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Laundry detergents

(5 Posts)
PrettyCandles Mon 10-Aug-09 23:31:43

Is there an ecological arguement for or against using a laundry powder that contains enqymes?

And what about other ecologically unsound chemicals in laundry powder? IRRC phosphates are a bad thing, but why? What else ought I to look out for?

PrettyCandles Mon 10-Aug-09 23:32:00

sorry, 'enzymes'.

Takver Tue 11-Aug-09 08:59:36

I think that the trouble with phosphates is that they are effectively a fertiliser - so they remain in the waste water, work their way through the sewage treatment systems, and lead to over-growth of algae etc in rivers where the water is discharged.

Don't know about enzymes, sorry.

PrettyCandles Wed 12-Aug-09 14:54:09

Thanks, Takver.

Any more?

lljkk Thu 13-Aug-09 16:23:54

You can wash effectively at much lower temps by using deterg with enzymes. Julia Something-or-other who writes for the Telegraph argues that the energy to heat the water has the worst impact environmentally, so reducing the temp is the highest priority.

But it depends on the energy used in manufacture, too, and I'm not sure if anybody has done a decent full analysis comparing various options.

I wonder what the degradation rate on the enzymes is? Possibly they don't persist in the environment at all.
Think about the perfumes and optical brighteners used, too, what their impact might be.
For instance, the advantages of using a cheap and cheerful Colour deterg is not using the brighteners which fade most clothes unnecessarily, probably having little perfume added to keep down costs, and lower temps as it's bio.

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