Monday, September 10, 2012

Clean Green: All Natural Laundry Detergent recipe

clean green series

The Dangers Of Commercial Laundry Products

The smell of clean laundry used to be one of my favorite smells in the world, the tropical fragrance of the detergent and fabric softener had the power to transport me to a faraway beach, even if only for a fleeting moment. I loved laundry, or so I thought, but then my love affair with laundry came crashing to a halt.
It turns out laundry detergent and fabric softener are toxic,  despite advertising that tells you your clothes are sparkling clean and fresh. There are many chemicals in laundry products, including phenols, optical brighteners, bleach, surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate, and fragrance. Today our focus is on 1,4-dioxane, probably a lesser known chemical. The EPA has classified 1,4-dioxane as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen.
The Huffington Post Reported,
Last fall, Women’s Voices for the Earth commissioned lab tests on 20 cleaning products and found that “problematic” levels of 1,4-dioxane were detected in original formula Tide detergent (63 parts per million) as well as fragrance-free Tide Free & Clear (89 ppm). Significantly smaller amounts of the chemical were found in Bounce Free & Clear dryer sheets (less than 1 ppm). Women’s Voices for the Earth along with other organizations presented Procter & Gamble with the findings and demanded action. A petition was even created in an effort to pressure P&G to do something. As reported by MNN family blogger Jenn Savedge back in February, the campaign is primarily focused on Tide Free & Clear given that the product is promoted by P&G as a "healthy" detergent ideal for newborns and babies.
The company’s response? Don’t sweat it, folks. There's no reason to freak out. “We are many, many levels of magnitude below the levels that are considered any level of safety risk,” Tim Long, a Procter & Gamble toxologist said in response to the findings, which, as of now, have not prompted the company to reformulate Tide. Although Tide is not currently on the chopping block, P&G has continually reformulated other products in an effort to lower levels of 1,4-dioxane and other potentially harmful ingredients. In 2010, the company’s line of Herbal Essence shampoos were reformulated so that they contained less than 10 ppm of 1,4-dioxane.
This information prompted me to look for safer alternatives that are still effective. The first recipe I found came from, it is a effective recipe but it uses Fels Naptha, which after further research I found has some mildly toxic ingredients including Titanium dioxide, another possible carcinogenic. So I reformulated the recipe and here is what I came up with using castile soap rather than Fels Naptha.

All Natural Laundry Detergent Recipe

Makes 2 Gallons Detergent

Ingredients & Supplies

1/2 Bar Castile Soap, grated
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing soda
Bucket (large enough to accommodate 2 gallons)
Large Pan
Long Handled spoon
2 clean, empty gallon containers


Put 4 cups of water and grated soap in large pan, stir occasionally over medium heat until soap is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add Borax and washing soda, stirring until dissolved. Add 4 cups hot water to the bucket and then soap mixture, stir. Add an additional 6 cups plus 1 gallon of water to the bucket and stir well. Let cool and pour into empty gallon containers. Use 1/2 cup per load.
You may notice this recipe comes out pretty thin, but I am not as worried about the viscosity of my detergent as I am about its toxicity. If you would like a thicker detergent try the recipe with Fels-Naptha.

The Huffington Post
Natural News

No comments:

Post a Comment