Wash the dishes, clothes, floors, objects… Oh, and the car! Have you ever stopped to think about the day or days when you don't use at least one detergent? It's true, we use cleaning products practically every day.

If in a normal situation cleaning products already have a high use in our routine, the current pandemic moment in which we live has meant that there is even greater care in cleaning and, therefore, there is an increase in the use of detergents. But do you know what happens to the residue from these products after you use them?

Conventional detergents have a major negative impact on the environment as they pollute water and soil. But why? What is the composition of these products? What is the environmental impact of detergents? And are there solutions or alternatives? Find out everything in this article.

Know the composition and environmental impact of detergents

The chemical substances that are part of the “DNA” of conventional detergents are responsible for the environmental impact of these products on our planet. We explain why.

Synthetic surfactants

Detergents have synthetic surfactants that come from petroleum, a non-renewable and highly polluting raw material.

Kidnapping agents

The majority are made up of phosphates, which despite increasing cleaning efficiency, cause water eutrophication (high growth of aquatic plants) and affect the photosynthesis of living beings.

It is important to highlight that they create a layer of foam that prevents oxygen from entering the aquatic environment and that also removes the oily layer that coats the birds' feathers and allows them to float in the water.

Fragrances, dyes and thickeners

Detergents may also contain small amounts of fragrances, dyes and thickeners that can cause problems for human health, such as allergies or skin irritation, and for the environment as they alter the chemical composition of the water.


Responsible for increasing the durability of cleaning products, they are also an “if not” for fauna.

This chemical composition of conventional detergents means that they are not 100% biodegradable in a short period of time and have negative consequences for the environment.

Do you often see several products with the word biodegradable on the label? As a rule, all these products are biodegradable, but what is at issue is the decomposition time of their components: complete degradation in hours or days is different from partial degradation in months or years.

The environmental impact caused by conventional detergents starts from the extraction of raw materials until they reach your home:

Graphic that explains the production process responsible for the environmental impact of conventional detergents

And are there alternatives to this problem?

After knowing the significant consequences that simple cleaning with a non-biodegradable detergent can have on the health of the environment, it's time to find out that there are sustainable alternatives that help you reduce your ecological footprint.

You already have ecological detergents at your disposal that can come into your home, take care of it and when they leave they also don't harm the environment or the future of the planet.

And do you know that you can combine business with pleasure and, in addition to reducing the environmental impact of conventional detergents, you can give used cooking oil a new life?

In a year, around 35 thousand tons of used cooking oil go down the drain in Portugal and WWTPs spend around 300 million euros to remove it from the water. This is waste that has several impacts on our homes, public networks, the aquatic environment, the soil and the climate.

For this reason and to reduce these negative points, EcoX has developed a special formula that allows used cooking oils to be transformed into ecological detergents. This is an innovative concept of circular economy in the area of ​​detergents that values ​​waste that is harmful to the environment and difficult to dispose of.

EcoX's production model, contrary to the production model of conventional detergents, reduces the waste of virgin active material by around 50% and also avoids the extraction of raw materials and their separation as well as storage and distribution (and transport costs that all these processes have).

It is now possible to reduce the environmental impact of conventional detergents while giving used cooking oil a new life.

Circular graph explaining the production process and benefits of EcoX ecological detergents

We are the power of cleanliness and comfort in your life, with innovative and sustainable solutions through the recovery of waste: we are world pioneers in the production of ecological detergents made from waste (used cooking oil), using a technology based the circular economy.

They are 100% Portuguese products and are produced in certified companies that transform waste from our partner entities into biodegradable detergents.

As they are produced from raw materials of plant origin, which makes them highly natural and biodegradable. Its degradation occurs in two phases: 60% occurs in less than 24 hours due to the absence of complex carbonate chains, the remaining 40% decomposes within a few days after use.

Another advantage is that they do not contain ingredients of animal origin nor are they tested on animals.

Author: Daniela Matos