Optical Brighteners

How do I find out if laundry products contain optical brighteners? I have purchased several items recently that say ‘do not wash in laundry products that contain optical brighteners’. My laundry product states:

’ This product contains ingredients which remove dirt from fabrics, soften water, disperse soils, brighten and perfume fabrics’.
I searched the web and they were no more helpful.


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Hi @val2, we include this information in our laundry detergent review (free). Just scroll down to see the ‘Features’ section of the table to see what each manufacturer is doing.

Hi Brendan
Thanks for that - it does illustrate that it is hard to find out! I have searched the web for information about optical brighteners but they seem to be praised for enhancing colours so why are towel and clothes manufacturers saying don’t use them?

It can be difficult to find the info for all brands, seeing as though manufacturers will often keep it private. It seems like the brands with eco-friendly claims are more likely to avoid optical brightenersto my viewing, but you would want to check this with each product to confirm.

My understanding is that optical brighteners can fade some colours but will enhance whites. Just a guess, but I’d bet that some manufacturers have received complaints about their fabrics fading quickly, and so have indicated that optical brighteners are causing the problem and therefore shouldn’t be used with X product.

@val2 Have a look at Lux Pure soap Flakes . I know Woolies and Coles stock them . They may do the trick .

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I’m increasing seeing the note not to use detergents with optical brighteners on wash labels on items purchased. This was the second thing I looked at when the recent review came out. Seeing all the ‘not stated’ was rather disappointing!
Perhaps Choice can ask the manufactures which of their products are recommended for dark colours and items with this on the label?


Thanks for the suggestion @Kanga2, I’ll be sure to let the testers know :thumbsup: