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Plastic-Free Living

10 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Laundry Detergent

January 30, 2024

People are often concerned about the ingredients in their laundry detergent due to skin allergens or sensitive skin, but the ingredients in your laundry detergent also have an effect on the planet. Why? Because what you wash your clothes with ends up back in the environment. That's why choosing eco-friendly alternatives for laundry detergent is so important.

Did you know that the typical laundry detergent pod is actually wrapped in a plastic called PVA? This plastic dissolves in the wash but it doesn't go away. According to research, around 75% of PVA from laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent pods ends up back in our environment.

10 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Laundry Detergent

Here are some eco-friendly alternatives to traditional laundry detergents that can help reduce environmental impact:

  1. Soap Nuts (Soapberries): These are natural berries that contain saponin, a natural detergent. They can be placed in a cloth bag and added to your laundry.
  2. Baking Soda: Baking soda is a versatile and eco-friendly option. It can help to soften water, remove odors, and act as a gentle cleanser.
  3. Washing Soda: Also known as sodium carbonate, washing soda is a mineral-based compound that can be used as a laundry booster. It helps to remove stains and soften water.
  4. Castile Soap: This vegetable-based soap is gentle and biodegradable. You can use it in small quantities as a laundry detergent. Make sure to choose an unscented version to minimize additives.
  5. Eco-friendly Laundry Pods or Tablets: Some companies (Blueland!) offer laundry pods or tablets with environmentally friendly ingredients. Look for ones that are biodegradable and free from harmful chemicals like
    Blueland Laundry Tablets
  6. Homemade Detergents: You can make your own laundry detergent using simple ingredients like grated castile soap, washing soda, and borax. There are many DIY recipes available online.
  7. Vinegar: White vinegar can be used as a fabric softener and helps to neutralize odors. It can also act as a mild disinfectant.
  8. Wool Dryer Balls: While not a detergent replacement, using
    wool dryer balls
    can help reduce drying time and eliminate the need for fabric softeners or dryer sheets.
  9. Liquid Castile Soap: This soap is plant-based and can be diluted with water to create a laundry detergent. Again, choose an unscented version to minimize additives.
  10. Lemon Juice: Lemon juice can be used to brighten whites and remove stains. It also has natural antibacterial properties.

Remember to check the specific needs of your laundry (e.g., high-efficiency machines, fabric types) when choosing an alternative to traditional detergent. Additionally, always test any new product on a small, inconspicuous area of your clothing to ensure compatibility.


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