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Interview: Laundry detergent myth busting with SimplyClean

In this interview, we caught up with our product partner, Huw from SimplyClean, to debunk some of the myths you need to know about laundry detergent. If you have wondered why you get white residuals on your washed clothes, or have seen words like 'natural' and 'triple action' on laundry detergent packaging, you will find out some of the facts commercial brands don't want you to know.

You may be already using and falling in love with SimplyClean's laundry powder through our refill service. If you haven’t, here’s some brief information about SimplyClean for you:

SimplyClean is proudly made in Lismore, in the beautiful Northern Rivers region of NSW. It was started by Huw and Becky (pictured) 10 years ago, when they decided to give up their corporate careers to pursue their dream to create home cleaning products that are truly healthy and eco-friendly for the Australian households and the environment.

SimplyClean’s laundry powder, which we carry in our refill service, was one of the first products Huw and Becky launched in the very beginning. Over the years, the formulation has gone through some minor changes to improve its dissolvability.

Speaking of the dissolvability of a laundry powder, and what is a truly healthy and eco-friendly product, Huw busted some common myths about laundry detergent for us:

Laundry myth #1: Laundry liquid is better than laundry powder.

A good quality laundry powder and a good quality laundry liquid will give almost the same results, but a powder will always perform better in terms of cleaning power, due to the way the ingredients behave in the mixture.

In terms of the environment, we could say that laundry powder is more efficient in terms of reducing carbon footprint. A laundry liquid is effectively various ingredients dissolved in water to allow them to come together, which means you are having to transport this extra water around the country to get it into customers’ homes.

Laundry myth #2: Laundry powder often leaves residues on washed clothes.

The residues on washed clothes are mainly caused by fillers, which are used by the supermarket big brands. They put fillers in their products to bulk them out so you need to use more and consequently will buy more.

Their recommended doses are up to 3 times as much as for our SimplyClean powder. These fillers do not help the washing process at all, they are low cost and often low quality, so they do not dissolve well. And this is why people experience residual powder left on clothes after a wash.

This residue are the fillers which also clog up the pipework in your washing machine and can cause plumbing or machine issues. With SimplyClean you will not have any residues as we are not using any fillers.

Laundry myth #3: It’s not harmful to use laundry detergents that have synthetic fragrances or other allergens.

It is not recommended, because people become allergic to things over time. The more you exposed to something, the more likely you can become allergic to it. Whilst they may not be allergic at the moment, long-term use of allergens can trigger a sensitivity or an allergic reaction. It’s best for everyone to stay away from the nasties. Always check the list of ingredients. SimplyClean products are free of allergens and toxins.

Huw’s tips: 

Look for these ingredients to avoid when purchasing a laundry detergent:

  • Synthetic fragrances (most big commercial brands have synthetic fragrances)
  • Dyes
  • Enzymes
  • Fillers. They get caught in the fabric fibres and do not rinse away, so clothes can physically scratch or chemically irritate sensitive skin.

Laundry myth #4: ‘Triple Action’ laundry detergents are the strongest.

As we mentioned about the fillers before, generally speaking, a ‘Triple Action’ product is the same product – just with less fillers. They still have some fillers, but not as much. It’s pure marketing.

Laundry myth #5: Should the scent of the detergent stay on my clothes?

If you can’t smell the fragrance after the wash, then our product and your machine are working perfectly! Remember you asked about the supermarket products that leave residual powder on clothes? Well, if the product is high quality and your machine is working well, then the powder will rinse fully away leaving NOTHING (including the fragrance), except fresh clean clothes.

In other words, there shouldn't be anything left. Because if there's a fragrance left, that means the washing machine hasn't gotten rid of everything in the wash.

I do know that people add lemon myrtle oil to the wash as well. That's fine. I mean, it's not going to do any harm. But you do have to remember if it smells, it's on your clothes. And if it's on your clothes, it's on your skin.

Our view is, whilst our laundry powder provides a beautiful smell of the lemon myrtle essential oil, it helps the wash because lemon myrtle is antibacterial and antifungal. It's helping all that. At the end of the day, you just want fresh laundry. That's all you need! 

Laundry myth #6: 'Natural' laundry detergent is good for me.

The word 'natural' does not necessarily mean healthy.

An obvious example: is cyanide healthy? It is a naturally produced poison. Is it good for you? No. So natural and healthy are not the same things. We don't focus on 'natural', because that doesn't actually tell you anything. It just tells you: it's from nature, but it doesn't always mean it's good for you, because there are lots of things which are bad for you in nature.

So what we say is, forget 'natural'. What we're interested in is healthy and environmentally friendly. Does it do harm to the environment? No. Is it healthy to humans? And is it healthy to pets? If it's a pet shampoo, for example?

How do you select and source your ingredients?

All ingredients are selected to meet our earth-safe and healthy standards. Additionally, we only use Australian grown and produced essential oils as fragrances. This is really important to us as we want to support Australian growers. The quality of Australian oils is significantly higher than imported product. Our pure lemon myrtle oil is premium food grade quality and smells divine! 

Huw and Becky’s top 3 priorities:

Healthy people, healthy environment and performance. This drives everything they do at SimplyClean.

SimplyClean x ReCo

We are proud to work with Huw and Becky to refill and deliver their beautiful products in our reusable glass containers. Learn more at: SimplyClean lemon myrtle laundry powder.

Anett Petrovics