Unfortunately, there are several common household items that have the possibility of damaging your health. According to The Hound, about two-thirds of all liquid laundry detergents contain harmful chemicals such as bleach dealers, preservatives, and other toxins. When these chemicals become airborne, they can lead to cancer, eye irritation, respiratory issues, and more. Read on to see the worst liquid laundry detergents on the market today.
All 2x Ultra Stainlifter Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent
There are several harmful substances found in All 2x Ultra Stainlifter liquid laundry detergent. These include cleaning agents, fabric brighteners, fragrances, dyes, stabilizers, and buffer.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) gave this brand of detergent an F rating because the ingredients are non-biodegradable. If the product gets into the ocean, it can also do some damage to aquatic life.
Original Fresh Ultra Purex Regular Detergent
Even if you read the label for the ingredients in Original Fresh Ultra Purex laundry detergent, you won't be getting the full story.
Purex doesn't list every ingredient on the bottle and some of these include sodium polyacrylate, disodium diaminostilbene disulfonate, and more. These can cause skin irritation, allergies, and have negative effects on the nervous and respiratory systems.
Ajax 2x Ultra With Bleach Alternative
It's important to check the label on liquid laundry detergent, especially on Ajax 2x Ultra detergent with Bleach Alternative.
It contains formaldehyde, dyes, preservatives, methanol, and a lot more harmful chemicals. These toxic ingredients can lead to asthma, cancer, and vision damage. It's likely that this liquid detergent will get some restrictions in the near future.
Lavender & Vanilla Xtra With Softness Of Escape Softener
Lavender and Sweet Vanilla Xtra detergent with Softness of Escape softener did not rank well with the Environmental Working Group.
Ingredients such as quaternium-15, sodium borate, and fragrance pose many health issues. These range from cancer, allergies, and reproductive and respiratory failures. These harmful chemicals are also toxic for aquatic life.
Tide Plus With A Touch Of Downy
The Environmental Working Group reported that 29 of the ingredients found in Tide Plus with A Touch of Downy liquid laundry detergent are a cause for concern for both health and the environment.
Tide doesn't list most of the harmful ingredients on the label including enzymes and biodegradable surfactants. This earned them an F rating from the EWG.
2x Ultra Ivory Snow Detergent
While new parents are encouraged to use Ivory Snow's 2x Ultra laundry detergent, they should think about other options. The Environmental Working Group gave this brand an F rating for its harmful chemicals.
It contains sodium borate, which disrupts the developmental, endocrine, and reproductive processes. This detergent is also toxic for the environment.
Fragrance-Free Babyganics 3x Detergent
With a name like Babyganics, it should be expected that their Fragrance-Free 3x laundry detergent would be safe for babies. That is not the case.
The Environmental Working Group found ingredients, such as sodium borate and methylisothiazolinone, in this detergent that cause skin irritation, allergies, and respiratory problems. Parents should consider a better detergent for their babies.
Era 2x Ultra With Oxi Booster
If you use Era 2x Ultra liquid laundry detergent with Oxi Booster, then you may need to pick a different detergent.
Some of its detrimental ingredients include sodium borate, ethanolamine, biodegradable surfactants, and enzymes. These can lead to respiratory and reproductive issues, cancer, and more. The Environmental Working Group gave it a failing score.
Ajax 2x Ultra HE Original Detergent
Toxic ingredients such as formaldehyde, synthetic colors, fragrances, methanol, and preservatives can be found inside Ajax 2x Ultra HE Original liquid laundry detergent.
According to the Environmental Working Group, these toxins can cause cancer and damage organs. While this product is affordable, it can also be destructive to the environment.
Dynamo 2x Ultra Free & Clear Detergent
There are numerous toxic chemicals inside the Dynamo 2x Ultra Free & Clear liquid laundry detergent. These range from formaldehyde, synthetic fragrances and colors, and more.
All of these chemicals can cause organ failure and cancer. Unfortunately, the detergent bottle doesn't list all of the harmful ingredients on their label.
Dreft Liquid Detergent
Most of the ingredients in Dreft liquid laundry detergent are not disclosed on the label. The Environmental Working Group found toxins such as sodium borate, fragrance, enzymes, and more.
These can cause organ failure, cancer, irritation, allergies, and respiratory issues. Since this product is advertised for newborns, parents should try and find a healthier alternative.
Tide Plus With Bleach Alternative
While Tide is one of the most popular brands of liquid laundry detergent, they may not be the safest. Tide Plus with Bleach Alternative contains toxic ingredients including sodium borate, ethanolamine, and fragrance.
Once these chemicals become airborne, they can cause allergies, asthma, organ failure, and cancer. It's important to note that not all Tide products are harmful.
Wisk High-Efficiency Detergent
According to the Environmental Working Group, Wisk High-Efficiency liquid laundry detergent received an F rating. This is because they were vague and unspecific with listing the ingredients on their label.
They were trying to not disclose the fact they were using chemicals such as polymers, fragrances, dyes, and nonionic surfactants.
Fab Ultra Spring Magic Detergent
One of the worst products for the environment is Fab Ultra Spring Magic liquid laundry detergent. It contains a carcinogen called formaldehyde, which is not eco-friendly or good for fabric.
Other ingredients such as sodium dodecylbenzene sulfonate and alcohol ethoxylates can trigger allergic reactions and negative effects in the respiratory system.
Dynamo 4x Paradise Escape
The Environmental Working Group noticed that Dynamo failed to list all of the toxic ingredients in their 4x Paradise Escape liquid laundry detergent.
Some of the worst included formaldehyde, sodium carbonate, ethoxylates, and sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate. These chemicals may cause cancer and other respiratory illnesses. The EWG gave this a failing score.
Tide With Febreze Freshness
Even though not all Tide products are dangerous, there are some that received a failing score from the Environmental Working Group. One of those was Tide with Febreze Freshness liquid laundry detergent.
The EWG found sodium borate in the detergent, which can hinder the endocrine, developmental, and reproductive systems. Also, it can damage the eyes and skin.
Cheer Bright Clean HE Detergent
Those who use Cheer Bright Clean High-Efficiency liquid laundry detergent should reconsider. This product is not suitable for laundry purposes.
The detergent is highly toxic and can lead to cancer, respiratory illnesses, endocrine issues, reproductive problems, developmental dangers, and more. The Environmental Working Group gave this Cheer detergent an F rating.
All Small & Mighty HE Fresh Rain
The ingredients found in All Small & Mighty High-Efficiency Fresh Rain liquid laundry detergent aren't exactly listed on the label. Instead, they're given more vague terms.
These include stabilizer, fabric brighteners, buffer, nonionic surfactants, anionic surfactants, and color. While these don't have any specific meaning, the Environmental Working Group discovered they can cause cancer and negative respiratory effects.
Sparkling Falls Woolite Everyday Laundry Detergent
According to the Environmental Working Group, Sparkling Falls Woolite Everyday laundry detergent is not safe for use. It contains toxic ingredients including formaldehyde, triethanolamine, and dodecyl benzenesulfonate.
These harmful chemicals can lead to respiratory issues, allergies, skin irritation, and cancer. The ingredients are also not good for the environment or clothing fabric.
Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean
While Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean is an affordable liquid laundry detergent, it is actually pretty dangerous. The Environmental Working Group gave it a failing score because of toxic substances such as sodium borate, quaternium-15, and fragrance.
These chemicals can be harmful for aquatic life, cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, and damage the nervous and respiratory systems.
Caldrea Sandalwood Riceflower Laundry Detergent
The Environmental Working Group deemed Caldrea Sandalwood Riceflower laundry detergent harmful to humans. Some toxic ingredients include sodium borate, methyliso thiazolinone, and fragrance.
Not only are these bad for overall health, but they can hurt the environment. Inhaling these toxins can lead to damage in DNA, cancer, organ failure, skin irritation, vision impairment, and much more.
Persil ProClean Power Liquid Sensitive Skin Detergent
There are some major issues to consider with Persil ProClean Power Liquid Sensitive Skin laundry detergent. This product contains sodium borate, boric acid, alcohol ethoxy sulfates, and more.
These harmful chemicals can lead to chronic aquatic toxicity, vision impairments, and damages the reproductive, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems. Many of these toxins are also bad for the environment.
Up & Up Fabric Softener Concentrated Liquid Lavender
It's sad that the makers at Up & Up failed to fully disclose the ingredients in their Fabric Softener Concentrated Liquid Lavender laundry detergent.
Up & Up keeps an unspecific description, but the Environmental Working Group realized the ingredients pose a threat to health and the environment. These health issues include asthma, respiratory illnesses, and organ failure.
Gain Liquid Detergent
Most clothing cleaners are harmful for overall health and that remains true with Gain liquid laundry detergent. Chemicals such as sodium borate are toxic.
The chemicals can lead to adverse effects on hormones, skin and eye irritation, reproductive failure, and more. Since many of the ingredients in Gain's formula are non-biodegradable, the Environmental Working Group gave them a failing score.
Xtra ScentSations Summer Fiesta Detergent
Disodium distyrlbiphenyl disulfonate, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium carbonate, and linear alkyl benzene sulfonate are just a few of the toxic substances found in Xtra ScentSations Summer Fiesta liquid laundry detergent.
These ingredients aren't good for your fabric, the environment, or your health. Cancer, vision damage, respiratory issues, and more can occur.
Worst: Up & Up Gentle Skin Cleanser
The term "gentle" shouldn't fool anyone. Up & Up Gentle Skin Cleanser contains the harmful chemical Butylparaben, a paraben. A 2016 study done by the Technical University of Denmark saw negative effects while administering the chemical to test subjects.
Their study showed that, in rats, the reproductive systems of both males and females were stalled.
Best: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Hand Soap Lemon Verbena
Mrs. Meyer's is becoming widely more popular with its use of natural ingredients. There is no "fragrance" here, only essential oils, rosemary, aloe vera, olive oil, and other plants that keep the soap smelling fresh and feeling light.
The company is very eco-friendly, with the bottles even being designed so harmful chemicals don’t expel into the product.
Worst: Dial Liquid Antibacterial Hand Soap Gold
Dial is a popular brand among consumers. Sadly, the Liquid Antibacterial Hand Soap Gold is not a hand soap people should trust. While the "fragrance" tends to be an issue for those with sensitive skin, the soap also contains Butylphenyl Methylpropianol, aka Lilial.
This ingredient is known to cause dry skin and horrible allergic reactions.
Worst: Jason Calming Lavender Hand Soap
Even though Janson markets itself as being "all-natural," that's not entirely true. Jason Calming Lavender Hand Soap contains multiple chemicals that aren’t great to put on human skin, namely Hydroxycitronellal and Lilial, commonly found in calming lavender.
Studies down in the EU found that the former chemical causes skin and eye irritation while the latter has been banned due to everything from dry skin to dermatitis.
Worst: Softsoap Aquarium
The exterior of Softsoap Aquarium might look appealing, but it isn't a great soap to use. This particular hand soap contains ingredients that aren’t great for skin, including Cocamidopropyl betaine, BHT, and SLS.
According to PubChem, "Cocamidopropyl betaine may cause allergic reactions and skin sensitivity and has been suspected to be a possible environmental toxin."
Best: ATTITUDE Baby Natural Foaming Hand Wash
One of the better hand soap brands on the market is ATTITUDE Baby Natural Foaming Hand Wash. With hypoallergenic and safe ingredients, this soap is both PETA certified, and dermatologist tested.
Great for people with sensitive skin, this soap excludes harmful ingredients such as synthetic fragrances, SLS, triclosan, formaldehyde, SLES, and more.
Worst: Softsoap Black Raspberry & Vanilla Hand Soap
For many people, Softsoap used to be a go-to brand. Now, steer clear of Softsoap Black Raspberry & Vanilla Hand Soap, as it contains harmful ingredients such as Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
According to the David Suzuki Foundation: One Nature, "Depending on manufacturing processes, Sodium Laureth Sulfate may be contaminated with measurable amounts of ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. The International Agency for Research on Cancer [considers] ethylene oxide as a known human carcinogen and 1,4-dioxane as a possible human carcinogen.
Worst: Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap In Japanese Cherry Blossom
Bath & Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Japanese Cherry Blossom might have the word "gentle" in the title, but it is anything but. This soap contains two ingredients that are linked to dryness, irritation, and contact dermatitis — Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone.
It also contains Lilial, an ingredient that is banned in the UK.
Best: Sally B's Skin Yummies Foaming Hand Soap, Unscented
Sally B's Skin Yummies Foaming Hand Soap, Unscented is known to make a product free of artificial ingredients that will irritate a person’s skin. Using all-natural organic ingredients, Sally B’s hand soap is one of the better (albeit pricey!) soaps on the market.
There are no mysterious "fragrance" chemicals found here!
Worst: Triclosan Soaps
While the ingredients triclosan and triclocarban are largely banned in the United States, they still slip into some hand soap brands, such as Dial and Softsoap. There are multiple concerns revolving around the two agents, including increased hormonal levels and skin allergies.
According to Mayo Clinic, "In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared that triclosan is not generally recognized as safe and effective for antiseptic products intended for use in health care settings."
Worst: Method Pink Grapefruit
Method Pink Grapefruit hand soap might smell nice, but there is a risk associated with the "fragrance." The company uses the blanket term, and only they know exactly what the “fragrance” ingredients entail.
This soap also contains Methylisothiazolinone. According to the International Agency of Research on Cancer, “Methylisothiazolinone is a probable human carcinogen.” This means it can potentially cause cancer.
Best: Everyone Hand Soap, Lavender + Coconut
Everyone Hand Soap, Lavender + Coconut is another brand that is making headway in the market. Eco-friendly and cruelty-free, this particular soap s completely free of phthalates, dyes, harsh chemicals, and parabens — pretty much everything linked to skin irritation!
The company makes a slew of great-smelling soaps, including Lavender + Coconut and Spearmint + Lemongrass.
Worst: Simple Pleasures Hand Soap in Coconut Lime
It might smell like summer in a bottle, but Simple Pleasures Hand Soap in Coconut Lime contains an unknown "fragrance" and Methylisothiazolinone, both of which are not great for anyone's skin.
The former contains unknown ingredients while the latter agent, according to the FDA, is known to cause numerous allergic reactions.
Worst: Softsoap Coconut & Warm Ginger Hand Soap
In any other circumstance, both coconut and ginger are great for people's immune systems and skin, just not when it comes to Softsoap Coconut & Warm Ginger Hand Soap. This hand soap contains both Sodium Laureth Sulfate and Cocamidopropyl Betaine.
According to the FDA, both of these ingredients are known skin irritants and should be avoided.
Worst: Nature's Gate Liquid Hand Soap in Oatmeal
The brand might sound legitimate, and oatmeal tends to soothe skin, but don't let Nature’s Gate Liquid Hand Soap in Oatmeal make its way into a shopping cart. This hand soap is known to contain some ingredients that may cause irritating skin reactions.
One such ingredient is sodium hydroxide, a known skin irritant that has been deemed "toxic" by government agencies in Canada.
Worst: Jergens Lotion Enriched Cream Hand Soap
For the people who trust the smooth skin that comes from Jergens Lotion Enriched Cream Hand Soap, don't. This soap contains numerous chemicals that are horrible for both the skin and a person’s immune system, namely parabens methylparaben and propylparaben.
According to PubChem, "parabens have been under close scrutiny for years because of a possible link to breast cancer. This link isn’t strongly supported, but some people still have a fear of parabens."
Worst: Bath & Body Works Deep Cleansing Hand Soaps
Bath & Body Works is notorious for its numerous fragrances, a blanket term that's never defined in its list of ingredients. If that wasn’t bad enough, the Deep Cleansing brands make micro-abrasions in the skin, allowing harmful chemicals to penetrate deeper faster.
One of these chemicals is Diazolidinyl Urea. According to ewg.org, there is strong evidence that this chemical is a human toxin and allergen.
Worst: Jergens Extra Moisturizing Cherry-Almond Hand Wash
Sadly, the popular brand of Jergens Extra Moisturizing Cherry-Almond Hand Wash is one of the worst on the market. This hand soap contains numerous chemicals that are horrible for skin allergies, including Cocamidopropyl Betaine.
According to Dermatitis medical journal, Cocamidopropyl Betaine is an allergen that has increased sensitivity in humans by 7.2% over the years.
Worst: Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Kitchen Lemon
Both "anti-bacterial" soap and a “kitchen lemon” scent are appealing to many people. But those people should think twice before purchasing Bath & Body Works Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in Kitchen Lemon.
This soap contains harmful chemicals such as Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Triethylene Glycol. A study in An Bras Dermatol states people are becoming increasingly sensitive to the former ingredient while a study in Epidemiology saw a higher rate of birth defects in mothers who've used products containing Triethylene Glycol.
Best: Be Green Bath & Body Citrus Hand & Body Soap
Be Green is a company that cares about its products, creating hand soap that is eco-friendly and good for the skin, particularly sensitive skin.
Using non-toxic and clean ingredients, people with pre-existing skin conditions don't have to worry about something like eczema getting worse because of mysterious "fragrance" chemicals in the ingredients.