The vast majority of detergents, particularly the brand name detergents, are not biodegrable. They contain chemicals such optical brighteners, dyes, artificial fragrances, and a number of other non-natural ingredients. You can read about this in more detail in our laundry detergent ingredients article. In general, if the ingredients contain words like “ionic and non-ionic surfactants” you can be sure it is not truly natural, eco-friendly detergent.
We can suggest several makers of biodegradable laundry detergent:
- Seventh Generation, http://www.seventhgen.com Not only do they carry several types of laundry detergent, they are also an excellent resource for learning more about laundry detergent ingredients and their effect on the environment.
- Sun and Earth, http://www.sunandearth.com Their price is quite reasonable and their products have a really nice citrus smell.
- Ecover, http://www.ecover.com
- Ecos, http://www.ecos.com
- Charlies Soap, http://www.charliesoap.com Their laundry detergent outperformed Tide in Clemson University tests.