Is Laundry Soap Toxic? 9 Dangerous Toxins in Laundry Detergent

Is Laundry Soap Toxic? 9 Dangerous Toxins in Laundry Detergent

This post will tell you everything you need to know about the toxins in laundry detergent and how to avoid them.

First of all, let's start by saying that not all laundry detergents are toxic. There are brands who intentionally formulate safe laundry detergent that will not harm your skin or cause cancer or other health issues.

However, as cancer, disease, skin sensitivities, fertility problems, and so many more health issues are on the rise in our culture, people are finally asking questions like "what chemicals are in laundry detergent?" And, "how do I know which laundry detergents are safe?"

Here at Faith Farms, we've become experts on the topic of toxins. So much that our entire company is revolved around formulating healthy, safe, toxin-free products for families to enjoy. So, in this post, we're going to answer your questions, as well as explain the main toxins and carcinogens in laundry detergent, and the harmful effects of laundry detergents on the body.

Be cautioned as you learn more about the harmful toxins in laundry detergent.

toxins in laundry detergent

What You Need to Know About Toxins in Laundry Detergent

Are there harmful chemicals in laundry detergent?

The short answer... YES. Below, we've listed the toxins, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors in laundry detergent, as well as the harmful effects of detergents on humans (well, most store-bought detergents, at least. *Insert shameless plug for our completely natural non-toxic laundry detergent.* 😃) First, let's break down exactly what toxins, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors actually are and the difference between them:
  • Toxins are substances that cause adverse health effects in one way or another. This can range from skin issues to stomach problems, diseases, or even death. All carcinogens and endocrine disruptors are toxins, but not all toxins are carcinogens or endocrine disruptors. Make sense?
  • Carcinogens are substances known to cause cancer.
  • Endocrine disruptors are substances that disrupt the human endocrine system, which is the system of glands and organs that uses hormones to control your metabolism, reproduction, energy levels, mood, growth and development, and your body's response to stress and injury.
All of the above are commonly found in your everyday, store-bought laundry detergent brands. However, our non toxic laundry detergent, contains none of them!

toxins in laundry detergent


Is laundry detergent toxic to skin?

Many store-bought laundry detergents contain toxins that are known to cause skin sensitization and skin irritation. However, there absolutely are non toxic laundry detergent brands, such as Faith Farms Laundry Soap that do not use harsh chemicals in their product. In the next section, we're going to explain to you which ingredients to be on the lookout for.

RELATED POST: Is Natural Laundry Detergent Better? Here's the Truth

Harmful Laundry Detergent Chemicals List

1. Formaldehyde This is a common antibacterial agent and preservative used in many common household goods. However, it is known to irritate the lungs and respiratory system, skin, and eyes. It's also linked to eczema and may increase the risk of cancer.
2. Carcinogenic fragrances Many laundry detergents use artificial fragrances for obvious reasons, but they can actually increase the risk of cancer, cause skin issues, and a list of other health concerns.
Children's Environmental Health Network explains the cautions of fragrances like this:
"Many synthetic chemicals in fragrances are petroleum-based and can be harmful to human health. Chemicals found in fragrances include phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens benzophenone and styrene. In addition, some children and adults have allergic reactions to fragrance chemicals."
That brings us to our next toxin in laundry detergent...
3. Phthalates
These chemicals are used in laundry soaps to help create their gel-like consistency. The downfall is that phthalates are both an endocrine disruptor and a hormone disruptor. Phthalates can also affect fertility and increase the risk of cancer. The National Institute of Health states:
"Phthalates, as endocrine-disrupting chemicals and SVOCs, are detrimental to the reproductive, neurological, and developmental systems of human from multiple exposure pathways. Children are at a higher level of exposure and more vulnerable to phthalates."
4. Surfactants These are cleaning agents used to help remove dirt and stains. Common surfactants include linear alkylbenzene sulfonates (LAS) and alcohol ethoxylates. The bad news: Surfactants can damage lungs and mucus membranes. They are also linked to higher risk of asthma and cancer.
5. Enzymes Enzymes like protease, amylase, and lipase are used to break down and remove protein, starch, and fat stains. While generally safe, some people may be sensitive to enzymes, which can cause skin irritation and other skin issues.
6. Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (NPEs) These are actually banned from being used in Europe (but not in the U.S.)! 🤷🏻‍♀️ NPEs disrupt endocrine and hormones, affect fertility, and can harm overall health. They can also harm fetal development and children’s physical function. (Why are these still even allowed?!)
Think about that for a second... If you're using a toxic laundry detergent that contains NPEs while you're pregnant, those toxins are getting into your clothes and, therefore, getting into your skin (AKA your largest organ), and can actually cause harm to your unborn child!
Same goes for your existing children; if you're washing their clothes in this toxin, it is getting down into their skin and can harm their natural physical functions! 🤯 This is just another reason our natural laundry soap is so popular among parents!
non toxic laundry soap


7. Preservatives Chemicals such as methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and benzisothiazolinone (BIT) may be used as preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold in the detergent. MIT, in particular, has been associated with skin issues, allergies, and more. You can read more about MIT and its' harmful effects.
8. Bleach Bleach is corrosive in general and can irritate and burn your skin and eyes. It can also harm your mucous membranes inside your nose, lungs, and mouth. Breathing bleach in over time has also been proven to increase your risk of cancer.
9. 1,4-dioxane Just reading this word gives me the heebie-jeebies. This is one of the main carcinogens in laundry detergent that most people are concerned about, and rightfully so.

The EPA website states this about 1,4 dioxane:

"1,4-Dioxane is used as a solvent. Acute (short-term) inhalation exposure to high levels of 1,4-dioxane has caused vertigo, drowsiness, headache, anorexia and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs in humans. It may also irritate the skin. Damage to the liver and kidneys has been observed in rats chronically (long-term) exposed in their drinking water... Tumors have been observed in orally exposed animals. EPA has classified 1,4-dioxane as a Group B2, probable human carcinogen."
Have we convinced you of the dangers of toxins in laundry detergent yet? Make the switch to natural laundry detergent today. Your skin, eyes, mouth, nose, lungs, reproductive system, and overall health will surely thank you! 🙌🏼


RELATED POSTS: Beginner's Guide: Switching to Natural Products 5-Step Guide to Natural Living for Beginners

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