Have you ever considered what detergent you are washing your clothes with, or do you simply choose the cheapest option on the shelf? In other words, is your laundry natural laundry? Or artificial laundry?
Of course it can be difficult to find the right balance between your budget and your environmental concerns. But, there are a number of natural laundry detergents which you can use that won’t break the bank and will do an excellent job at washing your clothes. Using the right laundry detergent can result in the best possible fabric care for your clothing!
You should be aware that the more natural a product is, the more time you will need to spend pre-treating stains. While natural laundry detergents can be very effective, they do not contain the chemicals associated with premium brands. While these chemicals do make it easier to clean fabrics, there is the environmental factor to consider.
Manufactured Natural Laundry Powder
You can find these on the shelves in your local store and in the health store. There are several manufacturers who create laundry detergent completely naturally. The main ingredient in these types of detergents is sodium carbonate; also known as washing soda.
If you have water that contains magnesium sulfate, you should not use this type of detergent; it will not dissolve. The clumping will cause damage to your machine over an extended period of time.
Detergents With Enzymes
This type of detergent is about as close as you can get to the main brands in terms of cleaning power. With these products, you’ll notice a longer ingredient list; but they don’t contain any artificial brighteners. These detergents are usually scent free, but there are a few that give a gentle, natural odor.
These detergents are a very good choice if you have lots of colored clothes and you want them to retain their existing color without using any artificially enhanced products. They also contain natural enzymes which attack the food stains on your clothes; literally consuming them as you wash.
It is also worth noting that some of these products may contain a small amount of liquid bleach. This makes it a bad option for colored clothes! In general, it is fair to say this category has a good balance between cost, cleaning power and environmental issues.
The final group is the one that is most similar to standard laundry detergent. In many ways these are simply normal commercial detergents with a nod towards the environment. In general, these products will still avoid using color brighteners, but they will introduce stronger fragrances.
These are the products that will be very keen to advertise the fact you can recycle their bottles and packaging or that they have landfill friendly packaging. This is great in that the detergents are becoming more sustainable in an environmental context but environmental consciousness should start with the ingredients.
That’s the bottom line; you need to choose between an all natural detergent that leaves you scrubbing clothes before you wash them, or, a powerful modern detergent that does it all for you! And that choice depends on lifestyle, health, personal belief…any number of things.
Do YOU use a natural laundry detergent?