How to Choose Natural Laundry Detergent
If you like to avoid dangerous chemicals as much as possible then chances are you’re using a DIY or a natural laundry detergent.
Avoiding conventional laundry detergents with ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), 1,4-dioxane, and phosphates that end up on your skin is the right step towards protecting your health.
But whether you buy or make your own natural laundry detergent there's one downside:
After a while your clothes smell bad.
And no matter how often you wash them you can’t get rid of that smell.
Before you throw them out and buy new ones bear with with us for a moment.
In this post we'll give you a super-easy solution to this problem.
No need to throw away clothes.
No need to buy new ones.
We’ll show you what to do.
Why does DIY detergent make clothes smell?
We love DIY recipes.
But here’s the thing with homemade laundry soap and also many natural laundry soap brands.
In most cases natural laundry detergent recipes contain very little soap.
Instead, they are made of several water softeners such as borax, baking soda, or washing soda.
It’s not uncommon for DIY recipes to include 80% or more of water softeners.
What does that mean?
It means there’s hardly any soap in the final product.
And soap is the one ingredient in those recipes that gets the dirt out of clothes.
That's why dirt manages to build up inside the fabric of your clothes, which over time causes bad odor.
When that point is reached, it’s impossible for a laundry soap to remove the dirt in your clothes and make them smell great again.
But there’s a solution:
How to remove bad odor from clothes?
Your clothes need to soak in a stripping solution.
No matter whether you have a smelly gym outfit or baby diapers, a stripping solution will make your clothes smell great again.
Just soak them for a couple of hours in water with a stripping solution and the smell will be gone.
While most stripping solutions contain harsh chemicals there’s one brand that formulated a natural product.
NO phosphates, parabens, optical brighteners, SLS/SLES, or artificial fragrances.
You can check it out here.
Wanna wash your clothes without ANY harsh chemicals?
Here’s what to do:
How to do laundry without harsh chemicals
Using a natural laundry detergent is great for your health and the environment.
But it needs to get the job done.
For that any natural laundry detergent needs to contain a high amount of soap instead of water softeners.
Even though it’s quite challenging to find such a product on the market, we found one: Thieves Essential Oil-Infused 6x Ultra Concentrated Natural Laundry Soap.
This isn't just any natural laundry detergent, it's the most natural laundry detergent out there.
This laundry soap is 100% plant-based and it’s formula is as natural as it gets.
It will leave laundry smell great.
And there won’t be any nasty buildup in the clothes.
The answer is in the ingredients.
We made a list that explains the purpose of each ingredient.
Because we also wanted to ensure that the ingredients are safe, we checked them out using the Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Cleaning Guide.
Here’s what we found (spoiler alert: this is the purest laundry soap available):
1. Water: no worries here.
2. Decyl glucoside (EWG B-rated): That's a plant-derived, biodegradable, nonionic cleaning agent.
3. Sodium oleate (EWG A-rated): There are no known dangers to human health related to this ingredient. It’s purpose is to create foam.
4. Glycerin (EWG A-rated): Benign to human health and the environment. Used as a stabilizer.
5. Caprylyl glucoside (EWG B-rated): A plant-based surfactant (acts as detergent).
6. Lauryl glucoside (EWG B-rated): A plant-based surfactant (acts as detergent).
7. Sodium chloride (EWG A-rated): That's simply salt.
8. Sodium gluconate (EWG B-rated): A plant-based surfactant (acts as detergent).
9. Carboxymethyl cellulose also referred to as cellulose gum (EWG C-rated): There is a low concern of skin allergies and irritation, as well as low concern for environmental pollution. It's used to thicken and stabilize the formula.
10. Alpha-amaylase (not EWG-rated): Natural enzyme that helps to remove dirt and stains in your clothes.
11. Protease (EWG B-rated): Some concern for asthma respiratory issues. Natural enzyme that helps to remove dirt and stains in your clothes.
12. Lipase (EWG B-rated): Some concern for asthma respiratory issues. Natural enzyme that helps to remove dirt and stains in your clothes.
13. Finally the detergent includes a mix of seven essential oils that make your laundry smell amazing (look them up here).
This is the most natural and safest laundry soap available on the market that comes with this kind of cleaning power.
With this laundry soap you’ll never have to worry about whether it gets the clothes clean.
It simply does.
It also leaves your clothes smelling great thanks to natural essential oils.
But what if you want to look for different laundry soap brands?
In case you want to shop around to see if you can find another soap that’s as pure as this one we’ve put together a few ingredients you should watch out for.
Because other “natural” laundry soaps don’t have such safe formulas as Thieves Laundry Soap here are some toxic substances that many of these “green” brands sneak into their products.
Ingredients in “natural” laundry detergent that aren't natural at all
Many consumers have become skeptical of conventional products.
And rightly so.
But unfortunately this isn't enough.
The same skepticism needs to be applied to products that are marketed as “natural”.
We’ve looked at a bunch of such detergents and found some ingredients you should be aware of.
There is some concern about skin irritations and allergies.
And there’s high concern about its impact on aquatic life.
The EWG gave it a D-rating.
The next one is even more appalling to find in the formulas of “green” laundry soap:
2. Sodium metasilicate
This ingredient causes high concern for eye damage and skin burns.
It also causes respiratory irritation.
It's best to leave any natural laundry detergent with this ingredient on the shelf.
3. Sodium lauryl sulfate
This substance causes concerns for skin allergies and irritations, developmental and productive toxicity, concern for cancer, and the environment.
Definitely not a safe ingredient.
Make sure no brand gets away with selling you a natural laundry detergent that includes any of these ingredients and always check suspect substances on any ingredient list using the EWG Healthy Cleaning Guide.
Finally, make sure that you’re really buying a natural laundry detergent that contains sufficient soap to get your clothes clean.
Here’s what to look out for.
Natural laundry detergent formulas
Don’t be fooled by products that don’t have any detergent in them.
And don’t waste your money on a natural laundry detergent that doesn’t clean truly clean laundry.
Here are some detergents in natural laundry detergents to look out for on the ingredients list:
1. Caprylyl glucoside (EWG B-rated)
2. Lauryl glucoside (EWG B-rated)
3. Sodium gluconate (EWG B-rated)
Now you’re an expert on natural laundry detergent
Now you know how to remove the dirt that homemade laundry soaps fail to remove from your clothes.
Enjoy your clean laundry.