The 8 best Zero-waste and Plastic-free Laundry Detergent Brands

Zero-waste, plastic-free laundry detergent is a great alternative if you're looking for a waste-free, sustainable laundry option. It contains natural ingredients and is packaged in a cardboard box made without plastic.

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The 8 best Zero-waste and Plastic-free Laundry Detergent Brands
The 8 best Zero-waste and Plastic-free Laundry Detergent Brands
January 21, 2023
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Laundry detergent is an essential part of any household, but it can also be a source of plastic pollution. Traditionally, laundry detergent comes in a plastic bottle or a box which can take hundreds of years to decompose. Zero-waste, plastic-free laundry detergents are an alternative option that comes in either a cardboard box or a reusable container. It contains all-natural ingredients and produces no waste whatsoever.

Are you looking for a natural laundry detergent that is both zero-waste and plastic free? If so, then you'll want to check out the following eight brands. Each of these brands offers a variety of eco-friendly detergents that are environmentally friendly and can help reduce your impact on the planet. Read on to learn more about these sustainable brands and find the one that's right for you!

Is there plastic in your laundry detergent?

The age of plastic is upon us! When you look around, the amount of plastic that is all around you will overwhelm you. Some of them are crystal clear, while others are not. Plastics of various types are used in the manufacture of everything from your furniture and clothing to your shampoos and detergents. That is correct! Your detergents include microplastic components as well.

Although they may seem harmless, these tiny pieces of plastic waste can have a big impact on the environment. When they have washed down the drain, they can end up in our waterways and eventually make their way into the food chain.

As a result, they can pose a serious threat to both human and environmental health. The good news is that there are now a number of eco-friendly laundry detergents on the market that do not contain microplastics. By making the switch to one of these products, you can help to protect our planet, oceans, and the creatures that live there.

What is a zero-waste laundry detergent?

Zero-waste laundry detergent is a type of detergent that does not generate any waste. The production of conventional laundry detergent results in a significant carbon footprint due to the use of harmful chemicals and the consumption of large amounts of energy. They are usually packed in plastic bottles resulting in plastic waste landfills.

In contrast, zero-waste laundry detergents are made from natural ingredients that are environmentally friendly and biodegradable. Zero-waste laundry detergents are often packaged in reusable or recyclable containers, which further reduces their impact on the environment. As more people become aware of the need to reduce their carbon footprint, zero-waste laundry products are likely to become more popular.

How do you do zero-waste laundry?

As more and more people strive to live a zero-waste lifestyle, they are looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact in all areas of their life, including laundry. There are a few simple steps that can help you to do your laundry in a way that produces zero waste.

  1. Invest in a washing machine that uses less water. Also, use cold water to wash the clothes.
  2. Use natural non-toxic laundry detergent pellets or make your own laundry soap using ingredients like baking soda and vinegar.
  3. Hang your clothes to dry instead of using a dryer.

Finally, if you need a dryer, use dryer balls or soap nuts instead of dryer sheets. Soap nuts can also be used as an alternative to dish soap. By following these simple tips, you can do your part to reduce your environmental impact without sacrificing clean clothes.

Factors to consider when choosing a zero-waste laundry brand

Zero-waste laundry brands are becoming increasingly popular as consumers become more conscious of the environmental impacts of their purchasing decisions. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a zero-waste laundry brand to ensure that you get a truly environmentally friendly product.

First, consider the source of the laundry detergent. Many conventional brands use petroleum-based ingredients, which can be harmful to the environment. There are also a number of plant-based options on the market that are just as effective and much better for the planet.

Second, think about the packaging. You'll want to choose a brand that uses minimal packaging or that offers refills, like a recyclable cardboard box to reduce waste.

Zero-waste options can sometimes be more expensive than conventional brands, but it's important to remember that you're investing in a product that is better for both you and the planet.

With these factors in mind, you can be sure to find a zero-waste laundry brand that's right for your eco-friendly laundry routine.

Toxic chemicals in laundry detergents

Laundry detergents are designed to clean your clothes, but some of the ingredients can be harmful to both your health and the environment.

NPEs (nonylphenol ethoxylates)

One of the most common toxic chemicals found in laundry detergents is nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs). NPEs can disrupt hormones and cause reproductive problems, and they are highly toxic to aquatic life

Artificial colors and dyes

Many detergents contain artificial colors and dyes, which can be toxic if ingested. Look for a detergent that is made with natural ingredients and does not contain any synthetic fragrances or colorants.

Chemical surfactants

Most detergents contain chemical surfactants, which can cause skin irritation. As a result, it is important to choose a laundry detergent that is free of these harmful ingredients. 

Chlorine bleach

Chlorine bleach is yet another common ingredient in laundry detergent. Bleach is a powerful disinfectant, but it can also be corrosive and irritating to the skin. Chlorine gas is produced when an acid and chlorine bleach are combined. Exposure to chlorine gas nearly always irritates the mucous membranes (eyes, throat, and nose), leading to coughing fits and breathing difficulties, burning and watery eyes, and a runny nose. 

This is true even at low levels and for brief periods of time. Chest pain, more severe breathing problems, vomiting, pneumonia, and fluid in the lungs are all possible effects at higher exposure levels. A very high concentration can be fatal.

Optical brighteners

Optical brighteners are another type of chemical often found in laundry soaps and detergents. These chemicals make clothes appear brighter and cleaner, but they can also cause skin irritations. Because optical brighteners are not biodegradable, they can endanger aquatic life when they get into our water system. Long-term contaminant retention in wastewater has a severe impact on water quality as well as animal and plant life. It has also been demonstrated that optical brighteners can alter bacteria.

Quaternary ammonium compounds (quats)

Quaternary ammonium compounds, commonly known as quats, are found in a variety of household cleaning products, including laundry items. Although quats are effective at killing bacteria and viruses, they can also be harmful to human health. 

Phosphates

Phosphates are also commonly found in conventional detergents, and they can pollute waterways and damage plant life. Although most laundry detergents are phosphate-free you need to be cautious while purchasing.

If you are concerned about the potentially harmful effects of laundry detergent, look for products that are certified organic or free from synthetic chemicals. You may also want to consider using a natural laundry booster, such as vinegar or baking soda, to help remove stains and freshen clothes.

Our top picks of Plastic-free Best Eco-friendly laundry detergent brands:

Earth Breeze - Best Laundry Eco-sheets

Earth Breeze eco-sheets are super concentrated and remove the toughest stains. It comes in an earth-friendly cardboard package and dissolves within seconds in hot or cold water, making it perfect for all machines including the HE washing machines.

They are available in both fresh-scent and fragrance-free options. Earth-breeze eco sheets are low sudsing and septic safe.

Price of Eco-sheets ranges from $20 to $119 (from 60 loads to 720 loads)

Key Features:

  • Bleach-free
  • Dye-free
  • Phthalate Free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Hypoallergenic

Pros: You'll never have to worry about tough stains again with Earth Breeze Eco Sheets. They work great on all clothes, are safe for sensitive-skin people, and come in an earth-friendly plastic-free cardboard package.

Cons: Earth-breeze is relatively a new company in the market. When compared to other eco-sheets, the product price is slightly high.

With 4.7 star ratings (out of 5) and 40k plus reviews, Earth Breeze is becoming one of the best eco-sheets available in the market today. You can read here our Honest review of Earth Breeze Laundry Detergent Sheets or you can directly check their products here.

Say goodbye to your traditional laundry liquid and give these eco-sheets a try!

Dropps Zero-waste Laundry Detergent Pods

Dropps Laundry detergent pods are a convenient and easy-to-use laundry solution that is perfect for busy families. Dropps uses natural enzymes and plant-based ingredients to remove stains and eliminate odors in your clothing. These laundry pods dissolve quickly at any temperature, so they are perfect for both standard and HE washing machines.

Price Range: $15 - $78

Whether you're looking for a gentle detergent for synthetic fabrics or a powerful formula for tough stains that are safe for people with sensitive skin, Dropps has a detergent pod that's right for you.

Dropps detergent pods can be used both with hot and cold water. They come in fragrance-free and scented options.

Key Features:

  • Cruelty-free
  • Dye-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Plastic-free Packaging
  • Phosphate-free

Pros: Convenient and easy to use, they offer a high level of cleaning power in a small package. These eco-friendly laundry detergent pods work in all types of washing machines.

Cons: Dropps laundry pods are slightly more expensive than powdered laundry detergent or liquid detergent. 

With 4.8 star ratings (out of 5) and 8k plus reviews, Dropps provide one of the best zero-waste laundry detergent pods available on market.

So why not try Dropps Laundry detergent pods today? You'll be glad you did!

Kind Laundry - Best Eco-friendly Laundry Strips

Kind laundry detergent sheets and stain remover are made with zero-waste plastic-free packaging and safer ingredients. They come in both fragrance-free and scented Ocean-breeze options.

Kind stain remover works really well in removing coffee, wine, and spaghetti sauce stains. This laundry bar is gentle on your clothes, environment, and people with sensitive skin.

The price of Kind laundry bundle ranges from $11 to $73.

With Kind laundry strips and stain remover laundry bar, you can now do your laundry without all that waste. Plus, their safe ingredients are gentle enough for your clothes – and they work great on tough stains, too.

Key Features:

  • Gluten-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Phosphate-free
  • Plastic-free

Kind laundry strips are more eco-friendly than most conventional laundry powder and liquid laundry detergent.

Pros: Kind laundry strips are plant-based and use less water during the manufacturing process. These sheets dissolve in water and are used to clean clothes. There are many benefits of using plant-based zero-waste detergent strips, including a smaller eco-footprint and fewer chemicals.

Cons: The product price is a bit on the higher side. However, when you consider the environmental benefits, it is a worthy purchase.

With 4.9 star ratings (out of 5) and 1k plus reviews, Kind provides one of the best zero-waste laundry detergent strips available on market.

Say goodbye, to single-use plastic jugs and packaging. Purchase Kind plastic-free laundry detergent strips and stain remover on their website!

Etee Plastic-free Laundry Powder and Plant-based Stain Bar

Etee stain stick is a safe and effective way to remove any kind of stain from your clothes. Laundry powder comes in compatible plastic-free packaging that requires much lesser space than traditional liquid laundry soap.

Not only does Etee laundry powder work great on stains, but it's also biodegradable and septic safe. You can feel good about using our product knowing that you're helping the planet too!

The price of Etee Laundry products ranges from $5 - $45.

Key Features:

  • Plastic-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Cruelty-free

Pros: Etee's high-performance stain bar doesn't contain any harsh chemicals, so it's gentle on your clothes and safe for your family. It's also effective at removing grass stains, poopy underpants, spilled coffee, and bloody noses - just to name a few!

Cons: The laundry powder is a bit less effective when used with cold water. It works well in warm water.

With 4.8 star ratings (out of 5) and over 100 reviews, Etee offers one of the cheapest and most effective sustainable laundry products. 

Head over to their website to purchase Etee laundry powder and stain stick today!

Eco Roots - Zero waste Laundry Eco-Strips

Eco Roots detergent strips make doing laundry easier than ever. There’s no measuring, no mess, and they dissolve in both hot and cold water. Plus, they work great on all washing machines.

Just pop one into your washer, add clothes, and let the strip do its job. In minutes your clothes will be clean and fresh. They are available in both fragrance-free and fresh breeze options.

This Eco-sheets price ranges from $19.19 to $32.90

Key Features:

  • Paraben-Free
  • Cruelty-Free
  • Phosphate-Free
  • Palm-Oil Free
  • Free of Optical Brighteners

Pros: Each strip is equivalent to one load of laundry, so there's no need for bulky bottles or jugs. Another advantage of eco-strips is that they dissolve completely in water, so there's no need to worry about residue build-up on your clothes or in your washing machine.

Cons: A few customers have reported that the sheets leave behind a white residue on their clothes.

With 4.9 star ratings (out of 5) and over 100 plus reviews, Ecoroots is one of the most effective zero-waste eco strips available on market.

You’ll love how easy it is to use their detergent strips!

Meliora - Zero-waste Laundry collections

Meliora laundry collections are made with natural ingredients and essential oils. It is 100% plastic-free and safe to use on all types of fabrics, and it will leave your clothes smelling fresh and clean.

The company prides itself on using only natural ingredients and producing a product that is free of harsh chemicals.

Meliora Laundry Products price ranges from $14.99 to $279.99

Key Features:

  • Palm-oil free
  • Preservative-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Certified Organic essential oils

Pros: Meliora Laundry Detergent is biodegradable and cruelty-free, making it a good choice for those who are interested in minimizing their impact on the environment.

Cons: Some customers have reported that the detergent is less effective in hard water conditions.

With 4.7 star ratings (out of 5) and over 90 reviews, the Meliora Laundry powder has become a popular choice for many eco-conscious consumers.

Overall, Meliora Laundry Detergent is a good choice for those who are looking for an eco-friendly option.

Tru Earth Eco-strips

One of the finest laundry products to hit the market is Tru Earth eco-strips. These ultra-concentrated eco strips promise a more sustainable way to do laundry, as they require far less water and energy to produce than traditional liquid or powder detergents.

These eco-strips are available in the fragrance-free, lilac breeze, and fresh linen scent options. They use a light, natural scent that won't overpower your senses.

Eco-strips' price ranges from $9.95 to $164

Key Features:

  • Phosphate-free
  • Dye-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Vegan

Pros: Tru Earth detergent is formulated to be gentle on both your clothes and the environment. Their innovative smart technology dislodges dirt molecules and stains, keeping them in suspension until they are rinsed away.

Cons: Some of the customers were uncomfortable with the scent.

With 4.9 star ratings (out of 5) and 18K plus reviews, these ultra-concentrated eco-strips make your clothes look cleaner and fresher.You can read here our Tru Earth Laundry Strips Review or if you are already convinced you can buy their best selling product here.

If you're looking for a more sustainable option that doesn't sacrifice performance, Tru Earth ultra-concentrated eco-strips just might be worth a try.

Blueland - Vegan laundry Tablets

Blueland laundry tablets are the perfect choice for those looking for a detergent that is tough on stains but gentle on clothes. They are free from dyes, bleach, and harsh chemicals, making them safe for both your home and the environment.

Not only are Blueland laundry tablets effective at removing stains and dirt, but they are also certified by the EPA as Safer Choice products.

The price of Blueland laundry items ranges from $12 - $60

Key Features:

  • Gluten-free
  • Nut-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Dye-free

Pros: Blueland tablets dissolve in water and release cleaning agents that are effective at removing dirt and stains from clothing. Blueland tablets are also claimed to be gentle on fabric and safe for use on all types of laundry, including delicate items.

Cons: Some customers have reported that their clothes don't smell fresh after washing.

With 4.7 star ratings (out of 5) and over 3K reviews, Blue Land tablets have received much customer appreciation.

Blueland laundry tablets have gained popularity in recent years as a convenient, eco-friendly alternative to traditional laundry detergent.

What is an eco-friendly laundry detergent?

When it comes to laundry detergent, there are now more options than ever before. However, not all detergents are created equal. Eco-friendly detergents are designed to minimize the impact on the environment, both in terms of the manufacturing process and the end product.

One way that eco-friendly detergents differ from traditional detergents is in their use of natural ingredients. This means that they are less likely to contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to both the environment and your skin. Additionally, eco-friendly detergents are often biodegradable, meaning they will break down more easily after being washed down the drain. As a result, they are a more sustainable option for both you and the planet.

Are laundry detergent pods eco-friendly?

Laundry detergent pods have become increasingly popular in recent years, as they offer a convenient way to measure and Dispense laundry detergent. However, there is some debate over whether or not these pods are eco-friendly.

Some argue that laundry detergent pods create less packaging waste than traditional laundry detergent bottles. Others contend that the plastic materials used to make the pods can be harmful to the environment.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to use laundry detergent pods comes down to personal preference. Those who are concerned about the environmental impact of their laundry routine may want to avoid using these pods, while those who appreciate the convenience and ease of use may find them to be a valuable addition to their home.

Are laundry detergent sheets better for the environment?

Laundry detergent sheets are a type of laundry detergent that comes in the form of a thin, flat sheet. Unlike laundry powder or a liquid detergent, which needs to be measured and added to the washing machine, a laundry detergent sheet can simply be placed in the washing machine with your clothes.

Many people believe that laundry sheets are better for the environment than traditional detergents because they produce less waste and packaging.

One study found that laundry detergent strips caused 60% less environmental damage than liquid laundry detergent. The production of laundry detergent strips requires less energy and water than liquid laundry detergents, and the strips generate less waste.

Additionally, laundry detergent strips are easier to transport and store than liquids, further reducing their environmental impact. Moreover, laundry detergent strips are just as effective as liquids at cleaning clothes.

For all these reasons, laundry detergent sheets are a more environmentally friendly choice than liquid detergents.

How do you make your own zero-waste laundry detergent?

Making your own zero-waste laundry detergent is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. The best part is that it's actually very simple to do! All you need is a bar of laundry soap, some washing soda, and some Borax.

Start by grating the bar of the laundry soap into fine pieces. Then, add the laundry soap flakes to a gallon of warm water and stir until they are completely dissolved.

Next, add 1/2 cup of washing soda and 1/2 cup of Borax to the mixture and stir until they are also fully dissolved.

Once everything is mixed together, you can transfer the detergent to a storage container.

That's it! You now have enough zero-waste detergent to last for many months. Just use a small amount (about 1/4 cup) per load of laundry.

Make your own zero-waste laundry room

A laundry room is one of the most important rooms in any home - it's where we clean our clothes and linens. But it's also a room that can generate a lot of waste. From single-use detergent packets to dryer sheets and fabric softeners, the laundry space can be a source of serious environmental damage. Fortunately, there are a number of simple steps you can take to make your laundry room more eco-friendly.

One simple way to do this is to choose laundry accessories that generate zero waste. These products are designed to be used over and over again, eliminating the need for disposable items like paper towels and dryer sheets. Here are some of the best zero-waste laundry accessories on the market:

- Reusable lint rollers

- Mesh laundry bags

- Stainless steel hangers

Most importantly, ditching disposable products in favor of reusable alternatives. This means switching to liquid laundry detergent, which can be easily refilled from a larger container.

You can also purchase a laundry ball, which eliminates the need for any type of detergent. Other easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint include hanging clothes to dry whenever possible and using cold water for washing.

By taking these simple steps, you can make a big difference for the environment - and your wallet! - by having a zero-waste laundry room.

A few of the Certifications to check for eco-friendly laundry detergents:

There are a variety of sustainability certifications that companies can use to show their commitment to environmental and social responsibility.

B-Corp

B-Corp is awarded to companies that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability.

Leaping Bunny

Leaping Bunny is another certification, given to companies that do not test their products on animals. This ensures that the products are cruelty-free.

EPA Safer Choice

EPA Safer Choice is a certification program for products that meet strict safety and environmental standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency.

USDA Certified Bio-Based

USDA Certified Bio-Based products are made from renewable resources and meet stringent quality and performance standards set by the United States Department of Agriculture.

EcoCert

EcoCert is a certification program for products that meet strict ecological and social criteria.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a sustainable laundry option that doesn’t produce any waste, zero-waste, plastic-free laundry detergent is a great choice. It comes in either a plastic-free cardboard box or a reusable container and contains all-natural ingredients. Plus, it works much better than its conventional counterpart.

Give it a try the next time you do your laundry – your clothes will come out clean and you can feel good knowing that you’re not contributing to plastic pollution. Did you know that traditional laundry detergent produces plastic pollution? Have you tried using sustainable, zero-waste laundry options instead?

References

Prabhakar, M. (2020, June 15). Detergents too have microplastics! Beat the Microbead. https://www.beatthemicrobead.org/detergents-too-have-microplastics/

Badmus, S. O. (2021, September 29). Environmental risks and toxicity of surfactants: overview of analysis, assessment, and remediation techniques. SpringerLink. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11356-021-16483-w

Dangers of Mixing Bleach with Cleaners. (n.d.). Washington State Department of Health. https://doh.wa.gov/community-and-environment/contaminants/bleach-mixing-dangers

For Greener Laundry, Skip Optical Brighteners. (2021, October 19). The Spruce. https://www.thespruce.com/optical-brighteners-chemicals-not-needed-1707025