When people think of laundry detergent they think of Tide laundry detergent or Gain laundry detergent, not of a green laundry detergent. Furthermore, many wonder if it is possible to find a great green laundry detergent that works to get out stains and odor from their clothes. Along with the other green home cleaning products available, we have researched laundry detergent and have found green laundry detergent can be extremely effective. Even better, the green laundry detergent might not cost more!
Using a green laundry detergent is important because something as simple and ordinary as cleaning your clothes in a washing machine can have serious repercussions. The chemicals used in these cleaning agents are hardly user friendly as outlined in Laundry Detergent May Not be Safe – Use Green Cleaning Products. Traditional laundry leaves residues of the petrochemical based chemicals on your clothes, which then can be absorbed by our skin and evaporated into the air around us where we can breathe in the toxic chemicals. Laundry Detergent May Not be Safe is a great guide in identifying the chemicals to avoid and the reasons to seek a green laundry detergent that will clean without harsh chemical fumes or residue.
Green Laundry Detergent Works and is Safer for You and the Environment
A comparison of laundry detergent, green or otherwise, includes the following considerations:
- Fabric whiteners and brightners (or not);
- If it contains fabric softener (some of the most toxic substances we are expsoed to)
- Fragrance used, if any;
- Impact on the environment, such as biodegradability;
- Effect on allergies, i.e., is it hypoallergenic;
- Application to a standard or high efficiency (HE) washer;
- Packaging (material and size); and
As a consumer, you should become familiar with some of the common terminology that is often overlooked, but may have longer lasting ramifications than ever before thought. Ideally in your inventory of green home cleaning supplies select a green laundry detergent that has the following characteristics:
- Free of phosphates
- Free of optical brighteners
- Nontoxic (free of nasty chemicals and artificial and synthetic dyes and fragrances)
- Free of nonrenewable and toxic petroleum based chemicals (seek ingredients that are renewable, i.e., plant derived)
- Cold water friendly formulations (laundry detergent often requires hot water to activate the chemicals
- Concentrated (less packaging)
- Minimum weight (with the lowest water content to reduce carbon footprint associated with transportation of the products) and
- Friendly packaging (including the largest number of uses for smallest size package)
For a green laundry detergent packaging is important. Method has estimated that every year over 400 million gallons of water are used to dilute conventional laundry detergents as they are made up of 70 to 80 percent of water. Think about it that is MORE water than detergent that you are paying for! According to a Seventh Generation laundry detergent label, if every U.S. household replaced one bottle of petroleum-based detergent with a plant-derived product, 149,000 barrels of oil could be saved — enough to heat and cool 8,500 homes for a year.
With so much greenwashing in the market place it is important to find products that have received a third party certification. Through the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI), EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) Program recognizes environmental leaders who voluntarily commit to the use of safer surfactants and along with other stringent criteria for a the formulation of green cleaning products and green janitorial supplies. Safer surfactants are surfactants that break down quickly to non-polluting compounds and help protect aquatic life in both fresh and salt water. Nonylphenol ethoxylates, commonly referred to as NPEs, are an example of a surfactant class that does not meet the definition of a safer surfactant.
Rochester Midland Corporation, one of Green Cleaning Products LLC product lines, is a SDSI partner and has been recognized as a product formulator that is commitment to manufacturing only the safer surfactants.
Key to ensuring a safe green clean includes sticking to the recommended amount of detergent. Using too much raises costs and might require added rinse cycles, thus wasting water. (If you can easily smell the detergent on your clothes after they are dry, you are using too much detergent.) When too much laundry detergent is used, it can dull clothes, generate excessive amounts of lint and cause pilling. Worst of all it also means you are wearing detergent residue. … Another reason to ensure you use a green laundry detergent.
Cost is no longer an issue. Our green laundry detergent only costs 25 cents per load as compared to over 35 cents per load for many brands of the traditional laundry detergent.
If you are looking for a powerful and affordable green cleaning products that work, check out our line of green cleaning products.