10 eco-friendly laundry products to add to your cupboard
Harming the environment doesn’t have to be part of our cleaning routines. Choose these eco-friendly laundry products to make some sustainable swaps today.
When it comes to household chores like laundry, it’s tempting to take the easiest route, buying convenient items from our nearest supermarket. But unfortunately lots of the cleaning products we use every day release harmful toxins into the environment and produce a lot of waste. For many, the production process also involves animal testing and damaging natural habitats.
With so many affordable sustainable alternatives on the market, making the responsible choice is easy. Here are 10 of the best swaps you can make today to reduce your impact on the planet.
Inspired? Check out our features on best plastic-free household items for an eco-friendly lifestyle, the best sustainable and recycled toilet paper and best sustainable dishwasher tablets.
10 of our favourite eco-friendly laundry products
Natural bamboo clothes pegs
It can take hundreds of years for plastic to fully decompose, so finding biodegradable alternatives to our most used laundry items is an easy way to reduce our waste.
These 20 pegs are made from FSC-approved MOSO bamboo. As pandas don’t eat this variety, the production process doesn't endanger them by depleting their food source.
And if you ever want to get rid of your pegs, you can compost them after removing the metal spring.
These pegs arrive in recyclable, plastic-free packaging, which is coloured using non-toxic vegetable dyes.
Ecoegg laundry egg
If you’re after a cheap and easy-to-use alternative to laundry detergent, look no further than Ecoegg. After launching in 2008, the brand received the Queen’s Award For Enterprise and its laundry egg is now a familiar favourite among UK consumers.
Inside the recyclable card box, you’ll find a refillable ‘egg’ and two types of natural mineral pellets, which you can top up once they’ve done their job. Just pop the ‘egg’ into your washing machine with any load at any temperature. You’ll get around 70 washes before you need to refill it.
Not only is the laundry egg free from animal products, palm oil and artificial colours, it also has no harsh chemicals, so it’s approved by Allergy UK and the National Eczema society.
As strange as they sound, soap nuts are another clever alternative to bottled detergents - and, like many eco-friendly items, they’ve been around for millennia. They grow on the sapindus genus tree and will naturally create a soapy froth to clean your washing without harsh chemicals.
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Just toss a few into a laundry bag and add it to your load. After several washes, you can swap the old ones for new and put the used nuts in your food waste or compost. This 1kg bag will last you 330 washes, at a cost of just 3p per load.
Plus, the soap nuts are vegan-friendly, hypo-allergenic and should keep your coloured clothes bright.
Bower Collective laundry liquid & conditioner refills
- Buy laundry liquid from Bower Collective (£5.12)
- Buy fabric conditioner from Bower Collective (£3.59)
Taking its name from the resourceful bowerbird, the Bower Collective champions sustainability in everything it does. That’s why it’s created these refill pouches for its laundry detergents and conditioners, which you can tip into the brand’s reusable bottle or your own container.
Then, you can collect the empty pouches and send them back to the Bower Collective to recycle, using its pre-paid postage labels. For extra convenience, there’s the option to set up a subscription and choose your preferred delivery frequency from once a month to once every six months.
Although the detergent arrives concentrated to give you 25 washes per pouch, it’s made with all-natural ingredients without any ‘nasties’ like SLS and parabens. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free and pet-friendly, and made in the UK for minimal transportation.
And as an added bonus, 20p from every purchase supports the Marine Conservation Society in protecting the UK’s endangered seagrass meadows.
Kinn laundry refill pouches and ‘Keep-Me’ bottles
- Buy detergent with Keep-Me bottle from Kinn (£28.95)
- Buy pouch refills bundle from Kinn (£22.65)
- Buy bottled detergent from Kinn (£8.95)
Since the brand launched in 2017, Kinn has worked to provide ethically created cleaning products with a transparent manufacturing process. Thanks to their natural, toxin-free ingredients, these three items are approved by paediatricians and suitable for sensitive skin.
Kinn doesn’t test its products on animals and its laundry detergent is vegan-friendly. Plus, it’s made in the UK and arrives in recyclable packaging.
You’ll find a selection of sustainable laundry products at Kinn. Opt for the refill pouches over bottles to reduce the amount of plastic you bring into your home. The three-pouch set gives you detergent, conditioner and delicate wash all in one handy package.
Mulieres Natural Organic Laundry Liquid
Here, Mulieres combines the convenience of bottled detergent with the sustainability of recycled cardboard packaging. The casing has 70% less plastic than a standard container and - if you don’t opt to reuse the two halves as handy seedling trays - it’ll biodegrade naturally.
Plus, the laundry detergent inside the bottle is made from organic ingredients, 100% vegan and free from harmful additions like parabens, palm oil and artificial dyes and fragrances.
Smol laundry capsules
- Buy now from Smol (£5.30)
Smol claims it has created the world’s most effective concentrated laundry capsule. And not only does it work well, it’s also vegan and cruelty-free. Plus, you can set up your own subscription to make sure you never run out, and you can change or cancel it at any time.
Conveniently, the plastic-free packaging fits through your letterbox thanks to the streamlined design, and it’s made from 100% recyclable FSC-approved card.
Handmade laundry stain remover bar
- Buy now from Ecovibe (£6.99)
Stain removers are a useful product to keep in the cupboard. But their ingredients, which often include bleach and solvents, can end up harming not only aquatic life but also our skin.
This stain remover bar does the job without the help of harsh chemicals, so it’s ideal for anyone with sensitive skin. The bar is also completely free from plastic, palm oil and animal products, and it’s made in the UK using cruelty-free practices.
Concertina indoor clothes airer
Another way to save energy and water and limit your environmental impact is air drying your clothes instead of switching on the tumble dryer. And once you’ve turned to the clothes airer, choosing a non-plastic design will reduce your waste even further.
This attractive clothes airer from Lakeland is made with wood and aluminium, which should break down faster than plastic when it comes to the end of its life.
The airer also has a practical design, as you can choose between two height settings and pack it down to a depth of just 13cm for easy storage.
Natural wool dryer balls
If you do decide to use a tumble dryer, you can still reduce the amount of energy you use by throwing in a few wool balls. They make space between your clothes, helping them dry up to 40% faster. Plus, they can remove lint and static.
These dryer balls are handmade from organic New Zealand wool and don’t contain any harmful chemicals. So, there’s no need to worry if you have sensitive skin.
You’ll get six balls in this pack, which arrive in a smart cotton bag. Plus, you can reuse the balls up to 1,000 times, which makes them an affordable investment with a low environmental impact.
Alice is a digital writer with a knack for tracking down the most innovative and exciting products to hit the market. Working across several of Our Media's special interest brands, she's written for publications including Countryfile, Gardens Illustrated and Science Focus. Outside of work - and lusting over homeware and gardening products - you’ll find her rambling in the great outdoors or watching an old film.