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14 Laundry Detergent Ingredients you should AVOID

As consumers, we often take the safety and efficacy of the products we use for granted. This is especially true when it comes to household items like laundry detergent.

We rely on these products to clean our clothes and remove stains, and we expect them to be safe and gentle on our skin and the environment.

However, not all laundry detergents are created equal, and it's important to be aware of the ingredients that they contain.

In this blog post, we'll be discussing 14 laundry detergent ingredients that you should avoid due to their potential health and environmental impacts.


From synthetic fragrances to chlorine bleach, these are ingredients that you might want to look out for the next time you're shopping for laundry detergent. 

  1. Fragrances - Many laundry detergents contain synthetic fragrances, which can cause allergic reactions in some people.
  1. Phosphates - These chemicals can be harmful to the environment, as they contribute to algae blooms in water bodies. They are often found in laundry detergents that are marketed as being highly effective at removing stains.
  1. Chlorine bleach - Chlorine bleach can be harsh on fabrics and can cause fading and discolouration. It can also release harmful fumes when used.
  1. Optical brighteners - These chemicals can make fabrics appear brighter, but they can also cause skin irritation and allergies.
  1. Quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS) - These chemicals are used as fabric softeners and can cause respiratory issues and allergies.
  1. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) - These chemicals are used as surfactants in laundry detergents and can be harmful to the environment as they can break down into nonylphenols, which are toxic to aquatic life.
  1. Sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate (SLS/SLES) - These chemicals are used as foaming agents and can cause skin irritation and allergies.
  1. Formaldehyde - This chemical is a known carcinogen and can be found in some laundry detergents as a preservative.
  1. Petroleum-based ingredients - Some laundry detergents contain petroleum-based ingredients, such as mineral oil, which can be harmful to the environment and can cause skin irritation.
  1. Synthetic dyes - These chemicals can cause allergic reactions and are often used to give laundry detergents a colourful appearance.
  1. Ammonia - This chemical can be harsh on fabrics and can cause respiratory issues when inhaled.
  1. Sodium hydroxide - This chemical, also known as lye, is a strong base and can be harmful if ingested or if it comes into contact with skin.
  1. Triclosan - This chemical is an antimicrobial agent that has been linked to antibiotic resistance and hormone disruption.
  1. Ethylene oxide - This chemical is a known carcinogen and is used as a disinfectant in some laundry detergents.


It's worth noting that not all laundry detergents contain these ingredients, and there are many natural and eco-friendly options available that are free from potentially harmful chemicals like Sheet Yeah! Detergent Sheets available to buy here.