How to Deal with Harmful Effects of Laundry Detergents?

harmful effects of laundry detergents

How to Deal with Harmful Effects of Laundry Detergents?

Are you worried about how to deal with the harmful effects of laundry detergents? It will not be a matter of worry anymore because we have a solution to deal with them.

There are many chemicals in commercial laundry products that harm humans, animals, and the environment. If you want to improve the health of your family and your home, avoiding dangerous chemicals in laundry detergent is a must.

Washing laundry is as constant as doing dishes, the seemingly never-ending chore. As compared to the harmful chemicals found in laundry detergent, your loads of literal dirty laundry are nothing compared to the number of harmful chemicals in your washing machine.

Let’s have a look at how to deal with the harmful effects of laundry detergents in detail.

What is Laundry Detergent?

Laundry detergent or washing powder is one kind of detergent that is a solution of chemicals, including benzene sulfonic acids, typically diluted with water and works like soap but does not react with hard water, as soap does.

Detergents are most commonly referred to as laundry detergent versus hand soap or other forms of cleaning agents in the home. Most detergents come in powder and liquid form. You can also make it at home.

Chemicals that Cause Harmful Effects of Laundry Detergents

Many chemicals are used in laundry detergent that makes our laundry clean as well as harmful for us. What are those? Let’s have a look!

#1 Dioxane

Dioxane is one of those chemicals which cause harmful effects on laundry detergents. In detergents and shampoos, 1,4-dioxane is the primary ingredient that causes cancer in humans. It would help if you kept this laundry additive as far from your family and home as possible.

There is a possibility that its liquid and fumes could spontaneously combust; it is carcinogenic; and it causes inflammation of the skin, eyes, and lungs. Use of this product should only be accompanied by protective equipment such as respirators.

#2 Bleach

Sodium hypochlorite or optical brighteners are often seen on detergent labels. The purpose of Bleach in detergents is to convert visible light into UV light to make clothes appear whiter. Bleach can cause allergic reactions when it comes in contact with the skin. In addition to causing eye and lung irritation, it is also toxic to marine creatures.

#3 Phosphate

In detergents, phosphorus reduces calcium and magnesium action, making water less complicated and therefore more effective. The most common phosphate in detergents is sodium tripolyphosphate. Because of their harmful impact on water bodies, phosphates are banned by several states in the US and Europe.

When phosphorus builds up in lakes and rivers, it causes algal blooms that deprive marine organisms of oxygen, resulting in their deaths. It is eco-friendly to use a laundry detergent that doesn’t contain phosphates and harms natural ecosystems.

#4 Benzene

Alkylbenzene sulphonates (ABS) and linear alkyl benzene sulphonates (LAS) are the most commonly used benzene-based surfactants in laundry detergents. It lowers the surface tension between the liquid and stained clothing, suspends the dirt particles in water, and makes it easier to dissolve and wash them away.

As a result of household products like detergents, paint, and polish, indoor air has high levels of benzene. The chemical is irritating to the skin, nose, eyes, and aquatic life.

#5 Sodium Laureth Sulphate

In detergents, soaps, and shampoos, SLS is used to create foam. Petroleum, coconut oil, and palm oil are among the sources of SLS. It allows water and oil to emulsify and be easily lifted off dirty clothes by allowing them to emulsify.

A common reason for the widespread use of SLS is that it is inexpensive and effective. Several skin disorders, including eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis, are associated with SLS irritations. Those people who have allergy-prone skin must be avoided to use it.

#6 Synthetic Fragrance

There are about 4,000 chemicals in laundry detergents, and many of them are petroleum derivatives. These volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emit toxic compounds into the atmosphere, such as terpenes, which pollute the air indoors as they evaporate.

In addition to irritating the respiratory system, harsh artificial fragrances can cause problems such as asthma. If you want to avoid fragrances, choose a mild-smelling detergent.

#7 Ammonium Sulfate

The manufacturer recommends against using this laundry additive indoors because it’s so toxic. Ammonium sulfate uses include impervious gloves, eye, and lung protection, and it is a category three oral, skin, and respiratory toxin. And it is harmful to our laundry detergent, so you should avoid using this type of detergent with ammonium sulfate.

Important Precautions

Here are some necessary precautions that you must follow if you want to deal with the harmful effects of laundry detergents. Check them out!

Avoid Commercial Fabric Softener

Don’t use commercial fabric softeners because they typically contain undisclosed chemicals and unhealthy fragrances. You can make your fabric softener by mixing baking soda with vinegar. In the wash cycle, mix baking soda with your detergent, rinse with vinegar, mix vinegar with your regular detergent, and rinse with baking soda.

Don’t Use Mothballs!

It would help if you never store your clothes with mothballs. Use cedar products instead as they do not contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, linked to cancer. It is advisable to open containers you have stored clothing in mothballs outside and to let the clothes air out thoroughly before you wear them.

Use Dry Cleaning Service

If dry cleaning is necessary, use a service without perchloroethylene (PCE) or request “wet cleaning.” Several are numerous cancers associated with PCE. In the early 1990s, wet cleaning became a nontoxic, greener alternative to dry cleaning, as did non-PCE options like liquid carbon dioxide.

When using PCE, open the non-electronic dry cleaning bag outdoors on your porch or in your garage, discard it immediately, and air your clothes out before hanging them in a closet.

Less Use of Bleach

Avoid using chlorine bleach or fluorescent Bleach. In the kitchen sink, washing machine, or dishwasher, chlorinated water may release chloroform, which is thought to be carcinogenic.

The structure of many optical brighteners is similar to diethylstilbestrol, a powerful estrogenic compound.

You can whiten clothes naturally by rinsing them in lemon juice and letting them dry in direct sunlight. In addition to sunlight, use diluted bleach solutions only as a last resort to get rid of mold and mildew.

Use Homemade Laundry Soap

You can use homemade laundry soap to clean your laundry. During the soap-making process, baking soda or washing soda is added to make this lye soap. As a result, the added soda softens hard water and increases the strength of the soap, making it comparable to or even more robust than detergents for effective cleaning.

Some Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips for dealing with the harmful effects of laundry detergents.

  • You can make the detergent by using washing soda, baking soda, borax, and unscented bar soap.
  • It would help if you skipped the fabric softener in your laundry detergent.
  • You should remove your stains by using washing soda, baking soda, and water.
  • It would help if you washed your machine regularly. You should add white vinegar and hot water and run the cycle.
  • You can try natural brightening because a little baking soda will wash your color clothes real brighten.

Sum Up

So you can quickly deal with the harmful effects of laundry detergents by applying the tips mentioned above. Sometimes your laundry may smell dirty, and you even don’t know what’s the reason behind it. In this situation, your washed clothes may have dangerous chemicals to affect your health.

Thus, it would help if you always wash your laundry machine properly with white vinegar. And avoid choosing detergents that have many chemicals. You should use homemade laundry detergent to clean your laundry.

Read Also: How to Store Seasonal Clothes?

About the author

Anthony Perfetti
Owner | long island laundry company

Anthony Perfetti is the owner of Long Island Laundry Company and has over 20 years experience professionally processing laundry for many customers throughout Long Island. He often contributes his knowledge to the community about the laundry service industry and laundry best practices. With this blog he will be sharing with you some interesting laundry facts he has learned along the way.

Trust the Experts! Let Long Island Laundry Company do your laundry for you. We are the premiere Wash and Fold service on Long Island.