This amazing post was created by Brittany Linton, a holistic nutritionist in training, and social media marketing professional in the natural, whole foods industry! We encourage you to check out here website here and follow her on Instagram and Twitter!
The confetti has been tossed, toasts declared and resolutions made… at least tentatively. Hello, 2017! For many of us, the beginning of a new year typically ignites some sort of motivational spark to make positive changes in our lifestyle, and although I’m not typically one to make New Year’s resolutions per se, I (like many others) generally do make a little mental note to alter lifestyle habits once the clock strikes midnight on NYE.
But what exactly do we deem a worthy standard for the ever so elusive “healthy living” New Years’ Resolution? Often, when we make a health related resolution we think regarding pounds lost or logging additional hours at the gym… I mean, have you ever TRIED to snag a treadmill mid-January?! It is simply pure and utter MADNESS!
Now while both diet and exercise are extremely integral to our overall health and well-being, it’s important to take a broader look at our overall lifestyle to see what additional, more natural alterations can be made to achieve a healthier (happier) life!
Simple household or beauty products are often highly overlooked when it comes to living a clean or green lifestyle, as we tend to prioritize eating healthier foods instead.
So TODAY, we’re going to broaden our “healthy living” resolution to include some healthier household products… namely the harmful chemicals in laundry detergent!
Side Note: While I understand that any NYE Resolution involving laundry detergents may not be THE most thrilling focal point of a brand new year, it is extremely important nonetheless! Here’s why….
The Not So “Squeaky Clean” Truth About Harmful Chemicals in Laundry Detergent
Alright, so let’s get down and dirty… about laundry detergents!!
Despite the fact that the sole role of laundry detergent is LITERALLY to clean our clothes, one look at the lengthy list of ingredients is enough to tell us that the product itself isn’t exactly so “clean,” often posing a hazardous threat to both our health AND the environment.
Often, laundry detergents are derived from harsh petrochemicals and are scented using synthetic fragrances; which can lead to sensitivities including allergic reactions! Some ingredients are even known carcinogens!!
Furthermore, laundry manufacturing companies are not required to list all of their ingredients on product labels! Therefore, products listing vague terms such as “fragrance” may in actuality culminate to an entire concoction of chemicals that we’re not even aware of! YIKES!
4 Harmful Chemicals in Laundry Detergent
Below are just a few of the culprits to look out for in some conventional detergents:
This is derived from ammonia and ethylene oxide, and is a common ingredient in conventional laundry detergents! It has been known to cause potential irritation to both the skin and eyes; and has been linked to developmental and reproductive toxicity in animal studies.
This particular ingredient has no real practical use in laundry detergents; essentially, it has absolutely no effect on a laundry detergent’s cleaning capabilities!
Its role is purely for aesthetic purposes, and often in conventional brands, dyes are created utilizing non-natural compounds. If it’s not from a non-toxic laundry detergent brand, try avoiding products with dyes!
As I mentioned, many laundry detergent manufacturing companies are not required to list all of their ingredients! Therefore an umbrella term like “fragrances” can actually culminate to its own nasty, “laundry list” of harsh chemicals in and of itself!
Fragrances can cause many sensitivities like severe headaches, so go either “fragrance-free” OR try looking for brands that are scented utilizing natural compounds like botanicals or essential oils!
4. Optical Brighteners
This is another ingredient that doesn’t really serve a clear purpose… other than creating the illusion that our clothes (particular white materials) are brighter! Optical brighteners cause more blue light reflection (causing brighter whites). However, they’re often NOT biodegradable!
3 Clean, Green, Natural Laundry Detergents!
Now I obviously can’t leave you hanging out to dry here… see what I did there?! The GREAT news is that there are a ton of really wonderful, quality detergents out there on the market that is better for both the environment AND your health!
Generally speaking, try looking for detergents that are fragrance and dye-free. However, I’ve actually gone ahead and done a bit of the legwork for you by selecting three natural detergent alternatives! You’re welcome!
Natural Laundry Detergent #1: Nature Clean
A detergent with a love story! The founder of Nature Clean actually began creating healthier household cleaning products after his wife experienced allergic reactions to harsh chemicals found in detergents! Sigh… Who knew laundry could be so romantic?!
Nature Clean carries a vast selection of natural, Eco-friendly household cleaning products including their automatic dishwasher packs which are unscented, hypoallergenic and contain absolutely ZERO animal ingredients!
Why is this so significant? Many conventional detergent packs are created utilizing tallow, AKA ANIMAL FATS… yuck, no thanks! Well, you can rest assured folks because THESE pics are both vegan and kosher!
Get yours today – click here!
Natural Laundry Detergent #2: Bio-Vert
This is another green, clean laundry detergent machine! All Bio-vert products are either certified or in the process of being certified, by EcoLogo; Canada’s only recognized environmental and certification mark!
EcoLogo utilizes extremely stringent certification, validation and testing methods so that consumers are better able to recognize products that are safe for the environment and themselves! Thanks for looking out for us folk, EcoLogo!!!!
Not to mention, Bio-vert even takes it a step further in the whole transparency department with their consumers by featuring “Environmental Facts” labels on all of their products! These labels are extremely useful because the percentage of each ingredient used is clearly displayed on each product! PLUS… a portion of their bottles is created using recycled materials to boot!
Natural Laundry Detergent #3: Seventh Generation
From Blue Eucalyptus and Lavender to Fresh Citrus, this all natural, cruelty-free laundry detergent line comes in a variety of beautiful scents… utilizing absolutely no synthetic fragrances!
How does Seventh Generation achieve such glorious scents, sans all of the harsh chemicals you may ask? Using plant-based essential oils and botanical extracts! PS. They ALSO have fragrance-free products too!
What’s more, is that a good majority of their laundry products are USDA Certified Biobased and that all of their packagings is created using 100% post-consumer recycled bottles; which has helped to save a whopping 1.1 million trees and 2.9 million cubic feet of landfill space!! More trees, and fewer chemicals? Win, win for everyone involved!
Get yours today – click here!
ps. Websites like Etsy also contain a vast selection of natural and chemical-free, homemade laundry detergent alternatives from creative entrepreneurs! This past Christmas, my good friend gifted everyone with these absolutely wonderful natural laundry detergents made from Canadian vendors; a great opportunity to support your local communities!
So now that you all know the “dirty” on laundry detergent… will you be making the switch to a cleaner alternative this 2017?!