You’re probably not aware of it, but common detergents might be very harmful to your health, skin and the environment. According to a Norwegian study, regular use of detergents could be as toxic for the lungs as smoking one pack of cigarettes every day. Scary, isn’t it? Those detergents are made up of chemical substances. In the long term, they could be very harmful. It’s time to try natural detergents!
Be careful with common detergents
Did you know? According to the French association UFC-Que Choisir, one detergent out of two could contain toxic substances. The most harmful are multi-purpose cleaners and washing liquids because of their perfume abuse and preservatives. Softeners are very toxic too because our skin is directly exposed to it and to its chemical substances.
Speaking of chemical substances, do you really know what’s in your detergents?
Usually, detergents are made of surfactant agents that come from petrochemistry. Besides, several additives are present:
- Anti-limescale agent
- PH regulator
They are supposed to reinforce the surfactant agents’ effect and facilitate the use of the product. But even if the product seems pleasant, regular exposure to those chemical components is risky.
What are the risks?
- For your health:
According to INERIS (French Institute for Industrial Environment and Risks), the use of detergents could cause cancer. They tested 54 classic and multi-purpose cleaners and the results show that 91% of them produce formaldehyde, a carcinogenic substance. This substance is known to be the cause of nasopharynx cancer and to be toxic for reproductive organs. It’s occasional but it can happen in the long term, especially for people who are often exposed to those products. In more common situations, they are the causes of headaches or asthma but also bronchus and digestive system irritations.
- For your skin:
You can suffer from skin irritations or allergies because of the product’s concentration. Also, it could be the cause of eczema or different lesions. That’s why it’s recommended to wear gloves while cleaning your housework.
- For the environment:
You think that the outside air is more polluted than the inside one? Think again! There are about 900 chemical substances contaminating your house because of toxic particles. Do not hesitate to ventilate during and after the housework. Of course and unfortunately, detergents also contaminate the outside, water and soil. Indeed, they are released in our domestic sewage or in waste treatment centres. They are very toxic and polluting. One of the consequences is the aquatic environment degradation, with some species that are dying. That’s why the producer has to put a pictogram on its product in order to know what sort of risk is entailed.
After all, how can we prevent all of this?
Here’s a solution: natural detergents
Natural detergents are a great way to start a new housework routine. They reduce the harm to the environment or your health as they don’t contain any toxic ingredients.
In some cases, you have to be careful about essential oils in detergents. They are very concentrated and might be toxic if they are not diluted.
In order to switch to natural detergents, you can buy different ingredients and DIY (Do It Yourself), this way you’ll be sure about the composition. You can also buy eco labelled products that have been audited to make sure they are sustainable and not harmful.
Please be careful before handling ingredients. That’s why homemade detergents are made of simple and multi-use ingredients.
The best ingredients for the entire house are:
- Water for what’s not that dirty
- White vinegar to clean the entire house, it’s multi-purpose
- Baking soda to deodorize and remove the stains
- Lemon to descale and disinfect
- Household soap to replace powder or gel laundry
- Soft soap to skim the fat off surfaces
- Essential oils in low amounts to perfume and disinfect
- Beeswax to polish
Our selection of natural detergents brands
If you don’t feel like making your products by yourself, you can buy organic products. To help you find one’s way in all the products supposed to be “green” and sustainable, we recommend you to trust in eco labelled detergents. They have been controlled and they respect strict criteria. Because yes, it’s possible to find products that seem to be ecological which are not in reality. It’s called greenwashing and we addressed it in another article if you want to learn more about it.
Among them, as an eco-label, we certify different cleaning brands like:
Tierra Verde, a Czech brand with a wide range of products:
Whether you are looking for dish soap, laundry, softener or cleaner for different parts of the house, Tierra Verde is here! The company is guided by love and gratitude towards our planet. They love what they do and we feel it.
U Green Clean, the Turkish brand from Uzay Kimya:
Uzay Kimya sells different cleaning products, and they have their own brand of ecological one, called U Green Clean. They were the first non-EU and Turkish company to get the Ecogarantie certification! They’ve got different types of products: laundry, dishes, general cleaning…
Naturawash, Belgian laundry specialist:
This Belgian brand was the first to certify an organic gel laundry in Belgium. Since 2010, Naturawash is the promise of a natural, biodegradable and vegan gel laundry.
We have the privilege of having a lot of certified brands in the detergent category! You have the choice and you can change your way of buying now.
Convinced yet? Natural detergents are more common than we think. Now that you understand the risks caused by regular ones, you can pay more attention to your purchases. You can also make your own products simply without spending a fortune. If you want to discover other green detergents, you can go on our products page in which you’ll surely find what you are looking for!