Everything You Need to Know About Organic Laundry Detergent
Everyone is aware of organic foods. Foods that are not made with any artificial additives. However, the organic world goes far beyond food. Today we are looking at organic laundry detergent. This may sound like complete bull or that there is no way that it can work, but you would be surprised. Here, we will go over everything that you need to know about organic laundry detergent to determine whether or not it is right for you.
What Is Organic Laundry Detergent?
While organic foods and other products are made without the use of artificial additives or chemicals, organic laundry detergent is basically the same. Organic laundry detergent does not use any chlorine, phosphates, or other artificial additives that are potentially dangerous to your health. In addition, they are also free of any and all synthetic dyes and fragrances, both of which have the potential to cause allergic reactions as well as skin outbreaks.
So what exactly is it about these detergents that make them so bad? Well, the chemicals found in commercial detergents can emit fumes that are constantly inhaled throughout the day. Breathing in these fumes, even at small amounts, can have very damaging consequences on various parts of your health including endocrinological and neurological. One of these chemicals in specific, Phosphate, has been a common chemical ingredient that has been added to regular laundry detergents over the years. In the past 40 years, phosphate has greatly damaged the environment. The use of this ingredient has been heavily scrutinized, most in response to their effect on the environment and the impact it has on water pollution.
In direct response to many of these complaints and studies that have been conducted over the years, many manufacturers have started attempting to "go green". An effort to reduce the environmental impact their products have and to satisfy their customers. In addition, many laundry detergents are also being sold in smaller, more concentrated forms, which some say can reduce waste. While all of this is all well and good, the best choice is still to choose products that do not contain any chemical additives whatsoever. Not only are these products better for the environment, they may very well be even better for your clothes and your bodies than the commercial ones you are currently using.
Best Organic Laundry Detergents
While shopping for laundry detergent may seem like a job that does not require much thought, once you start realizing the ingredients that are in those detergents, you may want to think twice. To make your job easier for you, here are a few brands that you definitely want to keep an eye out for.
- Honest Free and Clear- While containing no artificial additives, it is also one of the highest rated organic laundry detergents.
- Biokleen- Not only is this one free of all artificial fragrances, colors, and preservatives, it also contains citrus and grapefruit seed extracts.
- Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods- While pods get a bad reputation for being very non-eco-friendly, these may be the exception. It contains all naturally derived ingredients and essential oils for fragrance, as well as not containing any phosphates, chlorine, or dyes.
- Planet by Ultra- Works for HE and standard machines, it is 100% biodegradable and free of color, fragrance, and phosphates.
- Whole Foods 365 2X Concentrated Laundry Detergent- Everyone loves Whole Foods right? Well, they have an organic laundry detergent that may just be your new best friend. Comes in unscented and natural Lavender scent, and contains no artificial anything. However, it is only available in Whole Foods.
If going out and spending the money on a good organic laundry detergent isn't your speed, no worries. There are other alternatives that you can try out. Like making your own organic laundry detergent! Or you can try these things called soapberries that are pretty frickin awesome.
In terms of making your own, there are a lot of recipes out there that you can choose from. Or you can pick your favorite base and get creative! But in case you are more interested in option numero uno, here is a pretty great recipe you can try out that is pretty easy and most importantly, cheap.
What will you need? Well a bar of soap is a must have, obviously. Coconut oil based soaps are the best, but vegetable soaps works as well. Baking soda is a good ingredient to use as well. It helps as softening the water and making everything all foamy. Lemon essential oil is awesome. It makes everything smell all lemony fresh in a very natural way. Oh, and it works as a stain remover and de-greaser, go figure. Vinegar, while not part of the main recipe, it works great as a rinse. This will help to reset the pH and dissolve any excess detergent and salts off your clothes. Lastly is powedered oxygen bleach without fillers. This works wonders for brightening whites and is pure sodium percarbonate (powedered hydrogen peroxide) which is non-toxic.
So how do you actually make this? Well you start by cutting the soap into small chunks. Add that to a food processor along with the washing soda (made from the baking soda). Blend that until you have a fine powder. Pour it into a clean contain and keep the lemon oil near by for easy access when trying to get rid of stains. You can also add the powdered bleach to the processor and any fragrance ingredient if you like.
Benefits of Organic Laundry Detergent
We have gone over what is the difference between regular detergent and natural/organic detergent. So what are the actual benefits to using organic laundry detergent? Well, it turns out, there are a lot.
First off, organic laundry detergents contain zero harsh chemicals in the ingredients. Even after your clothes are rinsed and are dry, there is often still some detergent left on your clothes. This means that you are basically wearing the chemicals that are in that detergent. When your skin comes into contact with these chemicals, it can cause skin allergies, and sometimes more serious issues like asthma. But organic laundry detergent does not contain any chemicals of any kind, eliminating any chance of that happening.
Not only is organic laundry detergent better for your body, it is also much safer for the environment. Like I stated before, phosphates have has serious impacts on the environment in the past 40 years. Plus, where do you think that detergent goes after it is rinsed off of your clothes? Down the drain and into the sewer, which usually means into a body of water, unfortunately. This can have devastating effects on the quality of the water as well as the marine life.
In addition to organic laundry detergent being better for your body and environment, it is also better for your clothes! Many of the chemicals in regular detergents can actually deteriorate your clothing. Whereas organic detergents only contain natural ingredients, which end up simply washing your clothes, without any adverse effects.
Essential oils can help your body in more ways than what you are used to. Using them in organic laundry detergent means that you get the same effect just by wearing your clothes. Some great soothing oils that are great for use in detergents are lavender, myrrh, and frankincense. If you are looking for a more exciting scent, check out orange essential oil. For a relaxing aroma on your clothes, try eucalyptus-citrus blends.
Lastly, organic laundry detergents essentially acts like a fabric softener and cleaner all in one. Detergents that contain coconut oil are perfect at keeping your clothes as soft as you like. Not to mention the oil also adds a great and natural fragrance to your clothes as well.
All in all, organic is not just something that applies to food products. There are many natural and organic products out there that are far better for you, your body, and the environment than what is currently being sold. Organic laundry detergent is an option that you definitely should not rule out. You may very well be surprised with the results you end up with after you try it out.
For any other information, including great organic and natural products out there, head on back to Green and Growing.