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New Zealand

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Detergents available in NEW ZEALAND


The product range of laundry detergents available in NZ is some way mimics those in the Australian scene because some products are made in NZ and others by companies registered in both countries.


The accompanying photos show part of a range of laundry detergents in a supermarket in Taupo (March 2009).


Mostly the new 2X ultra concentrates were for sale, replacing many of the normal concentrates and standard powders (bulky products).


The information on the 2X ultra concentrates suggests that the products have a lower overall salt content, particularly sodium.  The reduction in sodium is certainly beneficial to greywater reuse and in the long term, disposal to sewer when the municipal treatment system discharges its effluent to land application.


Choice of products

This section of the website is designed to assist in making sound choices of laundry products based upon the effect those detergents have on wastewater chemistry.  For homes where wastewater is treated on-site, either in an aerated wastewater treatment system or a conventional septic tank, the discharge of effluent (wastewater after treatment) to the land can be problematic. Other cleaning chemicals, such as dishwashing detergents (hand and machine), wool softeners, whitening agents, and the personal care products (soaps, shampoos & conditioners) will also influence the effluent chemistry and may be detrimental to long term application to land. Consumers need to be aware of the consequences of their use of chemicals in the home.


Laundry products

Much of the information relevant to the use of laundry detergents is contained on other pages and the reader is referred particularly to the pages on  GREYWATER and GARDENS and will not be repeated here.


Laundry detergents specifically for New Zealand include "Cold Power advanced Aleo Vera 2x concentrate" (not sold in Aust.) and "Reflect 2x ultra concentrate top loader linen fresh".


Other brands that are the same products in New Zealand and Australia are Omo Front Loader Small & Mighty 2X Concentrate; Surf Front Loader Small & Mighty 2X Concentrate; Duo Ultra Concentrate Top Loader Linen Fresh;  Ecostore Plant and Mineral Based Laundry Powder; Fab Sunshine Fresh 2X Ultra Concentrate; Omo Top Loader Small & Mighty 2X Concentrate; Surf Small & Mighty Cool Fresh 2X Concentrate


The top selling NZ detergent is Persil, made by Unilever NZ. Persil 2X ultra is the same as the Australian product OMO 2X Ultra, so see the 2X ultra page for details of the latest analysis. Persil NZ also sells a Persil Aloe Vera that is not available in Australia (pers. comm. Unilever NZ 7APR09)



Wool wash products

Three wool wash products were tested and the quality of the washwater would be suitable for greywater discharge onto gardens. The levels of sodium and phosphorus are low.


Product Type Statistic Test sample dose EC pH Total Alkalinity Sodium Phosphorus
    g/L  dS/m  units mg/L CaCO3 g/wash g/wash
Woolwash (Liquid) Minimum 0.13 0.01 4.95 1 0.00 0.10
3 products tested average 2.24 0.10 5.86 11 0.07 0.10
maximum 6.22 0.27 6.74 30 0.20 0.10




Fabric Conditioners and Softeners

Product Type Statistic Test sample dose in g/L EC pH Total Alkalinity Sodium Phosphorus
    g/L  (dS/m)  (units)  (mg/L CaCO3) g/wash g/wash
Fabric Conditioner (Liquid) Minimum 0.41 0.01 3.95 0 0.00 0.00
6 products average 0.50 0.01 4.32 0 0.00 0.02
  maximum 0.57 0.01 4.87 1 0.00 0.10



Dishwashing detergents (hand and machine)

The real difference between hand dishwashing detergents and dishwashing machine detergents is that with hand washing a significant contribution comes from the scrubbing action and physical abrasion using cloths or scourers, whereas in a dishwashing machine the only action is from the physical force of the water, hence a greater reliance upon chemicals to "dissolve" the dirt (food etc.).  Stated simply, the dishwashing machine detergents are likely to be harsh chemicals.


Product Type Statistic Test sample dose in g/L EC pH Total Alkalinity Sodium Phosphorus
    g/L  (dS/m)  (units)  (mg/L CaCO3) g/wash g/wash
Dishwasher Powder Minimum 0.75 0.73 10.21 125 3.10 0.00
9 powders/tabs average 2.33 2.71 10.99 935 10.31 2.10
  maximum 3.33 4.18 11.77 1970 17.40 4.50
Dishwashing Liquid Minimum 1.35 0.04 5.01 1 0.10 0.00
9 liquids average 1.66 0.09 5.90 3 0.17 0.00
  maximum 1.77 0.19 6.90 6 0.40 0.00