Recently, I have noticed that there are more laundry detergents free of certain dyes and fragrances. The ban years ago on phosphates in laundry detergent originated from research that showed those chemicals were causing harm in the environment, particularly in lakes and streams. The recent chorus of consumers asking for lower chemical laundry soap is not environmental in nature, but a result of a desire to limit exposure to those chemicals on clean clothes. A beneficial side result of these new products will be fewer chemicals down the drain.
People have been clamoring for some time for detergents that clean their laundry, but use fewer chemicals that can cause allergies and skin irritation. I remember the Blue Laundry Ball scam from several years ago. People would purchase one of these balls for 75 dollars and claimed that their clothes were getting just as clean as they were when they used laundry detergent. Some believed the claims of the ball’s distributors partly because they really wanted to be able to clean their clothes without all the chemicals in their laundry products. But, I think the main reason these balls were able to fool people is because water by itself, (which is what a load of laundry with a blue plastic ball in it is), can do a very good job of cleaning clothes. Although I was more than skeptical about the 75 dollar plastic ball as soon as I heard of it, the whole multi-level marketing laundry ball scam did open my eyes to something else…. If water by itself can in some instances clean clothes quite well, then I might get good results by reducing or eliminating the amount of detergent I used in my own loads of laundry.
What I tried was using 1/2 the recommended amount of detergent in each full load. There was not a noticeable difference in how clean the clothes turned out. Now we buy the largest liquid, free of dyes and perfumes, bottle of detergent we can find and use it to fill up the smaller bottle kept in the laundry room 1/2 way. I then fill the remainder with water and use the recommended capful with each full load thereby using 50% less detergent. My clothes always turn out perfectly clean, fewer chemicals are rinsed down the drain, and money spent on expensive detergent is reduced by one half.
Try reducing the amount of soap used in your laundry. You may find that when using 1/2 as much of a liquid, free of dyes and perfumes, detergent, you can still get your laundry perfectly clean. Some folks say they use even less than 1/2 the recommended amount. I have also seen people write that they need to use the full amount to get their clothes clean. Be aware that, as is said in marketing, “your results may vary” and may be influenced by your water hardness…. or your receptivity to advertising messages.