This article is going to focus on how products regulations, consumer pressure and environmental issues changed the nature of detergents for the better.
Cleaning products and detergents have certainly seen a lot of changes throughout the years. Ever since the terms “green cleaning” and “environment-aware” were created, perhaps around the 1970s, there has been a shift in ingredients in commercial cleaners and, most of all, detergents.
Back in 1960s it was found out that surfactants and phosphates typically included in detergents were the main culprits for the death of aquatic plants, dolphins and fish as well as the reason that marine and fresh water was damaged. This called for stronger and progressive regulation of said ingredients. It all started out in Italy. In 1980s they eliminated the use of phosphates in detergents and cleaning products. The European Union offered biodegradability regulation in 2004. Australia itself embraced the production of phosphate-free detergents about three years ago.
The introduction of the regulation led to the development of the so-called “green” cleaning brands. They offered improved versions of existing detergents. This also resulted in the creation of new detergents that offered a few advantages such as being inexpensive and able to wash at lower temperatures as well as being more environmentally-friendly. Professional cleaning companies like CleanStart Cleaning NW2 are using eco-friendly cleaning products as they are saver for the health of their clients as well.
Another factor that influenced the production of detergents was the concept of the carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is in general all the greenhouse gas emissions that a person, product, event or organization can cause. Since some chemicals in detergents were toxic, they increased the carbon footprint. Being fully aware of that, some laundry detergent brands came up with concentrated products that came in smaller packages and therefore cut transportation, which also helped to reduce carbon footprint.
Interestingly, manufacturers shifted their focus too. They no longer lured purchasers into buying their products because they did better than other products; on the contrary, manufacturers were trying to explain the environmental benefits of their products to consumers.
Nowadays, laundry businesses are demanded to opt for detergents that are made from vegetable-based ingredients and that are phosphate-free and biodegradable. The reason for this is that it is better for the skin and also for the planet.
One company that has been focusing on improving its laundry detergents in terms of safety and efficiency is Xeros. They have a revolutionary laundering system in which recyclable polymer beads are used in lieu of water. The best thing about them is that they can be used a number of times before they need replacement. Another important aspect of their laundering system is that unlike other laundering systems it does not require the use of huge amounts of detergents which produces less effluent and therefore less pollution. In fact their system cuts down the use of detergent by 50 per cent. Yet another benefit is that clothes can be washed at low temperatures.
Considering that science will keep improving and the needs of society will change according to environmental issues that will arise, the nature of detergents will inevitably continue to change. It is up to us, the citizens of the planet, to protect what we have. It is our responsibility to invent new technologies that will reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse gases or to stop using harmful substances in our daily lives. Cleaning products and detergents are a good start.