Harmful Chemicals Found In Detergents

If you’ve ever been to a Laundromat, you’re probably familiar with the strong smell that lingers there—some like it, some don’t—it’s detergent. You might not know this but this is the smell of toxic chemicals that are found in detergents. This fact was uncovered back in 2008, when team of researchers from University of Washington found traces of toxic substances in laundry products.

It created a huge uproar at the time and since then people have turned to environmentally friendly products to meet their needs.

Chemicals Found In Laundry Products

The research had been conducted on a detergent, fabric softener and a dryer sheet and the results showed that the six products released around 100 organic compounds that had not been mentioned on the label. Some of these products even emitted carcinogenic compounds.
Let’s now take a look at some of the chemicals that had been discovered in these products and how they can affect your health:


Some people use bleach separately whereas others use it along with detergents. It has been known to cause eye and skin irritation. Furthermore, when it comes in contact with wastewater, it produces a toxic compound, which leads to respiratory and liver problems.

Cleaning Agents

There are different cleaning agents added to the product for better results. These include quaternium -15, diethanolamine and non-phenol ethoxylate.
All of these chemicals lead to serious health problems, which include eye irritations, liver problems, cancer, and environmental damage.


Manufacturers add various chemicals in detergents in order to make them smell better. The idea is to create a perception that the clothes are clean since they smell nice.
This also gives them an excuse to not mention the list of chemicals on the label. This is dangerous because some of these chemicals are toxic and can lead to serious health problems.


Stabilizers help manufacturers boost shelf lives for detergents. Some examples of these chemicals include polyalkylene oxide and ethylene oxide. These chemicals have been linked to issues like dermatitis in the past as well.


In some states, the water in supply lines is hard and therefore, people need a stronger detergent to clean their clothes. This is why manufacturers add phosphate to detergents.
Like other chemicals on the list, these chemicals too are attached to environment damage. What’s worse is that they are not biodegradable.
You might think, “What are the alternatives to detergents?”
We would say that you get in touch with a professional dry cleaning company like NY Organic Dry Cleaners. We offer organic dry cleaning services. In addition to that, we also offer additional services like custom tailoring and alterations. Contact us at 718-459-7770 to avail our services.