What is phosphate free detergent?…A Good Start!

soapnuts are a chemical free detergent

Soapnuts are free from...

For anyone that has visited our website www.soapnuts.co.uk recently, you will have noticed the banner on the right-hand side that tells you why soapnuts are such a good thing…i.e. what they are free from. Things like parabens, sls, petro chemicals, chlorine, bleach, perfume, phthalates, formaldehyde and phosphates…which are all things that have a harmful effect on us and the environment.

Recently The Ecologist published an article about a great campaign called Love Your Lakes. The campaign helps raise awareness of how phosphates from fertilizers and detergents, when washed into our water system they stimulate an excessive growth of blue-green algae in fresh water. These overgrowths or algal blooms float over the surface of the water and gradually starve the lake of sunlight, which decreases the oxygen supply in the water. The fish are then starved and this effects the surrounding wildlife that would feed on those fish. This is not all, certain types of algae are poisonous to humans that may swim in the lakes they infest and are lethal to animals that drink infested water.

eutrophication caused by algae overgrowths

eutrophication caused by algae overgrowths

So it’s simple, get rid of the phosphates. But that is only half the story. What about all the other chemicals that ‘fill up’ your detergent that also are seriously damaging to our health and the environment? Well here is a list…

SLS’s – Synthetic surfactants that may be listed as ‘anionic surfactants’. They are one of the most common surfactants in use. During their production process, carcinogenic and reproductive toxins such as benzene are released into the environment. They also biodegrade slowly, making them a hazard in the environment.

Petroleum distillates (aka napthas) – These chemicals have been linked to cancer, lung damage, lung inflammation and damage to mucous membranes.

Optical brighteners – These chemicals convert UV light wavelengths into visible light, which makes laundered clothes appear whiter (doesn’t make them cleaner…just brighter). They’ve been found to be toxic to fish and to cause bacterial mutations. They can also cause allergic reactions when exposed to skin that is later exposed to sunlight.

Sodium hypochlorite or Household Bleach – This is a chemical precursor to chlorine, which is highly toxic and involved in more household poisonings than any other chemical. When it reacts with organic materials in the environment, carcinogenic and toxic compounds are created than can cause reproductive, endocrine and immune system disorders.

EDTA (ethylene-diamino-tetra-acetate) – EDTA is a class of compounds used as an alternative to phosphates to reduce mineral hardness in water, prevent bleaching agents from becoming active before they’re put in water and as a foaming stabilizer. EDTA does not biodegrade readily and can re-dissolve toxic heavy metals in the environment, allowing them to re-enter the food chain.

That’s just to name a few. So what can you do?

soapnut shells for washing laundry

Yay for soapnuts!

Well you need to ask yourself do you need your clothes brightened artificially? Do you need to see a drum overflowing with suds to believe that your clothes are being cleaned? Do your clothes need to be bleached white chemically?

If the answer is no to these, then switch to chemical free alternatives. As I said at the beginning of this article, if you visited www.soapnuts.co.uk you will know that soapnuts are free from things like parabens, sls, petro chemicals, chlorine, bleach, perfume, phthalates, formaldehyde and phosphates…so make the switch to soapnut shells. And if you read the last article about Energy Efficient machines, you may want to try soapnut liquid or soapnut powder.

For a free sample visit www.soapnuts.co.uk