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Don’t be Fooled by “Plant-Based” Laundry Detergent: Look for Synthetic Detergent’s Many Names

Nov 2, 2020

Don’t be Fooled by “Plant-Based” Laundry Detergent: Look for Synthetic Detergent’s Many Names
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Natural! Plant-based! Plant-derived!

If you’ve been on the hunt for eco-friendly fragrance free laundry detergent, you’ve no doubt seen that supermarket shelves are packed with big plastic jugs plastered with words like natural, plant-based, and plant-derived and have been tempted to cross “find natural laundry detergent” off your to-do list. Not so fast! Virtually all of the “natural” cleaners out there are powered by synthetic detergents made with petrochemicals, not truly natural ingredients. 😞 

Petroleum by any other name

What’s even more frustrating is that companies have found sneaky ways to mask those petroleum-powered synthetic detergents behind new names and natural-sounding ingredient lists—or even refuse to list their ingredients all together—which makes it SO hard to find truly natural laundry detergent or any other household cleaners.

We dare you to peek at the ingredient list on your laundry detergent (if you can find it). Here are a few synthetic detergents to watch for:

Sulfates like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Coco Sulfate, and Sodium Laureth Sulfate

Glucosides like Decyl Glucoside, Lauryl Glucoside, and Coco Glucoside

Ethoxylates like Laureth-6 & Laureth-7, Alcohol Ethoxylates, and Lauryl Ethoxylate

Betaines and Oxides like Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Lauramidopropyl Betaine and Lauramine Oxide

Each of these synthetic detergents is made using one or more petrochemicals derived from petroleum, like Methanol (used in formaldehyde production and as a gasoline additive), Ethylene (a raw material used in plastic production), Toluene (a paint thinner and glue solvent), Propylene (a raw material used in plastic production), or Propanol (an industrial solvent and gasoline additive). No thank you!

The natural & simple solution

We get it, this is frustrating stuff! How can people get away with making “natural” products out of a paint thinner and glue solvent!? We got tired of having to play detergent detective, and decided to do something about it. That’s where our promise comes into play: we refuse to use ANY synthetic detergents in our products. Zero. Zip. Nada. No way, no how, never. Ingredients Matters products are made with natural soap—simple ingredients and simple chemistry that folks have been using for thousands of years. It's time to ditch the detergents for good!

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