Most of us do our washing everyday and think nothing of it. Put clothes in the washing machine, add laundry powder or liquid and press go. However, have you actually thought about the chemicals contained in most laundry powders or liquids? Most of these chemicals found in these products don’t wash out in the rinse and can be absorbed into your body through your skin. Your thinking, Yeah Right! How can products that clean my clothes be harmful.
Knowing what we are putting on our clothes, and in our body, can be incredibly important for protecting our health. Most Washing powders/liquids, for example, contain chemicals that can contribute to skin irritation.
The Dangers of Laundry Powders/Liquids
The following facts about laundry powders/liquids may help you become more aware of the many hazardous ingredients contained in these cleaning agents. These facts may also give you some insight into better options for you and your family.
1. Surfactants Cause Skin Irritation
If you take a close look at the warning label on your favourite laundry detergent, you’ll notice that it urges you to avoid direct skin contact. Detergents work by removing oils from clothes, and that includes the natural oils produced by your own skin. Among other uses, our natural oils are necessary for protection against microbes.
Surfactants are the main agents that strip away oils, an action that can seriously irritate the skin and aggravate skin issues. Rashes are common when the skin comes in direct contact with detergents, and some sensitive individuals may break out after wearing clothes that have been washed with conventional surfactant-containing detergents.
2. They’re Bad for the Environment
After the final rinse, that stuff goes down the drain… into the environment. The effect of laundry detergent on the environment is undeniable, and it’s only within the last 4-5 years that we are seeing the toll it’s taking on animal and plant life. Most detergents run into the water supply and have been shown to interfere with aquatic life. This stuff is not natural and many plants and animals cannot process the chemicals contained in these products. Producing and distributing laundry detergent already carries a heavy carbon footprint. Sodium triphosphate and trisodium phosphate can make their way into the water and interfere with sea life development.
3. Laundry Blocks – A Higher Health Risk for Children
As a result of consumer demand for easy, concentrated forms of laundry detergent, laundry blocks have been flooding the market. Convenient? Yes, but they also result in more problems for children than their less-concentrated powder and liquid forms. According to a recent study, children ingest these pods at a higher rate than powdered detergents, and some of the health complaints (digestive distress, breathing difficulties, and lesions) result in A&E visits.
4. You Only Need a Little
“Well, these clothes are really dirty, better add extra detergent for good measure.” Have you ever said that? Don’t. If you put too much detergent into the wash, residue will remain on your clothes. This residue is what leads to skin irritation, rashes, endocrine disruption, and possible respiratory distress. Sometimes less is more
5. Laundry Detergent Allergies are on the Rise
The stronger the detergent, the harsher the ingredients tend to be. This can create problems for people with sensitive skin or chemical sensitivity. Allergies to products containing harsh chemical ingredients are on the rise, and more and more people are turning to gentler, natural alternatives. Eco-friendly companies are slowly making their way into the detergent market, offering health-conscious users with hypoallergenic, chemical-free options. Not only are natural detergents safer in regards to allergies and skin, they may also be safer for the environment.
Finding an Alternative
Walking around in dirty clothes is obviously not an option, but that doesn’t mean a toxic, commercial washing powder/liquid is the only way. There are gentle products that don’t contain all the harsh toxins yet are fantastic for your clothes. What do you use to clean your clothes?
Products like addwater Laundry Liquid are an excellent choice as it cares for your family and the environment. No harsh chemicals to cause skin imitations and also biodegradable so it won’t destroy our environment.