Aside from all the other projects I try to cram in on snow days is catching up on laundry. MyBlogSpark a while back offered me the opportunity to check out some laundry products from Seventh Generation. I was very excited about it - I try to do as little harm to the environment as possible and avoid unnecessary chemicals while I'm at it. But did you know that the laundry detergent you may be using could contain little-known chemicals called optical brighteners? According to scientific research, these can cause allergic reactions, are toxic to small fish and other aquatic life, and can pollute your waterways. That doesn't sit so well with me - all 3 of us have quite sensitive skin anyway - especially in wintertime. And living in an area surrounded by wetlands, our house uses well water and we're not far from the ocean, I don't want to contribute to pollution.
When ultraviolet light hits optical brighteners coating your clothing, the brighteners convert UV rays into visible light to create an optical illusion. This tricks the eye into thinking the clothing is whiter and brighter, and therefore cleaner than it really is.
So how can you avoid these optical brighteners? Seventh Generation makes it easy because their laundry detergents are not only free of optical brighteners, but they´re also non-toxic . In addition, because Seventh Generation liquid laundry detergents are both hypo-allergenic and biodegradable, you can rest easy knowing you made a considerate choice for your family and the environment. MyBlogSpark allowed me to conduct my own experiment to see the difference between your current laundry detergent and Seventh Generation laundry detergent.
When washed in a conventional laundry detergent that contains optical brighteners, clothes appear to glow under a black light. When you use Seventh Generation liquid laundry products, you won´t see the same glow on your clothing.
Here are two identical organic cotton shirts before washing:
Here are the two shirts after washing (one in a conventional laundry detergent and the other in Seventh Generation laundry detergent which does not use optical brighteners)
Hm. They look the same to me...So apparently my regular laundry detergent doesn't have the optical brighteners? I held the blacklight at all sorts of angles to get it even on both shirts. I don't know for sure, but I would believe that it probably has more not so nice chemicals in it than Seventh Generation! For comparison - here's the test photo that was sent to me from MyBlogSpark / Seventh Generation:
Interesting, huh? I have to say - I like that you really only need to use a little bit of the Seventh Generation detergent because it is concentrated. And the dryer sheets seemed to work just as well as the regular ones (even if they look a little different). My clothes are clean and soft, no perfume-y smell, and there's been no skin sensitivity noticed.
Want to win your own prize pack of Seventh Generation products?
Leave me a comment about a laundry tip or your biggest laundry disaster by Friday, January 28, 2011 at 1:00 am - and I'll have the random number generator pick a winner. (Yes, that says 1 am - I want to contact the winner first thing when I get up and get their info to BlogSpark / Seventh Generation!) Make sure there's a way for me to contact you - I will need to submit your mailing address so you can get your prize. Also, if you click Here you should be able to get a $1 off coupon for Seventh Generation laundry products!
For more information about Seventh Generation laundry products, please visit www.seventhgeneration.com/no-glow, or sign up for their newsletter at http://www.seventhgeneration.com/community. Be sure to visit Seventh Generation on Facebook and on Twitter to "Like" and "Follow", so that you can keep up with the latest news from Seventh Generation.
Full Disclosure: The prize packs and information were all given to you from Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark. All opinions are my own.