5 Best Laundry Detergents
We tested dozens of laundry detergents to find the 5 Best Laundry Detergents. We evaluated them based on cleaning power, clean ingredients and environmental impact!
TLDR: Tru Earth Laundry Detergent is #1 because it cleans just as well, but without all the nasty chemicals found in other products. It is plastic free and has no parabens, phosphates, synthetic dyes, and is hypoallergenic for those of us with sensitive skin. I use Tru Earth every day at home and love how clean everything feels after using this detergent!
Here are the five best laundry detergents we’ve found:
Tru Earth Laundry Detergent Strips are dermatologist approved hypoallergenic, and are made from safe, natural ingredients in Canada. I was a little surprised, this industry disrupting product completely changed the way we looked at laundry detergents.
I'll be honest, I was skeptical when I first tried Tru Earth. I didn't think a little strip of laundry detergent would actually clean my clothes.
Boy oh boy was I ever wrong.
It worked so well it knocked our socks off (right into the wash) on all 3 criteria (cleaning power, ingredients, and environmental impact) and was our personal favourite laundry detergent by far, earning 5 stars ★★★★★. It is effective at cleaning and eliminating odors – we washed sweaty gym clothes, kids' stained shirts with the washer. All of these soiled garments came out fresh!
Tru Earth Laundry Detergent strips are like dehydrated Tide Pods but without the nasty chemicals, the plastic, and your kids won't accidentally confuse them for candy. The fact that the strips come in a compostable cardboard sleave and are 100% Plastic Free means Tru Earth also prevents plastic waste from piling up in landfills. To date Tru Earth has helped eliminate more than 5 million laundry jugs from landfills.
Most of all, we love that Tru Earth donates 32 loads of laundry to those in need for every subscription purchase. They have donated more than 10,000,000 loads already!
Tru Earth uses natural, plant based ingredients and doesn’t contain dangerous chemicals. If you've been looking into laundry detergents you already know how chemicals like phosphates, parabens, chlorine, or synthetic dyes can be terrible for both your health and the environment.
Finally, Tru Earth has received more than 17,000 glowing reviews, including one from us!
If you don't like scented laundry detergent, no worries! Tru Earth comes in both Fragrance Free and Fresh Linen Scent, both of which are hypoallergenic.
This is what we recommend and use at home and thus earned the #1 spot.
Molly Suds earned our second best rating. Like #1 Tru Earth, Molly Suds is made from safe, natural ingredients. While Tru Earth uses a more modern strip format, Molly Suds is a laundry powder. Much like our grandparents, you have to scoop the laundry powder into your washer before you’ve put your laundry in. Our tests proved that Molly Suds cleans well. Molly Suds comes in both scented and fragrance free varieties.
I'll be honest, I didn't love the powder format – I spilled laundry detergent powder in between my washer and dryer, which was tough to sweep out. I also spilled some in my cupboard. With that said it’s easy to spill as you scoop from the bag into your washing machine. Not as good as Tru Earth's Eco-Strips but a lot better than transporting heavy the liquid detergent format.
Unfortunately, Molly Suds is packaged in plastic. We like that it uses less plastic that liquid detergents, but would prefer a plastic-free alternative.
Good cleaning power
Messy powder format gets into every nook and cranny.
In third place is Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Laundry Detergent.
The liquid laundry detergent that bears her name came in Third Overall. Our clothes came up nice and clean, but with a fairly aggressive scent. Depending on how you like your clothes to smell, you may or may not like this aspect of it.
I wasn't a huge fan of the citrusy shampoo smell left on my clothes, but they offer 7 different scents in total in case there is a particular perfume you are opposed to. Unfortunately there is no fragrance-free version, so you either love scented laundry, or you hate Mrs. Meyers.
Mrs. Meyers is heavy and being a liquid detergent uses lots of plastic. Thus hurting it on the environmental impact rating. 700,000,000 laundry jugs per year end up in landfills in North America, and less than 30% of containers are actually recyclable. Confusing lid measurements typically lead to over pouring with Liquid detergents -- leading to wasted money and being bad for the environment.
Plant Based Ingredients
Messy Liquid Detergent
No perfume-free version
Heavy on plastic
Tide Purclean came in 4th place. Purclean is a newer laundry detergent by Tide that tries to balance cleaning power with eco-friendliness.
Purclean is a hybrid detergent that only contains 75% plant-based ingredients. It also contains petroleum-derived products which left me feeling a little sour considering they make a large plant-based claim on the front of the packaging.
The product does clean well, but again, it is packaged in a wasteful plastic bottle which loses it points on the grand scheme of things. If you have an HE machine I'd recommend using much less detergent than recommended as it creates a lot of suds and overflowed my washer on my first test.
Great cleaning power
Liquid detergent in heavy plastic jugs
Partially petroleum-derived ingredients
Very sudsy - watch out for overflows with HE machines.
Coming in at #5 is The Basic Goods Trading Company's laundry strips. This product is a relative new comer in the laundry strip space, but is worth mentioning as I was very impressed with how well their fragrance-free strips cleaned our clothes.
My daughter who gets a rash from anything that isn't hypoallergenic was able to use these laundry strips without having any skin problems.
Like Tru Earth they are completely plastic-free, which wins it points in our environmental impact department, and their cleaning power was on par with just about every major detergent we compared it to.
Basic Goods Laundry Strips are also manufactured in Canada, so unlike other brands of laundry sheets, you aren't polluting the world, shipping the product from overseas to North America.
Basic Goods comes in fifth place, primarily because the company doesn't have a ton of history. I'm excited to see the laundry detergent sheet category growing.
Free from nasty chemicals
New company - hopefully they can survive