If you’re like the 85% of Americans living in an area with hard water, keeping your laundry fresh, clean, and soft can be a challenge. The minerals in hard water can make some fabrics crunchy, while others may feel covered in a film. Even worse, the harsh chemicals in many detergents, like dyes and synthetic fragrances, can cause serious skin problems. They can also exacerbate respiratory issues and pollute the environment.

Now, lab testing has revealed that many popular detergents have unsafe levels of cancer-causing chemicals. In this article, we’ll cover what to look for to see if your laundry detergent is illegal. Plus, we’ll look at how soft water can help you avoid prolonged exposure to these toxic chemicals.

Which laundry detergents are banned?

Recently, it was revealed that some laundry detergents contain alarmingly high levels of a cancer-causing chemical called 1,4-Dioxane. Some brands that are currently banned in New York due to high levels of the toxic chemical include:

  • Arm & Hammer Clean Burst
  • Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free and Clear

Some brands that were previously tested and found to be over the legal amount of 1,4-Dioxane but later reformulated include:

  • Tide Original
  • Gain Original + Aroma Boost

Although these brands were banned on January 1, 2023, they could still be found on shelves as recently as April of this year. Currently, there are no restrictions on laundry detergents in California. But, you can still protect yourself from dangerous carcinogens by reducing the amount of detergent that stays on your clothing.

How to avoid exposure to toxic chemicals in laundry detergent by reducing buildup


Add vinegar for a squeakier clean

Reduce detergent buildup on your clothes and in your appliances by adding vinegar to your final rinse. If your clothing is crunchy, there’s a chance that you’re keeping potentially harmful chemicals on your body and in your home for extended periods of time. Add a half cup of white, distilled vinegar to your final rinse. Vinegar neutralizes the minerals in the water that prevent you from getting an effective rinse.

If you’re unsure about adding vinegar to your laundry, try running an empty load with hot water and vinegar every few weeks to break up hard water deposits in your machine.

Stick with liquid detergent

Washing your laundry with hard water already presents certain challenges, even without the danger of cancer-causing chemicals in your detergent. The minerals in hard water can make it tough to achieve a thorough clean. They may also cause a residue buildup that can damage your favorite fabrics.

When washing your clothes in hard water, it’s best to use a laundry detergent specially formulated for hard water. Look for liquid detergents with a low pH or detergents containing vinegar. Liquid detergents are more effective than powdered formulas because they leave less residue and the vinegar works hard to break down any remaining buildup.

Install a water softener

Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals by using less laundry detergent when you install a water softener. Because the absence of minerals in soft water allows for a more thorough cleaning, you only need to use ½ the amount of laundry detergent as you did before! By using less detergent when you do your laundry, you are not only saving money, but you are reducing the amount of time that potentially harmful chemicals stay on your body. While testing and legislation around toxic chemicals in laundry detergent are still evolving, installing a water softener is a great way to reduce your exposure to harmful carcinogens.

Installing a water softener can help eliminate your concerns about toxic chemicals in laundry detergent

If you’re tired of laundry detergent residue and the recent potential health risks associated, installing a high-quality water softener can eliminate these problems! A water softener removes minerals like calcium and magnesium that can leave a sticky residue on clothing. This results in a cleaner, more powerful wash. A powerful soft water clean means less detergent is required– and there’s even less detergent residue!

Celebrate CLEAN the way it’s supposed to be with softer water from CalSoft. Don’t hesitate to contact us today for a safer, fresher laundry experience.

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