and how to find other (actual) best products
Recently, I’ve been looking for a laundry detergent to add to EELA’s selection of laundry products. Have you ever noticed that when you google “Best (product you’re searching for)” or “Top Ten _____________” the results are just links to products on Amazon? No one is testing or evaluating: it’s just Amazon paying a blogger to recommend their products. And it seems like no matter what keyword you enter, or what article you click on, the results are always the same. Do you have a reliable go-to resource for accurate information when buying new products?
My Reliable Go-To Resource
I’m a big fan of Environmental Working Group (ewg). They are a company devoted to helping people make safe choices. EWG has a household cleaning product rating system. It rates products from A to F using four scales: Cancer; Developmental & Reproductive Toxicity; Allergies & Immunotoxicity; and Use Restrictions. To determine what laundry detergent is the ‘actual’ best, I chose 10 laundry detergents with an ewg scores of “A.” This means that each of these detergents fit at least some of my criteria (more on that below). First though, check out this slideshow to see the ewg scores for common laundry detergents that I did NOT consider.
Best Laundry Detergent Criteria
So many online reviews recommend one detergent as the “best eco-friendly laundry soap”, another under the subtitle “best laundry detergent for sensitive skin,” a third recommendation for the category “best detergent for babies,” a fourth under “best non-toxic laundry detergent,” and so on. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to compromise my values or buy five brands of laundry detergent! I set out to find a detergent that is: cruelty-free; hypoallergenic; eco-friendly; toxin free; and safe for all people regardless of age, level of skin sensitivity, or skin disorders such as Eczema or Psoriasis. EELA’s mission is to support small businesses as well as to help make ethical shopping more affordable for everyone, so of course, these factors were key. The last criteria, but certainly not least? Works as a powerful cleaning agent for multiple fabrics and levels of cleanliness.
Research: Step 1
Before purchasing any products for EELA I always read the company’s mission statement, their “our story” and look to see if they are involved in any type of “social good” philanthropy. The most difficult criteria to verify is, 1. environmental impact, and 2. supply chain. It’s important for a business to be transparent about both of these. Not only should a manufacturer qualify words they use such as “eco-friendly,” they should explain the process they used to determine this. Especially if they are not rated by an independent group such as ewg. After my research I was able to narrow down my selection from ten to five laundry detergents.
Research: Step 2
I purchased the following five laundry detergents. These detergents met my criteria; now it was time to see which laundry detergent works best. The top five detergents in my study:
- Biokleen Laundry Liquid
- Molly’s Suds Super Powder with Enzymes
- PUR Home Laundry Detergent
- AspenClean Laundry Detergent, unscented
- Puracy Natural Free & Clear
I tested these detergents methodically to see how well they work on several types of laundry. This took quite a lot of time. I wanted to test all of the detergents on: laundry with food stains; oil stains; workout clothes; towels; delicates; jeans; my organic cotton dresses from Pact; and last but not least, my favorite pink sweater with a stain so old, I should have ditched it months ago.
And the “Actual Best” Laundry Detergent is…..
The actual best laundry detergent that is also completely safe for animals, people and the planet is Molly’s Suds Super Powder with Enzymes. I expected the results to be closer but the cleaning power of the Super Powder is unparalleled!
Disclaimer: my decision was not based solely on the fact that Molly’s Suds Super Powder removed the stain from my favorite pink sweater.
- Enzymes easily strip away stains and odors — independent testing showed better results than All Free and Clear and Tide Original Powder.
- Active enzymes help reduce pilling on fabric
- Helps to whiten dingy whites and brightens fading colors
- Available in Ocean Mist, Lavender, and Unscented
- Third-party testing proved it safe and gentle on sensitive skin
- For standard, commercial, and High-Efficiency (HE) washers
- Highly-concentrated formula washes 60 loads of laundry
Molly’s Suds recommends that Super Powder be used in cool, warm, or hot water. If you must wash in cold water, you can dissolve the powder in a cup of warm water before adding it, or for special activewear garments you can purchase Molly’s Suds All Sport Activewear Detergent.
Molly’s Suds All Sport Activewear Detergent
Molly’s Suds recommends All Sport Activewear Detergent for tackling super tough stains, including grass, sweat, and blood. As you might expect, All Sport Activewear Detergent is ideal for cold water washes, machine or hand washing activewear and/or delicates. It preserves SPF, water repellency, wicking capabilities, and breathability of performance wear all while keeping colors and fabrics looking new.
Honorable Mention: Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Detergent
I have to mention Eco Nuts Organic Laundry Detergent (aka soapberries). For centuries people have used soapberries to clean both skin and clothes. I’ve been using them regularly for the past year with or without traditional laundry soap because they are such an amazing fabric softener. Unfortunately, Eco Nuts Laundry Detergent doesn’t remove any type of stain. However, I can’t remember the last time I bought fabric softener! These Eco-Nuts soapberries are ethically sourced from Nepal, fair trade, organic and sustainably packaged. To learn more or purchase, click here.
Tips for Finding the ‘Actual Best’ Products
- Take everything with a grain of salt.
- Beware of greenwashing. Greenwashing is the practice of labeling products as “green” or “natural” without making any qualifying statements. As you may or may not know, these words mean absolutely nothing.
- Use technology such as FakeSpot.com to help you detect dishonest reviews, fake websites and scammers.
- Beware of reviews that read more like an infomercial than a review. They often have over-the-top outlandish claims (and sometimes an impressive amount of misspelled words)
- Go to the business website and read their “about us” or “our story.”
- When reading reviews, read a couple from the first page of your search and read a few more from the 2nd and 3rd pages. Try different search/key words to find alternate reviews.
- For household cleaning products use ewg’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning for an independent evaluation.
Molly’s Suds Super Powder is the actual best laundry detergent. Don’t get sucked in by fake reviews. Take everything with a grain of salt. There are a lot of great products not yet rated by ewg, but you can still use their website to find unsafe ingredients.
Did you find this article helpful? Will you use these tips when searching for new products? Please comment below and feel free to share.