The green movement gains strength everyday and makes finding an eco friendly cleaner easier for the average consumer. Traditional laundry detergents have come under fire in recent years for some of the harmful ingredients they use to get your clothes clean and green companies are coming up with solutions. Below are 5 easy tips for finding a eco friendly cleaner to replace your traditional laundry detergent.

1. Ingredients are of utmost importance. In order to qualify as an eco friendly cleaner, the detergent must not contain ingredients harmful to the earth. Phosphates, which can cause massive algal blooms in waterways that mess with ecosystems by robbing the water and aquatic life of all-important oxygen, have all but been removed from laundry detergents. Obviously any eco friendly cleaner worth its weight in dirty clothes will be free of phosphates, chlorine, petroleum chemicals, but as always make sure you check the label.

Unfortunately the burden of finding product ingredients often falls to the consumer as many large companies frequently choose not to list all product ingredients. A more complete list of contents can often be found by calling the toll free information number usually found on the product label.

2. Make sure the eco friendly cleaner you’re contemplating is both septic safe and gray water safe. It should also be 100 percent biodegradable and contain only nonpolluting ingredients, especially the surfactants (agents used for wetting and cleaning and contained in all laundry detergents).

3. A true eco friendly cleaner will have a neutral pH balance. The rating of 7 is generally considered a neutral pH. A neutral pH is generally kinder to sensitive skins.

4. The detergent should be plant-based as well. An eco friendly cleaner derived from plants will contain no hazardous chemicals or petroleum constituents and they are also more friendly to allergy prone people.

5. An eco friendly cleaner is most often available in concentrated form. By removing excess amounts of needless water, the green cleaners reduce the weight and therefore the cost of shipping and packaging. This cost saving can then hopefully be passed along to the consumer.

6. No animal testing or animal ingredients are ever used on an eco friendly cleaner.

But how does an eco friendly cleaner compare to your regular laundry detergent? The answer is, very well. The results of course will vary depending on what your wash requirements are, but some of the earth friendly manufacturers like Seventh Generation and Ecover produce laundry detergents that clean equally if not better than their non-eco friendly cleaner competition.

The industrys direction in recent years has been toward green products, not away and this trend will only help to create better, less expensive, eco friendly cleaners in the future.

Still not sure the best way to go green in your laundry room? Take advantage of Keith’s decade long examination of all things green and take a look at some more eco friendly cleaners [] for your laundry room.

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