Laundry Detergent: Seventh Generation vs Dreft –
For years, Dreft has been one of the most popular laundry detergents for babies. In doing research on the product, I found a few ingredients of concern and did not want to use a detergent with fragrance for my newborn. We use a number of the Seventh Generation products in our home and have outlined the differences in these two products.
Dreft is a scented detergent that has been marketed as a top recommended baby detergent for years. In addition to fragrance, the following ingredients in this product were of personal concern:
Propylene Glycol – According to Scorecard.org, Propylene Glycol is suspected of causing immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity, respiratory toxicity and skin or sense organ toxicity
Ethyl Alcohol – According to Scorecard.org, Ethyl Alcohol is a carcinogen, and causes developmental toxicity, endocrine toxicity, gastrointestinal and liver toxicity, neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, respiratory toxicity and skin or sense organ toxicity
No rating is provided for Dreft on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent Powder
Seventh Generation is a great line of products which we use for cleaning purposes in our home. Their products are plant based and do not contain dyes or synthetic fragrances. Note that not all of their laundry detergent products scored high (their liquid detergent contains boric acid which should be avoided) so be sure you’re choosing one that has a non-toxic rating such as this powder product. This detergent has a rating of ‘A’ (new rating scale) on the EWG Guide to Healthy Cleaning. Check out Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent on Amazon.com!
While I was pregnant and working, I tried to limit wearing “dryclean only” clothes. When I did and needed to launder, I switched to a “green” drycleaner. Traditional drycleaners wash clothes in a liquid solvent to remove stains. This solvent is typically the chemical perchloroethylene which is listed as a health and environmental hazard by the EPA. This chemical has the highest rating on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic Database (10) and both Canada and the EU have banned and/or restricted its use in cosmetics.
There are two other cleaning methods which are considered more environmentally friendly:
- Wet cleaning – uses water and mild detergents
- CO2 cleaning – uses non-toxic, liquid carbon dioxide as the cleaner as well as detergent.
The EPA has compiled a list of drycleaners who use one of these two methods so hopefully you can find a drycleaner near you!