Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Laundry Product?

This laundry detergent is not new. It's been on the market for awhile. The company that makes it, method, is coming out with a new laundry product and Mom is dying to know all about it.

Today while I was reading a green business blog, I came across an article that asked companies which green initiatives they are most excited about for 2010. One of the companies asked was method and this is what their co-founder and chief greenskeeper Adam Lowry had to say:

"Our revolutionary new laundry product, which launches on January 11th. The product is the purest expression, not just of method's greenness, but of our ability to delight people with truly amazing product experiences. I can't share the details quite yet, but this product is going to shake up the laundry category in a big way. It is the most innovative and green product we have developed to date."

Mom could hardly contain herself as she leaned over my shoulder reading this. What could it be? How could a product shake up the laundry category and why do I have to wait to find out? Of course I couldn't answer these questions so I told her to ask Puglet's friend Google.
I'm sorry to say that Google wasn't any help. Sorry Puglet but your friend doesn't know everything. I told Mom to sit back, relax, and let me take over the computer so that I could get to the bottom of this.

Mom doesn't use method laundry detergent. I'm not sure why but she doesn't. She has been using Vaska which she got from Alice a couple of months ago. She really likes it but says that it shouldn't be used on laundry that has really tough stains. That being said, she bought a bottle of the detergent she used to use, Ecos by Earth Friendly Products last week. Ecos has a GoodGuide overall rating of 7.9 with a health rating of 8.0. Vaska has not been added to GoodGuide yet but Mom is hopeful it will be on there soon with a great rating.

Back to method. Mom has purchased and used their liquid hand soap. She liked it so I decided to look into their current laundry products. The Squeaky Green Laundry detergent you see at the top of this post is the product that I decided to check out.

The method website had lots to say about this detergent and it sounded really good on the surface. The detergent is biodegradable and the formula is plant based, phosphate free, dye free and hypo-allergenic. There's even a link on the detergent page to 'find out what it's made of' which of course I had to click. The list of ingredients had one little item that disturbed me - fragrance oil blend. Hmmm. Time to click on the 'want to go deeper on the ingredients below?' link. Every ingredient in the detergent is listed here with a description of what it is and it's health & environmental summary. Listed second to the last of ingredients was the fragrance oil blend which is made from partially synthetic ingredients. Why do products need to use synthetic ingredients? They don't, do they? Why does method use them? Good question.

After checking out the method website I headed over to GoodGuide to see what they had to say about the detergent. Mom and I use GoodGuide all the time and Mom loves the scanner feature on the iphone app. Since GoodGuide is a work in progress, it doesn't contain every product in all the stores Mom shops at, but since method is a pretty popular brand I guessed they would have a rating for the detergent.

The GoodGuide overall rating for the detergent was pretty good, 7.2, but much to my dismay the health rating was 4.1. Can you guess why the rating was so low? You guessed it - fragrance. Fragrance is a controversial ingredient, not just in detergent but in everything that has a scent. Most products with fragrance contain synthetic fragrance and 95% of the chemicals used in fragrance are made from petroleum products. Bad and bad. There are lots of health risks associated with synthetic fragrances such as birth defects, cancer, central nervous disorders, and more. Additionally, if you suffer from sinusitis and asthma like Mom, fragrance is not your friend.

I had one more resource to check before deciding there would be no method laundry detergent in our house. You've seen me post about the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database before and this was where I was headed to check out method. Even though the name says cosmetic, lots of non-cosmetic companies are listed in the database because companies know consumers want to know how safe their products are. I searched method and found 36 of their products listed but not one of them was laundry detergent. Bummer. Only two of their products had a low hazard listing of 2 (the lower the number the better) while most were in the moderate hazard listing of 4 and 5. The liquid hand soap will not be invited back into our house.

So what does all of this research mean? Mom is no closer to finding out about this new mystery laundry product then when I started this research. We are a few hours closer to January 11th but what's a few hours in the grand scheme of things? The bottom line is that Mom is going to have to wait just like the rest of us.


Archie and Melissa said...

Hi Stubby!

this is a great post! we cannot wait to hear how your mom likes the new detergent. we soooo appreciate all the passion she puts into research and knowing what she is using.

thank you so much for always sharing what you find!


Paula said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paula said...


You and your Mom share writing the greatest posts. I can hardly wait to hear more about this new laundry product making its way into the market next month.

Fragrances, I wear very little. Candles, very few. Yeppers, I have major sinus issues that are sure to set off. You should hear me when I walk through the soap/detgergent aisles, even if it is just a drive by.

Stubby said...

Hi Melissa! Mom doesn't like it when something is coming soon and she can't find information about it. No surprises for her - she likes to know what's going on.

I'm glad you appreciate all the research we do. Mom is the queen of research and of course I'm her king assistant!

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Paula & gang! Mom and I will be up early on January 11th to check out the new laundry detergent. We're hopeful that it will be greener than the other method detergents.

Mom has the same reaction when walking down the detergent aisle at the store. She eithers runs down it with her nose closed or just avoids it all together. If you can smell fragrance, it is in your bodys wreaking havoc.

Most candles are made from petroleum products so please consider soy candles. They are not only better for the environment but also better for you.

Stubby xoxo

Kelly said...

I can't WAIT to see what you guys find out, Stubby! I know I can count on you and your momma for the most thorough product reviews- THANK YOU for keeping us all informed!!!!!


Sequoia & Petunia & Emma said...


We will be checking back with you on the 11th to see what it is...our Momma has been thinking about swtiching brands lately so maybe she can hold out s few more weeks to see what the new thing is. Plus she LOVES Target, sigh Moms.


You are super cutes too Stubby and smarts. So smarts my Grandma reads your blog.


Stubby said...

Hi Pearly Poo! I'm doing my best to spread the eco word. Mom helps too of course but you guys know that I'm the real brains behind this operation.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Tuni! Yes tell your mom to hold out for a few more weeks. If the new product is not really up to snuff then I recommend the two products I mentioned in my post. Mom washes my blankies with that stuff and they come out smelling so nice.

I can't believe your grandma reads my blog. That is so cool!

Stubby xoxo

JB said...

method makes a lot fragrance free products one of which is laundry detergent

Anonymous said...

I will totally have to look into this! So far my detergent choices are pretty narrow tide=hives, sunlight=hives, cheer=ok! lol

If it is environmentally friendly it should be sensitive skin friendly right? :)

Stubby said...

Hi Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Method does make a lot of fragrance free products and one of them is their laundry detergent. This new product will launch next week, so be sure to check back here to find out what it's all about.

Stubby xoxo

Stubby said...

Hi Lex! There are many different detergent choices out there. If your favorite store doesn't carry the right brand for you, consider looking online to find a better brand.

I would think that environmentally friendly would be sensitive skin friendly but you just never know. Some people are so used to all the chemicals in traditional detergent that natural ingredients irritate their skin. It's a complete case of trial and error with most products.

Stubby xoxo