As you may know by now, plastic pollution is causing harm to humans, animals, and plants alike through the toxic pollutants it releases into the earth. Plastic bottles and containers, detergent bottles included, take up to a thousand years to degrade in a landfill.
What’s worse is that we, as Americans, throw away 35 billion plastic bottles every year. And for plastic laundry jugs alone, we’ve discovered that 700,000,000 of them are dumped into landfills across North America each year.
With this information being circulated much more frequently than ever before, many people are looking to reduce their negative impact on the planet. Reducing plastic use is a great way to do that.
Another great way is to switch to products and packaging that are better for the environment, like zero-waste laundry detergents. And as a nice bonus, many of these products are better for us and our kids and pets, too.
What is zero-waste laundry detergent?
Zero-waste laundry detergents like ours are ultra-concentrated, lightweight, easy to use, and made with better ingredients and no plastic, including the packaging. Eco-friendly laundry detergents often come in strips, powders, or bars that pack an impressive punch.
The strips are pre-measured so it eliminates that extra step and any additional messiness. They dissolve in both cold and hot water and are safe for all different kinds of washing machines.
How is this different from regular detergents?
One of the biggest differences between zero-waste laundry detergents and traditional ones is those detrimental plastic containers we talked about earlier. But there some other significant differences, too.
Many traditional laundry detergents rely heavily on synthetic ingredients, like chemicals, heavy scent-boosters, and others that may be toxic. One of the most concerning chemicals used in everyday laundry detergents is one that is also found in different paints and varnishes.
1,4-Dioxane is found in several popular brands of laundry detergent, despite this solvent being labeled by the EPA as a human carcinogen. While it seems like this solvent is the most damaging when it is consumed or inhaled at high levels, who wants something like this in their laundry detergent?
There are better ways to break down the dirt and bacteria on your clothes. Eco-friendly laundry detergents rely on healthier ingredients to get the job done. And because the ingredients are less harsh, they’re often less likely to cause rashes or itchiness, too.
Can you DIY zero-waste laundry detergent?
If you’re feeling crafty or you like to see the ingredients that are being added to the products you use, there are plenty of DIY options out there for zero-waste laundry detergents. And thankfully, many of them are easy to make.
Some of them can even be made with ingredients you already have at home, too. And what’s even better than that is that you can find DIY recipes and instructions for many different eco-friendly products if you prefer to craft things rather than purchase them. But let’s start with the detergent.
Ingredients and Instructions for DIY eco-friendly laundry detergent
There are tons of great recipes for DIY eco-friendly detergents, ranging from budget-friendly and easy to more expensive and complicated. Here’s the breakdown for a cheap DIY zero-waste option that requires only a few simple ingredients:
All you need for this one is:
- One bar of Castile bar soap (choose one wrapped in recyclable paper instead of plastic)
- One 55-ounce box of washing soda (most of these are sold in paper or cardboard boxes that are 100% recyclable, so that’s not an issue here)
- One 16-ounce box of baking soda (also sold in paper/cardboard boxes)
- Essential oil – optional
The essential oil is to give it a nice scent, so this ingredient is completely optional and can be eliminated if you’re happy with a fragrance-free option. If you want a scented detergent without using essential oils, choose a scented Castile bar soap instead of a fragrance-free one. A scent like lavender will remain nice and light without becoming overpowering.
This particular recipe makes five full gallons of DIY eco-friendly laundry detergent. That’s enough for 160 large loads (at ½ cup for large loads and ¼ cup for small loads), according to its creator. So, if you don’t have the buckets or the storage space for that much detergent, cut it in half.
Now, the instructions:
- Start by grating your bar of soap into small shavings; you can use a grater or cut the bar into small cubes and pulse in the blender for a few seconds at a time
- Boil four cups of water and add in the soap shavings
- Sit continuously until the soap has completely melted down – typically takes about five to ten minutes
- Fill a five-gallon bucket (smaller if you’re going half batch) halfway with hot water and pour the soap mixture in
- Stir in one cup of baking soda and one cup of washing soda, continuing for a few minutes to make sure it’s all dissolved well
- Add a few drops of your essential oils if you want it to be scented and stir again to combine
- Fill the rest of the bucket with hot water and stir once more
- Pop on the lid and let your creation rest for 24 hours to take on a more gel or detergent-like consistency
With four to five ingredients and in less than ten steps, you have enough eco-friendly laundry detergent to get through 160 large loads.
Your new zero-waste detergent is budget-friendly, plastic-free, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and made by hand. That’s pretty impressive! Don’t feel bad if this feels like too much work for you; we’ve got you covered, and we’ll get to our zero-waste detergent next.
With so many different options for making or buying eco-friendly laundry detergents, there’s truly something for everyone. And there’s no longer any reason to keep buying traditional detergents, either. Reduce the unnecessary plastics in your life, starting with that jug of traditional laundry detergent in the basement!
EcoRoots’ zero-waste laundry detergent
At EcoRoots, we understand how tricky it can be to balance working toward an eco-friendly lifestyle while also juggling all of your other responsibilities. We understand that DIY projects take time and patience, and they’re not for everyone.
That’s why we make it easy to find our incredible, ready-to-go eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets and have it shipped right to your front door. And if you’re looking for other eco-friendly products to purchase at the same time, many of our customers buy this with our zero-waste cleaning kit.
Our low-waste alternative to traditional detergents uses better ingredients, earth-friendly packaging, and boasts a ton of benefits you can truly feel good about. If you’re looking for ways to make your home eco-friendlier, choosing our zero-waste laundry detergent is a great start!
How it’s made
For each of your favorite EcoRoots products, we choose happy, healthy ingredients that are better for humans and the planet. We swap out chemicals and piled-high synthetics for more wholesome and natural components.
Our zero-waste laundry detergent is no different. Clean and simple, our eco-friendly laundry detergent contains no parabens, phosphates, dyes, or bleach. We use biodegradable and plant-based ingredients, like vegetable glycerin, coconut-oil-based cleaning agents, and starch.
These laundry detergent strips are also hypoallergenic, vegan and cruelty-free, and palm-oil free. For the scented option, we use a safe fragrance blend made primarily of natural essential oils.
How to use it
When you hear the words, “eco-strips zero-waste laundry detergent,” you might be intimidated at first. After all, most of us haven’t encountered laundry strips until we started swapping out traditional products for eco-friendly ones. But don’t worry, they’re incredibly easy to use and they’re truly the smartest way to clean your laundry!
All you have to do is this:
- Remove and detach the strip from the rest
- Place the strip in the washer
- Add your clothes and turn the washer on
It’s that simple! Whether you choose the fresh breeze scent or fragrance-free, one strip is enough for one load and one package will clean a total of 64 loads. The best part: it’s gentle enough even for those with sensitive skin, including babies.
The healthy but powerful ingredients in our eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets are formulated to effectively seek and destroy dirt molecules and stains. They collect and hold these molecules in suspension until the water comes and washes them away.
These strips make your laundry days much easier. Getting your clothes, towels, and blankets washed doesn’t have to be a chore you dread anymore. On top of making laundry easier, these strips also make it more economical, and they’re kinder to our planet and your skin. There are so many benefits and they’re so incredibly easy to use. Making the switch is a no-brainer.
How we ship it
Plastic packaging is extremely wasteful and harmful to our ecosystem. The problem with traditional product packaging is that it lazily relies heavily on plastics and other non-recyclable and non-compostable materials.
These materials are then sent to sit in landfills until they eventually seep into the earth. But they don’t just pollute the soil, they pollute our air and water, too. The amount of greenhouse gas emitted due to plastic packaging each year is astronomical.
On top of creating problems in the soil, air, and water, ditched plastics are also impacting our wildlife. They’re polluting our oceans and ending up in other places that they don’t belong, like stormwater drains.
We hope that, one day, laws, viewpoints, and packaging methods will change to the point that this is no longer a concern. But until then, we continue to lead by example and design our products so that they’re not only free of damaging plastics, but they’re not shipped in them, either.
We ship our items to your door in recyclable and compostable cardboard packaging every time. We want to be sure that everything we’re doing is helping to counteract the problem rather than contributing to it.
A recap of its benefits
There are countless benefits to choosing zero-waste products like our laundry detergent strips, and we covered many of them throughout this article. But just in case you missed some of them, here’s a quick recap all in one place.
Zero-waste laundry detergents:
- Give you the chance to reduce your negative impact on our planet
- Don’t contain heavy and potentially toxic chemicals that many traditional detergents do, reducing toxins in your home
- Often clean more effectively than traditional detergents
- Come in strips that are easy to use, convenient, and less messy than traditional detergents
- Reduce your home’s trash output
- Keep plastics out of our landfills, oceans, and stormwater drains
- Are often better for adults with sensitive skin or allergies and babies that naturally have sensitive skin
- Can be stored in decorative jars or other attractive storage containers you already have at home
- Can help you save money
Why choose EcoRoots
Whether you’re shopping for eco-friendly laundry detergent or shampoo and conditioner bars, or a multitude of options in between, we give you options you can feel good about. Our customers love our eco-friendly laundry detergent for its transparent ingredients list, its easy and thorough clean without the waste, and its planet-friendly packaging.
If you’ve been looking for ways to reduce the waste in your home and make purchases that better for you and the planet, you’ve found one. Join the rapidly growing movement of zero-waste, eco-friendly consumers. We thank you and our planet thanks you for it, too.
Grab your eco-friendly laundry detergent sheets here! Read more about our best-selling laundry detergent sheets in this article. And while you’re there, check out the rest of our incredible eco-friendly inventory, conveniently broken down into home and kitchen, bath and beauty, and new arrivals. You can also choose “shop all” to browse or read more about your eco-friendly options on our zero-waste blog.
Happy shopping, eco-conscious consumers!