organic things are “more” expensive on your pocket book (less expensive on your health), this literally is about the same as you can buy regular Tide for, but a whole lot better for you.
Buckaroo Organics also offers these 100% New Zealand Wool balls to help soften your laundry. They last for 1,000 loads, and are perfect for sensitive skin! You can also add 5-10 drops of an essential oil of your choice to NATURALLY scent your laundry. They are completely hypoallergenic, eco-friendly, soften naturally and reduces the drying time and static.
Pretty amazing! This is the CLEANEST you can get for your laundry room, HOWEVER, here are some other alternatives that can be bought on Thrive Market or below:
As well as these dryer-friendly items:
So there you have it! Here’s a way to lighten your load and make your health conscious laundry kinda fun! =) Let me know if you try it!