Switcheroo Sunday (Detergent)

My switcheroo for this Sunday is my detergent. I finally found something that I love that is good for the environment, good for me and that actually works to clean my clothes. Having a toddler and a preschooler this is really important because the girls clothes get completely soiled everytime. It is also half the price of what I used to use, which was Tide. Tide is $19.99 for 210 loads (we have a HE frontloader) and ECOS was $9.99 (with a Costco coupon, normally $12.99) for 210 loads. I love the fact that I am saving money. I also stopped using fabric softner because of the ingredients and the fact that I didn't want my clothes to smell like anything but clean.

Detergent manufacturers are not required by law to list the ingredients on their bottles, nor will you find them on their website due to secrets in the way they are formulated. Here is what I have found doing some research as to what is likely in your deteregent.

Alkyl benzene sulfonates or ABS (also linear alkyl benzene sulfonates or LAS, linear alkyl sodium sulfonates).
Alkyl phenoxy polyethoxy ethanols (also nonyl phenoxy ethoxylate or nonyl phenol).
This is a general name for a group of synthetic surfactants. They are slow to biodegrade in the environment and have been implicated in chronic health problems. Researchers in England have found that in trace amounts they activate estrogen receptors in cells, which in turn alters the activity of certain genes. For example, in experiments they have been found to stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells and feminize male fish. One member of this family of chemicals is used as a common spermicide, indicating the general level of high biological toxicity associated with these compounds.
Artificial fragrances
Diethanolamines (also diethanolamine, triethanolamine and monoethanolamine).
EDTA (ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetate).
Optical brighteners
Petroleum distillates (also naphthas).
Polyethylene glycol (also PEG).
Quaternium 15
An alkyl ammonium chloride used as a surfactant, disinfectant and deodorant that releases formaldehyde, a potent toxin.
Xylene sulfonate
Xylene is a synthetic that, when reacted with sulfuric acid, creates a surfactant. Slow to biodegrade in the environment and moderately toxic.
Here are the ingredients listed on the back of the bottle. They don't hide anything.
100% natural anionic coconut kernel oil-based surfactant, horsetail plant, lavendar, soy fabric softener, essential oils of magnolia and lily, purified water.

It's amazing how long I have used detergent and never bothered to find out what was actually in it until recently. You can also try making your own detergent. My sister-in-law makes hers to save money. (They have 7 year old twins and triplets due in April) She says it works great. Here is the recipe:
1/2 c. Borax, 1/2 c. washing soda and 1 bar Fels Naptha soap shredded.
Then add 1 TBS to the wash.

Here's to clean clothes, a healthier environment and a pocket full of savings.


jennifer said...

yeah. glad for this switcharoo info. this has been on my mind + heart lately. thanks.

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