Effectiveness of Alternative Washing Detergents Using Readily Available Household Products
Natalie Yeo (L)
Yap Ching Yit
CHIJ St.Nicholas Girls’ Secondary School
Ever since the first synthetic detergents were developed following World War I, chemical detergent has become a household necessity. There are various types of laundry detergents.However, most of them cause severe harm to the environment, as well as human beings. According to Stumm, W (1985), soaps and detergents belong to the category of mass-produced chemical substances. Worldwide, the thirty million tons produced each year pose substantial potential for harm to the aquatic environment. Cemal et al. (2008) said oil and detergent pollutions are a problem in the last decade. It contains almost thousand components which are aliphatic and aromatic. Especially aromatic compounds are very toxic for biota and habitat. Something as ordinary as cleaning your clothes in a washing machine can have serious repercussions. In fact, many of them contain cancer-causing chemicals and other toxins. One such common chemical found in laundry detergent are petroleum distillates, or napthas. It has been linked to cancer, lung damage and/or inflammation, and mucous membrane damage. Olson, W et al(1994) said that many groups and agencies promotethe use of alternative household cleaners because of the belief that they are environmentally preferable to commercially formulated hardsurface cleaners. These alternative cleaners include food products such as vinegar or baking soda.
Townsend, J (2007) mentioned that vinegar has versatile properties which can remove stains from many types of fabric. Baking soda is a leavening agent, enabling it to remove stains too, as stated by Lansky, V (2005). Lemon juice is natural and it contains citrus juice which not only removes stains, but also whitens the white clothes.
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