Sunday, March 23, 2008

Clothing Detergent - A Better Alternative

What type of detergent do you use for clothes washing? Do you buy a publicly-traded brand name like All, Tide, or Cheer? If you do, you may be causing yourself health issues now that you aren't aware of, as well as others down the road with continued use. Mainstream clothing detergents are generally derived from petroleum products, which are also environmentally unfriendly as well.

Be careful when purchasing so-called "green" or environmentally safe detergents. Some brands claim to be safe for health, when in fact they are not. So even though you are making an effort to clean your clothes, you are actually making your environment more toxic by using these mainstream brands.

One very dangerous ingredient to watch out for is an optical brightener, which sticks to your clothing and is a chemical intentionally left behind that causes the fabric to appear brighter. Such particles cause colors to appear brighter by absorbing invisible ultraviolet light and then re-emitting it as blue light. This blue light offsets the yellow light that is produced when colors begin to fade and lose their intensity. Particles left behind cause skin irritations and allergies. To learn more about the toxic chemicals contained in the average grocery store brand, visit SixWise.

Here is a list of reputable brands that do not contain harmful chemicals:
Planet - certified as biodegradable
Nature Clean
Life Miracle Magnetic Laundry System
Soap Nuts

Consider this amazing fact: according to Seventh Generation, "If every household in the U.S. replaced just one bottle of 100 oz. ultra petroleum based liquid laundry detergent with our 100 oz. vegetable based product, we could save 200,000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 11,400 U.S. homes for a year!"

Looking for ways to save $$ on washing clothes?
  • Try washing your clothes less. You'll find you may not need to wash them as often as you used to.
  • Hang your clothes to dry outside or someplace in your home where they will get good ventilation and dry quickly.
  • Don't purchase fabric sheets or fabric softeners. Those are also toxic for your health and the environment, and an unnecessary expense.
  • Wash all your clothes in cold water and save on the water heater bill.
  • Here are some recipes for making your own home-made laundry detergent. Try it and you will find out it's easier than it sounds, and you'll save yourself a lot of money too.
Happy and safe washing to you!

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