4 harmful chemical cleaners you probably didn’t know are in your handwash

Posted by Rakshit Ranjan on


Everything from ingredients linked to skin allergies, hormone imbalances and even breast cancer.

Reading food labels and steering clear of certain harmful ingredients like edible oil or transfat may have become common practice in a lot of households, but do you examine the ingredients in your handwash?



The mantra during the coronavirus pandemic across the world has been simple - wash your hands thoroughly and sanitize regularly. The Centre of Disease Control calls handwashing a “do-it-yourself vaccine” and a simple yet powerful way to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others. Reading your handwash label has become more important than ever before.

The thought that your friendly, regular-use handwash or soap might be contaminated and harming you can send jitters down anyone’s spine. The truth is, there are several chemicals in your handwash, even the so-called “natural” ones. These chemicals have long-term effects on your skin and internal organs.

Let’s have a look at the chemicals you should avoid as you wash regularly:

So what’s in your handwash?

  1. Parabens

    What is it: Parabens is a chemical that is used to prolong the shelf-life of products. It can be found not only in your handwash, but also in your skincare products.

    Why is it harmful: It mimics oestrogen, thus disrupting your hormone balance. This excess oestrogen can lead to an increase in breast cell division and growth of tumours - linking it to breast cancer and reproductive issues.

    How to spot it on your label: Check the ingredients for butylparaben, methylparaben and propylparaben. When in doubt, write to the company or brand to enquire about the ingredients

  2. Triclosan

    What is it: It is an ingredient added to soaps, bodywashes and toothpastes to reduce bacterial contamination and has anti-bacterial qualities. In 2016, the US FDA banned the use of Triclosan due to its harmful effects and lack of benefits.

    How to spot it on your label: Triclosan can also be found in children’s toys, baby pacifiers, detergents, shampoos and lip gloss. It can also appear as Biofresh, Microbans and triclocarban in different products.

  3. Synthetic dyes OR Colourants

    What is it: Give the colour to your hand wash.

    Why is it harmful: Depending on which dye is used, they are found to be linked to eczema, toxicity disorders and even certain types of cancers.

    How to spot it on your label: Check the ingredients label - often the last mentioned ingredient mentioned as CI followed by a number to identify the dye. For example, Dettol hand wash mentions CI11710, Lifebuoy mentions CI45100.

  4. Propylene Glycol or Glycol Distearate

    What is it: Propylene Glycol is a penetration enhancer while Glycol Distearate is a pearlescent i.e. gives a pearl-like appearance when you wash your hands.

    Why is it harmful: Known to be skin irritants.

    How to spot it on your label: Check the ingredients of Dettol hand wash or Lifebuoy soap, you can spot these online in any of their Amazon pages or once you have purchased these hand washes. You will spot Propylene Glycol and Glycol Distearate mentioned respectively.

The answer?

Read your labels. Start today, where you don’t get clear answers - avoid those products.


Look for alternatives

While the thought is scary and the situation seems grim, there are products out there which are free of these chemicals. Start exploring your options and switch to something that is better for you and the environment.

Make the change. Join the Koparo family today.

Checkout our natural, chemical-free and safe hand wash here.

hand wash hand washing harmful chemicals lifestyle & wellness natural handwash safe handwash safety toxins

Newer Post →

The Clean Slate

2022 resolutions air freshner Air Purifiers all natural all natural body wash All Natural Surface Cleaner All Purpose Cleaner Aloe Vera Plant aluminium foil animal animal love antibacterial antiseptic Appliances aroma Asiatic Lion Asthma Asthma in children athletics baby care baby friendly baby friendly floor cleaner baby laundry detergent baby safe baby safe floor cleaner Baby Safe Floor Disinfectant baby-safe bacteria baking soda bath bombs bathroom cleaner bathroom cleaning bathroom taps beauty without bunnies bedding Bengal Tiger Best Indoor Plants for Health Best smelling floor cleaner India binge watch biodegradable Bisphenol A (BPA) Black Buck bleach-free Bleaching Blender body wash body wash benefits body wash vs bar soap calm candle candle making car fragrance carbon emissions carbon footprint cellulose sponge Changes Chemical Free chemical-free child friendly Childhood asthma Children chocolate bark Chores Christmas Christmas Crafts Christmas Tree Citrus clean Clean Air clean dishes Clean House clean resolutions Clean Stubborn Stains cleaner Cleaners cleaning cleaning & society cleaning 2022 Cleaning Desk Tips cleaning home cleaning products cleaning resolutions cleaning shows cleaning taps Cleaning Tips cleaning tools cleaning your tools cloth conditioner cloth mask clothes coffee coffee stain cornflour COVID-19 covid-19 care cruelty free customairfreshener Declutter deep cleaning detangling brush detergent dettol Dirty Dishes dish soap Dishwash Dishwasher Dishwashing Liquid Dishwashing Liquid 500ml disinfectant disposable mask diwali Diwali cleaning diwali festival DIY diy candles DIY cleaning DIY Hacks Dog floor cleaner Dog Safe Floor Cleaner dog shampoo dry skin dry skin winterw dushhera break dusting Easy Peasy Crafts Easy to Care eco decor Eco friendly eco friendly all purpose cleaner eco friendly home eco friendly swaps eco-friendly eco-friendly gifting ecofriendly environment essential oil candles essential oils Experiment fabric conditioner fabric softener India Fertilizers festival season festive season Finances fitness Flame Retardants floor cleaner floor cleaning liquid food waste Formaldehyde fragrance fresh fresh home Gardening gender bias gender inequality gender inequality in family gender inequality in home gift wrapping gifting candles glass cleaning go green granite Grape Ivy green cleaning Greenery hand sanitiser hand wash hand washing handmade handwash Hard Stains hard water hardwood harmful chemicals healthy coat. healthy fur herbal body wash home home care home care tips home cleaning home decor home makeover house cleaning household chores housework how to clean hydration Indoor plants irritation-free skin itching jasmine ketchup Kids friendly kitchen cleaning kitchen hacks Kitchen Solutions Koparo koparo news Kopraan laundry laundry day laundry detergent laundry detergent companies laundry detergent for babies laundry detergent liquid laundry liquid detergenyt lavender lemon juice Lessons life skills lifestyle & wellness Lifestyle and Wellness Lint roller lint-free & scratch-free cleaning liquid handwash liquid soap Lizol Low maintenance magic eraser marble floor cleaner Mask mattress mattress cleaning mental health microfiber cloth Microwave Minimal watering plants Mixer Mobile mobile phones moisturise moisturizing and hydrating shampoo Money Money Plant monsoon monsoon home care mood multipurpose cleaner National Endangered Species Day natrural Natural natural ingredients natural body wash Natural cleaners Natural Dishwashing Liquid natural disinfectant natural dog product natural floor cleaner Natural Floor Cleaner India natural freshner natural handwash Natural Laundry Liquid natural oil natural product natural soap natural solutions nature Net Zero Target netflix New New Name New Year new year goals new year resolutions no chemicals no harsh substances used No Toxins Non toxic cleaning products Non Toxic Floor Cleaner For Babies Non-toxic Non-Toxic Magic Eraser nonstick pan nonstick utensils organic organic body wash Organic cleaners Organic Dishwashing Liquid organic freshner Organic Produce organise organising shows Organizing Paint parenting pet allergies pet care Pet friendly Pet friendly floor cleaner Pet friendly floor cleaner India Pet grooming pet safe Pet Safe Floor Cleaner pet-safe peta peta certified pH Balanced formula Phosphates Phthalates plan plant plant based plant based ingredients plant-based ingredients plasticfree Pocket Money potpourri prime video recycle regular soap Remove Hard Stains resolutions reuse room cleaning rose rough skin in winters safe safe clothes safe dishes Safe for pets safe handwash safe home safety salt sanitizer Santa Claus Savings scent Science Seeds shoe cleaning shoes shower routine side effects of chemical cleaners silver silver cutlery silver jewellery silverware skincare skincare routine smell smells good Snake Plant sneaker cleaning sneakerhead soap soap bar soft hands Soil sponge wipes Sulfates summer surfactants sustainability sustainable sustainable gifting sustainable journey tap and shower cleaner Therapeutic tiles tip for cleaning masks Tips to do list Tomatoes toxic ingredients toxin-free toxins toy cleaning toys Triclosan tuberose tv shows utensil cleaner liquid vagan vegan vegan cleaners vegan diet vegan shower gel Vegetables vim vim chemicals vim dishwashing gel vim gel ingredients wall wall cleaning Wash your pet water water conservation waterbottle WFH desk white shoes white sneakers White Vinegar wildlife wildlife photography window cleaning winter season winter skin wood furniture