As culture is rapidly changing, the affinity to health and the environment has grown exponentially.  According to SocialTime “health conscious shoppers could become powerful brand advocates”.  Consumers are demanding healthier foods, beverages, cosmetics including recyclable products or those who are made of.  However, most of us are ignorant about or neglect the awareness of Toxic Laundry Detergent and Household Cleaning Agents.  So, what active and inactive (Inert Ingredients) ingredients are found in common Toxic Laundry Detergents?

Is my laundry detergent toxic?

The answer to the above is most likely YES! The following are common active ingredients used in many laundry detergents which are considered to be air pollutants, contaminants and even carcinogens according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These are ingredients which are said to be cancer causing and present danger to respiratory systems.

Toxic Laundry Detergent Ingredients 

  • 1, 4-Dioxane – Dioxane is a byproduct used in detergents and other cosmetic products.  It is classified as Ether.  Dioxane is irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract.  Dioxane has the ability to effect the kidneys, liver and nervous system according to the USDA and FDA.  The FDA advised and recommended to manufacturers to remove 1,4 Dioxane from many products however, it is not required by Federal Law (FDA/CFSAN-Handbook Part 3).  All agencies including The National Institute of Health (NIH) confirm that 1,4 Dioxane is expected to be a Carcinogen.
  • Sulfates & Surfactants – Today’s detergents and cosmetics encompass several types of Sulfates including, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) and Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS).  Sulfates are used as surfactants (detergents, emulsifiers, foaming agents and wetting agents).  Simply described, “Surfactants brokers a marriage between oil and water in an effort to remove soil, protein and other contaminants from surfaces” – Says Gary Shif owner of Best Cleaners in Orlando, FL.  Surfactants are found in laundry detergents, shampoos, toothpaste and other cosmetic products.  Surfactants are known to be Toxic and Contaminant to our ecosystem, animals and humans. According to the Environmental Working Group.  Exposure to SLS has caused concerns:
          • Irritation to skin, eyes and lungs
          • Organ System Toxicity
          • Ecotoxicology (Environmental Toxin)


The above are a couple which are present in most laundry detergents considering them toxic.  Most laundry detergents, fabric softeners, household cleaners and cosmetic products contain Dioxane, Sulfate, Surfactants, Petro-Chemicals, Alcohol and Dyes….

A Toxic Cocktail! 

Toxic Laundry Detergent Alternatives

YES, when it comes to greener and healthier laundry detergents and household cleaners you have options.  Below we list healthier and friendlier laundry detergents that can be found in local supermarkets.


Green and Non-Toxic Laundry Detergents:


The Dirty Bunch

The following are “F” rated laundry detergent due to toxicity and non-friendly ingredients as surveyed by The Environmental Working Group (EGW)

  • Tide Liquid (Plus Alternative, Tide Free for Cold Water, Liquid Mountain Spring, Plus Bleach HE, Clean Breeze HE, Tide 2X, and several other labels)
  • Gain Liquid Detergent (W\ Baking Soda, and several other labels)
  • Era 2X Ultra Liquid
  • Downey
  • Ivory Ultra
  • The Laundress Baby Detergent
  • Green Works
  • All 2X Ultra
  • Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean
  • Purex
  • Shout
  • Cheer Bright Clean HE Liquid

See details to Healthy Laundry Detergent Guide and Rating here >


Today’s laundry detergents, fabric softeners, household cleaners and even cosmetics contain multiple toxic and un-friendly agents.  Most contain Dioxane, Sulfate, Surfactants, Petro-Chemicals, Alcohol and Dyes.  Consumers need to be aware of the risk presented by the above ingredients and make a greener and healthier choice.

As Gary Shif from Best Cleaners in Orlando explains “Most cleaning agents are indeed dirty!”