Wicked Ingredients In Your Washing
When it comes to toxic chemicals used in our day-to-day products, usually what comes to mind are things that we use directly on our skin. But have you ever really thought about the nasty ingredients hiding in your laundry detergent and how these could be harming your family?
We are here to crack the lid open of synthetic laundry detergents and reveal to you the wicked ingredients that most big name laundry brands are using in their products.Did you know that cleaning product manufacturers aren’t actually required by law to disclose all of their product ingredients?
That’s right. Even if you flip your laundry liquid bottle around, more often than not the label will not reveal all of the ingredients, particularly the most toxic ones! To give you all of the facts, we have put together a list of the most toxic, harmful ingredients that are currently being used in most synthetic laundry detergents…
Cleaning Agents (Surfactants)
Surfactants are used in just about every common washing detergent. They are known as the cleaning agents that help clean and rinse any dirt of our clothes but are some of the most toxic chemicals being used in households every day.
Some of these cleaning agents commonly used include Quaternium compounds, Linear Alkylbenzene Sulphonate (LAS) and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates, some of which have been used in harmful pesticides. Other cleaning agents like Quaternium-15 and Diethanolamine are known to release carcinogens and have been linked with skin and eye irritation as well as other health problems including liver damage.
Optical (Fluorescent) Brighteners
Nowadays, most common laundry brands will advertise their products as the most powerful ‘brightening’ formulas that will make your clothes shine. But what is the secret ingredient that really makes your clothes brighter?
These nasty ingredients are called optical brighteners. They are dyes designed to remain on our clothes, that absorb UV light to enhance and brighten the appearance.
As this chemical actually stays on our clothes with no cleaning purpose whatsoever, this toxic ingredient is among the worst as it is in direct contact with our skin everyday. The global optical brighteners market was 18,605 tons in 2016 and is expected to increase to 23,219 tons by 2022.
A nice smelling scent can make our clothes seem so much cleaner, but in reality synthetic fragrances are some of the most harmful additives found in our washing liquids. Some toxic fragrances that are not always disclosed on the packaging may include acetone, benzalhyde, benzyl acetrate, methylene chloride, butylphenyl methylpropional and phthalates. Not to mention diethyl phthalate, an extremely toxic chemical that has been linked to sperm damage. Those nice smelling scents don’t seem so fresh and clean anymore!
This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of any scents in your laundry liquid whatsoever. Happi Laundry Liquid is a certified organic solution that is made with organic orange oil and organic eucalyptus oil. With only certified organic, natural ingredients, this blend offers a refreshing scent that will leave your clothes smelling wonderful (without the hidden nasties!).
These are often described as ‘Biocides’. ‘Bio’ meaning ‘life’ and ‘Cide’ referring to ‘killing’. Antiseptics, disinfectants and antibacterials are all used in most cleaning products as a decontamination method. But are these commonly used ingredients toxic for us or our environment? The answer is yes. Benzyl-C 12-18-Alkyldimethyl Chloride is one type of biocide used in detergents that is highly toxic to fish, aquatic invertebrates and even birds and mammals. Concentrated solutions of this chemical (more than 10%) can be harmful to humans too.
With so many natural ingredients that can be used as antibacterial alternatives, it is a mystery why big name cleaning companies are still using biocides that are toxic to both humans and our environment. But there is a natural alternative. Essential oils are one proven alternative that not only enhance the scent but are natural antibiotics that can help remove any unwanted bacteria in your washing.
We all know that bleach is toxic, but what’s actually in it? This toxic chemical is a combination of sodium hypochlorite treated with sodium hydroxide. Of the tens of thousands of children injured by household cleaning products each year bleach is the leading source (37%). Some of the hazards of bleach include respiratory issues, skin burns, nervous system damage, headaches, vomiting, exacerbation of asthma with even possible links to cancer.
Liquid form bleach has shown to produce the most amount of toxic fumes. It has been proven that it can even react with other household chemical ingredients such as ammonia, generating a toxic chloramine vapour that is very harmful to humans. When it comes to bleach, this is one extremely harmful ingredient that we should not be using to clean our clothes everyday.
It’s time to shine a light on the harmful, synthetic chemicals that are being used in our cleaning products and start using natural alternatives in your house.
Whether you decide to make your own all-natural cleaning solutions or start using certified organic cleaning products, there are harm-free alternatives that you can use to wash your clothes.
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