This is not your mother’s laundry routine and it’s not her laundry detergent either. The year 2020 might be a lot of different things— the year roller skates and tie-dye returned and the year that single-serve alcohol got delivered right to your door— but it’s also been a banner year for sustainability. As a result, people are greenifying their laundry routine for the better.
Going green for the planet is something we can all get behind. After all, what’s good for the environment is usually the best case scenario for our little ones, too. Take microplastics, for example. Microplastics are teeny, tiny pieces of plastic debris that shed off bigger plastics and textiles (yep, even your clothes!) and end up in our waterways. They’re bad for the planet, marine life, and also for our kiddos. In fact, each time we run a load of laundry, microplastics shed into the water and end up in our oceans. Later, we can even end up drinking them in our water.
The good news is there is a way to cut back on microplastics: Cut back on single-use plastics.
Scary Mommy chatted with Sarah Paiji Yoo, CEO and Co-Founder of Blueland, to discuss about Blueland’s latest venture, which launches today: a green laundry detergent tablet.
“I founded Blueland with the belief that you don’t have to sacrifice a clean home and clean clothes for a clean planet. To make the biggest impact possible, we’re dedicated to making it easy for people to make the right choice with products that are effective, affordable, and convenient,” Paiji Yoo says.
Paiji Yoo has a three-year-old with a second due this November. She tells Scary Mommy that having kids was her biggest motivation in creating a company that encourages people to realize that a cleaner planet starts at home.
“As I was planning to shift from exclusively breastfeeding to formula-feeding my son, I was horrified to learn how many microplastics are in both tap and bottled water,” Paiji Yoo says of why she started Blueland. “It killed me that I had no choice but to use water with microplastics to make baby formula for my son. It was then that I decided to cut back on my own plastic consumption, but realized that I didn’t have much choice as a consumer to cut out on single-use plastic packaging for household projects.”
Now, Paiji Yoo has made it Blueland’s mission to cut back on plastics, minimizing microplastics in our waterways. And since one of the main ways microplastics enters our waterways is through the laundry, it only makes sense to make your laundry routine as sustainable as possible.
“As a mom of a toddler and another one on the way, it was really important for me to launch laundry products that are safe to have in my home as well as safe to use on my children’s clothing on-a-regular basis,” Paiji Yoo adds. “Using Blueland’s products on our laundry gives me a sense of relief that my family members are not exposed to harmful chemicals and that bit of relief as a mom goes a long way.”
Ready to greenify your laundry room? Keep reading for Blueland’s new line of laundry detergent tablets and more must-haves to add to your laundry routine. These are the best eco friendly laundry detergents you can use for the whole family.
Sadly, sometimes microplastics just aren’t avoidable. If that’s the case, you have to switch to a more preventative approach when it comes to your laundry. Some textiles are going to shed microplastics in the wash – and that’s okay, so long as you take the proper precautions to keep those microplastics from entering our waterways. The LANGBRETT Guppyfriend Washing Bag can help with that. This untreated, recyclable bag filters out microfibers that fall off your clothing and textiles and traps them inside its own polyamide fabric. So your clothes get the necessary cleaning they need in the laundry, but the microplastics don’t have a way out into the water. To use, simply fill the bag halfway with any clothing made out of synthetic fibers – clothing you presume will shed harmful microplastics. Wash it as you normally would, then let the clothes hang dry once out of the bag. You’ll actually be able to see the microfibers stuck in the hem of the Guppyfriend bag. Now, pat yourself on the back. After all, you stopped dangerous microplastics from ending up in the ocean!
Dropps Scenter Booster Pacs with In-Wash Softener ensures that it’s not just your laundry detergent that’s eco-friendly; your fabric softener can be eco-friendly as well. More laundry pod than a dissolvable tablet, one recyclable and compostable box comes with 120 pods, all of which are lightly and naturally fragranced with your choice between six scents. The fabric softener formula inside each pod is non-toxic and mineral based and never leaves behind a residue. Unlike conventional fabric softeners – which aren’t great for the environment or for your skin either, as they can contain allergens and irritants – Dropps Scenter Booster Pacs give your clothes a fresh smelling scent so that going environmentally friendly doesn’t mean sacrificing soft clothes and a good, clean smell. To use, toss one Dropps Scenter Booster Pac in the washing machine along with your eco-friendly laundry detergent of your choice. Dropps’ mineral-based formula works by flowing through your clothes’ fibers rather than simply coating it with chemicals and covering it in synthetic fragrance.
If you’re a fan of Blueland, chances are you’re already loving their hand soap, cleaner, and dish detergent tablets. It only makes sense that Blueland also make non-toxic, eco-friendly laundry detergent tablets as well. After all, their reusable and refillable system is not only the first of its kind in cleaning, but it also helps eliminate more than 500 million single-use plastic cleaning bottles from ending up in landfills per year.
“Traditional laundry packs are wrapped in a petroleum-based plastic – polyvinyl alcohol, also known as PVA and PVOH – that dissolves in water but doesn’t actually disappear,” Paiji Yoo tells Scary Mommy. “Blueland’s Laundry Tablets are currently the only laundry pacs that are not individually wrapped in this plastic.
“If you’re serious about lowering your laundry’s impact, this is crucial. After all, Paiji Yoo adds, “Research estimates about 60 to 82 percent of PVA is potentially not biodegraded in most wasterwater treatment facilities and makes it back into our waterways. This plastic has the potential to absorb dangerous chemicals or contaminants, or heavy metals at high concentrations and then make its way into your food chain.”
To top it all off, Blueland’s Laundry Tablets come in a compostable paper-based pouch, so there’s truly no waste once all the tablets are used up!
Did you know that a ball can actually up your sustainable laundry game? Made from pure natural minerals, the BERON Eco-Friendly Wash Ball is tiny but mighty. Compatible with any washing machine, this wash ball is actually an alternative to detergent altogether. Say what?! That’s right – you don’t actually need any liquid, tablet, or pod detergent at all. This laundry ball also reduces scale, rust, and lime build-up that may happen in your washing machine or pipes. Here’s how it works: The BERON ball features ceramic micro beads that are activated by sunlight (so, to improve the efficacy of your BERON ball, we recommend placing it in sunshine for a few hours once a month). But don’t worry – even if there’s no sunshine in your laundry room, the BERON ball still gets the job done. It saves you hundreds of dollars per year, as the BERON ball is capable of handling up to 1,500 washes through the laundry. That’s a lot of $ saved on detergent!
No matter how vigilant your laundry detergent, sometimes one go through the washing machine simply doesn’t get the job done – particularly when it comes to stains. If you’re dealing with a stain on your clothes, you may not know that there’s actually an eco-friendly alternative to most stain removal pens: a stain stick. The Meliora Cleaning Products Laundry Stain Removal SOAP Stick is chief at removing stains; simply pre-treat the stain in question by wetting the area, then applying the Soap Stick as if it’s a piece of chalk or a marker. Then, throw the item in the wash. The Meliora Cleaning Products Laundry Stain Removal SOAP Stick is efficient at removing dirt and various oils and greases. Got deodorant stains in the pits of your t-shirts? The Meliora Cleaning Products Laundry Stain Removal SOAP Stick can also take care of that. With all the efficiency of a conventional laundry removal option and none of the toxic ingredients, the Soap Stick is a game-changing addition to your eco-friendly laundry routine.
What if detergent wasn’t a tablet or a pod or a liquid housed in a plastic container? What if it was… a strip?! Tru Earth Eco-Strips are a vegan, paraben-free, and plastic-free solution to conventional detergents in that they are simply a strip of paper-like material that turns into detergent once in the wash. According to Tru Earth Eco-Strips, their eco-strips (and the plastic-free, sustainable packaging they come in) reduces transportation fuel consumption by 94 percent. With fuel consumption down, these detergent strips also account for significantly less carbon emissions that ultimately lead to global warming and climate change. So, not only are you reducing the amount of microplastics that end up in our waterways, but you’re being a real #EcoWarrior by also cutting back on your carbon footprint. Another pro to Tru Earth Eco-Strips is that they’re relatively mess free. There’s no accidentally spilling the detergent bottle or stepping and breaking a pod or knocking over the glass container of laundry powder.
Forget everything you know about popping a few tennis balls into the dryer. Wool Dryer Balls are a much better, much more sustainable solution. (Probably cleaner, too – who knows where that tennis ball has been?!) A six-pack of extra-large, handmade Wool Dryer Balls comes in a cotton storage bag that you can store in your laundry room for safe keeping. When you’re ready to use them, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil – we recommend eucalyptus for its antimicrobial properties that fight off dust mites – and then pop a few dryer balls in the dryer. Dryer balls are sustainably made and save you time, energy, and money, and also make the dryer less noisy. Wool dryer balls speed up the drying process so you can get your clothes out of the laundry sooner. Less time spent drying means significantly less energy used! These dryer balls are lightweight so they bounce around easily without causing the racket that tennis balls do – no pun intended. They last up to 1,000+ loads and don’t add any harmful chemicals to your wash like disposable dryer sheets do. They’re safe for your skin and safe for the planet.
Laundry powder is also an incredible sustainable option and Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder is one of the best you can get. Affordable – $20 – eco-friendly, and safe, Molly’s Suds’ ultra-concentrated powder is designed with the planet and your children’s skin in mind. It’s safe for people with sensitive skin (especially kids), allergies, and even eczema. Unlike other laundry detergents that can irritate the skin and result in seemingly unexplained allergic reactions, Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder doesn’t contain any chemical-based ingredients that help the suds. The formula is totally natural, which is also healthy for your washing machine. The formula will never block or damage your washing machine’s HE sensors, which ultimately saves you $ in the long-run. (After all, who’s trying to replace their washing machine because their laundry detergent went and f*cked it up? Not us!) Molly’s Suds doesn’t contain anything bad for your health or the environment – synthetic fragrances, fillers, bleach, carcinogens, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), formaldehyde, 1, 4 Dioxane, or sodium laureth sulfate (SLES). Trust – you can feel good about using this detergent powder on your family’s clothes and feel good about what you’re sending through the pipes.
It only takes a little of the The Seventh Generation Easy Dose Laundry Detergent to do a lot. 66 loads in a compact 23oz bottle that’s easy to store, and it’s not harmful to the environment. It does all the work for you, using auto-dosing technology to give you the right amount every time.
Not only is the The Honest Company”s Hypoallergenic Baby Laundry Detergent good for the environment, it’s also designed for sensitive skin (our little one’s in particular). It’s fragrance, formaldehyde, and dye-free, using plant-based cleansers to powerfully fight stains on your baby’s clothing, blankets, and bed sheets.
Once your laundry room is set, check out more curated products for home & kitchen!