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Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents In The UK

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These days we are all trying to do our bit for the planet. Protecting the world we have and trying to undo some of the damage we have caused over the years is so important, and there is lots we can do from home.

Everyone is already trying to reduce their waste, reusing products and recycling where possible, but there are lots of other small swaps we can make at home that will help. Even something as simple as swapping your laundry detergent to a more eco friendly laundry detergent can have an impact.

What Makes A Laundry Detergent Better For The Environment?

In terms of laundry detergent, being environmentally friendly means they are doing the least possible damage to the environment. Unfortunately, all detergents will some effect on the environment and the delicate eco systems we have around us.

There are a number of different ways in which a laundry detergent can reduce it’s environmental impact, at it is up to you as a consumer to choose the detergent you prefer based on your priorities. The factors to consider are:

  • Ingredients
  • Packaging
  • Manufacturing Process
  • Wash Temperature


Most detergents that consider themselves to be eco friendly are free from the harsh and potentially harmful ingredients often found in regular detergents. They usually don’t contain any colouring or fragrances, but if they do they should be from natural sources.

A cartoon sketch of a laundry basket and bottle of laundry detergent


The packaging should be recyclable and made from recycled ingredients where possible. Alternatively, for powdered detergents it is possible to use biodegradable boxes for packaging which can greatly reduce waste.

As well as the packaging for the detergent as a whole, consider the packaging of an individual dose. Some mainstream laundry detergents come in individual doses wrapped in plastic which may claim to dissolve in the water, but ultimately will result in micro-plastics entering the waste water.

Wash Temperature

When we wash clothes in a washing machine the water has to be heated. By reducing the water temperature you will greatly reduce your energy usage throughout the year (and positively impact your electricity bill). It is worth considering what temperature is recommended for the detergent you choose, with a cold wash being more preferable.

If you’re drying laundry without a tumble drier check out How To Dry Laundry Quickly Inside A House for tips

The Best UK Environmentally Friendly Laundry Detergents

There is no point in having a laundry detergent that is good for the environment if it doesn’t actually wash your clothes well. Below are the best environmentally friendly washing machine detergents that are available in the UK.

Smol Non-Bio Capsules

If you are looking for a plastic free laundry detergent then Smol is a great option. They are certified cruelty free, vegan, 100% plastic free and have recyclable packaging. You can have a 9 dose trial for just £1 postage, and after that it is a delivery subscription. You can adjust the frequency at any time depending on how regularly you run a wash.

Ecover Concentrated Laundry Detergent

If you prefer a liquid laundry detergent then Ecover* comes out top. It is effective against most stains, keeps whites bright and reduces fading on coloured clothes. The bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic and can be recycled again, and has plant based biodegradable ingredients than are gentle on our environment.

There is also the option to buy a bulk refill bottle*, reducing the plastic by a further 27%.

Method Laundry Detergent

Method is well known for is well scented products and their laundry detergent* is no different. It is effective in reducing the vast majority of marks and stains on clothing, and is particularly good at keeping your coloured clothes bright.

A silver washing machine with the door open and a towel in it

Persil Liquid Detergent

Many people assume that mainstream laundry detergents aren’t good for the environment, but depending on your requirements and budget the Persil liquid detergent* is a good starting place. The bottle is made from 100% recycled products and is fully recyclable once it’s finished. It uses plant-based and biodegradable stain removers to keep your clothes looking fresh.

Molly’s Suds

If you prefer to using powder detergent then Molly’s Suds* is a great choice. It is phosphate-free, paraben-free, artificial fragrance free, cruelty-free, bleach-free, and has vegan certification – what more could you ask for?! However, it is worth noting that the packaging is plastic and some of the products are sourced from America, adding to the carbon footprint.

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