Negative Impact of Traditional Laundry Detergent

Exploring the Negative Impact of Traditional Laundry Detergent (and What You Can Use Instead!)

The green movement is making waves. As millions of people commit to living a more eco-friendly life, many common household products are being scrutinized. Laundry products are no exception. Today, the green community has spread the word: traditional laundry detergents don’t make the green grade. Likewise, allergists, doctors, and new parents everywhere are tossing traditional laundry detergent to the curb. 


If you’re new to the scene, you’re probably wondering: what’s all the fuss about? Let’s get into it. Here are the negative effects of traditional laundry detergent—and how Charlie’s Soap can help. 

The Planet

One big complaint against traditional detergents is the environmental impact. In particular, regular detergents contribute to pollution and, through poor practices and packaging, are highly wasteful. 


Like many mass-manufactured products, traditional laundry detergents often come with a heaping side-serving of environmental pollutants. During production, these pollutants can contaminate the air and water—but that’s not where it ends. Since your laundry detergent ends up mixed in with your water waste, using regular detergent leads to local water contamination. These environmental pollutants are often made with non-biodegradable, caustic chemicals.  


In particular, many popular laundry detergents contain optical brighteners. These compounds emit blue light, which gives the false appearance of extra-whiteness. Made with harsh synthetic chemicals, optical brighteners are non-biodegradable. Alongside other pollutants, these optical brighteners build up in the waterways, leaching chemicals into the soil and water. Over time, this can damage aquatic flora and fauna. 


Traditional laundry detergent involves an immense amount of waste. The large plastic laundry jugs from regular liquid laundry detergent contribute significantly to the plastic landfill crisis. While their large size appears to offer a better deal, most laundry detergent companies sell heavily diluted formulas. As much as 60%-90% of a jug of regular liquid laundry detergent is just water. 


That means extra waste on plastic containers, but that’s not all. It’s also a big transportation liability. As these companies haul their water-diluted cleaners around, they unnecessarily waste transportation resources, including non-renewable fuels. 


Unsurprisingly, the stuff that’s bad for the planet isn’t so good for you, either. The same harsh environmental pollutants that damage the waterways can have a drastic effect on your health. 


Fragrances are often the big appeal for regular detergents. Yet, these added perfumes spell disaster for those with sensitive skin, asthma, or allergies. Most regular detergents use a cocktail of chemicals and additives to create their fragrances. These chemicals can irritate the nose, throat, lungs, and skin. Bit by bit, they can affect your health, cause rashes or redness, and even aggravate your allergies. The kicker? These fragrances aren’t added to clean your clothes—they’re just there to make them seem clean, no matter how ineffective the detergent may actually be. 

Chlorine Bleaches

If you don’t use chlorine bleach, you may think that this section doesn’t apply to you. However, these caustic cleaners may be hiding in your laundry detergent. Regular powder laundry detergents may contain traces of chlorine bleaches. Chlorine bleach is so corrosive that it can irritate your eyes—and even burn your skin. Regular bleach has also been connected to the development of asthma at a young age. 

Other Additives 

Traditional detergent comes with a laundry list of ingredients on the back. There’s almost too many other problematic additives to count. Dyes, sulfates, phosphates, zeolites—we could go on and on. The short of it? Simple is better. 

Your Clothes 

That’s right; traditional detergents can even damage your clothes. You may not be surprised to hear that harsh bleaches, brighteners, and dyes can harm gentle fabrics—but it doesn’t just affect your delicates. 


Regular detergents are designed to stick around. With dyes, perfumes, and softeners to give the illusion of an ultra-clean, traditional detergents take hold of your laundry and don’t let go during the rinse cycle. As it builds up in the fibers of your fabrics, they become rough and scratchy. Softer materials like sheets and towels can quickly turn stiff and unusable. With traditional detergent, your laundry deteriorates sooner; those additives increase friction among the fibers, causing them to prematurely fray and disintegrate. Regular detergent can even result in detergent stains

Charlie’s Soap: Laundry Without the Warning Labels

Laundry day shouldn’t be bogged down with all this dirty business. Luckily, we’ve got all you need for cleaning that’s good for you, your clothes, and the planet. 

Powerful, Efficient Cleaning for Less Waste 

Just check our ingredient list. Charlie’s Soap laundry detergents are formulated with the planet in mind. That means we only use the simplest, most effective cleaners. No optical brighteners, phosphates, fragrances, dyes, or other harmful additives. Our formulas quickly break down, so they’re even safe for septic systems. We’ve got it down to a science


We’re all about limiting waste and reducing environmental impact. For increased efficiency, Charlie’s Soap laundry detergents are ultra-concentrated. Even better—our containers are made with recycled plastic. 

Hypoallergenic Formulas: Good for You and the Earth 

Since our formulas are free of harmful additives and wash away completely during the rinse cycle, they’re perfect for even the most sensitive skin. Baby clothes, cloth diapers, and delicates are all safe with Charlie’s Soap laundry products. Our hypoallergenic formulas are designed for those with sensitive skin, asthma, allergies—and anyone else who wants the soft, happy feel of a true clean. 


We’re committed to a cleaner way of doing laundry. Our dedication to all-natural cleaning isn’t just better for you; it’s better for the planet. In fact, our Liquid Laundry Detergent and Powder Laundry Detergent both meet the high standards for Safer Choice certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Color-Safe, Fabric-Safe, and Long-Lasting

Charlie’s Soap ultra-concentrated detergents give and give. Charlie’s formulas work to increase the longevity of your clothes. Our cleaning agents are expertly designed to cling to dirt and grime. During the rinse cycle, they completely wash away, leaving you with nothing but the wonderful feel of a true clean. 


Even better—our laundry products are color-safe and great for every sort of fabric. It’s not just our detergents. Stain treatments like our laundry pre-spray or our chlorine-free oxygen bleach are gentle on colors and fabrics while tackling tough stains. 

Shop Charlie’s Soap

At Charlie’s Soap, we believe you shouldn’t have to worry about your carbon footprint while keeping house. Whatever you’re cleaning, we’ve got your back. Looking for an eco-friendly household cleaner? A solution for hard water? Look no further. We’re committed to giving you a true clean, for life. Shop Charlie’s Soap today

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