Natural Laundry Detergent

Natural Laundry Detergent -Organic laundry detergent, seventh generation, soap nuts.

Natural Laundry Detergent

Use organic laundry detergents such as seventh generation or soap nuts to rid your use of petroleum byproducts.

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Traditional laundry detergents contain a number of ingredients that probably aren't the best for the environment. Possibly most concerning is the fact that most laundry detergent contains petroleum byproducts.

First, as a society struggling to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it's in everyone's best interest to stay away from any product that contains petroleum-derived ingredients whenever possible.

However, even if petroleum was available in abundance, the extraction and production of petroleum have caused damage to soil, land and ground water, and many ecosystems.

Traditional Laundry Detergent

Traditional Laundry Detergent

Traditional Detergents Contain Numerous Chemicals

Many traditional detergents also contain synthetic fragrances. These often irritate people with sensitive skin. Beyond that, the chemicals that are used to create synthetic fragrances drain from washing machines and into ground water. This can cause serious problems in drinking water supplies.

The chemicals in laundry detergent can also have a negative effect on wildlife. Phosphates, for example, which are widely used to soften water, encourage algae growth.

Last, the packaging of most traditional laundry detergent is concerning. If you check the bottom of your current detergent, you'll likely see that it's marked with a #3. These types of plastic are extremely hard to recycle and are made with ingredients that include known human carcinogens.

What Should We Look For?

Now that we've listed many of the major reasons to reconsider the traditional laundry detergent that you may currently be using, you are (hopefully) wondering how to choose a natural laundry detergent.

This can be a little bit difficult. Because the personal care industry is not currently regulated, any manufacturer can slap a "green" label on the front of their packaging. Basically, it leaves it up to you and I, the consumer, to pay attention to what's in the detergent that we choose to use.

First, look at the container. Can it be recycled? Now, move on to the ingredients. Look for the absence of phosphates, petroleum-based ingredients, butyl cellosoive, and triclosan.

Even though the personal care industry isn't regulated by any government agency, there are 3rd party agencies that certify products as being natural. Look for these certifications on any natural laundry detergent that you are considering buying. Green Seal is the most well-known of these certifying groups. section.

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Tell Me About the Available Brands

If you just want the bottom line, we'll help you with that too. We've got a few tried-and-true favorites!

One of our all-time favorites is Seventh Generation. Seventh generation has been making natural laundry detergent since long before it was cool to be "green." None of their products contain petroleum byproducts and the company clearly states all of their ingredients.

We also love that Seventh Generation is a socially responsible company. For twenty years, they've donated 10% of their profits to various charities.

Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent

If you or anyone you live with has sensitive skin, you'll love the Free and Clear line of natural laundry detergents offered by Seventh Generation.

A new favorite of ours is one that we've just heard about recently. Called Soap Nuts, this detergent is about as natural as you can get. It actually grows on a tree! Cheaper than just about all other detergents on the market, this stuff works great. For less than $40, you can get enough for about 200 loads of laundry and it works extremely well.

If you are completely confused by this natural laundry detergent option, you aren't alone. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke. But, soap nuts actually grow on a Soapberry Tree. It's been used for thousands of years in China.

To use it, all you have to do is place about 5 soap nuts into a cotton bag, which you should receive with your purchase. Throw the entire thing in the washing machine and you're ready to go!

When I first started using this great natural laundry detergent, I got some great advice from some veterans that I thought was worth sharing:

Soap Nuts are completely scent-free. If you enjoy some scent in your clothing, you can simply add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil to the water in your washing machine. I love to use lavender.

Soap nuts do a great job of getting jobs clean. However, if you have an extremely dirty load, you may want to consider adding just a bit of another natural laundry detergent, like Seventh Generation.

For whites, instead of using a chlorine bleach, add lemon juice to your washing machine, or soak them in lemon juice and water before washing.

Choosing natural laundry detergent is a great way to make your home a little bit more green. Once you make the change, you'll find that you don't need to sacrifice quality or cost in order to enjoy the benefits of this eco friendly option.