A Guide To Zero Waste Laundry Sheet Detergent
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Walk down the laundry aisle of any super market and you’ll find a large variety of conventional liquid laundry detergent in single-use plastic jugs, plastic bag filled laundry pods and boxed soap suds—but not a single “pack” of zero-waste laundry strips, which explains why many people haven’t heard of the “eco-friendly” alternative. Including myself.
So when a few companies reached out to me and offered me samples of these detergent alternatives, I jumped at the opportunity to explore them. I was genuinely intrigued by such a concept.
Fast forward a few months later and I’m writing this article with what I like to call “veteran” knowledge about the zero-waste laundry product because I’ve used it for a good while. With that said, I have had a chance to study laundry strips, use them with different fabrics, deploy them to fight various stains, and compared various brands amongst one another.
Like all products, laundry strips have pros and cons. They have benefits and they have flaws. Hence, I’d like to give my honest knowledge and opinion about both and hopefully that will help you decide if these eco-friendly laundry alternatives are a good fit for you, your lifestyle, and more importantly, your budget.
What Are Laundry Strips?
Laundry strips are pre-measured, thin concentrated strips of laundry detergent that dissolve in water, and are flexible with a soft, smooth and almost spongy texture.
These [eco-friendly] laundry strips are offered in both scented and fragrance-free options, and they’re made with plant-based ingredients that are not only hypoallergenic, but also non-toxic and pet-friendly.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Laundry Strips?
Perhaps the greatest benefit of using laundry strips is that you’re able to lower your carbon footprint by purchasing a plastic-free laundry detergent. Because while it’s true that your typical liquid detergent bottle is recyclable, many people fail to remember that plastic production results in some pretty serious air pollution.
Another benefit of using laundry strips is improved health. Eco-friendly laundry strips are plant-based, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic, while mainstream detergents contain phthalates, parabens, carcinogens and other toxins that our skin absorbs. On the plus side, these toxins fabulously remove stains and create a fresh scent, but on the downside, they’re a ticking time bomb that potentially cause tumors and other health issues in the long run.
Laundry strips are made with only vegan ingredients and never tested on animals. whereas many big brand detergents will state that their products are cruelty-free “except when required by law to test on animals”—which means that many of their products have probably been tested on animals.
Laundry strips save you a ton of space because they’re thin, flat and packaged in what resembles a cardboard envelope. This makes them especially dorm-room and apartment friendly—especially if your living space doesn’t contain a washer and dryer and you’re constantly having to haul your laundry to a laundromat. Detergent jugs are heavy to carry around—strips are basically weightless.
Unlike liquid and powder detergent, laundry strips don’t require any measuring—which is especially great if you’re a bachelor who tends to overdo it with the measurements. In fact, they come with pre-measured strips that you simply toss into your washing machine; and if you happen to accidentally drop in an extra strip, it’s perfectly fine! Laundry strips don’t “bubble” like conventional detergents, and the plant-based ingredients won’t harm your sensitive skin.
Laundry strips are incredibly convenient for road trips, travel and vacations. If you’ve ever had to stay at a motel/hotel, you know how annoying it is to have to buy detergent from a dispenser, and you certainly don’t want to purchase a huge jug that you can’t take back on the plane with you. I’ve taken my laundry strips with me in a flat baby wipe dispenser and didn’t have to worry about buying a hefty jug.
What Are The Cons Of Laundry Strips
One of the cons of switching to eco-friendly laundry strips is having to plan ahead and order at the right time before you run out. As consumers, we’re used to grabbing a jug off of store shelves and hauling it home with us—whereas laundry strips, which are not offered in your neighborhood supermarket must be ordered online.
Heavily stained clothing is harder to clean. However, if you’re a household that doesn’t deal with very many heavy stains on a regular basis, then that shouldn’t really be such a huge concern. I personally find that laundry strips do a great job at tackling stains on my kids’ clothing and that even Tide can’t perfectly get rid of heavy stains. It is what it is.
The last issue is price. Eco-friendly laundry strips cost more than your mainstream laundry detergent, and that’s most likely because they have to source alternative ingredients which contribute to the overall non-toxic formula. These brands may also have to jump through extra hoops to get certifications proving that they’re nontoxic and environmentally friendly.
What Is An Affordable Laundry Strip Brand?
The fact is, a majority of eco-friendly laundry strip brands are not cheap—in fact, some can be down right expensive, which is a deal breaker for the average stay at home mom on a tight budget.
However, there are so many benefits to eco-friendly laundry strips that it’s worth buying at least one package of. If not for use on a regular basis, then at least for travel purposes—and especially if you’re living a single or dorm room lifestyle and don’t need to do as much laundry as a family of 4. And there are certain eco-friendly laundry strip brands that don’t require your entire paycheck.
The average price for a pack of laundry strips costs around $20—but, some brands (like Earth Breeze) have a subscription plan that significantly knocks the price down to an affordable amount that’s equivalent to big name brands like Gain or Tide.
Plus, it’s important to point out that the Earth Breeze laundry strip packs contain 60 loads of laundry, whereas other laundry strip brands contain 32 and for double the cost. Hence, their subscription cost at $12 a month is absolutely excellent when it comes to affordability for this type of product.
Even if you do a one time purchase at $20, you’re still getting more product with 60 loads than another brand that’s the same price and offers only a 32 load pack.
Earth Breeze is a member of 1% for the planet, and for every pack of eco-strips sold, they donate 10 loads of laundry to someone in need.
So whether you’re just trying to be a more mindful consumer, or you’re looking for a healthier laundry detergent alternative, I whole heartedly recommend eco-friendly laundry strips like Earth Breeze for your laundry routine. And as for the dryer, you should definitely consider looking into wool dryer balls.