Have you ever been curious about what the ingredients that are in your laundry detergent? Often you turn to look at the label on the back of the bottle only to find a long list of words that look like they’re in another language! Unfortunately, companies are not required by law to list all the ingredients used in laundry detergents. One of the key things to avoid in an ingredients list is ‘fragrance’ as companies do not have to reveal what chemicals they use to make the ‘fragrance’ of their products, which commonly includes harmful ingredients.
LAUNDRY DETERGENT INGREDIENTS LISTS
At KEEPER Denim, we have decided to explain some of the key ingredients that you may come across in laundry detergents and how to work out what each of them mean and what are some healthier/safer alternatives. First up…
SODIUM LAURYL SULPHATE (SLS)
WHAT IS IT?
SLS can be made in two ways – either from petroleum oil or from coconut or palm oil.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
It is used to help prevent ingredients from separating as well as to help them clean and create a foamy lather. This chemical is a common ingredient found in many household cleaning products including laundry detergents, as well as shampoos, toothpaste, shower gels, soap, hand soaps.
WHY SHOULD YOU AVOID IT?
SLS is a known skin irritant that can include symptoms such as itchy, cracked, or dry skin. Although these symptoms might not occur initially, prolonged exposure to the chemical can result in them developing later. Aside from the harmful health effects, SLS can also harm the environment. When used in your home washing machine, remnants of the chemical remain in the water runoff from the machine, which can pollute local waterways.
HOW CAN YOU AVOID IT?
The best way to avoid SLS is to read the ingredients list of your laundry detergent before purchasing. You need to be careful because it can appear under different names on labels, so look out for the following – SLES, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or sodium Laureth Sulfate. There are other terms that can be used to describe SLS, however the ones we have listed here are some of the most common ones.
We hope you found this KEEPER Denim blog post interesting and very useful. It’s important to also remember that ‘Greenwashing’ is alive and well today in many consumer products. Green washing is when companies market their product to appear safer/greener/more sustainable that it is. So just because a laundry detergent or any other common household cleaning product has natural/eco-friendly/green on the label, does not mean this is necessarily the case. That’s why the more educated we are, the more we can research products and their ingredients lists ourselves before we decide if it safe to use in our home.