Yesterday when I opened my back door I almost got knocked out by the most overwhelming detergent smell I've ever confronted! My very kind & lovable landlady hang dries her clothes on a line just like me, only she uses regular store bought detergent rather then a natural alternative. Not only does regular detergent out gas the most noxious smell even when used in small amounts, but this was like half the box had been dumped in for a one load of clothes. Just trying to walk past the eco savvy drying line of pretty colors was like swimming through a bottle of perfume designed to make you pass out.
What really worries me about products like this being sold to the public is that they are being sold without an ingredients list and under the false pretence that they are regulated and safe. These companies have no one watching over them, chemical additives in detergents and dryer sheets include hazardous substances that are known carcinogens as described by the EPA. The main problem is lack of government regulation on selling toxic chemical based products- and worse the lack of public education about what products we use in our daily lives. This lack of education is compounded by the "trust" consumers put into companies because of the marketing tactics used in advertising & the cheap prices. (Since my BFF is an important guy in an advertising firm, I have learned first hand many of their tactics to get the public to trust and therefore buy- it always will just be hype.)
Still think they wouldn't sell us "rainforest" scented detergent unless it was OK? Think again...check out how the EPA has set up the Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative (SDSI) in order to try and recognize and catalogue the detergents that are safest for you and the environment. "Safer surfactants are surfactants that break down quickly to non-polluting compounds and help protect aquatic life in both fresh and salt water. Nonylphenol ethoxylates, commonly referred to as NPEs, are an example of a surfactant class that does not meet the definition of a safer surfactant." What poisons aquatic life poisons all life, but since most brands won't list their ingredients you would never know you "clean" your clothes in poison.
Unsafe detergents not only literally stink causing asthma and allergy reactions, but they also are seeping into your skin - so you might not get a rash or blemishes but as the toxic load builds up these types of chems can later cause other chronic illnesses. Many fragrances are also known neurotoxins and I am convinced that the reason my landlady calls me lisa, laura, lindsey, lizza, and every 'L' name but Leslie when she sees me is because she lives in a foggy cloud of detergent & perfume poison that has chems known to funk out our critical thinking skills, fog our thoughts, and some are even engineered to trigger brain functions that make us want to buy things!
Clothes actually need very little if any soap to get them clean, the washer (machine, wonder wash or hands) do most of the real work. A washer repair man once told me you only need a few drops of soap and that "they only tell you that you need more so you'll buy more." Now that is as economical on price as you can get- a box of natural detergent could last you a long time! There are natural alternatives at most healthy groceries - but even a little baking soda or a drop a vinegar will get the job done. Smelling like an artificial flower is not smelling clean...
real clean smells like the sun!
Happy Washing! :)
To Read about specific ingredients of detergents and their effects GO HERE.