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There are all sorts of excellent laundry detergents available to choose from online nowadays, but which ones really help you do your bit for the environment? Take a look at our handy tips for selecting a product that meets your needs and protects the planet.
Though most of us have a preference when it comes to the formula of laundry detergent we use, there are a couple of points worth considering when it comes to how eco-friendly they are. Aside from liquids and powders, there's also a third type to consider: laundry balls. Here's what to weigh up for each type.
While ultra-concentrated formulas are usually in liquid form, you can check the number of washes for a powder to see how much you'll get out of them. Also, a big draw of powders is that they can be packaged in cardboard rather than plastic.
Concentrated formulas will be able to perform just as well on colder, shorter washing cycles, which means lower carbon emissions overall. Even if a detergent does not mention whether its formula is concentrated, it's still worth checking whether it can efficiently wash your clothes on low-temperature cycles of 30 degrees.
They can be used without any other product, relying largely on water (which can actually break through urine and even blood), the movement of the washing machine, and the friction from the ball itself. If you'd like your clothes or bedding to smell nice, you can always add a few drops of essential oil to the drum.
Ingredients to avoid include palm oil, which is responsible for the destruction of huge sections of rainforest and the natural habitat of countless animal and insect species.
Toxic ingredients such as chlorine bleach, synthetic fragrances, dyes, optical brighteners, phosphates, sodium laureth sulphate (SLS) and parabens are also no-nos, as they can all be potentially contaminating, both to your skin and to the planet as they enter the water supply.
As well as checking out the label (or the brand's website, if you wish), keep an eye out for the following logos:
This proves a company has taken measures to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it puts out during the production process. Products made in North America may be USDA certified, meaning the United States Department of Agriculture approves of the methods of production used.
To win extra eco-points, look out for laundry liquids and powders which come in plastic-free packaging. Failing that, make sure the bottle or carton is easily recyclable, and if possible, made from recycled materials itself.
A detergent made in the UK is a better option, keeping the carbon footprint of your purchase to a minimum. Of course, the more locally you can shop, the better!
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1. Bio D Concentrated Non-Bio Washing Powder｜2 kg
Live Your Greenest Life
2. EcoEgg Multi-Use Laundry Egg in Fresh Linen
Refillable Laundry Ball Perfect for Sensitive Skin
Faith in Nature
4. Faith in Nature Super Concentrated Laundry Liquid｜5 litres
Ultra-Concentrated Bulk Buy With a Dreamy Herbal Scent
9. Wilton Jasmine Eco Laundry Liquid｜1.5 litres
Beautifully-Scented Liquid Made in a Zero-Waste Factory
5. Ecover Non-Bio Washing Powder｜3 kg
Tackle Stains Even at 30 Degrees
6. Earth Friendly Products Ecos Lavender Laundry Detergent｜1.56 litres
Best Pick for Sweet-Smelling Laundry
Super Washing Machine
8. Super Washing Machine Eco-Friendly Laundry Ball
Forget Detergent for Good
7. Seventh Generation Natural Concentrated Laundry Detergent｜1.47 litres
Skip the Plastic Bottle for Compostable Cardboard
10. Mrs Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent｜3 litres
Lavender-Scented Liquid With Carbon Neutral Approval
A great pick for anyone whose sensitive skin is irritated by detergents, you can choose from four essential oil-scented fragrances, as well as three different sizes which promise 54, 210 or 720 washes. After this, refill pellets are available online, and even after this, the plastic can be recycled. Try it once and you’ll never look back.
Additionally, this detergent has been produced in a completely zero-waste facility whereby 98.1% of the factory waste is diverted from landfill. The bottle is not only recyclable but made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, too. If only it was made in the UK!
In particular, it has the Carbon Neutral seal, and is manufactured in family-owned plants powered by 100% renewable energy which adhere to Zero Waste Business Council guidelines. Sadly, Ecos's products have a considerable carbon footprint if you’re shopping in the UK as they’re made in the US, which also makes this a rather expensive purchase.
If you have a big family with a constant supply of dirty clothes that need cleaning, one bottle of detergent won't be enough! Take a look at our other articles for some of the best laundry products to buy online.
We hope you’ll be able to find an eco-friendly product on our list which will keep your family’s clothes beautifully clean and help you live your best – and greenest – life!
Author: Annie Hopkins
No. 1: Bio-D｜1. Bio D Concentrated Non-Bio Washing Powder｜2 kg
No. 2: EcoEgg ｜2. EcoEgg Multi-Use Laundry Egg in Fresh Linen
No. 3: Faith in Nature｜4. Faith in Nature Super Concentrated Laundry Liquid｜5 litres
No. 4: Ecover｜9. Wilton Jasmine Eco Laundry Liquid｜1.5 litres
No. 5: Ecover｜5. Ecover Non-Bio Washing Powder｜3 kg
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