I was helping a friend wash up at their house when, in some kind of clumsy freaky way, some dishwashing liquid flicked up into my eye. It instantly burned and then my eye started watering, my eyes attempt to expel the foreign liquid. I had to rush to the bathroom to splash some water into it but the harm had been done. My eye burned and even the next morning I was left rubbing it and wincing.
It really made me think - what is in those supermarket dishwashing detergents?
The first really concerning ingredient I researched was triclosan (but it is called many different names on product listings see here for further info.
This ubiquitous chemical is a chlorinated aromatic compound and is used to help reduce or prevent bacterial contamination. It's commonly added to many antibacterial soaps and body washes, toothpastes and certain cosmetics, as well as furniture, kitchenware, clothing and toys.
Recent research has shown that there are concerns about the use of triclosan in relation to thyroid and hormone function as well as its ability to interfere with muscle function. The evidence is summarised in this article.
For the skeptics amongst us, I would say this: if you can use a better version of something, at a slightly higher cost, why wouldn't you? Sure, we don't yet know the impact of a huge range of chemicals in our every day products. Further testing and research is needed. But until that time, I'm choosing more natural alternatives for my household to minimise the impact of these chemicals.
So what do we use?
We love all of the products by locals Bondi Wash. They are made using Australian bush oils like Tasmanian Pepper, Sydney Peppermint, Lemon Tea Tree oil - all independently tested for their anti-bacterial properties.
- Natural fragrances - all BONDI WASH scents are 100% pure essential oils sourced from quality suppliers
- Soap bases sourced 100% from plants which are gentle and non-toxic (derived from sugar and corn, both renewable)
- Luxurious additions to improve texture and effectiveness including sunflower seeds and aloe vera
- Natural thickeners
- Minimal preservatives - and only non-paraben ones
Importantly, none of their products contain triclosan and they're particularly concerned about triclosan's impact on our environment.
We also love The Laundress, made by two women from the rag trade in New York. Their products are all non-toxic and biodegradable and contain ingredients that are plant-derived (no animal by-products), and all are free of allergens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), petroleum, phthalates, phosphate, parabens, and chlorine bleach.