You may have noticed laundry detergent sheets in your local supermarket next to your usual detergent. Unlike dryer sheets, these sheets are meant to be used in your washer and replace laundry detergent. They come is thin strips of concentrated cleaning solution and lack many of the harmful ingredients found in traditional laundry detergents.
However, it can be hard to know if new products are worth it. How do you use them? Are they bad for the environment? Will they clean your clothes as well as regular laundry detergent? Should you just stick with your tried-and-true detergent? These questions are entirely reasonable – and we will answer them.
What Are Laundry Detergent Sheets?
Laundry detergent sheets are the latest and greatest in sustainable household cleaning supplies. They provide the convenience of pods while promising to be better for the environment. They usually come in boxes of sixty sheets, good for one load of laundry per sheet. The sheet and packaging are often made of a plant-based material, and most manufacturers avoid single use plastic.
How to Use Laundry Detergent Sheets?
Laundry detergent sheets are straightforward and easy to use. You can use them with both front loading and top-loading machines. You can even use them for handwashing clothes.
For a Laundry Machine Use:
The method of using laundry detergent sheets is the same for both front loading and top loading machines. First, load your clothes normally into the machine. Then, toss in an unwrapped laundry sheet on top. Start the washer as normal.
For Hand Washing Use:
It is quite easy to use laundry detergent sheets to hand wash clothes. Simply fill your laundry tub with water, drop an unwrapped laundry sheet in, and swish around until it dissolves. Then wash your clothes as normal.
Do Laundry Detergent Sheets Work in Cold Water?
Most laundry detergent sheets are designed to work with all water temperatures. Double check on the box, but the ones reviewed here can be used in cold water.
Can You Hand-Wash Clothing with Laundry Detergent Sheets?
You absolutely can use laundry detergent sheets to handwash clothes. The sheet dissolves in water, so you can drop it into the water and swish it around until fully dissolved. You may want to rip up the sheet into smaller pieces for smaller loads.
Do Laundry Detergent Sheets Actually Produce as Much Cleaning as other Detergents?
It may be hard to believe, but laundry detergent sheets have the same amount of cleaning ingredients as your average liquid laundry detergent. Liquid laundry detergents are watered down, with only twenty to thirty percent of the bottle being active ingredients. Laundry detergent sheets however are opposite; they are highly concentrated. This means that you are getting a comparable clean is a much smaller size: space efficient!
Are Laundry Detergent Sheets Better for the Environment?
Laundry detergent sheets were designed with the environment in mind. They avoid single use plastic and produce little waste. Unlike most laundry detergents, they are free from microplastics. Most brands avoid environmentally harmful chemicals altogether, although there are a few bad apples now that the trend is gathering steam.
What are the Best Laundry Detergent Sheets?
You can find multiple brands of laundry detergent sheets now that they have become popular, however, which ones are the best? Below, you can find reviews for five of the most popular laundry detergent sheets on the market as well as a link to buy them.
Earth Breeze laundry detergent sheets are a familiar type of detergent. They have several positives, although they may be insufficiently natural for some. With a similar ingredients list to traditional laundry detergents (minus the water) you can expect the same results. As an additional plus, they are suitable for those with sensitive skin – they have no dyes or fragrances.
They are also vegan. Their packaging tries to avoid plastic or oversized packaging, which limits waste, although I do not think their ingredients list is entirely environmentally friendly.
The price is midrange among those on this list, neither high nor low, and you can expect about sixty loads per box.
Tru Earth laundry detergent sheets are more focused on a natural ingredient list. They boast being vegan as well as dye, fragrance, paraben, phosphate, chlorine bleach, and 1-4 dioxane free. With their hypoallergenic formula, they go even one step beyond most fragrance-free detergents. Truly little about their environmental impact is mentioned in their marketing, although their packaging is quite compact and made of primarily paper. They also mention that they are OECD 310D compliant.
Unfortunately, they are a little more expensive – they are twice as expensive at the median. Additionally, their boxes only contain thirty loads worth of detergent – which I find annoying. I prefer to buy in bulk whenever possible.
Breezo laundry detergent strips are a USDA certified Biobased product. Not only are they plant based and cruelty free, they but they are also paraben, chlorine bleach, and optical brightener free. Notably, they are not fragrance and dye free. Their fresh breeze scent is perfect for those that prefer a scented laundry detergent and is based on essential oils rather than artificial fragrances.
Despite their heavily natural formula, Breezo is one of the cheaper options in the laundry detergent strip market. You can expect a cheaper price as well as more loads per box.
The ingredients in ECOS are not all natural, however, the active ingredients are enzyme based. You can find a list of ingredients they have pledged not to use on their website – which is exhaustive and includes phosphates and parabens. They come in either lavender or vanilla scent and claim to be hypoallergenic (although my experience with fragranced products makes me doubt this claim – if something has a smell it can make me sneeze).
ECOS laundry detergent squares are the most expensive of the options listed here, at two and a half times the price of the median. However, they come in bigger boxes (with 114 sheets) rather than the average fifty, which I find convenient.
Binbata detergent sheets prioritize ecofriendly ingredients without jumping on the all-natural hype train. They do not claim to have a 100% bio formula but avoid the use of red flag ingredients like phosphates, chlorine, and parabens. The formula is also suited for sensitive skin – fragrance and dye free! Their packaging is 100% plastic free, and plant based as well as compact.
Not only are they Climate Pledge friendly, but they are also highly effective at removing stains without leaving residue. A personal bonus, which makes Binbata unique, is that their sheets have fabric softener included.
Binbata is my personal favorite option on this list, although it will not be everyone’s. Not only is it very budget friendly, but it also has 128 loads per box meaning you will not have to restock frequently. Their sheets also come with a perforated line on the middle, which makes them easy to divide in half for smaller washes.
Laundry Detergent Sheets FAQS
Do Laundry Detergent Sheets Disintegrate in Water?
Yes, laundry detergent sheets dissolve in water.
Can Laundry Detergent Sheets Stain Your Clothing?
A dye free laundry detergent sheet will not stain your clothing, as it contains no coloring. However, you should use the correct amount of cleaner to prevent build up on your clothes.
Do Laundry Detergent Sheets Come in Different Fragrances?
Yes! Like liquid detergents, you can get laundry detergent sheets in a variety of fragrances. Most of these fragrances are made with essential oils to maintain a more environmentally friendly formula.
Can You Buy Fragrance Free Laundry Detergent Strips?
For those of us with allergies or sensitive skin, fragrance free products are a necessity. Luckily, at least three brands – Earth Breeze, Tru Earth, and Binbata – sell fragrance free products.
The Verdict – Why Choose Laundry Detergent Strips?
Laundry detergent strips provide a convenient way to avoid wasteful, damaging liquid laundry detergents. Various brands provide a variety of stringency, with some focusing on low waste packaging while others completely remove synthetic ingredients from their product. Several brands are hypoallergenic, and can be used with babies and small children.
Price can vary widely, but if you are willing to accept some synthetic ingredients you can switch to detergent strips on a budget. Overall, detergent strips are a great option for environmentally conscious consumers.