How do I know my detergent is safe to use?

With so many detergents to choose from, how can you be sure that your chosen one is safe to use? Find out how to use laundry detergent safely here.

Updated

laundry in a basket on a wooden floor

Key steps

  1. Choose a detergent which will still remove stains for short washes on cool temperatures.
  2. If you have sensitive skin, consider non-bio detergent, a milder option to biological detergents. 
  3. For best results, always use the recommended amount of detergent. Make use of the tools that come with the pack - the scoop or dosing ball, for example. 

When choosing the right washing powder, liquid, or capsule to take care of your weekly laundry you want to make sure it is the best – and safest – choice. But how?

If you experience a skin irritation after changing detergent, then discontinue use and speak to a medical professional. Switching to a hypoallergenic, non-biological detergent is recommended for those with sensitive skin.

What do I need from my laundry detergent?

Everyone’s needs are different when it comes to picking a laundry detergent, so what you should look for will vary. That said, here are a few common things to always consider:

  • Will it remove tough stains? A keen priority for mums, dads, and those with messy jobs, everyone wants their detergent to remove tough stains. Modern detergents offer great stain removal power on short washes and low temperatures: the power of Persil small & mighty even works at 30°C and helps protect fabrics so you don’t have to worry about whether Persil’s power harms clothes.
  • Do I want bio or non-bio? Not sure what the difference is? Biological – or bio – detergents contain enzymes that are particularly effective at getting rid of protein-based stains (such as egg). They’re not suitable for delicate fabrics like silk and wool though, and those with sensitive skin may also prefer a milder option: non-biological – or non-bio – detergents.
  • What type of detergent is the most efficient? Many detergents offer good value for money, no matter what format you buy it in. Check the packaging to see the number of washes you’ll get from your chosen type – the instructions will tell you how to measure a single dose but you can also read more here.
  • What about my sensitive skin? As mentioned above, those with sensitive skin may prefer to use a non-biological or hypoallergenic detergent that is free from enzymes.

How to use detergents safely

If you decide to try a new detergent then it’s important that you know how to use it safely, and correctly. The same tips can be applied to all detergent formats.

  • Always use the recommended amount. If you’ve ever asked “will Persil’s power damage my clothes” – or any other detergent for that matter – then the answer is not if you use it as directed. Always use the recommended amount to get the best results and avoid waste. Remember: laundry detergents come with handy tools to help you measure your detergent, such as scoops for washing powders and the dosing ball for liquids, so overloading your machine shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Pre-treat any tough stains before a wash. To avoid having to re-do your laundry, it can be worthwhile pre-treating stubborn stains before popping a load in the washing machine. Protein-based stains like blood or egg need to be flushed with cold water to prevent them from setting into the fabric and will respond best to a biological detergent. There’s plenty of stains you can pre-treat with the power of Persil and other detergents – browse our clothing care articles to find out how.
  • Select the right wash cycle. The care label on your clothes will tell you the maximum temperature and wash cycle you should use. If you’re not sure what the different washing symbols mean, then we can help. It’s worth remembering that some detergents also work well at lower temperatures so check the packaging to find the optimum setting.

So, there you have it – everything you need to know about choosing the right laundry detergent and making sure you’re using it safely. Now you won’t have to worry about whether your detergent is the best choice or whether Persil’s power will damage clothes.

For more information on the ingredients in products mentioned in this tip, visit What’s in Unilever Products here.

Originally published