I admit it… I was addicted to bubbles. I’ve long had the connection that bubbles mean clean. Like Pavlov’s dog knows that a bell means food, I know that bubbles mean clean…looks like the dog and I were both wrong. Just like it was not the bell that brought the food, it is not the bubbles that provide the clean. In the end, it actually looks like the bubbles are working against us.
We have been trained to think that soaps need to bubble. Bubble baths, suds of dishes, a foaming shampoo…no questions asked, soaps should bubble. But why? Sure, the bubbles are pretty, they fill the sink, they feel good in our hair and the kids sure like to play in them, but where do they come from and do we really need them? Looking into the ingredients of my old favourite bubbling cleaners I find that we are better off being bubble free.
The most common ingredient found in hand soap, dish soap, shampoo, shaving creams and even toothpaste that offer us that irresistible lather is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). However, in higher concentrations, SLS is also used in industrial products, including engine degreasers, floor cleaners, and car wash soaps. Admittedly, the concentrations in our household products are considerably lower, but it still begs the question, do I want to wash my hair and my car with the same ingredients? (My car is not that fancy.)
So let’s look at the benefits of SLS. (more…)