My latest foray into fragrance free products is All Free & Clear laundry detergent.
I’m trying to cut fragrances from my life because I don’t like the idea of rubbing endocrine disruptors all over my body. (Endocrine disruptors bind to sites that hormones bind to in your body, preventing hormones from doing their job. Many chemical fragrances are believed to do just that.) With children potentially on the way in the near future in our household, I’m also hoping to lay the ground for a less chemical-filled household.
If endocrine disruptors can be bad for me, they can be especially bad for my growing children. Reports these days of burgeoning autism and ADHD rates, the early onset of puberty and increasingly common food allergies among the current generation of children is frightening. Though we don’t know for sure what’s causing all of this, a fragrance that messes with our hormones sounds like one potential culprit we can easily eliminate.
And so I’ve added detergent to my growing list of fragrance-free products. I chose All Free & Clear because it received stellar reviews on multiple Internet sites, seems to have a strong and loyal following among young parents (which suggests to me that the detergent actually works) and appears to hold up very well under scrutiny of its various ingredients.
The detergent is completely free of perfumes and dyes; is gentle on the skin (not something I’ve had issues with myself, but something that many babies apparently do); and seems to have fewer other chemicals than most detergents.
How well does it work? It’s somewhat tough for me to tell. As noted, I don’t have kids yet so I don’t have to deal with grass stains, bloody knees or deeply ingrained soil. The detergent seems to work just fine on my own clothes; I certainly haven’t noticed any difference since switching from Tide. Of course, I’m not the most attentive to these things, but if I can’t tell the difference, and there are fewer potentially harmful chemicals, then I’m all for sticking with All Free & Clear.
One note to skeptics: if you actually saw me do laundry, you’d see that I’m still using a fabric softener (Downy) that’s loaded with fragrance. Still, the fewer the better. And one of these days I’ll get around to finding a fragrance-free fabric softener too (though Downy does smell so good).