Laundry detergents became popular after the second world war, boosted by industry evolution and greater adoption of washing machines. Since then, there have been a lot of changes in the chemical formulation of detergents.
Over time, several key players and FMCG conglomerates have attempted to dominate this sector. The high competition and capitalist mindset of the large players force them to come up with new, innovative and attractive products.
This innovation could be in terms of organizations’ price strategy, product strategy, advertisement campaigns that make the products perceived as better. These strategies may lead the companies to increase their market share and become richer, but they have their own side effects, such as harming aquatic life, polluting water bodies as well as poor ground water quality.
Eco-conscious individuals have realized that the best solution to overcome these issues could be the use of eco-friendly, non-toxic, bio-degradable and green laundry detergent. But, before exploring the best eco-friendly detergent, let's look at some of the key changes over the past few years in the laundry detergent industry.
With advancements in production systems of chemicals, manufacturers have been able to bring down the cost of detergents. This has to lead to wider adoption of synthetic products.
Availability of the product in small quantities or packets:
To target the customers who require the detergents in smaller quantities, brands have moved to creating products in smaller SKUs. This leads to an increase in the use of single-use plastic.
Dye and colour:
Organizations use synthetic dyes to produce the detergent with either a resemblance to the brand colours or those pleasing for the eyes. Studies have found that using synthetic dyes could cause skin irritation and are not suitable for sensitive skin.
Artificial fragrance :
A pleasing smell could boost the mood, and it is linked with cleanliness. Manufacturers use chemical compounds that leave artificial smell on the clothes after the wash. This gives customers false hints that the clothes are cleaned. This synthetic fragrance has also been linked to an increase in skin rashes and allergies.
In addition to above list, chemicals such as chlorine bleach, phosphates, formaldehyde, dichlorobenzene, ammonium sulfate, and di-oxanes are also harmful to the environment and aquatic life.
Is there any alternative to this?
Yes! There are non-toxic substitutes that are available, such as soapnuts-based bio-degradable green laundry detergent. Let’s talk about eco-friendly soap nuts, the best natural alternative that mother nature has given us for cleaning purposes.
Soap nuts, or Reetha, are the fruits of a singular tree species, and they are generally found in the deep forest. The shells of the soap nuts contain an essence called saponin that produces a soaping effect. Soapnuts are 100 percent organic and could be used as an alternative to synthetic laundry detergents and cleansers. It can be a substitute for many synthetic detergents that contain skin irritants and pose other health hazards.
Soap nuts have been used since ancient times as a detergent and a cleanser. It's most often utilised in India, China, and parts of Europe.
Recently, soapnut-based detergents have gained popularity in the market, and with larger awareness on the toxic effects of synthetic detergents. Consumers have started switching to non-toxic bio-degradable green laundry detergent.
Let’s see the key benefits of the soapnut-based non-toxic detergent.
Gentle on clothes: The life of clothes is prolonged as the fabric is least damaged.
Anti-microbial: Removes microorganisms from the laundry.
Eco-friendly: After washing, the water is fully biodegradable and non-toxic, and can be used to water plants.
Saves water: Does not leave much detergent residue, so less water is required to rinse clothes.
Suitable for every type of skin: Can be used for people with sensitive skin.