Zero Waste Laundry Detergent – Comprehensive Guide

Introduction – Zero Waste Laundry Detergent

As the world becomes increasingly aware of the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, many people are looking for ways to incorporate sustainability and zero waste practices into their daily routines. One area where you can make a significant impact is by choosing eco-friendly laundry detergent options. In this article, we will explore the meaning of this term, the environmental impact of conventional detergents, the benefits, and some of the best zero waste laundry detergent brands available.

Tru Earth is one of the product we review below for their laundry detergent sheets

Environmental Impact

Conventional laundry detergents can have a detrimental effect on the environment. Many contain harsh chemicals that can pollute waterways and harm aquatic life. In addition, the packaging of traditional detergents is often made of non-biodegradable materials, contributing to plastic waste in landfills. These chemicals can also negatively affect human health, causing skin irritations and other issues.

Eco-Friendly Ingredients in Zero Waste Laundry Detergents

Zero waste laundry detergents aim to minimize their environmental impact by using plant-based, biodegradable ingredients that are gentle on the environment and human health. These detergents often avoid chemicals such as phosphates, synthetic fragrances, and dyes. The result is a product that effectively cleans your clothes without harming the planet.

Finding Eco-Friendly Options

When searching for eco-friendly laundry detergents, consider the following popular brands:

Seventh Generation

A pioneer in eco-friendly cleaning products, Seventh Generation offers a range of laundry detergents that utilize plant-based ingredients in the form of concentrated detergent fluid, low packaging, and zero-waste “sheet” type format.


With their innovative dissolvable laundry detergent pods, Dropps delivers a zero waste solution, featuring compostable packaging and effective plant-based formulas.

Ecover: This brand provides biodegradable and phosphate-free laundry detergents, focusing on minimizing environmental impact through the use of plant-based ingredients and recyclable packaging.

Biokleen: Committed to non-toxic, biodegradable, and plant-based ingredients, Biokleen’s laundry detergents are gentle on both clothes and the environment.

For those interested in niche or emerging brands, consider:

Tru Earth: Tru Earth’s laundry strips significantly reduce packaging waste, featuring biodegradable, hypoallergenic ingredients that are gentle on skin and clothes. Laundry strips are an innovative, eco-friendly alternative to traditional laundry detergents, as they minimize packaging waste and are easy to use. These pre-measured strips dissolve in water and offer a convenient, mess-free way to do laundry while reducing plastic waste and conserving resources.

Meliora: Offering plastic-free laundry detergent options, Meliora emphasizes natural ingredients, sustainable packaging, and a give-back program that supports environmental initiatives. They’re one of the few, perhaps only, companies that are offering powdered detergent in a metal can.

When choosing a zero waste laundry detergent, consider factors such as effectiveness, scent, packaging, and price to find the best option for your needs.

Zero Waste Packaging

Sustainable packaging is a key component of zero waste laundry detergents. Many eco-friendly brands opt for reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable packaging to reduce plastic waste. By choosing a detergent with sustainable packaging, you can further contribute to a cleaner environment.

DIY Zero Waste Laundry Detergent Recipes

For those interested in creating their own eco-friendly detergent, homemade laundry detergent recipes can be a great option. Making your own detergent allows you to control the ingredients and minimize waste. Look for recipes that use natural, biodegradable ingredients, and store your detergent in a reusable container. Follow our step-by-step guide below.

Creating Your Own Zero Waste Laundry Detergent: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Gather ingredients and materials To make your own zero waste laundry detergent, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Washing soda (sodium carbonate)
  • Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Castile soap (bar or liquid)
  • Essential oils for fragrance (optional)

You will also need a reusable container (preferably glass or metal) to store your detergent and a grater if using a bar of castile soap.

Step 2: Prepare the ingredients

  • If using a bar of castile soap, grate it using a cheese grater or a food processor until you have fine shavings.
  • Measure out the following amounts for a basic recipe:
    • 1 cup washing soda
    • 1 cup baking soda
    • 1 cup grated castile soap (or 1/3 cup liquid castile soap)
    • 20-30 drops of essential oil (optional)

Step 3: Combine the ingredients

  • In a large bowl, mix together the washing soda, baking soda, and grated castile soap (or liquid castile soap) until well combined.
  • If using essential oils, add your chosen fragrance to the mixture and stir thoroughly to distribute the scent evenly.

Step 4: Store your homemade detergent

  • Transfer your zero waste laundry detergent to a reusable container with a tight-fitting lid.
  • Label the container with the contents and any usage instructions for easy reference.

Step 5: Use your zero waste laundry detergent

  • To use your homemade detergent, add 1-2 tablespoons (depending on load size and dirtiness) directly to your washing machine’s drum or detergent dispenser before adding your clothes.
  • Run your washing machine as usual, following the garment care instructions.

By following these simple steps, you can create an effective, eco-friendly laundry detergent that helps reduce your carbon footprint and contributes to a more sustainable lifestyle.

Finding Local and Online Stores for Zero Waste Laundry Detergents

To purchase zero waste laundry detergents, explore local eco-friendly stores or search for online retailers that specialize in sustainable products. Buying from these sources ensures that you are supporting environmentally responsible businesses and practices.

Ultra concentrated detergents means less packaging for more uses out of the same volume

Conclusion – Zero Waste Laundry Detergent

Adopting eco-friendly laundry practices by choosing zero waste laundry detergents is a simple but effective way to reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a healthier planet. With a variety of brands and options available, you can find the perfect detergent that aligns with your values and preferences. By making this conscious choice, you are not only helping to protect the environment but also promoting a more sustainable future for generations to come. So, go ahead and embrace eco-friendly laundry practices, and play your part in creating a cleaner, greener world.

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