There is a great review of six green laundry detergents on Grist.org by Sarah van Schagen that I am using as my guide du jour for going green with my laundry. One very important note that she makes is use a pre-wash stain remover like vinegar or club soda.
Right now I am using Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent which does a nice job of getting my laundry clean and fresh. The ingredients are pretty safe looking:
Ingredients: A low-foaming blend of naturally derived cleaning agents (coconut-derived surfactants, glycerin), natural water softeners, alkalinity builders, anti-redeposition agents (sodium citrate, borax), non-animal derived enzymes to remove protein and starch stains and protect fabrics, plant derived anti-foaming agents (glycerol monooleate, oleic acid), cleaning enhancer (calcium chloride), preservative (less than 0.05 percent), water.
After doing my laundry I do a quick rinse of the washer with a cup of NixallTM to get rid of any e-coli, salmonella, and other bad pathogens that may have been in the wash. This disinfects the inside of the machine and all of the plumbing so everything is clean and safe for the next bout of laundry. Doing this has also removed that mildewy smell that seemed to hang around our front loading washer.
Check out Sarah’s post and learn more about green laundry detergents! And please comment here if you have any ideas or recommendations, we are eager to learn and grow as we travel down the Road to Green!