Bucato_cielo_bluMany wonder: “At last, what is the difference between common and ecological laundry…?” Differences exist and, to make the best choice, it is recommended to analyse every aspect: there are pros and cons, the trick is to figure out which aspect is really a “pro” and which is a “con”, according to one’s point of view.

Let us see Bensos’ opinion:

“Non-eco” products PROs CONs
Optical brighteners and blue dyes
Bright fluorescent whitening, stains covering Brightening and covering go disappearing, replaced by a diffuse yellowing over time; optical brighteners are not biodegradable; in addition they are long-term toxic. Blue dyes are a kind of textile dyes, which may show long-term toxicity and cause allergies.
Enzymes
Particularly efficient against some stains They are strong allergens. The safety of the most common enzyme used in detergency (a protease) is unclear and questionable.
Fragrance
Laundry perfumes strongly and for a long time Common products fragrances are studied and intended to be persistent; often they contain allergens. Mainstream ecological products contain essential oils, showing long-term toxicities.
Chemical bleaching
Present in powder detergents and additives Effectiveness is strongly reduced by other ingredients, which act as “interfering agents”. Some products yet show sodium perborate as an ingredient, but it is repro-toxic against mammals.
Surfactants
Good efficacy, since 2005 only easily biodegradable ones are allowed (Reg 648/2004/CE) Many of them are highly toxic for aquatic organisms. Some show concerning long-term toxicities.
Sequestering agents
They lower washing water hardness, enhancing detergent efficacy Generally not biodegradable. Many of them show concerning long-term toxicities.
Dyes
Generally not biodegradable. Many of them show concerning long-term toxicities.
Preservatives
They provide conservation, protecting the product from microbes attacks. Many of them are not biodegradable. Most show concerning long-term toxicities. Some are strong allergens.

The presence of interfering agents into non-ecological bleaching powder mixtures was revealed during an interesting investigation, carried out by a Padua University near-graduate student, under the direction of Prof. M. Carraro together with Dr.ssa S. Palladini. Interfering agents lead to a marked decrease of efficacy, compared to pure sodium percarbonate.

Here are Bensos’ ecological laundry detergents pros and cons:

Bensos’ ecological products PROs CONs
Optical brighteners and blue dyes
Missing; they are replaced by chemical bleach Whitening is not so bright, some stains must be pre-treated.
Enzymes
Missing, as they are strong allergens Some particular stains may be difficult to be removed.
Fragrance
Missing, to be added separately (hypoallergenic fragrance) The perfume, intended not to be persistent, disappears after few hours.
Chemical bleaching
Perfectly efficient, as interfering agents are totally missing.
Surfactants
Good efficacy, no long-term toxicity. Since 2005 only easily biodegradable ones are allowed (Reg 648/2004/CE).
Sequestering agents
They lower washing water hardness, enhancing detergent efficacy. They are easily biodegradable and non-toxic.
Dyes
Missing
Preservatives
They provide conservation, protecting the product from microbes attacks. They are easily biodegradable and non-toxic. They are dosed with the aim to preserve only the concentrated product, they do not work if the product is diluted and then stored for many days.

Bensos makes only very ecological products, with neither allergens nor dyes, nor long-term toxic substances, to care for the consumers’ and Bensos’ workers’ health.

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