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For the past couple of months, I’ve been trying some zero waste laundry and household products.
And to my disappointment, I was surprised that some of them didn’t work out for me.
Why am I surprised? I feel like there aren’t many honest reviews from bloggers or influencers saying these products don’t work. And I find that ironic because promoting zero waste products that don’t work, is actually just promoting more waste.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some incredible zero-waste and sustainable products that work amazingly. But I feel like we need to share more of the not-so-great items too so that others can be warned before they buy.
So that’s exactly what I set out to do with these mini product reviews.
I’m going to start with some zero waste laundry products I purchased a few months ago including TruEarth’s laundry strips, compostable dryer sheets, and soap nuts for laundry.
TruEarth’s Laundry Eco-Strips
I love the idea of these concentrated laundry detergent strips. They’re compact with minimal packaging, and therefore less transportation pollution compared to large and heavy jugs of laundry detergent.
Do they work? Yah. But do they work well? Meh.
They claim to be low-sudsing, which is true. I used them with cold water in my top-load washer. I find the best way to use the strips is by putting them in the machine first with the water running. And then wait for the strips to dissolve completely before placing my clothes into the washer.
Out the box, they come extremely scented. I left the opened box on my kitchen table and my whole suite smelt like laundry detergent for days.
But after washing, my clothes didn’t have any traces of the fragrance or scent. I mean, unless you’re really sticking your nose into the fibers and looking for the smell, you might be able to slightly smell it.
For someone who sits at their computer desk 8-10 hours a day. I do believe these laundry detergent strips work with washing my barely soiled clothes.
But they didn’t work for my fiance’s work clothes or to get stains off of my reusable makeup remover pads.
So, I guess they kind of worked? But they definitely didn’t work on stains or dirt. And don’t expect any brightening or softening effects when using these laundry detergent strips.
Also, they’re tiny. The paper envelope packaging is deceiving. And they tell you to rip the strips apart and use one half for one load. Or rip it in half again for a small load. But I always wait till I have a full load of laundry so I use both strips every time.
I also don’t understand why they come attached with two strips together and then tell us to detach them and to only use one. Why didn’t they just come detached in the first place? Because it’s technically 16 pieces in each pack but they’re “attached” so they call it 32 “strips”. I also don’t get why they called each half of the strip ‘one’. It’s more like ‘half’ because I had to strip it in half from the ‘whole’ piece. 🤷🏻♀️
I got a pack of 32 ‘strips’. But since I technically use 2 strips per large load of laundry, it’s more like 16 strips at the rate of how I’m using them.
I bought mine at well.ca for CA$14.99. So that’s $0.94/load, which is now making me realize that’s so expensive and I need to go back to using one ‘half’ of the strips per load if I want to make this pack last.
I most likely won’t be buying these again as I think I prefer my Nellie’s laundry soda over these laundry detergent eco-strips. But I do love the innovation and how TruEarth is a Canadian company! Nature Clean also has laundry detergent strips for about the same price.
Compostable Dryer Sheets by Mild by Nature
I didn’t realize that Mild by Nature is one of iHerb’s house brands. When I placed my last order on iHerb, I saw these compostable dryer sheets. They were under $4 for a 40-sheet pack so I thought, why not?
But don’t bother with these. They don’t do any of the things they claim to do like “help to soften fabrics, reduce static-cling, smooth wrinkles and freshen clothes.”
They smell great out of the box but they don’t leave any scent to your actual clothes. They come heavily scented and will leave your cupboard smelling perfume-y. But that’s all they’re good for.
They also feel like textured parchment paper.
These were marketed as being “compostable” dryer sheets but nowhere on the packaging or on iHerb’s website mentions if they’re compostable via home or industrial compost? or how long they take to fully break down?
Laundry Soap Nuts
I’ve heard about the magical cleansing powers of soap nuts for a while now and am finally giving some a try as a laundry detergent.
…And I’m not quite sure if they actually do anything. I can’t tell if they do a better job than just washing my clothes with water.
The instructions on the box says to place 6-7 soap nuts in the small cotton bag and tie the drawstring shut. Then remove the bag of soap nuts before putting clothes in dryer. And to lay the soap nuts out to air dry and if using water below 60°C, they can be used again for another load.
I followed those instructions and did not see any visible results. I read online that the soap nuts only work in hot water. But I never wash my clothes with hot water so I wished that was stated on the box or on well.ca’s website before I bought these to try!
I’ll be trying some of the other uses of soap nuts before giving up on these completely.
Unfortunately, none of these zero waste laundry products worked for me or amazed me enough to repurchase.
Not all zero-waste products are going to work for everyone so I think it’s important that we share our own experience. My goal is to help you find products that are useful to you and your lifestyle without having to try as many products as I did!
So I hope you found some of this information helpful on your journey to reducing waste!
10 thoughts on “Review of Some Zero-Waste Laundry Products I Tried”
You are way off base with your take on TruEarth’s Laundry Eco-Strips. Opinions are like assholes: everybody’s got one. My opinion is that one ‘strip’ works just fine. And I’m not concerned about whether my clothes smell like some random fake fragrance labeled ‘spring breeze’ – or whatever – which is totally bogus in the first place. You don’t sound concerned with sustainability or minimalism. If you are obsessed with how fake-perfumey your clothes smell, you priorities that are not aligned with sustainability.
I agree everyone’s got their own opinions, and I’m glad to know TruEarth’s strips worked for you and that one strip did the job. I’m only sharing my opinion and experience using them on MY blog. I actually don’t care if my clothes smell perfumey or scented. But I wanted to point out that the strips smelt heavily scented in the packaging, but they don’t leave your clothes scented at all. The detergent I currently use (Nellie’s) doesn’t smell like anything in the box and doesn’t leave my clothes scented. So I was originally under the impression that since TruEarth’s strips have such a strong smell, they would have left some scent on my clothes, but they didn’t.
Also, gatekeeping others from trying to make more sustainable choices isn’t my style. I’m sorry I’m not “sustainable” enough for you.
It’s easy to disagree with someone without being a jerk. You might say, “I don’t agree. The product worked well for me.” Nice. Easy.
Thank you for sharing these reviews! It makes me crazy when people say thinks work when they don’t (ad revenue or whatever). It’s disappointing to spend money on things that don’t work well. I really appreciate the honesty!
Thanks, Kristi! That means a lot to me to hear that you value my honest reviews! =) I completely agree, it’s always so disappointing when we spend our hard-earned money on something that didn’t work out for us. I often wonder, is it just me or is there something wrong with me!? But I’ve learned what works for others may not work for me.
Thanks for your reviews! I am always looking for ways to help our planet and reduce waste. I tried the soap nuts and didn’t find that they were of any benefit. As someone that works in the health care industry, I need/want a good product that cleans, deodorizes and sanitizes.
I’m doing my research and agree that I want to hear both sides so appreciate this blog.
I love the idea of the Eco-strips as well, I was SO hoping they would work well for us. I gave it a very fair shake, received and used 4 packs before canceling. I’m not that concerned with the price, I guess paying more is worth it to help create the eco benefits, however, like you I only do a full load and one strip was definitely not enough cleaning power, I had to use two each time. I was not very impressed with the results. Mostly pit smells not removed. Perhaps I need to purchase another product to spray (great another bottle and another step in my process). I have not used them on deeply soiled clothes.
Last thought, TRYPTOPHAN, you sound like a real dick, all the sustainability in the world won’t make you a kind person.
Thanks for taking the time to honestly review products.
Have you tried green beaver’s liquid all-purpose soap for laundry? Been using this with a touch of washing soda for years. Works great! But yes, there is still the plastic packaging which obviously we recycle, so hopefully green beaver decides to produce refill packages which are (actually) compostable in the future.
As for dryer sheets, haven’t used any in over a decade. I just find we don’t need it and the after-product fumes, even in the “unfragranced” versions are bothersome.
Love your honest review! Thanks. I have been considering the strips, but thought they wouldn’t work with a front load washer.