With an estimated 1 billion high-density polyethylene laundry detergent containers discarded in the U.S. alone, (and only 30% of them getting recycled, according to the EPA) it’s time to talk about plastic-free and zero waste laundry detergent options as part of a mindful clothing care routine.
Thankfully, there are quite a few brands stepping up to the plate with low-waste detergents made from natural, biodegradable ingredients and packaged in compostable, reusable, and/or recyclable packaging.
This guide will break down options for:
- Plastic-Free Laundry Detergent Strips
- Zero Waste Laundry Detergent Pods
- Zero Waste Laundry Powder
- Plastic-Free Liquid Laundry Detergent
- and even a Zero Waste Laundry Soap Bar!
Zero Waste Laundry Detergent Strips
Note that this guide includes affiliate links. As always, brands and products featured meet high standards for sustainability and are brands we stand behind.
Lightweight and super concentrated, detergent strips are a simple and low-impact way to switch to a zero waste laundry routine.
The sheets from EcoRoots are expertly formulated to dislodge dirt and stains effectively without using toxic ingredients.
Perforated to make them easy-to-rip into two pieces, this pack of 32 strips can be used for 64 loads, making the detergent strips option a space-saver too.
Choose between scented and non-scented or get both and save 20% off with a bundle.
Price: $19.95 for 64 loads OR $31.90 for 128 loads w/ bundle
Another convenient low-waste laundry detergent solution is Tru Earth’s pre-measured laundry strips!
These non-toxic detergent strips come in plastic-free recycled paper packaging and are readily biodegradable.
Similar to pods, these strips can simply be tossed into the washing machine with your clothing or linens!
Price: $19.95 for 32 loads ($17.95 with subscription)
Kind Laundry is another option for detergent strips! The strips are made from a plant-derived non-toxic formula that dissolves at any water temperature. With the ultra-concentrated formula, you just need 1 strip per load, making this a lightweight and space-saving laundry solution.
The strips are biodegradable and the package box is recyclable.
Price: $21.95 for 60 loads ($19.75 for subscription)
Zero Waste Laundry Detergent Pods and Tablets
Dropps’ laundry detergent pods are my low waste detergent of choice! They give you the same convenience as pods, but without all of that plastic waste. The pods are shipped in the compostable or recyclable box you see in the photo without any additional packaging materials and the pods themselves are wrapped in a biodegradable, water-soluble polyvinyl alcohol film, which is ranked 1 (with 1 being the best) by EWG.
Price: $24 for 56 pods/loads without subscription; $18 with subscription
Use code LIFE15 for 15% off
Blueland’s laundry tablets come ‘naked’ (i.e. without any plastic wrapping) in a reusable tin, making them another simple zero waste laundry solution. The brand’s tablets are free from ingredients like parabens, phosphates, chlorine bleach, MEAs, DEAs, TEAs, SLES, petroleum, artificial dyes, and fragrances.
Price: $18 for Starter Set with 40 tablets; $14 for Refill
Check Out https://blueland.sjv.io/eKBMm1Blueland
For a completely natural detergent solution, look no further than soap nuts. Made without any added ingredients, soap nuts are simply just dried berries from trees in Nepal that have saponin, an all-natural cleansing agent and fabric softener. They work similar to pods — you put 4 to 5 in a bag and throw it in the wash! The best part is that they can be composted afterwards.
Etsy has plenty of sellers with soap nuts, but this one caught our eye thanks to its plastic-free packaging.
Price: $28 for 1/2 pound
For a different take on these natural soap berries, Nature First has created laundry pods made with a soap berry concentrate for maximum effectiveness. Nature First’s plastic-free laundry detergent is made with natural ingredients like baking soda and aloe vera and is free of toxic ones like sulfates, phosphates, parabens, and fragrances.
Price: $26 for 60 pods
Use code CONSCIOUSLIFE for 10% off
Zero Waste Laundry Detergent Powders
Meliora is a natural cleaning product business with highly concentrated laundry powders manufactured locally in Chicago from 100% natural ingredients, like baking soda and coconut oil. The plastic-free laundry detergent is packaged in a recyclable or reusable steel container. And, you can also get refills in paper bags from Meliora for your canister!
Price: $17 for 128 loads
Use code CONSCIOUSLIFE for 10% off
Made from 3 simple ingredients, The Simply Co. lives up to its name with its no-nonsense laundry detergent. The detergent itself is completely biodegradable and the glass jar and tin are recyclable or reusable.
Price: $18 for 60 loads
Free from ingredients like parabens, sulfates, preservatives, and artificial fragrances, Bestowed Essentials has non-toxic low waste laundry detergent you can feel good about using.
The laundry powder formula is biodegradable and the paper packaging is compostable.
Price: $15.99 for 64 loads
Made with just 4 ingredients and free of fragrances, chlorine, phosphates, and other toxic ingredients, The Good Fill’s laundry powder is not only good for the planet, but good for you and your family, too. The powder refills are shipped in a compostable or recyclable paper bag.
Milk Street Soap Co. is a woman-owned business from North Carolina with zero waste and non-toxic laundry detergent. Taking low-waste to a whole new level, Milk Street not only uses -lastic-free packaging but actually uses soap cast-offs — in addition to natural ingredients — for their sustainable detergent.
Price: $16 for 40 regular loads/80 HE loads
Zero Waste Liquid Laundry Detergent
Australia-based Zero Co makes plant-based laundry detergent free from phosphates, bleach, dyes, and other toxic ingredients. The liquid laundry detergent dispenser is made from ocean plastic waste and the pouches are refillable. How it works: After refilling your dispenser with detergent, you can send the refill packs back to Zero Co for them to clean and refill again for reuse!
Price: $41 for combo with dispenser + 4 liters of detergent
Cleancult makes cleaning products made with clean non-toxic ingredients, like coconut oil, olive oil, and citric acid. The brand also is on a mission to support you on your low waste lifestyle journey with their refillable glass laundry dispensers and recyclable refill cartons.
Price: $15 for laundry bottle; refills are $10 for 64 loads
Zero Waste Laundry Bar
This ultra-concentrated laundry soap is made from 100% organic coconut oil, organic arrowroot starch, water, and sodium hydroxide. There’s an unscented version as well as a lemon lavender option, which is scented with essential oils.
You can either shred the bar using a cheese grater for your laundry load and/or use it as a spot stain stick. Reviewers rave about the bar, and the seller has a 5-star rating with nearly 6,000 sales.
Price: $9.75 for 1 bar