ecomii - a better way
April 23, 2014  |  Login
Green Alternative Detergent Ingredients
By Karyn Siegel-Maier
 

Dirty laundry hasn’t changed much over time. Dirt is still dirt and comes in one of two forms—water-soluble or non-water-soluble. The science of getting laundry clean relies on surfactants and other agents that lift dirt, disperse it into the wash water, and prevent it from being re-deposited on fabrics. It may sound like a tall order from a natural product, but it’s not a lot to ask that it do the job without NPEs or ethyl-whatever.

 

Here’s a rundown of greener alternative ingredients that you want to see on the label and what they do:

 

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Use

Ingredients

Plant or vegetable-based surfactants

Coconut, corn, palm

Anti-redeposition agents

Sodium citrate, borax

Anti-foaming agents

Oleic acid

Preservatives

Potassium sorbate

Anti-bacterial agents and protein dissolvers

Protease and cellulose (plant-based enzymes)

Performance enhancers

Magnesium sulfate, magnesium chloride, sodium sulfate, sodium chloride

Water softening agents

Soda ash, vinegar, sodium bicarbonate

Non-chlorine bleaching agents

Sodium percarbonate, sodium carbonate, hydrogen peroxide

 
REFERENCES :

EPA-744-F-99-008: Key Characteristics of Laundry Detergent Ingredients, May 1999 -- http://www.epa.gov/dfe/pubs/laundry/techfact/keychar.htm

The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier, Storey Publishing, 1999.

 
 
 
 
 
ecomii featured poll

Vote for your Favorite Charity

 

 

 
 
ecomii resources
 
ecomii Tips Newsletter 

Sign up today to receive a weekly tip for living greener

 
Get in Touch

Got suggestions? Want to write for us? See something we could improve? Let us know!