Are Your Laundry Products Safe?

For years, conventional laundry detergent companies have proudly exclaimed that their products will keep your whites and colours their brightest. The ‘magical’ ingredient that makes it all possible are optical brighteners. The main goal of these chemicals is to make fabrics appear to be cleaner and brighter.

So how do these optical brighteners work and what are the ramifications of use for you, your family and the environment?

How do Optical Brighteners work?

These chemical enhancements utilise the UV light and transform it to enhance the blue light, and in doing so reduce the natural yellowing of your white fabrics over time. This then makes the fabric appear whiter, brighter and cleaner. If you were to look at your clothes and your sheets, towels etc under a black light they will appear to glow – this is the optical brighteners at work. Remember your laundry only appears to be cleaner – it’s not actually any cleaner.

Are Optical Brighteners Safe for My Family?

To accomplish this illusion, the chemical must remain on the fabric after washing. This means that you have a chemical coming into contact with your skin 24/7 and raises the possibility of skin sensitivities and rashes. Many times, a dye or fragrance is thought to be the source of an allergic reaction, but there is a good chance that the optical brightener is to blame.

According to the article “Key Characteristics of Laundry Detergents” by Design for the Environment (DFE), an EPA partnership program, optical brighteners may be potentially toxic to humans and “Aminotriazine- or stilbene-based whiteners…may cause developmental and reproductive effects.” More research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of exposure to these types of chemicals. But needless to say, if you don’t need them in your detergent, why put yourself at risk for possible problems and complications?


What about Environmental Effects?

Optical Brighteners are not biodegradable, so when they enter our water system they pose a potential hazard to aquatic life. This pollution remains in wastewater for long periods of time, negatively affecting water quality and animal and plant life. Optical brighteners have also been shown to cause mutations in bacteria.

Unfortunately, Optical Brighteners are just one of the many potentially harmful ingredients in a number of laundry detergent brands. Among other considerations when choosing a laundry liquid or powder for your family is to find one that is free from: dyes, phosphates and enzymes.

  • Is your detergent 100% and rapidly biodegradable?
  • Does it work in soft and hard water?
  • Is it naturally scented with organic essential oils?
  • Does it contain fillers?

There’s plenty of ‘green’ laundry and household cleaning products out there, but there are many definitions of ‘green’.

Read your ingredients, a reputable company will disclose ALL ingredients on the bottle. A little research will go a long way in helping you make a truly safe and eco-friendly, skin-friendly choice for you, your family and our environment.

Sonett since 1977
biodynamic | organic | wild harvested

Ecological, effective and economical household cleaning

Caring and feeling responsible for water as the essence of all life, made Sonett come into life. By using 100% rapidly biodegradable raw materials such as purely plant-derived soaps, sugar surfactants and minerals such as sodium carbonate and silicates, we increase the washing performance of the water, and at the same time fostering its being returned to and reintegrated into the natural cycle.

We consider it our task to do the laundry and household cleaning in harmony with nature, and especially with the water, in a considerate and revitalising way.

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9 Items You Shouldn’t Put In The Dryer


The clothes dryer offers convenience but it can damage some garments. Here are some items to avoid throwing in the dryer.



Lace, clasps, straps, padding, under-wiring, camisoles… dryers aren’t kind to undies or any elasticity. Air drying is a must.



Swimsuits are easily damaged in the dryer. Hang them on a washing line instead, they dry in minutes anyway.


Pantyhose, tights & leggings

Tights are notorious for shrinking in the dryer.


Delicates – Silk, wool, rayon/viscose

Hand wash or use the delicates cycle on your washing machine and wash with gentle Olive Liquid Laundry for Wool & Silk, which maintains elasticity, and with its high-grade pressed olive oil soap, it provides outstanding cleansing properties that are nurturing for woollen and silk fabrics and restore their protective hydrolipidic film


Sportswear & activewear

Laundry Liquid Colour Mint & Lemon is recommended for outdoor apparel, sportswear and activewear. Dryers are too harsh for fabrics containing elasticity.

Sequins or any other embellishments

Way too delicate for the dryer. Best dried and stored flat too, because the weight of embellishments can stretch fabric.


Trainers, casual shoes

No for the dryer, stuff them with newspaper and dry them in the hot water cupboard.

Rubber backed bathroom mats

The rubber won’t stand up to the intense heat of a dryer, and overheating could occur.

Care tag instructions

Anything that says no dryer on the care tag. It may sound obvious, but not everyone remembers to check care tags.


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Tips to make your lingerie last longer

TLC for your lingerie!

These tips will ensure your lingerie is cared for and lasts longer…

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1. The perfect fit goes a long way for a long life

Buy the correct size undies and get professionally fitted for your correct bra size regularly, because your shape changes. A bra in the correct size will last longer as the garment isn’t overstressed.

If wires are popping through quickly or the bra cup too saggy, you’re likely to be wearing the wrong size.

Check the basics:

– Wires must not be digging into breast flesh

– Bra band so tight you can’t breathe

– No double-boob action

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2. Give your bras a spacious home

For all moulded cups, the best way to store your bras is to lay them flat in a drawer which will protect the integrity of the cup shape.

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3. Avoid

Fabric softener is not your lingerie’s friend. It reduces the elasticity of your knickers and bras. It causes the lycra content to perish more quickly leaving those tiny white pieces of broken lycra showing on the wings of the bra.

Don’t use the dryer – it’s bra and undies suicide. The wires will start to pop out, the fabric will fray and they’ll lose their shape. Lingerie needs to hair dry, hang lingerie on a drying rack or even better able to dry flat, or a rail over the bath, indoors, if dried outside keep well away from direct sunlight.

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4. Washing

Secure the hooks and eyes at the back of your bra, this will stop them getting caught in your washing machine or damaging that beautiful silk top you just bought.

Never, ever wash undies with jeans etc, keep your delicates wash separate.

Use gentle and effective Sonett Olive Liquid Laundry for Wool & Silk (also available in Neutral which is free from natural essential oils) as it’s gentle on fabric and protects elasticity.

Only use the delicates wash cycle up to 30 degrees and also use a delicates laundry bag (or a pillowslip) which ensures your lingerie is treated with care.

The ultimate in long lasting care, is of course to hand wash. Hand washing isn’t so bad, I just use a small squeeze of Olive Liquid Laundry for Wool & Silk in a bucket with lukewarm water, pop in bras and undies, swish around, leave for around 30 minutes, do another swish around, then rinse a couple of times.

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5. Wear and tear

If you’re wearing the same one or two bras all the time then buy more of those exact bras. Better to be rotating 4 bras per week than thrashing those two comfy ones.

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