Laundry Detergent Strips: Ditch the Plastic Packaging in Your Laundry Routine
If you’re anything like me, shopping for laundry detergent was a headache. Like, an actual headache.
Whenever I had to head down the aisle to pick up some new detergent, the smells would go right to my head and the dull pain would start. I couldn’t get out fast enough. Not to mention, all my options were wrapped in plastic!
When I first started looking into plastic-free products, I realized there were a lot of different products out there to help me reduce or entirely remove plastic packaging from my laundry routine.
There are some great plastic-free laundry detergent powders and more natural pod alternatives, but what really amazed me were laundry strips. Not only could I avoid more plastic packaging, I didn’t have to awkwardly rinse detergent jugs or waste a ton of space in the recycling bin anymore. Plus, they’re so light, they didn’t require as much fuel for shipping. There was a better way to do laundry!
Standard detergents vs. laundry strips: Comparing your options
Going plastic-free in your laundry routine is a great way to start reducing the amount of plastic that comes into and goes out of your home, and potentially into landfills and oceans. Some estimates say there will be more plastics in the ocean than fish by 2050!
On most retail shelves, you’ll find three types of laundry detergent: liquid, pods and powder. Powder detergents may be packaged in cardboard, but the more common liquid and pods come in plastic jugs or pouches. But, do laundry detergent sheets actually work?
Real customer Carol S. says, "Love this product. So easy to use. Does a great job."
Pods offer pre-measured convenience, and don’t include nearly the amount of water that liquid detergents do. Liquid detergents can be up to 90 percent water, and you can feel that extra weight every time you pick up the container to start a load of laundry. Measuring liquid detergents can be imprecise and a mess if detergent drips or spills during the process.
Real customer Sam H. says, "This stuff is great! I use it all the time!"
Laundry strips remove all the water weight and concentrate their cleaning power into a dissolvable sheet that’s about the size of a traditional dryer sheet. Like pods, they are pre-measured so you don’t run the risk of wasting or just using too much. Their packaging is usually plastic-free and biodegradable, and takes up much less space too, giving you back more cupboard or shelf space. But, are laundry strips better than liquid detergent?
Real customer Patricia C. said, "I use these all the time doing my laundry so much more convenient than juggling plastic bottles and no large containers taking up space."
It’s important to note that polyvinyl alcohol is an ingredient in many laundry products, including more eco-friendly ones like laundry strips. This is a type of plastic, and there’s been recent research published that it might not be as biodegradable as first thought.
Sustainable Jungle has a good breakdown about PVA and its role in zero waste.
The Washington Post also discusses the PVA biodegradability question.
This is a European scientific article that says it is NOT a micro plastic and it is SAFE for aquatic environments. "In conclusion, PVOH used in liquid detergent capsule films does not meet any of the definitions of microplastic:(1) it is not micro- or nano-sized; (2) it is highly water-soluble; and (3) it is biodegradable in the environmental conditions where it is discharged."
Learn more about what laundry strips are made of.
Ready to get started?
Here are links to some of our most popular detergent sheets: