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I Tested The Top 7 Zero Waste Laundry Detergent's So You Don't Need To

I Tested The Top 7 Zero Waste Laundry Detergent's So You Don't Need To

DISCLOSURE: The Eco-friendly marketplace Ecoternatives has asked me to write about this topic, but all opinions are unbiased, and 100% my own.

I’m no tree hugger, but with all our options today, it just doesn't make sense to still buy bulky plastic jugs of laundry detergent.

  • They're 80% water, meaning we're shipping large plastic jugs of water accross the world instead of the concentrate.
  • The jugs almost never get recycled
  • And the 20% of concentrate that is there is laced with chemicals like dioxane, formaldehyde, and synthetic dyes linked to cancer. 

Unlike in the EU, in the US ingredients are "innocent" until proven "guilty". However this burden of proof has been made almost impossible to reach to give corporations more autonomy.

Personally I don't want to put things on my skin and clothes that are banned in other countries. After all, the skin is the largest organ in the body and absorbs everything we put on it.

So how does this look safe:

Getting to the point, I needed an eco friendly laundry detergent that actually worked. That's why I spent $190 on the 7 most popular eco-friendly laundry detergents, and put them to a 10-week test. 

The Test:

I sifted through tons of zero waste laundry detergent brands to find these top brands. Which I ranked by price from lowest to highest.

  1. EarthBreeze Laundry Sheets | $15.99 for 60 loads
  2. Meliora Laundry Detregent Powder | $18.99 for 64 loads
  3. Tangie Concentrated Laundry Detergent Bar | $23.00 for 64 loads
  4. BlueLand Laundry Detergent Tablets | $25.00 for 60 tablets
  5. TruEarth Laundry Detergent Sheets | $19.95 for 32 loads
  6. Dropps Laundry Detergent | $28.00 for 64 tablets
  7. Bonus: Diy Home Laundry Detergent | $7.00 for 60 loads


Winner - Earth Breeze

These are sheets of soap that come in a paperboard packet, and are used by simply placing them right into your machine's soap tray or drum. 

I tested these on a bunch of different laundry piles, and was blown away. They worked on everything from my dog's dirty blankets, to my gym attire. Leaving everything feel clean and fresh-smelling which was genuinely impressive.

To me, the aroma is clean and pleasant, but if you’re sensitive to scents they also make unscented ones. 

About the Brand

Earth Breeze does some great work outside of their business operations. For example, they donate laundry detergent to different groups in need like global relief services, homeless shelters, and animal shelters. 

They also donate money to Feeding America and have partnered with "We Are Neutral" and "1% for the Planet" to offset their carbon emissions and environmental impact.

Runner Up - Meliora

I have nothing bad to say about Meliora.

I've tried a few other laundry detergent's in the past like Nellie's, and this powder has been my favorite.

It's also reasonably inexpensive compared to other brands and has a lavender scent that I love so much. 

I do wonder how it will effect my clothes over the long run though, due to it's very simple 4 ingredients. If you're curious what I mean by this, please read section #6 where I talk about DIY laundry detergent. 

Overall my review was good, and the company behind this product is top notch.

Second Runner Up - TruEarth

While these sheets worked great, I really can't tell much of a difference between TruEarth and other laundry detergent sheets I've tried in the past (besides EarthBreeze). So, I don't think the price justifies the product. 

Overall, I tested TruEarth with several different loads and load sizes and they did a great job at removing stains, odors, and leaving my clothes feeling clean.

4th Place - Dropps 

I think Dropps is an overall great brand that has a wide variety of products and scents.

The pods did a great job at removing stains, odors, and everything in between. You don't get 4.7 stars and hundreds of reviews by making a bad product.

HOWEVER, I found that I had to use 2-3 pods per load. Making things, well... 2-3 times more expensive. For this reason, I'm refraining from purchasing Dropps again.

5th Place - Blueland


If you haven't heard of Blueland, they're another great zero waste company, and they actually blew up after presenting on Shark Tank.

Although they have great products, I think their laundry detergent is one of that might still need improvement.

The tablets sometimes don't fully dissolve, making me wonder if they're really working. This has happened both when I use warm water and cold water (although I often use cold water).

It might be because I also have an HE laundry machine that uses less water to wash than some others. 

Also, if my clothes are especially smelly, they don't always do the best job at deodorizing my laundry. 

6th Place - Tangie

This product comes with a bit of a twist. It comes in the form of a soap bar, which you are instructed to cut up and dissolve in a bottle or jar that you already have.

I love that there is no plastic involved, and it comes with an instructions sticker to label your jar with. 

One bar cut up, makes an entire gallon of laundry soap, so that’s exactly what I did. I left my 'gallon' overnight, and by morning, the scraps had dissolved fully. However the soap and water does tend to separate, so you have to swirl the container prior to use, but that's no issue. 

My only issue with this product is that it didn't exactly eliminate odors like I had hoped.

For example, I found that iy left a slight scent of deodorant on my shirts, so I'm wondering what is also still there, that didn't get cleaned.

Over a few months, I've also noticed that my whites were becoming less white, and my colors may not be as vibrant as they once were. 

#6 - DIY Laundry Detergent

Okay, so I was going to make an at home laundry detergent after looking through several different home recipes using things like: castile soap, borax, washing soda, baking soda, salt, and essential oils... then I ran into a blog post written by one of the top zero waste influencers who I trust warning me against this.

I encourage you to read her blog post about it.

The main points are that:

  • At home laundry detergent isn't detergent, it's soap. And soap buries intself inside textiles, creating a water-repelling effect. When it accumulates, it actually attracts and traps dirt in your textiles.  Overall, your DIY detergent will be fine at first, but eventually the grime will build up to the point where it can't be ignored. 
  • The same soap that builds up in your textiles, also builds up in your washing machine. This can cause mold or mildew to grow inside your machine and even cause your machine to break early. It also voids your machine's warranty if you have one. 

Below is an image of a bathtub from someone who stripped their clothes after using their homemade laundry detergent for months. It really shows just how much dirt can get trapped in your clothes that you can't see:

Here is a link to a compilation of stories just like this one.

Concluding Remarks

From now on, I'll be using Earth Breeze. They retail for $20.00, but you can get them at Ecoterntives (the world's first actually affordable eco store) for ~$14.00 after checking out using this link, or using discount code: EARTHBREEZE

Happy washing!


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