May 18, 2014

Reducing Toxins: Laundry Detergent

Can you pronounce all the ingredients in your laundry detergent?  Would you rub those ingredients on your skin?

I found Charlie's Soap laundry detergent sort of by accident.  Just before my second child was born, I decided we would use cloth diapers.  I learned so much by doing a bit of research.  One of the things I learned was the importance of using a "clean" detergent, one that would not leave residue on the diapers or the drum of your washer.  Many moms, as well as diaper companies, endorsed Charlie's Soap as their go-to detergent.

Diaper companies specifically say something to the effect "Do not use the free and gentle types of detergent as these are especially harmful to the fabrics."  The very same detergents that are marketed towards babies!

If a detergent is going to clog the fabric pores, I definitely don't want to use it.  What is it doing to my skin?

Ever wondered what is in "free and clear" detergents?

The free and clear detergents tout themselves as being made for people with sensitive skin; they are not made with dyes or perfumes.  If they are so gentle, why would diaper companies exhort mothers not to use them?

Compare the ingredient list yourself:
     Tide Free & Gentle (19 ingredients)
     Charlie's Soap Laundry Powder (4 ingredients).

Researching detergent was four years ago and I haven't looked back.  I love everything about Charlie's Soap.  

At one point in life, I made laundry detergent so that I could save money.  But I was never crazy about the cleaning power of my homemade detergents.  Plus there was the time and energy factor in making it.

Charlie's Soap is rather affordable - especially when you buy in bulk.  I've had this 32 pound bucket for almost 3 years (that's 2 babies in diapers, a very dirty nine year old, and a husband that loves to exercise.)  Using Amazon Prime, this comes out to $0.12 a load!  I love that I buy a bucket and don't have to buy detergent for ...years!   There are smaller volumes to buy, too.  

I have a high efficiency (low water) washer and it works great.  Actually with many loads I use less than the recommended amount and the clothes still come out clean.  I have also used Charlie's in the old-fashioned, water loving machines and it works great with them, too.

Some people buy their detergents based on the smell, so clothes will smell clean.  I get that.  And so does Charlie's.  On the label it says, "Leaves nothing but the good old-fashioned sweet smell of clean.  If you want flowers, go pick some."

So if you are looking to reduce toxins in your home, let me recommend trying Charlie's detergent.  I am not being paid by Charlie's to endorse their product, I just like it.


share facebook tweet


  1. Hi Julie!
    I've been looking for a new, safer detergent as well. I'm currently using liquid soap nuts and I'm not loving it so the search continues. I was excited to see this post, and checked out Charlie's Soap on the EWG website. What are your thoughts on their rating? Here's the link
    Thanks! Jennifer

    1. Thanks for the input, Jennifer. I often forget about EWG (though they do important work!). I checked out the link. Because they've only flagged Charlies as "moderate concern" I will still use it. In my journey for wellness, I've realized there is a line between time/money/energy. For now, this soap works for me (and my conscience) and I'm going to stay with it. I feel like Charlie's is WAAAAY better (for me) than most mainstream detergents and it actually cleans my clothes (as you noted, not all "natural" cleaners actually clean.) There maybe a better (safer?) option out there but for now I am satisfied with Charlie's.

      Thank you for the input. When (if?) you land on a detergent you love please let me know. I love hearing about what is working for others.

  2. Thanks for the response. I so appreciate your take on this. I'll let you know if I find something I like :) In the meantime, I'll probably be buying some Charlie's!

  3. We bought a box of Charlie's to wash our cloth diapers in but very shortly thereafter noticed our daughter was having a reaction to her diapers. (red spots/rash) We checked reviews on-line and found that others were having this as well. We reverted back to our previous detergent (Shaklee's laundry soap) and the red spots/rash disappeared. We liked the thoughts of the few ingredients and the cost.... but now we've got a box we don't have a use for.



Related Posts with Thumbnails