Since last summer, I have been clearing my cupboards from strong cleaning products and everything with sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate – very common detergents and known skin irritants.
A few years ago I took the step from “regular” laundry detergent, generally whatever was branded and on sale, to products marked with the Swedish Svanen Ecolabel (for environmentally sound products, though Ecolabelled does NOT mean organic). I also left synthetic perfumes behind, both because I have tendencies towards allergies and because my profession as a wine expert makes my nose sensitive to excessive scents in the home.
When we decided to start a family (i.e. get me preggers), I felt maybe Svanen + no perfume wasn’t enough. Ever since an enlightening conversation with a world leading researcher on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals I’ve spent time reading up on these and the Cocktail Effect. I’ll write more about it later but it has lead me to want to reduce chemicals in the home, big time.
Thus: the need for a good, organic laundry detergent with minimal chemical impact.
My solution: Ecover detergents
I’ve passed on the “hippie products” with very varied reviews, such as soap nuts. I’ve tried most of the stuff you mix at home from vinegar/lemon/sodium bicarbonate etc and found it’s not my preferred option (I’m convenient and like products that can replace my old ones with no trouble; same dosage, same “texture”, nice scents). I’ll occasionally use the fabulous Dr. Bronner Castille soap but more for general cleaning, not so much for laundry.
In the USA there are lots of products to choose from, but in Europe (especially Sweden) the selection is much more limited. My product of choice has become the Ecover range of detergents, which is fairly easy to find and that I’m very happy with. As they are sliiightly more expensive than my previous choices (generally decent pick Skona), I googled every single ingredient and found that yes, Ecover Zero does contain better ingredients with less risk of irritation or toxicity, no palm oil derivatives or ingredients with known endocrine or toxic effects. From their site, Ecover is all about being environmentally friendly, but in the process, they seem to have ditched the chemicals that I worry about for my health and my growing belly.
I have tried the regular detergents and the conditioners/softeners and been very happy with the results. Clothes get clean. Smell good. These will be filling my laundry room from now on, purchased online for better pricing. For my silk lingerie and cashmere, I use the delicious-smelling Fine Wash with Orange Oil from Swedish “hipster” brand Tangent Garment Care. A treat, if you find it.
Do share your favorite organic/environmentally friendly washing products too!