Washing powder can make a difference to the amount of phosphorous entering rivers from on-site systems. Using phosphorous-free detergents can mean less phosphorous in the waterways and that means less risk of algal blooms.
Washing powders can also contain sodium (a type of salt) which may damage the soil structure and cause effluent to pond on the ground. Sodium is used as a bulking agent and can contribute up to 60% of the total washing powder, yet does not improve the washing performance.
As a general rule, liquid washing machine detergents contain significantly less concentrations of sodium and phosphorous.
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