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What's in Your Baby's Laundry Detergent?




Molly's Suds get EWG's Top Rating for Laundry Products


I've been doing a little research for a post I'm planning about my favourite "organic" and natural products for kids, adults, and the home. I thought I should reinvestigate the products I'd been using before recommending them to anyone else and was SHOCKED at the ingredients I discovered in my baby's "natural" liquid laundry detergent. I've been using this stuff for years and never once thought to check out what was really in it.



It contains not one but two preservatives- one is called Methylisothiazolinone, which is potentially neurotoxic. I'm not going to mention the brand because, as far as liquid detergents go, it's probably one of the least toxic options (traditional detergents contain optical brighteners that cause your clothing to "glow" under UV light, find out more about that here). The problem is that liquid detergents contain water, and water promotes microbial growth. While I've never had the bad fortune to attest to this personally, I assume preservatives are preferable to lethal bacteria. So why not eliminate the water altogether and bypass the need for these questionable preservatives?

A quick search for "organic powdered laundry detergent" reveals some rather ambitious DIY recipes featuring baking soda and castille soap. I barely have the time or inclination to do the laundry, let alone hand grate hemp soap (which I envision stuck to all of my freshly laundered clothes).

Fortunately, EWG's Guide to Healthy Cleaning saved me the time and expense of conducting my own research and rated these detergents for me. I've selected a couple to try from among the products receiving an A rating. I had already been using oxo-brite, which is oxiclean without all the extra unnecessary stuff (same ingredients as oxiclean for babies) but will also give Seventh Generation's Natural Laundry Detergent Powder and Molly's Suds a spin (bad laundry humour). I do wonder whether the ingredients in Molly's Suds are too benign to get our family's clothes clean. I will update this post with a link to my review.

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