January 10, 2009

Laundry and Dishes the "Green" Way


Some of you wanted to know about what to be on the watch for when choosing laundry detergent and/or dishwasher detergent/dishsoap.

Well, there are some things to be mindful of.....here they are.

Laundry Detergent/Fabric Softener/Dryer Sheets
You can find many of the chemicals I listed out in the household cleaning supplies post in your laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets, especially our friends phathalates (the chemicals that add fragrance). As you know, these chemiclas are dangerous for us but they are also dangerous for the envirnonment since they end up in our streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans. And who know, they may just end up in your drinking water.

You might be thinking that it is no big deal to have these chemicals in your detergents or dryer sheets because you really do not handle them for that long- just pour it in the washer or throw it in the dryer and you are done. Not so fast, friend- these chemicals stay on your clothing and unltimately, next to your porous skin. Just try washing your next load of laundry without adding any detergent- I can guarantee you that their will be plenty of suds in your wash cycle just from the residue that is on your clothes from the last time you washed them.

I use Seventh Generation's laundry detergent and love it! I feel like our clothes are softer and more vibrant. They also make a fabric softener and dryer sheets that are safe for you and the envirnonment. You can find Seventh Generation at Target or just about anywhere else and you can download coupons on their site for most of their products.

Shaklee makes a green laundry detergent concentrate, as well as fabric softener, and dryer sheets.

A Word About Chlorine Bleach
Chlorine bleach is the most commonly misused household cleaner and its misuse can be very toxic, especially when it comes in contact with ammonia. And this happens more than you think since household cleaners are often mishandled. Can you guess what happens when these two chemicals make contact? They make chlorine gas, a close cousin of the gas used in chemical warfare during World War 1. Nice, huh?

Chlorine is known to cause respiratory problems, as well as eye and skin irritation. Remember, the ingredients in your products stay on your clothes, thus you breathe them in and they touch your skin all day.

Instead of chlorine belach, consider using a non-chlorine bleach, such as this one.

Dishwasher Detergent and Dishsoap
Have you ever noticed detergents that boast that they are phosphate free? Well, that's good because phosphates increase algae in our water and algae in turn kills fish because algae depletes the water of oxygen. You'd think it would be against the law to include phosphates in products given what we know about them. But it's not. And companies still use phosphates.

Chlorine is typically found in dishwasher detergents. You can probably smell it when you open your dishwasher after the dry chycle is complete- there's a cloud of toxicity that fills your kitchen...and your lungs.

I was telling a friend the other day that since I made the switch to a dishwasher detergent that has no chlorine I have noticed that my dishes are not as white. In fact, there is a little stain of brown on them. But I don't care because at least I know that chlorine is not filling my lungs or coming into contact with my food!

Be aware that dishsoaps often contain 1,4-dioxane, a probable human carcinogen. Check out this and this for a safer, and greener dishsoap.

No comments: