Let’s talk zero waste laundry detergent! To be honest, laundry is my favorite household chore. Crazy, I know! There are lots cleaning tasks around that I can’t stand (washing dishes *ahem*) but for some reason washing and folding clothes can be relaxing to me. When I first started trying to reduce toxins in our home, I switched to a more natural laundry detergent but it still came packaged in plastic. We’re so lucky these days to now have lots of different zero-waste laundry detergent options! Here’s a list of the very best sustainable detergent options on the market:
These laundry washing strips are a really neat alternative to conventional detergent. Rather than being packaged in a plastic bottles, these washing strips come in a paper envelope. There is both a scented (with blends of essential oils) and scent free option.
One envelope includes enough soap for 32 loads of laundry. They’re really simple to use. You rip up and toss in one strip per load, and voila, clean clothes!
Tru Earth Eco-Strips laundry detergent has a dramatically smaller eco-footprint than liquid and powder detergents. Furthermore, its zero-waste packaging uses less plastic, and its light weight reduces transportation fuel consumption and global-warming carbon emissions by 94% compared to today’s leading-brand traditional laundry detergents. What a simple way to reduce your carbon footprint!
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The tried and true Dropps laundry pods are a wonderful option. This brand works hard to make sustainable laundry care simple and convenient. The pods are delivered in a cardboard box, no plastic packaging at all! They have scented and unscented options. They also sell plastic free fabric softener and oxi boost. I’m actually a big fan of their dishwasher pods if that’s something you’ve been hunting for as well. The Dropps pods are naturally clear as artificial dyes and colors don’t clean your clothing. They’re also a bit smaller compared to regular detergent pods because they’ve ditched the excess water.
You can get 25% off your Dropps order using coupon code “tiny25”
If you’re looking for a super gentle laundry washing option, consider the organic, vegan zero waste laundry soap bar from Waste Free Products. I love that you dilute this bar in your own container so there’s no plastic waste. Save your plastic laundry jugs and continue to use it over and over again with this bar soap. You can dilute the amount you need making a small amount or the entire gallon at one time. This soap is free of synthetic fragrances! We love their safe and natural ingredients.
Do you like using laundry powder but want to kick the plastic container to the curb? Consider Meliora’s dye-free, preservative-free, brightener-free, gentle laundry powder! Their compact cardboard and steel canister replaces that unsightly plastic jug. This option is also 100% biodegradable and cruelty free. Made in Chicago.
Having options is always good! We love Tru Earth detergent strips, but Kind Laundry strips is another option for you to try. It’s the same concept; you simply rip up a sheet and toss it in the washing machine to clean your clothes. It’s a concentrated form of detergent that works really well. These laundry sheets are great for sensitive skin.
Kind Laundry sheets do contain polyvinyl alcohol which is a water soluble and biodegradable polymer. There’s been some controversy over this ingredient in the sustainability community over the past year.
Soap nuts (or Soap Berries) have been around for ages. They’re the OG zero waste laundry cleaning alternative. Soap Nuts are the shell of a berry that naturally contains a cleaning agent, called saponin, that works like detergent. They grow on the Sapindus mukorossi (Soap Berry) tree in the Himalayas. They are gentle on both clothes and skin and especially useful for baby clothes. Unlike commercial detergents that have artificial foaming agents, soap nuts do not produce lots of bubbles or foam.
Cost: $16.90 – About $0.14 per load
Blueland offers laundry detergent tablets in a refillable tin. You order the tin with tablets first go around, and then for every subsequent order you only need to order the refill tablets in plastic free packaging. These tablets do not contain parabens, phosphates, ammonia, VOCS, chlorine bleach, or phthalates. They send refills in compostable paper packages.
Cleancult is another refill system similar to Blueland. For this brand, you purchase a refillable laundry bottle first and then simply purchase liquid detergent refills for each reorder. The refill carton is recycling number 2 which may or may not be recyclable in your city. This product is made in the USA and carbon neutral. Although the packaging for this brand is my least favorite of all the zero waste laundry detergents on our list, I still think it’s a good brand to support!
I added this laundry stain stick to the list because although it isn’t a zero waste laundry detergent, it’s still a really useful and effective product for keeping your clothes clean and stain free!
This handmade, old-fashioned hand cut laundry stain remover is perfect for pretreating stains, grimy spots, and other laundry mishaps before your regular laundering. There are no mystery ingredients or unnecessary water or fillers in this product, so you can use it with confidence.
This bar will last quite a while because you only need to use a tiny amount in each application. Just dampen the stain and the corner of the bar, and give it a good scrub.
This stain stick is made without the “superfatting” most cold-processed soaps contain. That means it is not a gentle or moisturizing soap. It is a bit harsh – perfect for tough stains. If you have sensitive skin or any kind of skin issues, you might want to handle it carefully. It is not meant for washing hands or body.
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Eco Friendly Laundry Routine Tips
Switching to a sustainable laundry detergent is a great first step, but if you’re looking for other eco friendly laundry room tips, we can help!
Wash full loads: Wait until you have a full load of laundry before running the washing machine. This maximizes the efficiency of each wash cycle and reduces water and energy consumption.
Use cold water: Most of the energy used by a washing machine goes into heating the water. By using cold water, you can significantly reduce energy consumption. Modern detergents are designed to work effectively in cold water, so your clothes will still get clean.
Avoid overusing detergent: Using more detergent than necessary does not make your clothes cleaner and can lead to extra residue from harsh chemicals in the water. Follow the recommended dosage on the detergent packaging to minimize waste.
Skip the fabric softener: Fabric softeners often contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Instead, consider using natural alternatives such as white vinegar or wool dryer balls to soften clothes and reduce static cling.
Air dry when possible: Whenever feasible, hang your clothes to dry instead of using a dryer. Air drying saves energy, prolongs the life of your garments, and reduces carbon emissions. If weather permits, you can dry clothes outside on a clothesline or use indoor drying racks during colder months.
Maintain your washing machine: Regularly clean and maintain your washing machine to ensure it operates efficiently. Clean the lint filter, remove residue from the detergent dispenser, and periodically run a maintenance cycle to keep your machine in optimal conditions.
Do you have a favorite eco friendly laundry detergent I should add to our list here? It makes me so happy to see more and more zero waste products popping up!
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