At the beginning of the month I had my content planned meticulously and this week was SUPPOSED to be dedicated to plastic free dishwashing. Little did I know New York was about to drop a ban on laundry detergents that would TECHNICALLY outlaw some of the most popular brands on the market so the dishes are going to have to wait! 

In a nutshell,  The New York State Department of Conservation has set a legal limit for certain potentially carcinogenic chemicals that are commonly found in many household items. Click here to read it from the horses mouth:

What we're talking about today is 1,4-dioxane. This compound is used as a stabilizer for chlorinated solvents and can also be an unintended contaminant in chemicals used in everyday products like laundry detergent, bubble bath, shampoo, adhesives, and antifreeze. 

Now that we know what it is and where to find it, let's talk about why it's causing such a hubbub! 

As mentioned before, you can find 1,4-dioxane in many common household items but you wont see it on the ingredient label (if has to be lab tested) and being around it in high concentrations can cause some fairly yucky side effects ranging from shortness of breath all the way to kidney and liver damage. In recent years there have also been talks of it being a potential carcinogen which is why the NY-DEC is trying to limit the use and exposure to this compound in NY state. 

ENTER THE NEW LAW: This law bans the sale of any products containing more than 1PP (parts per million) 1,4-dioxane (previously the limit was 2ppm). Good progress but fairly boring when all is said and done. The interesting part is that after testing some popular laundry detergent brands, an independent lab found that some of the most popular brands of laundry detergent contain almost TRIPLE the legal limit of 1,4-dioxane. Not great. If anyone needed a reminder that these companies do not have your well being and safety prioritized this might be it.

With all that being said, for many of you this is not news in any way. For years I've had customers choosing cleaner smaller brands when it comes to their laundry detergents. These customers made the switch especially after experiencing skin irritation (another side effect of 1,4-dioxane) or some other discomfort only to discover that simpler alternatives are just as effective and much safer. 

So what now? What does this mean for those big brands? Well, probably not much. The ban went into effect a few weeks ago but companies will be able to apply for a one year grace period as long as they can show that they are working towards complying with the state regulations.  A lot can happen in a year but what I'm taking away from this experience wont change regardless of any politics:

While there are many areas of life we can't control when it comes to chemical exposure etc. There are also many areas we can. Laundry detergent is one of them and it's one of the simplest swaps you can make, especially when shopping at Marilla's. 

I wont bore you with the lengthy price break downs but we offer a safe and simple selection of laundry detergent that will get the job done no matter your preference. Starting with the more traditional route, We have liquid detergent and laundry powder in bulk that you can bring a container in and refill at your convenience, or drop off a container so we can fill it for you. You can also order the powder at Both of these are highly concentrated and safe for cold water and HE machines. 

Next up we have Soap Nuts: Coming in as the cheapest and simplest solution these nuts ( also called soap berries) naturally contain saponin so all you have to do is throw 5-6 in a small cotton bag and throw it in with your laundry. As I mentioned these are quite allergy friendly and budget friendly with each load costing you a whopping .08 cents!

Finally we have Kind Laundry detergent sheets which are lightweight and mess free! I find these are still a bit of a novelty but I have to say I've been loving mine and they are a great way to get kids involved with the laundry without the mess of powder or liquid. 

if you stop in the shop or browse our selection online you'll also find stain remover sticks, dryer balls, and oxygen powder to boost your laundry without any risky chemicals. 

So there ya have it folks! I hope this has helped you understand the great detergent mystery of 2023 and if you have any questions you can reach us at or stop in the shop to say hi! 


See you soon and thanks for your support! 




January 19, 2023 — Marilla Gonzalez

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