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Sometimes we have a bit of a struggle when looking for eco-friendly products. We want to use products that are kinder to the earth and the environment, but sometimes we fear that while choosing ingredients that may be eco-friendly, we are sacrificing some power and ability.
That doesn’t have to be the case, though. A product can be eco-friendly and also do its job and do it well. A product can be affordable and easy to use with impressive results, but also be environmentally sound. When you check off all those boxes, it means it’s time to make a change to a product you can feel good about.
Detergents may seem like there’s no harm they can do, and you may as well just buy the cheapest brand. However, those same cheap brands can include ingredients such as bleach or chlorine, which is terrible for the ecosystem and pretty awful for our skin. An eco-friendly product will have environmentally kind ingredients but also the packaging. And a minor change like this one may just go a long way. It may also be concentrated, saving water and energy, which is also kinder to the environment. But how do you go green while also having a thorough clean on favorite clothes? These products are a good start.
1. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lavender Laundry Detergent
This detergent has a gentle, relaxing lavender scent that we cannot help but love. But it’s more than that. It’s concentrated, so that means every ounce of the product will result in one load of clean laundry — that’s kind to the environment as far as energy and water use. It also uses plant-based ingredients, is fantastic at removing odors and grime, and the detergent itself is biodegradable while the packaging is recyclable. You can’t get more eco-friendly than that mix.
2. Cleancult Liquid Laundry Bundle
No, you don’t have to subscribe to use Cleancult, but it sure does make it easier. This brand has come up with a way to make cleaning products really look and smell good, not to mention, really work well. Available in two scents — Juniper Sandalwood and Sea Spray Aloe — Cleancult also offers an unscented option. This laundry detergent works as well as other big-name brands (trust us, we have used them all, and we’re still using this one) without the feeling that even though it’s eco-friendly, the endless stream of plastic it leaves behind isn’t. Cleancult is dedicated to keeping our earth as clean as our clothes, thanks to its unique mail-back recycling and carbon-offset programs.
3. Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent
Another great bet is this plant-based detergent that is super effective on stains and dirt and safe for sensitive skin. It’s biodegradable and concentrated so that each compact bottle can wash as much as 66 loads, even in high-efficiency machines.
4. Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent
BEST FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Puracy initially developed this detergent specifically for sensitive and allergy-prone skin. So that is still its main draw— but it’s also plant-based, cruelty-free and not tested on animals. It’s a super-concentrated detergent (96 loads!) that comes in a small bottle, so there’ll be less waste and also less energy used. It also has no dangerous chemicals or preservatives inside and, despite the lack of all that bad stuff, will keep clothes free of stains, clean, and smelling fresh.
5. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent
Those who are allergy-prone or have sensitive skin tend to have better luck with fragrance-free detergents. But what this detergent lacks in fragrance, it makes up for in power and outstanding ingredients. It’s almost entirely plant-based, and dermatologist recommended. The bottle is also completely recyclable.
6. ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent
BEST INGREDIENT LIST
This laundry detergent is unique in that it has a built-in fabric softener. But that’s not where its benefits end. It is hypoallergenic, reviewed by dermatologists, and thanks to being so concentrated, it’s super value-friendly. You’ll get 100 loads out of each bottle. It’s also free of parabens, phosphates, and all that other nasty stuff you don’t want in the waterways or environment — or on your skin and clothes. It’s literally made of only six ingredients. Sometimes making good choices for our body and the environment means spending more money, but this product is an excellent example of how that doesn’t have to be the case.
7. AspenClean Natural Laundry Detergent Unscented
This AspenClean detergent was the first to be certified by the activist organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) and is a safe, toxin-free laundry detergent that is fragrance-free, baby-safe, and hypoallergenic. It is made only from plant and mineral-derived ingredients, too, so you know that anything that gets on your skin won’t be irritating or abrasive chemicals that will cause danger to you or the environment.
8. Humble Suds Laundry Soap
BEST LAUNDRY POWDER
Laundry detergent doesn’t have to come in a big heavy container. The Humble Suds Laundry Soap is concentrated into an environmentally friendly compostable bag, but don’t let its unassuming packaging fool you. It is a super-effective powder formula made with safe, non-toxic, plant-based ingredients and perfect for sensitive skin. There’s an unscented variety, but it also comes in fragrant flavors like Sweet Orange and Lemongrass.
9. Biokleen Laundry Detergent
BEST SMALL BUSINESS
This powder detergent comes in an environmentally friendly low-waste cardboard box and is 3X concentrated, meaning a lower cost per load and less energy and water waste. It’s also heartening in that it’s a small family-owned company rather than a giant corporation, which in its own sense is kind of a better outcome for the earth, don’t you think?
10. ATTITUDE Little Ones Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergent
BEST FOR BABIES
This detergent is meant to be super gentle on your clothes and not be abrasive to your skin, either. It is ECOLOGO Certified and made with natural and plant-derived ingredients. While this hypoallergenic formula is made for babies and children, it’s also excellent for pets or adults who just need a more gentle, sensitive wash. Use it for everything from cloth diapers to the towels that bathe pets or babies to clothes for sensitive or allergic skin. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free and sustainably produced. You don’t get much better than this one.