Many ingredients in most laundry detergents have very unwanted side effects. Read on to learn of the various safe and natural alternatives available.There are many toxic and irritating ingredients in most commercial detergents. One is linear alkyl sodium sulfonate, which is a synthetic surfectant that releases carcinogenic and reproductive toxins into the environment during production. Another common ingredient is petroleum distillates, which has been linked to lung cancer, lung damage, lung inflammation, and damage to mucus membranes.
Then there is phenol, which can be very toxic in small doses and cause nervous system damage, depending on which type of phenol is used. The other type has been linked to cancer and feminization in male fish. There are many more equally toxic and disturbing additions to the usual laundry detergent. And, if these aren't bad enough, they typically leave a residue after washing which means these toxic chemicals rub against the skin all day and night.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. Just because most people are accustomed to picking up a pack of laundry detergent at the nearest superstore doesn't mean that is the only way. One can choose to create their own detergent, or buy a natural, non-toxic one..
Just What Is Detergent, Anyway? And What Does It Do?Quite simply, a detergent lowers the surface tension of water. This makes water more likely to interact with dirt and grime, things it would naturally try to stay seperate from, thus aiding in the removal of dirt from soiled clothes. A number of things can accomplish this, including the petrochemicals derived from crude oil typically found in most laundry detergents. There are many alternatives to this.
Make a Gentle, Homemade Laundry DetergentA simple, yet effective laundry detergent to make and use at home is to mix 2 cups of finely grated Ivory soap (or any other gentle soap), 1 cup of washing soda, and 1 cup of borax. Be sure to mix very well and store in an airtight plastic container.
Use about 1/4 cup of detergent per laundry load. A cup of vinegar added to the rinse cycle will brighten clothes and completely remove any detergent residue that remains.
Natural, Green, Non-toxic Laundry Detergent You Can Buy
Some people like the convenience of purchasing a detergent that is ready to use. Many companies have seen the need for this and have been quick to respond. Here are two notable, natural, ready to use detergents:
Soap nuts are a very popular and easy to use alternative to traditional detergent. These little wonders are actually dried berries that are sopanins. A sopanin is a plant that exhibits cleansing properties when interacting with water. Buysoapnuts.com offers soap nuts at a very affordable price; $22.00 for a supply that will last through 150-200 loads of laundry.
Magnets for Laundry
Lifenatural.com offers something they call Life Miracle, the Patented and Proven Laundry System. These are specialized magnets that are placed in the washing machine with laundry. The magnets lower the surface tension of the water, thus aiding in the removal of dirt from clothing. The company offers a 30 day free trial period, and a lifetime warrantly. They claim the magnets will never need replacing.
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