How to Buy Laundry Detergent Q & A

Happy Friday! So, I received a few comments/questions about last week’s blog post and I thought, why don’t I make these questions & answers available to everyone! So, today’s blog post is going to delve deeper into the questions left unanswered last week.


Q: Why didn’t you include the EWG rating for all the detergents?

A: This is a great question! I actually spent a lot of time researching EWG ratings and I had a column initially in the spreadsheet. But, I found the ratings were misleading for some detergents. For example, a brand that actually had fewer & cleaner ingredients had the same rating as another detergent with many ingredients & not all clean ingredients.

Ratings are a good place to start but like with anything you can’t take it for face value. You’ve got to do more research and learn why a certain product was rated the way it was. One of the things that EWG does, that I absolutely love, is that they are very transparent on how they arrived on a rating. Each rating is broken down by a rating of the individual ingredients. When you have many ingredients (many which might be good and few that may be concerning) the average rating will still be low because it then becomes a numbers game. Click HERE to learn more about all the factors that play into the EWG rating.

EWG ratings can also be misleading sometimes because the individual ingredients may not be appropriately rated due to lack of information or research. So, again, it is a great place to start & wonderful resource but I invite you to investigate further!


Q: How do I justify the cost of a better laundry detergent?

A: First & foremost the most expensive laundry detergent does not equal the healthiest and safest. The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ doesn’t apply here. You can see on the spreadsheet there are some that are more expensive but don’t really have a reason to be. And you will also notice there are brands that are better for you and aren’t that much more expensive than the cheapest detergents on the market. Cost (maximum 36 cents more per load) can be justified two ways:

(1) It is better for your health.

To make a very complicated discussion short, basically many laundry detergents contain chemicals that have actually been identified as irritants to our body. Also, the more foreign biochemical structures (chemicals) we introduce, the harder our liver has to work. Our livers have to actively process every chemical we introduce in addition to performing all of its normal functions. By detoxing what you use in your household you are also simultaneously allowing your body to function more optimally. Cool, right?

(2) You may actually have decreased overall costs when it comes to laundry.

For example: A fabric softener, dryer sheets, bleach, stain remover and a laundry detergent all used to be laundry must haves for me. But, now I only have one or two detergents in my laundry room and no dryer sheets, fabric softener or stain remover. My overall cost for laundry products has decreased to the point where even if I pay a maximum of 36 cents more per load I am still saving money!


Q: I am new to ‘natural’ products. Where do I start?

A: Another great question that I hope to answer a bit today and more in upcoming blog posts. Where you start really depends first and foremost on your values! Read THIS blog post to learn more. If you are switching to more natural products for health reasons (which is the most common) then I urge you choose a detergent free of non-GMO’s. Going non-GMO is the probably the most important step to being more health conscious. When you choose non-GMO products, the materials are often being consciously sourced and your purchase of a non-GMO product is a way of exercising your buying power by saying ‘I choose health first.’


Q: How did you decide the best laundry detergent for your household?

A: I chose to use Molly’s Suds in my home because it was cost efficient, vegan, free of SLS, non-GMO, an environmentally conscious company and it had few ingredients with an EWG rating of A. I am considering trying The Simply Co.’s detergent next because I am interested in supporting more fair trade companies with my ‘buying power.’ You see, I've come to care about everything because from my perspective it is all important for better health. But, this is my view after 15 years of learning! So, it takes time! Be patient!


Be Radiant,

~Dr. Dimpi