Eco-cleaners are on the rise. More people are becoming aware of the nasty chemicals hidden in cleaning products. So, what vegan household cleaners should you be using?
Traditional laundry detergents are commonly made by a number of familiar brands. When you’re walking through that aisle of the store you may gravitate toward one or two brands that you believe are ‘safe’ for you and your family.
These brands do a very good job marketing their products. They’re really just ‘green washing’ them to make it seem that they’re eco-friendly and a good fit for your home and your family.
Unfortunately, that’s not true. Even the eco-friendly seeming brands can have harmful ingredients in them – and often, they contain animal-derived ingredients too.
Non-vegan household cleaners
We tend to forget how anything that gets into your washing machine, and onto your clothing, bedding, and towels, then gets on your skin.
As your largest body organ, your skin can absorb these toxic chemicals into your system. This is a problem because a number of these ingredients have been identified as hormone disruptors.
They’ve also been linked to rashes, respiratory issues, and other health issues. The good news is that there are options for cleaning that don’t include turning your washing machine into a toxic dumping ground.
It starts with avoiding the toxins found in these products.
Here are just a few of the chemicals to watch out for
- Benzisothiazolinone: Concerns about allergies and cytotoxicity.
- Methylisothiazolinone: Linked to lung irritation, intestinal tract issues, and weight gain.
- Sodium Methyl 2-Sulfolaurate: Potential to cause serious eye damage, and hazardous to aquatic life.
Although some major cleaning brands have stopped testing their products on animals – this doesn’t mean they’re vegan.
Aside from being harmful to your health, household cleaners can also contain animal-derived ingredients such as Oleyl alcohols and tallow (beef fat).
Moreover, other non-vegan ingredients to look out for include lanolin, Caprylic acid, animal lecithin, animal glycerol, and Stearic acid.
Eco-cleaners (aka green cleaners)
You can choose a laundry product that has none of those harmful chemicals and is made from eco-friendly plant-based ingredients. This is the best way to provide truly clean clothes that won’t harm you, your family, or the environment.
Because it’s not just what’s in the container that’s a problem. There’s also a huge environmental impact from laundry product containers.
These plastic containers are a big source of non-recyclable waste. Many recycling facilities are unable to thoroughly clean the residue out of them. This means even though you put them in your recycling bin, they often are discarded and go to the landfill instead.
Moreover, these common plastics can take hundreds of years to break down. As much as 10 percent of all plastic debris winds up in the ocean where it kills seabirds and marine animals.
Unless you wash your plastic laundry containers thoroughly, there’s a strong possibility they aren’t being recycled. One way to curb this plastic waste is to buy products that come in a refill packet.
By refilling a single container you’re not only avoiding the toxic chemicals found in the majority of laundry detergents, you’re also choosing a more eco-friendly container option.
Over the course of a year that could add up to a significant number of plastic jugs not going into the landfill. However, MyGreenFills offers ‘refillable, and completely non-toxic laundry wash and other cleaning alternatives that actually work’.
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*This article was updated on March 24, 2021, to include more information about animal-derived ingredients