Game Changing Natural Laundry Detergent Sheets
Editor’s note (12.2022): After I published this post, new analysis showed that plastic particles from PVA, a component of Earth Breeze laundry sheets, persist in the environment and do not break down in wastewater treatment facilities. Competitor Blueland has launched a formal petition to the EPA to prohibit the use of PVA in consumer products. The PVA in these sheets is different than the pods that were studied, and I have requested more information from the company to make sure that they don’t cause microplastics. I won’t use them until more information is available, which I will report back here.
Loving these new zero waste natural laundry detergent sheets I just discovered! They work just as well — or better — than liquid or pods, both of which contain water. Liquid laundry detergents are about 90% water, which makes them heavy to transport and gives them a higher carbon footprint.
Now that laundry can be done with a sheet, there’s no need to lug home a plastic bottle. Clothes get clean, plastic gets saved, and greenhouse gases are reduced. Win win win!
Want to find out more about how to get clean clothes with less impact? Read on!
DO THEY WORK?
But it can’t just be about the environment, right? With three kids, one dog, and a gecko, I have to be totally sure that my sustainable cleaners really work — more on that is here — and my natural laundry detergent really gets clothes clean.
Both of my kids (and the gecko) were home from college this summer, so I used that time to put one brand — Earth Breeze, which sponsored this post — to the test. I tried the sheets for a month before confirming what I had hoped: it really works to get clothes clean!
EARTH FOR THE WIN
And it works for the Earth. Since launch, Earth Breeze has saved 750,000+ plastic detergent jugs and kept 500,000+ pounds of plastic out of landfills and our oceans. They also go the extra mile by planting trees — 14,000+ in the past year alone — and donating product with every purchase.
ABOUT THOSE INGREDIENTS
All ingredients in Earth Breeze natural laundry detergent sheets are cruelty-free and vegan, graywater/septic-friendly, and hypoallergenic. I checked them out with the Environmental Working Group, which is my go-to for ingredient information, and the ingredients rate safe except… da da da duh… “fragrance.” I don’t know what’s in the “fresh scent” fragrance but it’s pretty strong — I’d go with “unscented” until the company discloses this ingredient. Here’s more about why the word fragrance is a red flag for me.
HOW DO YOU USE IT?
I used Earth Breeze natural laundry detergent sheets just like any other environmentally friendly detergent (for more on what that means to me, please click here).
For full loads, I simply dropped one sheet into the drum of my washing machine and ran the load on cold to help further reduce carbon emissions (studies show that warm water doesn’t make any difference, when it comes to getting clothes clean). For medium to small loads, I ripped a sheet in half and did the same.
You can also fold the sheet up and put it in the detergent dispenser, if that floats your boat.
For hand washing, I placed a quarter of a sheet in a sink full of water and swished it around to dissolve before dropping in the clothes. It worked great!
You can’t buy Earth Breeze natural laundry detergent sheets in stores but the product ships for free in a compostable paper envelope — and the company offsets all operations so your carbon is covered. In my (limited) research, I found it to be the least expensive of the natural laundry detergent sheets on the market — especially if you subscribe.
Here’s another way to save money in the laundry: Don’t use dryer sheets, which pollute the air and can cause allergies.
Click here to learn more about Earth Breeze natural laundry detergent sheets! Have you tried it? Do you love it? Is there another natural laundry detergent sheet that you like? Please let me know about it in comments below!
I don’t love that these brands talk so much about how much plastic you’re avoiding, but never mention that the ingredient that makes up the sheets is PVA, a type of plastic. :/ It does dissolve in water, so it doesn’t create the tiny particles of plastic that are identified as microplastic, but I can’t get behind adding dissolved plastic to my wastewater on purpose. There are also limited/mixed results from studies on whether the PVA actually degrades in the environment (it CAN degrade, which is why it’s labeled biodegradable, just like plastic that can be recycled is labele as recyclable. But it’s still found in places like crustacean shells).
This is a great comment – THANK YOU for flagging this, Kate! I did some more research into polyvinyl alcohol — known as PVA/PVOH/PVAL — which is used in these types of laundry sheets and also “pods” used to dispense laundry and dishwasher liquid, etc. Yes, it is derived from petrochemicals, but my understanding is that it does not break up into micro plastics but is biodegradable in water where microorganisms break it down into benign elements. WHO designates PVA as GRAS “generally recognized as safe” and it’s also used to coat pills and supplements designed for human consumption. I have not seen the studies where it is found in crustacean shells — can you please share? I’d love to know more and to make sure that we are highlighting a technology that is helping to solve a problem, rather than contributing to it. Thanks again for commenting — I really appreciate it! 🙂 Rachel