Toss your detergent if it has these 5 chemicals

When Oregon inventors and chemists got together to share their stories, they realized they have something major in common: a passion for sports. With that also comes a few closets full of stinky clothes and sports gear damaged by harsh chemicals in laundry detergents. So, in a passionate (and educated) leap to create a natural, non-toxic detergent, our founders examined what made regular detergents so bad for people.   

Despite the hopeful promises of “non-toxic” and “organic” formulas on the packages, many detergents include all the nasty chemicals that clean but also damage our clothes, our skin and even heavy machinery (seriously). One study from 2011 found that the air coming out of washing machines fueled with a popular brand’s liquid detergent contained carcinogens.

It’s not enough to trust the labels on our detergent boxes, so the team at Defunkify will happily help you arm yourself with knowledge on what to avoid when buying a product. Lo and behold, 5 chemicals that your natural detergent shouldn’t have: 


In detergents, combinations of chemicals and additional fragrances can create a nice, clean smell to your clothes. The truth is, heavy perfumes actually mislead you into thinking your clothes are clean when they actually just smell incredibly well. These fragrances can be found anywhere from detergents to dryer sheets and can cause skin irritation and increased production of carcinogens.

Cleaning agents (surfactants)

Cleaning agents are usually added to the average detergents to basically clean the clothes better. Also called surfactants, some of the chemicals in this category are quaternium - 15 (a dangerous carcinogen known as formaldehyde), NPE (a major hormone disruptor) and petroleum distillates (linked to cancer).


One would think that bleach is helpful in washing our whites and removing stains either via a detergent or on its own. Unfortunately, bleach is known to cause severe irritation to the skin and eyes, as well as be one of the factors leading to kidney and liver issues.  

Phosphates & EDTA

Have you ever wondered why your clothes stay clean while being washed in dirty water? That happens thanks to phosphates and EDTA compounds, which surround the fibers in water and protect them from dirt. Simultaneously, they cause damage to the environment when entering aquatic ecosystems through the pipes.  


Brighteners do exactly what they sound like: they make our clothes brighter, whiter with more color "pop." Unfortunately, the chemicals that create this effect do so by absorbing UV light and helping our clothes look brighter. These chemicals can be benzoxazolyl, naphthotriazolystilbenes, and diaminostilbene disulfonate. The team at Defunkify prefers internal beauty in people and clothes, so our Active Wash doesn’t contain all that nonsense.  

Today’s popular detergents are mass-produced to create the appearance of “clean," but not actually make our clothes clean. Through a combination of harsh chemicals and surface effects, they carry a huge risk to our health and environment. The team at Defunkify recommends finding alternative solutions for cleaner, more natural and environmentally-friendly detergents.

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