Laundry Detergent Options: Traditional, Green, Homemade, and Soapnuts

Whether or not you enjoy it, cleaning your home, clothing, and yourself is an integral part of life. The United States has a huge market of cleaning products for anything and everything you can think of. The products range from traditional chemical cleaners, to green alternatives, and to all natural remedies. This same description is applicable to the laundry detergent market. While the market is filled with traditional and green remedies, there are other options that include homemade detergent and even soapnuts.

Traditional Detergent

There are many, many different traditional detergents on the market today. Although there are many different types, they are mostly made of the same ingredients. The major differences are the scents, the concentration of ingredients, and whether they are in powder or liquid form. A couple of the more popular brands of detergent are Tide and Gain. Many people choose to use traditional detergents because they do work, and you know that your clothes have been sanitized. However, some people have concerns about the chemicals in them which include napthas, phenols, and artificial fragrances among others. Some of these chemicals are also used as spermicides. Other toxins are thought to cause disorders, cancer, and liver toxicity. Because you will wear the clothing you wash, these toxins can be absorbed by your body. Additionally, many people with allergies and sensitive skin are unable to tolerate the products used in these detergents.

Green Detergent

Because of the recent concern about the chemicals in these laundry detergents. Many companies have begun producing green laundry detergents. These are usually great alternatives. However, some products are actually what is called “greenwashed” as they still contain some unsafe ingredients. Be sure to read the ingredient labels before purchasing one of these detergents. Most people find that in completely safe green products, they can read all of the ingredients on the label; if you have to slow down to sound out a word, its most likely a chemical you don’t want in your home.

Homemade Laundry Soap

Some people choose to forgo purchasing detergents and make their own at home. Making your own laundry soap is a great way to save money and be sure that everything you are using is safe for your family. There are many homemade detergent recipes available, but most use the same few ingredients. One of the most basic ones uses only vinegar, baking soda, and lavender oil. Other recipes include ingredients such as washing soda, borax, and homemade soap.

Soapnut Berries

The final option is an all-natural fruit called a soapnut. These “nuts” are actually berries that have been dried naturally in the sun. They are grown organically in the Himalayas and are a natural antimicrobial, low-sudsing soap. The soap they produce is called saponin and is able to penetrate fabric to lift stains and remove dirt. Additionally, soapnuts are gentle on skin, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, and even biodegradable. They are a great option for those looking for a completely natural product that they don’t have to make themselves.