Toxic optical illusion of Whiter Clothes revealed: Let us explain to you the toxic optical illusion of “whiter clothes” and the truth about how this toxic chemical trick works.

“Whiter Clothes” and “Cleans Better”

The whole premise of advertising campaigns for laundry detergents is “whiter clothes”, “cleans better”. They have bombarded us since childhood,.  We can even see it playing out in right now: a 4 year-old comes home in white clothes covered in mud. Seeing this, the mother shakes her head not knowing what to do. Then light-bulb goes on over her head as she reaches for the box of toxic laundry detergent. In conclusion, problem solved.

The whole “whitens clothes” is a clever trick thanks to optical brighteners which are chemicals that make your clothes appear brighter, whiter, and shinier.

optical-brightener-oxic optical illusion of Whiter Clothes revealed

Rather than providing a deeper clean, optical brighteners leave a residue of molecules that reflect ultraviolet light from your clothing. As a result, it leaves yet another layer of chemicals to give the appearance of vivid color.

If you were to strip laundry detergents of optical brighteners, you’d probably find they don’t clean that well at all. One of the reasons why they use optical brighteners is because if they DIDN’T, you would be horrified. In reality, your clothes would lose all their colors in a week due to all the super corrosive chemicals in the detergent.

This is what they always say, “Our stuff makes your colors last longer!” However, they are really just referring to the optical brighteners and how they are make your clothes appear brighter. Deceived, you`d continue to use the detergent thinking nothing is wrong. Additionally, “enhanced whitening formula” can be translated into, “We’ve put even more optical brighteners in this time!”

Risks of Optical Brighteners

optical-brightener-lab Toxic optical illusion of Whiter Clothes revealed

And from a health perspective, these brighteners are not safe to use either. When brighteners rub against and stick to your skin, it can cause irritation and skin rashes. Because of the ultraviolet reactive molecules, your skin can become photosensitive and easily burn from exposure to sunlight. An increased exposure to ultraviolet rays increases your risk for skin cancer.

Is it really worth it, paying with your health while buying a concoction of toxic chemicals to clean your clothes with?

We don’t think so.


Peltier Green Cleaning Expert, Karen. “Why Optical Brightening Chemicals Are Not Needed in Laundry Detergents.” Home. N.p., 26 Dec. 2016. Web. 18 Jan. 2017.

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Water LibertyOur team at Water Liberty is dedicated to saving our planet and committed to save water, save earth and save lives. We constantly look for innovative, breakthrough products and research to share it to the public. We believe in what we do and hope you join us to make a difference.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Water Liberty.