Most conventional dish and laundry detergents are made from petroleum, a nonrenewable resource. Some detergents contain alkyphenol ethoxylates, which are suspected hormone disruptors that don’t readily biodegrade and can threaten wildlife after they go down your drain. Ethoxylated alcohols in liquid detergents can contain carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane.
The fragrances in detergents and fabric softeners can contain phthalates, chemicals that have been linked to cancer and reproductive-system harm in animal lab tests. Fragrances may also trigger asthma and allergic reactions, with symptoms including skin and respiratory irritation, headaches, and watery eyes. Although phosphates, which choke waterways, are no longer used in most dish and laundry soaps, they can be found in dishwasher detergents. Phosphates are highly caustic and can be fatal if swallowed.
Other ingredients turn dangerous when combined: Diethanolamine and triethanolamine can react with nitrites (an often undisclosed preservative) to form carcinogenic nitrosamines.
Use laundry soaps labeled fragrance-free. If you want to use citrus-oil products, sniff-test a small amount from a few feet away, as these products can be irritating to allergic or sensitive individuals. Choose dish and laundry detergents and all-purpose cleaners that are plant-based (corn, palm kernel, or coconut oil).
To remove stains from clothing, try soaking fabrics in water mixed with borax, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, washing soda, or white vinegar. Or, look for “non-chlorine bleach” made from sodium percarbonate or sodium perborate.
Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about the health of you and your family. For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to greencleancertified.com or maidbrigade.com. For more information on “Household Cleaning Products and Breast Cancer”, please watch our video at greencleancertified.com/greentv.