A few of the vegan/eco friendly washing detergents I've tried so far...
During my little eco journey, I've tried a few different cleaning and washing products.The thing that made me stop and think about what goes into my laundry is that this all ends up in the water system somewhere, and I didn't want to be a contributor to water pollution or wildlife damage - read some of the warning labels on the back of conventional cleaning products and you'll see what I mean!
I've managed to try a few of the more widely available laundry detergents and here are my thoughts just in case you were considering any of them and wanted someone's opinion...[All of these are vegan/not tested on animals so I haven't included that in the pros/cons list - it's a given]
On a side note, before we dive into the below, there's a great shopping guide by Ethical Consumer that rate some laundry detergents on various aspects - it's not exhaustive, at the time of writing neither Smol nor Kinn are on the list, but Ecover are - we'll get to that bit later!
Spoiler alert - some of these products are great, but none are a perfect fit for me.The next move in my cleaning journey is actually getting a little refill station stocked up in our kitchen, so I'm currently looking at either the Faith in Nature 5L or the Greenscents 5L - Faith in Nature works out a bit cheaper. If you want to go really low on the ingredients, you can actually also use a castille soap (and actually for pretty much any type of cleaning) - I used one from Naissance before and the results were great, but I'm not sure how cost effective it would be in the long run.
So, in this little thought dump of a blog post are Kinn, Smol and Ecover...
First up, my thoughts on Kinn Living...
Pros: Large bottles, does fabric conditioner too, independent company, does the job!
Cons: Plastic bottles, quite expensive (I think I paid something stupid like £10 a bottle in Waitrose as I wanted to try them, but they are cheaper on the website), I also really didn't like the scent - it's neroli and it was very heavy, but each to their own, no refill stations (obvs you can repurpose the bottles)
Would I buy again? No, but the reasons for that are the cost and smell - it does it's job really well!
Next up, Smol, a laundry capsule subscription service - if you're anything like me, this has been hammering your targeted ads on Facebook, so I caved...
Pros: Now plastic free (initally was sent in plastic but this has since changed to cardboard), cheapish - something like £4.20 for 24 washes, don't need to remember to buy detergent as it arrives in the post - really reliable and you can alter you subscription as you need.
Cons: Doesn't dissolve properly if you overfill the washing machine but that's probably my fault - comes out looking like someone has snotted all over your clothes. There also isn't currently a fabric conditioner option, but that doesn't matter massively.
Would I buy again? I've had my subscription for a fair few months and I am happy with them, especially now they've switched to cardboard packaging but I am going to cancel to make my refill station work.
Last up is Ecover - when Ecover and Method (they're actually the same company) started to be sold in our local Sainsburys, I fell in love with them HARD and switched all of our cleaning products over - at one point our shelves were full of brightly filled bottles and I was appropriately smug at the reduced amount of damage I was doing...however, and this is the kicker - I found out they were actually owned by SC Johnson, who still test on animals (and are generally a bit not great in lots of other ways) so I fell out of love with them instantly. Ecover themselves don't test on animals and are vegan, but their profits go to SC Johnson, so it's up to you.
The product itself is actually brilliant - they do lots of scents, do both a detergent and a conditioner, use recycled plastic and have refill stations...the works. If it wasn't for the parent company thing I wouldn't have stopped using them as they really do a good job for a decent price. They are also the most widely available eco friendly options - they're pretty much a staple in all supermarkets these days, so they'd be easy to get your hands on.
So, there's my little ramble... In short, they all have their pros and cons - it's finding one that works for you! Now, I'm off to order a 5L bottle from Faith in Nature.
I'm currently living by the Ethical Consumer shopping guides and making better choices for my cleaning products, so expect to see more rambles soon!