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Question from Janel Tenerelli

Hi Again,

Thank you for your answer and other readers responses about affordable laundry detergent! I came across a new detergent and would like your input here…Arm & Hammer Essentials Detergent. The ingredients listed on the bottle are:

You can purchase this detergent at any grocery store and it is just as affordable as any other detergent on the shelves. My question is just how safe is it? Since I wrote to you the first time, I have been purchasing 7th Generation, Ecover and Charlie’s Soap. Would you know if this Arm & Hammer detergent is just as safe to use as one of the ones I now use…it certainly would be easier on my pocket!

Thank you for such a great website and newsletter!

Debra’s Answer

While searching for their website (apparently this product doesn’t have a website yet…) I found ARM & HAMMER ESSENTIALS described as “a concentrated liquid laundry detergent formulated with plant-based soaps and containing no dyes, phosphates or bleaches.”

She then gave Seventh Generation’s ingredient list for comparison:

Coconut-based surfactants, Non-animal derived enzymes, Natural water softener and alkalinity builder (borax), agent to wash away soils (sodium gluconate), Viscosity control agent (table salt), Natural fragrance (citrus oil), Preservative (less than 0.05%), Water.

They look pretty similar to me. I would classify this new Arm & Hammer Essentials Laundry Detergent as “natural”, but for the moment I’d watch out for the fragrance (since I haven’t actually used this product myself. Maybe one of you will write in and let the rest of us know about the scent issue.

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