Making it Shine: Role of Plant-Based Ingredients in Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents

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Laundry is not a fun chore… well, not for most people anyway! But did you know that synthetic chemicals in some off-the-shelf liquid detergents for washing machines and cloth washing liquids can be dangerous for the environment? 

These chemicals, when released into the environment, end up polluting water bodies and damaging the stability of the soil. That is why more and more climate-conscious consumers are opting for eco-friendly laundry detergents. Such laundry detergents use plant-based ingredients that make them safe and effective! 

Why you should buy a natural laundry detergent

Like most people out there, you too must have been using a chemical liquid detergent for washing machines or otherwise. But did you know that there are many environmental benefits to using plant-based ingredients in laundry detergents

For starters, these ingredients are often more readily biodegradable than their synthetic counterparts. This means they break down more easily in the environment. This can help reduce the amount of pollution that is created when laundry detergent liquid is washed down the drain. 

The chemicals in a synthetic detergent persist in the environment for a long time. They enter natural water bodies such as rivers and lakes, causing alarming levels of water pollution and eutrophication. They harm aquatic life and even humans that come into contact with such polluted waters. 

Plant-based ingredients in laundry detergents, on the other hand, can easily break down in nature. Moreover, they are comparatively safer for the environment even in their stable form. 

Another benefit of using plant-based ingredients is that they often come from renewable and sustainable sources. This may not be the case for synthetic ingredients in conventional laundry detergents, which are occasionally petroleum-based. 

Moreover, plant-based ingredients can also be better for your laundry. These ingredients can be gentle on your clothes, helping them to last longer. Do you recall your grandmother cherishing an old sari or shawl that has been in the family for generations? Well, back in the day, knowingly or not, people used plant-based cleaners instead of detergents. This perhaps played a role in helping these precious heirlooms last for so long!

So, what's the recipe? 

A lot of thought and research goes into concocting a good plant-based organic liquid detergent. Some ingredients have a long history of being used as cleaning agents, while the cleaning properties of others are just being discovered. 

Broadly, we can say that the following are some of the most popular natural ingredients found in some of the best washing liquids for clothes: - 

  1. Soapberry: Called ritha or reetha in Hindi, soapberries come from a tree native to the Himalayas. These fruits are rich in essential oils with natural cleansing properties. They have been used as body & hair cleansers, surfactants and detergents for centuries. 
  2. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is another popular plant-based ingredient used in eco-friendly detergents. Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids that help remove sticky stains from the fibres in our clothes. Moreover, coconut lends its pleasing, tropical fragrance to freshly washed clothes. 
  3. Lemon: Lemons are a natural source of citric acid, which is a powerful cleaning agent. Lemons can be used to remove stains and odours from clothes, leaving behind a refreshing scent.
  4. Vinegar: Given its acidic character, vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Apart from removing grease and dirt, vinegar is added to natural detergents to help fight microbial build-up in dirty clothes. 
  5. Xanthan Gum: Another important ingredient in plant-based detergents, Xanthan is made by fermenting and drying carbohydrate-rich plants and leaves. Mainly added to detergents in a powder form, this gum works as an effective thickening agent and stabilizer. It helps maintain a balance in the detergent and prolong its shelf life. 
  6. Neem: The native Indian plant most often used in detergents and cleaners is Neem. When used in detergents, neem can be a great anti-microbial agent. It is also rich in saponins, a type of organic compound that helps create foam in shaken water. 

Beco's Natural Laundry Detergent Liquid has been developed by testing and combing a variety of different ingredients. The result: a coconut oil-rich, bio-enzyme detergent that is tough on stains but gentle on the environment. The natural ingredients in Beco's cloth washing liquid ensure that your clothes do not wear out even after multiple washes. It can fight up to 25 types of stains and is gentle on the skin. Shop now!

Ummm… Are these strong enough? 

Natural ingredients such as the ones listed above are fairly tried and tested. But as a user, you can still ask: How do plant-based ingredients affect the cleaning performance of natural laundry detergents?

Well, plant products that are rich in oils or have an acidic nature can effectively lift stains from any type of fabric. The natural oils in these ingredients stick to the dirt particles on our clothes and wash them away. The acid content helps remove other types of stains, microbes, and odours from dirty clothes. 

Overall, this is similar to how synthetic cleaners work on our clothes. But unlike harsh synthetic chemicals, natural ingredients work in a balanced manner, causing less harm to clothes from repeated washing. 

Moreover, the residue of some harsh cleaners can irritate our skin. Plant-based ingredients, on the other hand, are much safer for the skin. For this very reason, many young parents like to use natural detergents for washing their babies' clothes! 

But, what of my monthly budget? 

If you're trying to save money on detergent, you might be wondering if plant-based laundry detergents are costlier than their synthetic counterparts. The answer is, "it depends."

Some plant-based detergents are priced similarly to synthetic ones. However, some others are more expensive. The price difference often has to do with the quality of the ingredients. For example, some plant-based detergents use essential oils, which can be pricier than synthetic fragrances. 

Other times, the price difference is due to the concentrated nature of plant-based detergents. Because they don't have as many fillers and chemicals, plant-based detergents often come in smaller bottles. So, you can go for a bigger bottle and save on your unit cost!

At the same time, if a natural detergent helps your clothes last longer, spending a little extra on it will not hurt in the long run. Beco's Chemical free laundry detergent also provides a quality experience at a great value point. That too, all the while helping prevent the kind of environmental pollution caused by conventional detergents.

Last words

Walk into any supermarket to buy a detergent, and you're sure to be spoilt for choice. But we're confident that as a climate-conscious consumer, you will try your best to use products that are good for you and the planet. 

We hope this blog helped you get some clarity on how plant-based ingredients make the best detergent. As a last word of advice, we'd say that when using natural detergents, start with a small amount. This will not only help you test for fabric sensitivity but also allow you to find the right amount for that perfect clean wash! 

Shop for Eco-friendly products from Beco now!