Why You Should Use a Laundry Detergent without 1 4 Dioxane

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Written By Jamila W.
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Why should you avoid laundry detergents with 1,4-dioxane? Laundry detergents made with 1,4-dioxane can affect the environment and make you sick. Some popular laundry detergents contain this chemical, and using them might be unsafe, especially if you have sensitive skin. My role here is to explain why you should use laundry detergent without 1 4-dioxane and help you make informed choices for your family’s well-being.

I am sure you are wondering why you should trust the information we share. Well, your safety is our top priority, and we want to keep you well-informed. This article covers the following topics:

  • The effects of laundry detergents with 1,4-dioxane on human health.
  • Measures you can take to stay safe.
  • Benefits of using non-toxic laundry detergents.

This blog covers the above-mentioned things, among others. Keep reading to find out more.

What Is 1,4-Dioxane?

1,4-dioxane is a clear liquid that readily mixes with water. When released, it quickly evaporates into the air. In the soil, it can easily move into the groundwater. Additionally, it rapidly breaks in the air and remains stable in water.

1,4-dioxane is primarily used as a solvent in producing pharmaceuticals and natural health products and as a stabilizer for certain harsh chemicals, like chlorinated solvents. However, 1,4-dioxane can also be present in small amounts as a trace contaminant in laundry detergents.

1,4-Dioxane is not something we can see with our eyes; we need special lab tools to detect it. Since we know that the substance can be left in laundry detergents during the production process, we must be cautious about this harmful chemical. That’s why it is advisable to avoid laundry detergents with substances that can cause allergic reactions.

There are multiple ethoxylated ingredients you should avoid:

  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl sulfate, and Sodium laurel sulfate.
  • Laureth-6 & Laureth-7.
  • C12-16 Pareth.
  • Sodium Borate and Sodium Citrate.
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG).
  • Sodium Cocoate.
  • Sodium carbonate and Sodium Percarbonate.

Why Do Brands Use 1,4-Dioxane in Making Laundry Detergents?

Conventional laundry detergents don’t add 1 4-dioxane to their detergents on purpose. It’s not meant to be in there. Instead, it can sneak in as a tiny bit when they make some of the ingredients used in laundry detergents. This happens during a process called ethoxylation.

Brands want to make good and safe laundry detergents, but sometimes, this chemical can accidentally end up in the mix. So, people need to be aware of this and choose detergents from brands that work to keep 1,4-dioxane levels low or don’t have it in their products.

Why is 1,4-Dioxane an Issue?

1,4-Dioxane is a serious concern because it can harm nature and make people unwell. It can cause various health issues, including skin irritation for people with sensitive skin and eye problems. Some rules are in place to control it, but it often ends up in consumer products. So, it’s important to be cautious to keep ourselves healthy and protect the environment.

Effects of 1 4-Dioxane Exposure

The truth is exposure to this chemical can be harmful to your health and the environment. Several things could go wrong if you keep using toxic detergents.

Skin Irritation

When 1,4-dioxane touches your skin, it can cause irritation. Your skin can become red, itchy, and uncomfortable. It’s like a skin rash, and you should avoid direct contact with it.


1,4-dioxane can be linked to cancer. When animals were studied, it showed that swallowing the chemical could cause cancer. The studies found that it raised the chances of getting tumors in the nose, liver, and gallbladder.

Because of these studies, the National Toxicology and EPA Safer Choice Program believe that 1,4-dioxane is likely to cause cancer in humans, no matter how they come into contact with it.


Exposure to a lot of 1,4-dioxane can harm your body in various ways. It’s been linked to problems in the liver and kidneys when people are exposed to large amounts. In animal studies, even brief contact with very high levels of this chemical led to organ failure and sometimes death. If exposed to it over a long time, like through contaminated water or by touching your skin, it can still hurt your liver and kidneys.

1,4-dioxane has also been connected to issues with reproduction. Animal studies suggest that when moms-to-be are exposed to it, it can harm the developing baby. In California, it’s listed as a chemical known or suspected to cause congenital disabilities under Proposition 65. Some research even hints at a link between 1,4-dioxane and problems like miscarriages and stillbirths when people have jobs involving various chemicals, including 1,4-dioxane. However, the exact role of this chemical in those issues isn’t fully understood.

Additionally, 1,4-dioxane is known to be harmful to cells, which is what we mean by “cytotoxicity.” This means it can damage or kill cells in your body.

Breathing Problems

Breathing in air with 1,4-dioxane can lead to feeling unwell. You might experience symptoms like headaches and dizziness. It’s essential to avoid breathing in this chemical to prevent respiratory issues.

Solutions to Avoid 1,4-Dioxane

The good news is that non-toxic laundry detergents are safer for you and the environment. These options are more environmentally friendly and release less harmful chemicals that can harm you. Making the right choice is simpler than you think. Consider doing the following:

  • Read Product Labels: Check product labels like on liquid laundry detergents, laundry soap, and personal care items. Look for words like “1,4-dioxane-free” or “non-toxic laundry detergent.” Choose products with these labels, which are less likely to have toxic chemicals.
  • Choose Trusted Brands: Pick your laundry products from well-known brands committed to not using toxic chemicals in their manufacturing process. These companies often pay attention to the chemicals they use.
  • Use Homemade Products: You can make your own non-toxic laundry detergent using simple, safe things like baking soda, coconut oil, natural fragrances, vinegar, lavender essential oil, or mild soap. Homemade cleaning products are safe and work with both cold and warm water. You can use these non-toxic laundry detergents on washing machines.
  • Check Online Resources: Some websites and groups share info about the safety of laundry products. The products might be ranked based on their safety, which can help you choose the one that best suits you.
  • Use Natural Products: Look for things that say “natural” or “eco-friendly laundry detergent.” These often have fewer harmful chemicals and synthetic fragrances in them.
  • Follow Dosage Instructions: Use the right amount of laundry Detergent or product as mentioned on the label, especially in a high-efficiency washing machine. This helps you reduce waste and lowers your exposure to chemicals.

Must Know Facts About 1 4-Dioxane Detergents

To make the best choice for your family, it’s important to understand some of the small details about 1,4-dioxane and detergents. We’ll explain these details so you can make an informed decision.

  • Detergent Ingredients: Check the Detergent’s list of ingredients. Some contain things like sodium laureth sulfate that might have 1,4-dioxane. This can help you figure out if the Detergent could have it.
  • Environmental Impact: Think about how the toxic laundry Detergent can affect nature. The toxin can stick around in water, so picking a non-toxic laundry detergent can be better for the environment.
  • Health Concerns: Be aware of the possible health problems linked to 1,4-dioxane, like cancer. Be careful if you see this chemical in a product.
  • Rules and Laws: Learn about the rules in your area that say how much 1,4-dioxane is allowed in products. These rules can be different in different places.
  • Other Options: Look for different products that don’t have 1,4-dioxane or an eco-friendly laundry detergent.
  • Do It Yourself (DIY): Make your own non-toxic laundry Detergent using simple and safe ingredients. That way, you have more control over what you use.

Using Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent: The Best Way to Prevent 1,4 Dioxane Exposure

Reducing exposure levels starts with you, and non-toxic laundry detergents take you a step closer. Consider switching to non-toxic laundry detergent to prevent exposure to the harmful chemical. These detergents don’t have 1,4-dioxane and other toxic chemicals, making them safer for your health and the environment. Look for those labeled as “1,4-dioxane-free” or “non-toxic” whenever you shop for laundry products.

Non-toxic laundry detergents clean your clothes effectively without the added risk of harmful chemicals, promoting a safer and more eco-friendly way of doing your laundry.


Staying away from laundry detergents with 1,4-dioxane is the right move to keep your family and the environment safe. We’ve talked about the issue, what could happen if you use these detergents, and the better options available to you.

Now that you know why it’s important to avoid these detergents, it’s time to take action. Consider doing your own research on detergents and switch to safer alternatives. Your family’s health and the environment will be better off for it.