I’ve recently started doing laundry with a newfangled, ultra-concentrated detergent that looks like slips of paper. It’s feels like paper, too, and is dissolvable in cold water—I simply toss a sheet into my high-efficiency machine’s main compartment along with the dirty clothes, and have been very happy with the results.
Laundry detergent strips, it turns out, have been around a while—often packaged in plastic and touted as all-in-one detergent, stain remover, brightener. Of late, a number of brands the world over have jumped in with a cleaner look and green billing. They’re blessedly plastic-free—all come in biodegradable or recyclable boxes slim and light enough to pack in your space kit. In truth, I don’t know enough to weigh in on whether this engineered solution is all-around good and eco-friendly (I hope a nonprofit research organization such as the Environmental Working Group conducts a study). But I will say that the advertising is appealing: hypoallergenic, plant-derived, and free of parabens, phosphates, added dyes, and chlorine bleach. And so far, I like using detergent that’s as thin as a potato chip.
Here’s a small sampling of what’s available. N.B.: most companies offer money-saving subscriptions and both scented and unscented options.
Above: Tru Earth Eco-Strips from Boston General Store are $19.95 for 32 sheets (half of one of these is enough for a full load).
Take a look at Laundry Rooms—we have a lot of favorites, including The Germantown Laundomat, an Eco-Minded Gathering Spot
More cleaning ideas:
- Linen Logic: 20 Tips for Taking Care of Your Bedding
- Japanese Laundry: Small-Space Solutions from a Spotless Country
- DIY Display-Worthy Racks for Drying Herbs, Dishes, and Laundry
Frequently asked questions
What are laundry detergent sheets and strips?
Laundry detergent sheets and strips are a type of laundry detergent that come in the form of pre-packaged sheets or strips. They are designed to be added directly into the washing machine along with your laundry, and dissolve during the wash cycle to release their cleaning agents.
How do laundry detergent sheets and strips work?
Laundry detergent sheets and strips work by dissolving in water and releasing their cleaning agents, which then work to break down and remove dirt, stains, and odors from your clothes.
Are laundry detergent sheets and strips as effective as traditional liquid or powder detergent?
Yes, laundry detergent sheets and strips can be just as effective as traditional liquid or powder detergent. However, you may need to adjust the amount you use depending on the size of your load and the level of soiling.
Are laundry detergent sheets and strips more eco-friendly than traditional liquid or powder detergent?
Laundry detergent sheets and strips can be more eco-friendly than traditional liquid or powder detergent, as they often use less packaging and are lighter to transport. Additionally, some brands may use more environmentally-friendly ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals.
Can laundry detergent sheets and strips be used for all types of laundry?
Yes, laundry detergent sheets and strips can be used for all types of laundry, including whites, colors, delicates, and towels.
Do laundry detergent sheets and strips come in different scents?
Yes, laundry detergent sheets and strips come in a variety of scents, as well as unscented options for those with sensitivities or preferences.