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Soap is Safer than Detergents 
Natural SoapA simple change avoids a major source of skin irritants and carcinogens 
You can work in a safe workplace, avoid chemials and eat healthy, yet still be exposed to thousands of potentially hazardous toxins -- throughout every minute of every day. 
Typical laundry detergents contain a toxic slew of chemicals that leave residues behind on your clothing.  Most detergents are derived from petrochemical ingredients that can potentially be absorbed by your skin or evaporated into the air for you to breathe in. Detergent residues on clothes and bed linens can be a source of skin irritation.

Most laundry detergents in your typical grocery store contain: 
  • Petroleum distillates (aka napthas), which have been linked to cancer
  • Phenols, which can cause toxicity throughout the entire body
  • Phosphates, which stimulate the growth of certain marine plants when they're released into the environment and contribute to unbalanced ecosystems
  • Optical brighteners, which can be toxic to fish and can cause bacterial mutations and allergic reactions
  • Artificial fragrances, which have been linked to various toxic effects on fish and mammals 
The impact of artificial fragrances is perhaps the most insidious toxic threat.  The fragrance industry uses up to 3000 predominantly synthetic ingredients, some 900 of which were identified as toxic. Which ones hardly matters becuase the industry is not required to disclose ingredients of fragrances and perfumes on their labels due to trade secrecy considerations.  No wonder my eyes hurt and my throat get scratchy after just a few minutes in the supermarket laundry aisle.
And while buying a "fragrance free" detergent lets you avoid many of these questionable chemicals, you may still be exposed to other problematic ingredients.  Unfortunately, they are tricky to avoid because detergents are not required to list ingrediants on their labels.

It didn't used to be this way.  Since 1500 B. C. humans have utilized soap mostly derived from natural sources for most all of their cleaning needs. Prior to WWII most household cleaning tasks were accomplished using relatively safe ingredients commonly found in most homes. With the proliferation of petroleum-based chemicals after the war, corporations began to manufacture ready-made cleaning products.  Most cleaning chores can be easily handled without these toxic products. Everyday ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, salt, lemon juice, vegetable oil, soap, borax, hydrogen peroxide and washing soda can do the job as they did in olden days.

Laundry soaps, available as bar soaps or flakes, are usually made from natural minerals and fats and tend to be less toxic than conventional petroleum-based detergents that cause more household poisonings than any other household product, (when eaten by children.) 
One of our favorite products is CalBen's Seafoam All Temperature Laundry Soap -- an all natural, non-detergent laundry soap that cleans effectively without chemicals.  Seaform's fresh scent is specified as coming from a natural essential oil.  Purchased direct from the manufacturer, this product costs less than detergents, yet it is tough enough to clean up after our family and gentle enough for spa towels and bedding used by Amy's Skin Care.