I’m one of those strange people who loves doing laundry, and I’m not even sure why? I think it makes me feel like I’ve achieved something useful (clearly my life is full of excitement!), and I also love the smell of clean laundry! So giving up on the great smelling big commercial brands like Omo, Skip, Arial and Sunlight was tough. But after trying a few of the earth friendly brands available I managed to find a few pretty good options, so here is a quick review of the ones I’d recommend.
Soap Nuts (500g)
I made the switch to Soap Nuts because I loved the idea of using a totally natural, non-toxic product.
These nifty little nuts can replace your chemical washing powders and are far more economical than commercial washing powders. You can buy a 500g bag of soap nuts online from , Natures Soap and Wellness Warehouse for about R100. With your bag of soap nuts, you also get a little drawstring muslin bag, in which you place 3-6 soap nuts and a few drops of your favourite essential oil (lavender is my favourite) and then put it in the washing machine with your laundry. The soap nuts don’t foam like commercial detergents do but they certainly get the job done! You should be able to get 90-100 washes out of a 500g bag and for me that equates to about 8 months, which is pretty darn hard to beat!
I stuck solidly to this option for a year or two so I can certainly say that it works, my only qualm with soap nuts is that they don’t work super well on stains or sweaty gym clothes. So soap nuts are great for your everyday clothes – jeans, tops, jerseys – but for gym clothes and stains you might need something a bit stronger so read on!
Earthsap Machine & Handwash Laundry Liquid (500g)
If you’ve done any browsing on our website you should know by now that we love Earthsap products. This one is no exception! This laundry liquid is non-toxic, not tested on animals and biodegradable, although it is a little on the pricey side when compared to commercial detergents. So I keep a bottle of this in my cupboard just for delicate items that need to be soaked or hand washed and it lasts about 6 months.
You can buy it online from and Wellness Warehouse, as well as certain Pick n Pay stores, Craighall Spar and Farm Table in Linden. A 500g bottle costs about R70.
Pick and Pay Green Auto Washing Powder (1kg)
This has been a big winner for me in terms of convenience. I do most of my grocery shopping at Pick and Pay, so being able to easily pick up a bag of earth friendly laundry detergent when I’ve run out is such a win! This detergent is biodegradable, phosphate free and is also not tested on animals. A 1kg bag costs about R30 (what?!) and lasts me 3 to 4 months. Pick and Pay have also given their green laundry detergent a green friend, a Stain Removal powder, which also works really well and is a great green alternative to Vanish (which is hard to live without if you are like me and somehow managed to spill on your clothes at least once a week).
The only negative thing I’ll say is that if you have very sensitive skin this may not be the product for you. My friend and her family all have really sensitive skin and this detergent seemed to irritate their skin a little. But if you’ve never struggled with sensitive skin you shouldn’t have any issues.
Triple Orange Bio-Detergent (5kg)
Although I’ve never tried this product, Romy swears by it and loves it! It’s also biodegradable, non-toxic, isn’t tested on animals and apparently it leaves your laundry smelling wonderfully citrus fresh! It’s a gel which makes it useful for applying directly onto stubborn stains and it means it also dissolves better than a powder for cold washes (if you prefer). It’s also very economical, you can get 40 washes out of a 1kg tub and that means you can get 200 washes out of a 5kg tub, which brings me to the best thing about it, being able to buy in bulk! Often the most frustrating thing about switching to earth friendly products is the inconvenience of having to order online or go to a specific store. But because you can buy this product in 5kg tub you don’t have to worry about running out of laundry detergent for ages.
You can order this product online from , Wellness Warehouse or directly from their website and a 5kg tub costs R450.
Eco Smart Laundry & Washing Powder (330g)
Louise and Romy recently tried out this product and both have agreed that it’s a great find! It’s biodegradable, non-toxic and not tested on animals but the best thing about this product is that, because it’s concentrated, you only need to use a heaped teaspoon per 5kg wash, which makes it very economical. You can also use this product in your dishwasher! SO one product, two functions, no impact makes it super convenient in my books! This product is also endorsed by the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA).
Romy is currently stocking and distributing this product, so drop her a line if you would like to give it a try or order directly from EcoSmart!
I hope this helps some of you on your mission to make your home a little greener and as always, let us know if you have come across another product you’ve loved, we’re always looking to try something new!