Do the natural Laundry alternatives really work?

Do the natural Laundry alternatives really work?

We all want fresh, clean clothes, but what if we told you that the laundry detergent you use might be harming you and the environment? Even the likes of the sensitive, baby faced brands? Do the natural alternatives really work?

Yes they do... 

Many laundry detergents on the market contain harmful chemicals that can have adverse effects on your health and the planet. Let's shed some light on these hidden dangers and explore safer alternatives for a cleaner and greener laundry routine.

Phosphates: A major concern with conventional laundry detergents is the presence of phosphates. These chemicals play a crucial role in breaking down stains, but when they enter waterways, they contribute to water pollution and algal blooms, disrupting aquatic ecosystems. 

Synthetic Fragrances: The pleasant scent of freshly laundered clothes may be enticing, but those artificial fragrances often contain phthalates and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These chemicals can cause skin irritation, respiratory issues, and even hormone disruption.

Optical Brighteners: To give clothes a brighter appearance, laundry detergents often use optical brighteners. These chemicals can remain on fabric after washing, leading to skin irritation and environmental pollution.

Surfactants: Surfactants are responsible for the foaming action in many detergents. However, certain surfactants, such as nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs), break down into harmful compounds that can disrupt hormone systems in aquatic organisms.

Bleach and Ammonia: Chlorine bleach and ammonia-based detergents release toxic fumes when mixed, posing serious risks to respiratory health. Moreover, these chemicals can contribute to indoor air pollution.

1,4-Dioxane: Often present as a byproduct of the manufacturing process, 1,4-dioxane is a known carcinogen. It is frequently found in laundry detergents, posing long-term health risks to users and contaminating water sources.

Petrochemicals: Many detergents contain petrochemical-derived ingredients that contribute to fossil fuel consumption and can cause environmental damage.

Ever wondered why a box of Detergent for up to 40 washes is 2.6kg when a packet of natural detergent that can do up to 55 washes is 1kg?

… Fillers…

Fillers are inexpensive, non-active ingredients used in washing powders and detergents to increase the bulk or volume of the product. They serve various purposes, such as:

Cost Reduction: Fillers are cheaper than active cleaning ingredients, so they help manufacturers reduce production costs and keep the product price competitive.

Bulking Agent: Fillers add volume to the detergent powder, making it look more substantial and giving the perception that consumers are getting more for their money.

Control of Product Density: The addition of fillers allows manufacturers to control the density of the detergent, which can affect how the product measures and feels to the consumer.

Enhancing Flowability: Fillers can improve the flow properties of the powder, making it easier to handle during production, packaging, and dispensing.

Aesthetic and Textural Benefits: Some fillers can provide a smoother texture and appearance to the detergent powder.

Common fillers used in washing powders include:

Sodium sulfate (Na2SO4): This is one of the most common fillers used in laundry detergents.


Sodium carbonate (soda ash): It helps in controlling the density and pH of the detergent.


Sodium chloride (table salt): It can act as a filler and helps prevent the powder from clumping.


Calcium carbonate: This filler can provide some mild abrasive and softening properties.

It's essential to note that fillers do not contribute to the cleaning performance of the detergent; they are added mainly for economic reasons and to improve the physical characteristics of the product. Some consumers prefer products without excessive fillers and opt for more concentrated or eco-friendly alternatives. Always check the ingredient list on the packaging to understand the composition of the washing powder you are using.

The LITL Test:

Take one white bath sheet and squish some raspberries into it... leave it for a while to dry up and leave a bright red fruit stain. 

Mix a little of the powder with water to form a paste and then blob onto the stain. This turned the stain into a dark grey/purple stain. Put 2 tablespoons of powder directly into the drum of the w/machine and put the towel into the drum, along with other whites. Set on 40 degree wash.

Hand on heart... the results were amazing. Not only had the stain gone but the towel was a sparkling white 

So there you have it - no nasties, no chemicals and no fillers!! AND for 55 washes at £10.50 compared to 40 washes at £9 for a leading brand.. what more can we say.

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