laundry detergent sheets

This pack of 64 laundry detergent sheets is an alternative to plastic bottles of laundry liquid or bulky boxes of powder, often with a high carbon footprint. Made from plant-based biodegradable ingredients, they are not tested on animals, and sold in easy-to-recycle Kraft packaging. Simple to use, just take a sheet (two for large loads) and place in the drum. Works out at 10p a wash (20p for large loads). Also read of zero waste innovations to dry your laundry.

Choose unscented for pregnancy/nursing, baby/pet bedding and affected medical conditions like asthma, epilepsy, high blood pressure etc. The ‘Scented’ version is from the flax plant.

Created with expert chemists, you obviously need some kind of detergent to clean clothes, but these are as natural as you can get. Each ingredient is designed to do least harm and (though not legally-bound), the company lists all ingredients (with a plain English translation).

Conventional laundry detergents cause algae bloom that kills marine wildlife and uses optical brighteners (blue chemicals that make your ‘whites look whiter than white)’. Instead, choose laundry sheets or biodegradable brands like Bio-D and Green Scents, and wash synthetic fibers (nylon, polyester, recycled plastic) in a microplastic catcher (gradually replace clothing with cotton, linen or hemp).

a refillable natural laundry brand

Moam organics laundry

Thanks to Sir David Attenborough’s TV programs, all websites now have a ‘sustainability page’ to answer questions on ingredients and packaging. Persil (owned by Unilever) is England’s best-selling brand name laundry powder. The website states that it is ‘constantly looking for the best ingredients that are environmentally conscious’. Perhaps they could phone up Bio-D and find out what they are.

Moam Organics is a brand of laundry liquid made with biodegradable ingredients, and are scented only with natural essential oil. The caveat here is that these products are not suitable for pregnancy/nursing or affected medical conditions, due to all being scented. Likewise, it’s best to choose brands with unscented options like Bio-D for children and pets (including washing pet bowls etc). But for everyone else, these are lovely.

The products are sold in aluminium bottles that are lightweight and easily recycled, and less likely to degrade products than plastic, which is affected by time and sun exposure. When the bottle runs out, just buy refill pouches (with half the plastic of conventional brands) and send them off (minimum 5 to make it financially viable for the company to cover costs of recycling). You even get a prepaid envelope.

Laundry liquid is scented with geranium, lavender & cedarwood oil. The company also makes body lotions which work in a similar way, also scented with geranium, lavender & cedarwood oil. If you wish, you can buy complete kits for cost savings, and there is also the option to buy empty refill bottles (won’t smash, if dropped) in chic neutral designs.

The company also offers reed diffusers. Again, don’t use these if pregnant/nursing or around babies or pets (air rooms after use). But they are more natural than supermarkets, and safer than lighting candles. Sold in uplifting (bergamot, geranium, lemon, rose absolute), calming (lavender, bergamot, geranium, cedarwood) & Christmas (pine needle, petitgrain, orange, cedarwood, sandalwood).

liquidless eco laundry detergent sheets

Bazoo fragrance-free laundry detergent

Bazoo liquidless eco laundry detergent sheets (enter code at checkout for £10 off). These dissolve rapidly in warm and cold water and are suitable for hand washing and washing machines, working well with septic and greywater systems. While most liquid detergents are watered down, these are concentrated and packed in cardboard with biodegradable ink. Choose the fragrance free version, to avoid synthetic fragrance oil.

why switch to greener household brands?

For a lot of reasons. Firstly, the ‘greenest’ way to launder cloths is to only do so when needed, and for synthetic fibres (nylon, polyester & recycled plastic bottles), use a microplastic catcher, to avoid plastics breaking off in the machine and travelling out to sea. Unless you need to wash them, you can get away with rinsing swimming costumes.

Most big brands are owned by multi-nationals that test their products on animals (no need, other companies don’t) and some don’t pay fair tax. You would go to prison if you didn’t pay your taxes, so why support companies that don’t fund our NHS,  like everyone else?

Thirdly, the big brands are sold in plastic packaging. Plastic is made from oil, so that means your money is supporting the fossil fuel industry (the opposite of what needs to happen, to stop climate change). Head & Shoulders (owned by Proctor & Gamble) has just released a’recycled plastic’ bottle. But many ingredients inside are not biodegradable. So it’s giving with one hand, taking away with the other.

Most major brands contain non-biodegradable ingredients like petroleum (more oil), artificial fragrances (irritants that cause algae bloom in water, which harms aquatic life) and optical brighteners (blue dyes that give the illusion of ‘whites appearing whiter than white’). Just add a little oxygen bleach as a pre-soak or laundry booster, or mix into a paste with water to remove stains. Unlike chlorine bleach, it won’t remove colour from clothes. It’s also far safer (still keep away from children and pets).

All the big brands boast of their dishwashing and laundry items being ‘phosphate-free’. That’s because phosphates are illegal to sell in the UK, due to environmental concerns and being linked to heart disease and osteoporosis. But many still use chlorine bleach (an obvious no-no) and Benzisothiazolinone (hazardous to eye health, and banned for cosmetic use in Europe). Companies say it’s used as the only alternative to formaldehyde. But eco brands manage without it.

The website then has the cheek to ask you to ‘calculate your environmental footprint, to understand the impact you currently have?’ Friends of the Earth is currently trying to get the company to stop using conflict palm oil. One ingredient in one of the laundry liquids is ‘blue dye’. Again a quick pop over to EWG finds that ‘blue dye no.1’ is linked to irritation of the skin, eyes and lungs.

liquidless eco laundry detergent sheets

Bazoo fragrance-free laundry detergent

Bazoo liquidless eco laundry detergent sheets (enter code at checkout for £10 off). These dissolve rapidly in warm and cold water and are suitable for hand washing and washing machines, working well with septic and greywater systems. While most liquid detergents are watered down, these are concentrated and packed in cardboard with biodegradable ink. In a fragrance-free version, the compact boxes are ideal for travel.

Choose fragrance-free option to avoid fragrance oils. Always choose unscented cleaning/laundry brands for pregnancy/nursing, affected medical conditions, babies and pets (citrus oils are pet-toxic). 

Conventional laundry detergents cause algae bloom that kills marine wildlife and uses optical brighteners (blue chemicals that make your ‘whites look whiter than white)’. Instead, choose laundry sheets or biodegradable brands like Bio-D and Green Scents, and wash synthetic fibers (nylon, polyester, recycled plastic) in a microplastic catcher (gradually replace clothing with cotton, linen or hemp).

Thanks to Sir David Attenborough’s TV programs, all websites now have a ‘sustainability page’ to answer questions on ingredients and packaging. Persil (owned by Unilever) is England’s best-selling brand name laundry powder. The website states that it is ‘constantly looking for the best ingredients that are environmentally conscious’. Perhaps they could phone up Bio-D and find out what they are.

 

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