Going Green with Laundry

Going Green with Laundry

Cleaning our homes, it’s something we all do, or at least something we should. We all try to keep up with life the best we can. And we all have different ways of doing that. There are SO MANY products available for our households. Legit, too many. But what do you know about the products you are using in your home? Do you know what ingredients are in your cleaning products? Do you know what those chemicals do to your body both long and short term? Let me tell you, many of the mainstream, name brand products sold in the store are not so friendly to you.

Today we are talking about laundry detergent. Growing up, my family used TIDE or ALL, it really just depended on what fit the budget at the time. We love TIDE right? It smells so good (that original scent is amazing) and it cleans so well (and of course they make it unscented for those who are sensitive). And price wise, it’s a little higher but not unreasonable. TIDE is a popular “name” brand. It’s a great product right? If you asked me that question two years ago, I would’ve told you it’s the best. But now, my opinion is different. I’d tell you that there are better, safer products for your home. Have you ever looked on the bottle or container to see what the ingredients are?

I mean, we do it for food so why not look at what we’re using to wash our clothes. If you look on the back of a TIDE bottle, you will not find the list of ingredients. There are some warnings about eye irritants but not a list of ingredients. Why is it not a requirement to list the contents in laundry detergent on the bottle? Thankfully, we have the internet to aid us in our search. According to TIDE’s website there are over FIFTY ingredients! FIFTY! That’s outrageous. Most of them I can’t even pronounce and of course haven’t heard of. But don’t worry, they’re kind enough to alphabetize the list for us. That’s a crazy amount of chemicals we use to wash our clothes. Did you know your body absorbs things through the skin? That’s over fifty chemicals our body absorbs from our clean clothes. 

Now, don’t get me wrong. Not all the ingredients are super harmful. For example, bentonite. Bentonite is a naturally occurring clay. It’s non toxic, non-irritating, not hazardous for use on the skin. It’s perfect for anything involving skin. But then we have Diethylene glycol added to the mix. According to thechemco.com, Diethylene glycol is “colorless, practically odorless, poisonous…liquid…” It’s also a commonly used solvent.  (so it’s probably in a ton of other detergents or cleaners as well) Another ingredient, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, is a low hazardous ingredient. It’s mostly used in cosmetics. It’s a type of silicone that helps hold pigments.

Why is silicone in laundry detergent? All it does is help keep the color of the detergent. I don’t know about you, but my detergent doesn’t need to be blue. Water is also on the TIDE ingredients list (hurrary! Something I don’t have to look up!) But just because there’s a handful of safe, natural substances in something, doesn’t make it safe. The hazardous elements take over what could have been a safe product.  So my question is, why are we so willing to use a product that has poisonous ingredients? Personally, I don’t (or at least try not to). I stopped using TIDE about a year and a half ago. That’s when I went on my hunt for safe, environmentally friendly household supplies. There are a ton of harmful brands of laundry detergents there’s also brands that claim that they are safe, or organic, or all natural, or eco-friendly. Unfortunately, some brands we know and have trusted for years, are turning out to be unsafe.

Now, there are definitely some that are safer than others. My best advice to finding one that fits you, is researching the ingredients online. Most brands won’t list the ingredients on the bottle (why would they incriminate themselves?) and if they did you’d probably still find yourself on a web browsers because half of the ingredients are unrecognizable. 

Don’t be afraid to sample other detergents. You may end up trying five different detergents before finding the one that works for you. I’m not sure about every grocery store, but I saw in Target recently that some companies make small bottles (with like 3-5 loads worth of detergent) that are perfect for trying out different laundry detergents. If you’re unsure about an ingredient, Google it. Or check online before you go shopping.

When you check on those contents, it puts you in a better position to decide what chemicals you are exposing yourself and family to. There’s a lot of weird sounding ingredients out there. Knowledge is power! So I empower you to explore  and really pick one that is safe to use. 

Let’s talk about some other brands available that are safer to use. Normally, I order my laundry detergent online. But I’ve occasionally forgotten to order or I run out before it comes in the mail (so I have to have back plan in case that happens). My ALL TIME FAVORITE brand is Mela Power by Melaleuca.

Melaleuca is an online company that produces products that are made with safe ingredients. They list the contents of the product on the label, as well as provide the list online. The laundry detergent is available in a few scents as well as unscented. It’s legit my favorite. It smells good (I like the mountain fresh) and it actually cleans my clothes. I’ve got two young children and this detergent really gets the grime out of their clothes and they don’t look faded.

The other thing I love about it, is that it’s super concentrated. All you need is half an ounce per load of laundry. The bottle I purchase contains enough product for ninety-six loads. That’s a lot of laundry! So one bottle of detergent will last about three months! When you break down cost per load, it’s eighteen cents a load. Is there even another product that can beat that price? GREAT PRODUCT and GREAT PRICE! AND it’s the only laundry detergent (besides TIDE) that he doesn’t complain about. So it’s really a win win for my household. I get my safe for my skin and my family’s skin and my husband gets his clothes smelling just how he likes it.

Remember I mentioned that I may sometimes, probably forget to order (on occasion), well I have to have a back up plan for that. I have two kids, I can’t skip out on laundry for too long or it piles up. If I forget to order, or I’m waiting on the delivery (and I need to run a load), or if I’m just waiting on pay day, I like to get Seventh Generation. It’s almost as good as my regular detergent. It comes in multiple size bottles (this is one that has the sample bottles at Target!) and also a variety of scents and the ingredients list makes me cringe less than other leading brands. 

If you have a bulk supply store (or you can order online), Molly’s Suds. Molly’s Suds isn’t terrible either. It’s made with lots of great natural ingredients. They’re certified vegan as well (if that’s important to you). They list their ingredients on their website and explain why they use it! My husband’s complaint was the smell. He has always enjoyed the “Original Scent” of TIDE. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to replicate. To add to it, for some reason (unknown to me), my husband hates the smell of lavender.

I usually bought the unscented detergent. I experimented with different essential oils (which I love to use) but nothing I tried made him happy. If I’m not able to get my Mela Power, a quick trip to the bulk supply store for  some Molly’s Suds will work until I can get my favorite. (My husband will have to enjoy some unscented detergent for a couple loads) Another product I’ve tried is Thieves laundry detergent from Young Living.

Young Living is an essential oils company and they provide an array of household products as well. I really enjoyed this detergent as well. I liked that you could dilute one bottle into three and scent it with oils. My issue was I was too lazy to dilute properly and one bottle regularly used was too expensive for my budget. I’ll be honest, my husband hated the smell of this one to. He just wasn’t happy with the essential oils. But if I ever find myself in a pinch where I can’t get my regular detergent, I have some options. I have in store and online options, all depending on my mood and needs. 

I encourage you to check the ingredients on your laundry detergent. Research some of those weird names. Find out what you and your family are being exposed to. Are you ready to make a change?

Be sure to check out some other nifty functional craft ideas through our other posts here on Craft-ILY as well as checking out some videos on DIY and How To’s over on YouTube. Look for “Crafting Unedited” to see!


Hi! I’m Cierra and I’m a craftaholic! I’ve been crafting for a few years now and it’s honestly become my zen. I love crafting, fitness, spending time with my family and friends doing whatever the day allows, peacocks (hence the logo), the beach and adrenaline - give me all the roller coasters and fast cars!

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