Is Derft Toxic? (Review)

Dreft’s a big name in laundry detergent, and lots of people like it ’cause it’s supposed to be good for babies. 

But not everyone’s on board. Some people are kind of worried about what’s actually in Dreft, since it’s a detergent afterall, and there might be ingredients that will not be so great for your health.

In this article, we’re going to dig into what’s in Dreft and talk about how safe it is for you and your baby.

What Are The Ingredients In Dreft Laundry Detergent, and How Toxic Are They?

Here’s the lowdown on all the stuff you’ll find in Dreft laundry detergent and whether or not they’re throwing a toxic party for humans and the environment. 

Safety for humansSafety for the environment
C10-16 ParethSafe, but some potential risks may arise from the presence of impurities in it which may be carcinogenic or toxic.Not readily biodegradable. Low to moderate toxicity to aquatic organisms.
Sodium C10-16 AlkylbenzenesulfonateSafe, but can trigger allergic reactions if higher concentrations are used.Low to moderately toxic, but degrades rapidly in the environment.
Sodium Salts Of C12-18 Fatty AcidsSafeHarmful to aquatic life with long lasting effects 
Propylene GlycolSafe.Not as persistent in the environment, and has a low toxicity to aquatic organisms. 
Sodium CitrateSafeBiodegradable. Weakly toxic to aquatic organisms.
C10-16 Alkyldimethylamine OxideCan cause serious eye damage skin irritation. No evidence of carcinogenicityVery toxic to aquatic life
Sodium BorateSome serious safety concern.Toxic to aquatic organisms.
Sodium CumenesulfonateSafeNot suspected to be an environmental toxin.
Polyethyleneimine AlkoxylatedSome safety concern. Can have impurities that can cause skin irritation.Can be Toxic to aquatic life.  Can be toxic to the environment.
FragrancesModerate to highModerate to high
SubtilisinLowSafe for aquatic organisims. Readily biodegradable.
Cellulase EnzymeLowLow
Sodium FormateLow to moderate.Low
Amylase EnzymeLowLow
Sodium Lauryl SulfateMedium To High. possibly carcinogenic to humansNo significant concern.
C12-16 ParethSafe. Low concern
AlcoholModerate Low
Mannanase EnzymeLow.Low
Polyethylene GlycolLowLow to moderate concern.
Acid Red 52Some Concern for cancer.Not expected to be a concern. 

Looking at the ingredient list, dreft detergent, while made to be “gentle,” does have ingredients marked with red labels, some of which might even be carcinogenic.

However, the big uncertainty is in the details. We don’t have all the information about the concentration of these ingredients in the detergent or how toxic they might be at those levels. 

Toxicity can vary widely based on dosage, accumulation in the body, and other factors. 

Plus, most toxicity research focuses on animals, not humans, and our lifestyles and bodies function differently, so it’s hard to translate that data directly.

It gets even trickier when you consider individual variations. Different people might react differently to the same ingredient, even if it’s below the recommended dosage.

One person might be more prone to developing cancerous cells or hormone disruptions from using dreft, while another might not. Just as the king cobra’s venom affects a mongoose and a lion differently, human reactions to toxins can be equally complex.

All this ambiguity makes it hard to say definitively that dreft detergent is toxic. What we can say is that it contains some ingredients that raise concerns.

But how they’ll affect you is hard to pin down since it depends on factors like ingredient concentration and your personal susceptibility, the latter of course, which is partly defined by your lifestyle.

One thing we do know about dreft: it’s not acutely toxic, so it shouldn’t be dangerous for short-term use. Most people who have used it haven’t run into immediate problems.

What Complains Have People Had About Dreft?

Dreft is generally considered mild, and the product’s fact sheets back this up. 

Most people and babies don’t have allergic reactions to it, and it usually doesn’t cause side effects like headaches or nausea.

Of course, as with any product, there’s a small group of people who might still have sensitivities to dreft, and that’s totally normal. People are different, after all.

What really tells you how gentle a product is, though, is how well it’s tolerated by the majority. And when it comes to dreft, most babies and families seem to handle it just fine.

So What’s The Verdict On Dreft’s Toxicity?

Understanding the toxicity of a detergent isn’t just about spotting toxic ingredients. Take cassava, for example. It has toxins, but once it’s dried and dewatered, those toxins are reduced to a level where people can eat cassava without any problems. They’re not gone, just reduced.

This idea applies to many things in our daily lives, including food ingredients and drugs. They might be toxic, but only at certain levels. And even then, some people might react more strongly to these substances, even at low concentrations.

As for dreft, are they using the right doses of these ingredients? It’s hard to say, but most likely since it has a safety data sheet published. Is there anything in dreft that’s definitely toxic with instantly or short term fatal consequences, no matter how little is used and who uses it? Probably not.

But could dreft have ingredients that might be toxic to some people? Yeah, like almost every product out there. Because each of our lifestyles and healthiness are different! 

So, it’s kind of a gray area. If you’re okay with that, great. If not, you might have to dig deep to find those “clean” detergents, whatever that really means.

Is Dreft Good For Clothes?

Dreft is effective at eliminating typical baby stains, including milk, formula, spit-up, and poop. Many users also appreciate its mild and pleasant aroma. 

Additionally, it can benefit individuals, including babies and adults with sensitive skin, by reducing or preventing eczema and skin irritations. 

However, its efficacy against more tenacious stains like blood, grass, or grease is not as prominent. 

Moreover, it tends to be pricier than some other detergents that might offer comparable or superior quality.