There are many things that one needs to consider when buying detergents for their laundry. The detergent has to be effective; that is, it should work well for all sorts of stains and dirt on your clothes. A good detergent should also be easy to use, and it should not harm your skin if it accidentally comes in contact with your hands. And finally, it should do no harm to the environment.
Liquid Versus Sheets
Many people are now experimenting with laundry detergent sheets instead of their liquid counterparts. These paper-based cleaning agents are seen as an alternative to the traditional liquids and powders that are used for cleaning garments.
These sheets are pieces of paper that have concentrated detergents affixed to them with the help of resins. However, most of these use different cleaning agents (natural/ plant-based agents) instead of the dioxane and sodium Laureth solutions that traditional soaps and powders use. This article compares the efficiency of these detergent-affixed papers vis-a-vis traditional liquid detergents.
Should You Use Detergent Sheets Or Liquid Detergents
Effectivity As A Cleaning Agent
The cleaning ability is the most crucial criterion when choosing a detergent. Most liquid cleaning agents do not fade color and clean garments adequately well. These agents are capable of removing most regular stains that we get on our clothes in our everyday life. Most of these solutions use fat emulsifiers (components that break fats) to remove stains.
Detergent sheets are also quite effective in cleaning, and most of them use plant-based or natural stain removal agents, which are less harsh on the fabrics of your garment. Plant-based agents are natural surfactants; these surfactants reduce the surface tension of water and aid in cleaning. Many of these sheets also use plant enzymes that break down fat particles deposited on clothes.
Thus, liquid cleaning agents and sheets might be similar in terms of cleaning efficiency, but your garments may last longer if you are using the paper-based detergents.
Ease Of Usage
Although the efficiency of cleaning is the most important criterion for buying a detergent, the ease of usage also matters.
With liquid cleaning agents, you have to know what amount of liquid you should add depending on the weight and stain on the garment. An experienced person may have no problem with this, but if you are young or new to cleaning, you might use more liquid than what is needed.
However, with sheets, the packet specifies the weight of clothes that a single sheet can wash. Also, these are simpler to use; they cannot create a mess even if you drop a sheet by mistake. The cleaning solution affixed on the sheets also dissolves readily within a matter of seconds; hence you will not have to wait for long to get your laundry done.
Again, sheets come in compact packets, and these are easy to carry for travel purposes as compared to a bottle of liquid. They can be used for all sorts of washing machines. So you can easily replace your liquid stain removers with sheet-based ones irrespective of the type (front or top load) of the washing machine that you have at your place.
Gentle On The Hands
The liquid that you use for washing inevitably ends up touching your hand in some way or the other. So it is vital that the solution is not harmful to your skin. But the chemicals used in traditional cleaning agents have dioxanes that can easily penetrate the surface of the skin.
Moreover, dioxanes can enter the body via inhalation as well. They are harmful chemicals and are known to cause problems with the immune system of their body. They are also not safe for young children as they can cause developmental disorders. So if you have kids at home, you would definitely want to make a switch towards plant-based cleaning agents or sheets where the chances of skin contact are minimum.
Fragrance On The Clothes
A cleaning agent also needs to add a good fragrance to clothes. Most of your clothes begin to stink after you have worn them for a few hours. This is because bacteria in the human body make sweat smell bad. So the fabric of the clothes also absorbs the sweat and begins to give off a foul odor.
Paper-based cleaners, as well as liquid cleaning agents, give a pleasant smell to clothes and if you are replacing a liquid detergent with a paper-based one, then you need not worry about the fragrance on your clothes.
Environmental Concerns And Sustainability Of Solution-Based Cleaning Agents
One of the biggest plus points of using paper-based stain-removers over liquid cleaning agents is that the former is great for the environment. Liquid cleaning solutions contain many harmful chemicals that harm the environment.
The water that you use for washing your clothes ultimately lands up the lakes and rivers in your city. The phosphates present in the liquid detergents are harmful to aquatic life. When the runoff from your laundry lands up in a river, then the phosphates in them cause algae-like creatures to overgrow in the waterbody. The excessive growth of algae-like creatures deprives the other aquatic organisms of oxygen, causing them to die quickly.
Again the container that holds the liquid detergent is made up of plastic. Plastics are used for making containers because they are good for packaging purposes, but plastics take hundreds of years to degrade naturally. Plastic containers thrown away casually may land in the oceans or at garbage dumping sites.
At garbage dumping sites, plastics are eaten up by cattle. Again, in the ocean, the discarded plastic lands in the stomach of aquatic animals. But paper-based stain removers are packaged in eco-friendly packing.
So if you want your laundry practices to be environmentally sustainable, then you should definitely go for paper-based cleaners over solution-like detergents.
Many people are making a change in their laundry routine and are moving towards eco-friendly options like paper-based stain removers. If you, too, want to change the way in which you do your laundry, you can give paper-based stain removers a try for some time before replacing your old detergents for good.