Laundry detergent is one of the many things people would say are essential for daily living. Whether you’re a fan of the Tyler Diva Glamorous Wash and its luxurious fragrance, or the once-viral, iconic and convenient Tide detergent pods, we all use laundry detergent when washing our clothes.
Times are changing, though. Between rising inflation and the sustainability movement, many have been turning away from store-bought laundry detergent. Instead, people have been going the DIY-route and making their own laundry detergent to save money and be more environmentally friendly.
However, there are a lot of drawbacks to using homemade laundry detergent — some of which can lead to you spending more of your hard-earned money. Here are four reasons to continue supporting Diva wash and other consumer laundry detergents.
DIY Detergents Are Not As Effective
Homemade detergents are not as effective as store-bought detergents. This is particularly true if you use cold water to wash your clothes. The simple, affordable, and sustainable ingredients that make homemade laundry detergents great for the environment and your budget makes them ill-suited for rinsing.
This is because they don’t contain any ingredients that help hasten the rinsing process. Difficulties in rinsing your clothes means that you may need multiple rinse cycles to ensure no detergent is left on the clothes. As such, the money you saved making your own detergent might just go into paying higher utilities due to increased water and electricity usage.
DIY Detergents Can Mess Up Your Clothes
The majority of DIY washing detergents are a mixture of washing soda, borax, and shaved bar soap as a cleaning agent. However, commercial laundry detergents do not contain soap. More importantly, they do not contain any of the fats or oils found in laundry soap.
Instead, the detergents you buy contain more surfactants. The more surfactants in the detergent, the easier it is to get rid of any dirt or stains on your clothes. Surfactants also make them more water soluble.
The shaved bar soap in homemade detergents react with minerals found in hard water. Because of this, it becomes more difficult to wash out the soap, leading to unwanted soap residue. This leads to clothes yellowing, going stiff, or feeling oily due to the buildup.
Moreover, the oily residue will only attract and trap more dirt and grime — leaving you with even dirtier clothes than before.
DIY Detergents Can Ruin Washing Machines
In much the same way that homemade detergents can leave unwanted residue on your clothes, it can also leave deposits in your washing machine. If left to build up for an extended period, the residue can cause your unit to break down.
No matter how you run the numbers, the amount of money you save by making your own detergent will hardly cover the cost of either fixing or buying a new washing machine. Nor will it cover the cost of going to a laundromat regularly.
Even if your washing machine does not break down due to the soap buildup, it can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Washing your clothes in moldy washing machine interiors will transfer the spores onto your clothes and cause health issues.
DIY Detergents Are Not Tested
The DIY route can also be potentially hazardous. One of the advantages of buying laundry detergent is that the product will have undergone numerous tests before it reaches the shelf.
These tests are necessary not only for product effectiveness but, more importantly, safety. Commercially sold detergents are tested to ensure the products help remove stains and provide lasting fragrance, even if you get the dose wrong — something that you can’t always guarantee with DIY detergents.
Safety tests are also crucial to ensure the product does not harm not only your clothes, but also yourself, your kids, your pets, and your washing machine.
The Bottom Line
Any effort to go zero waste and be more sustainable by making your own cleaning products is commendable. Being able to save money by doing so makes the practice even better. But not all DIY methods are advisable — and laundry detergent falls under that category.
At the end of the day, using store-bought detergents like the Diva wash is more practical and economical. Buying commercial detergent not only gives you assurance that the product will leave your clothes looking clean and smelling fresh but also does not harm you or your washing machine.
There are many laundry detergent products that are specially formulated to be free of harsh chemicals and packaged sustainably. This will allow you to do what is best for yourself and your family while also doing your part for the environment.