Whether you want to simplify laundry day or live a more sustainable life, you probably have questions about the eco-friendly laundry strips you have heard so much about. And we’re thrilled to be able to answer them all in this series. From why you should make the switch to the difference between our strips and pods, here is Part 1 of Your Laundry Strip Questions Answered:
By Christa Adams
Everything comes out in the wash eventually — including just how toxic those plastic tubs of liquid detergent are to people and planet alike. So, is it any wonder that as households seek out safer, healthier alternatives to harsh, chemical-based cleaning products, eco-friendly laundry strips are exploding in popularity across the globe? Maybe you’ve heard from a friend who is using them now — or seen them on social media. How can cleaning power come in such a light, thin package? Are they truly as friendly to the planet as people say?
At SaltyLama, we’re thrilled to answer all your questions about our eco-friendly laundry strips — and encourage you to ditch those plastic jugs (and pods) of traditional detergent for a cleaner future.
1. What exactly are laundry strips?
Simply put, they’re the healthiest, most convenient solution to clean laundry. Ultra-concentrated sheets of biodegradable, plant-based laundry detergent, our strips quickly dissolve in water to remove dirt, stains, and unwanted odors from fabrics. They provide a cleaner solution — for both the planet and the laundry room — with pre-measured strips so you don’t have to worry about messy liquids or powders and lugging around hefty plastic jugs. Instead, our laundry strips are compacted into biodegradable pouches.
One SaltyLama strip can tackle a regular load, while two strips will handily take care of larger loads. If you are just washing a few items, rip a single strip in half to get the job done. Just place one into the detergent drawer on your machine — or drop it into the load of laundry itself. From there, the strips will combine with the water to wash your clothes just as well as regular detergents. Importantly, kind ingredients are the stars of the show. Our hypoallergenic laundry strips use plant-based ingredients — most derived from coconuts, which are gentle on fabrics and skin — and, unlike regular detergents, no harmful toxins. As a result, they are particularly ideal for households with children and pets.
2. What’s so terrible about regular laundry detergent?
The better question might be: what is not terrible about regular laundry detergent? Very little, it turns out. Let’s name a few of the reasons why you should ditch traditional detergents — for the sake of you, your household, and the planet:
- It’s harmful to human, marine, and overall environmental health. Leading laundry detergent brands often contain harmful chemicals which can cause all sorts of negative health consequences — ranging from skin irritation to carcinogenicity — as well as the dangerous toll it exacts on the environment and aquatic life.
- Regular detergent comes with a veritable laundry list of ingredients to avoid. Those include such irritants and toxins as phosphates, formaldehyde, dyes, chlorine bleach, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), ammonium sulfate, ammonia, nonylphenol ethoxylate, and phenols. If you see any of those ingredients, the product is harmful to human, environmental, and aquatic health. In fact, the State of New York has just enacted a ban on the potentially cancer-causing chemical 1,4-Dioxane, which is found in detergents. This new law may see some detergents forced out of New York entirely. Shouldn’t that be enough to make you reconsider what chemicals you’re washing your clothes with?
- Additionally, you need to consider the carbon emissions created by regular detergent — something most people have probably never considered. But plastics — and therefore those heavy jugs as well as other packaging — all come from petrochemicals. So even before the detergent has left the manufacturer, the product is already impacting the environment negatively.
- These plastics then disintegrate into microplastics. These then end up in our water, consumed by animals, and even inside our bodies. Worse, many of the chemicals found in plastics are known to cause health problems, including cancer.
- Consider the estimated one billion plastic laundry jugs thrown into the trash annually — with less than a third recycled. In landfills, mountains of single-use plastic jugs can take decades before they can even begin to decompose.
3. What’s the difference between strips and pods?
While both are more convenient in the laundry room, only one is safer for your family’s health and the well-being of the planet. Laundry strips fully break down in your laundry load without introducing microplastics or harmful chemicals. The same can’t be said for pods, which are highly-concentrated pouches of regular detergent. To be clear: pods are toxic, and strips are not.
Studies have shown that up to 75% of the plastic film in laundry pods does not fully break down, which means it enters our water supply. On the other hand, concentrated laundry strips don’t use any plastic — not even in the packaging — and are a safer alternative for the environment, your clothes, and your health. And they perform just as well as pods! So, the only real similarities between the two is that they both wash your clothes. Beyond that, there’s no real comparison. One is toxic, the other is not. One is environmentally friendly, the other is not.
4. How do laundry strips reduce my carbon footprint?
There are many ways that laundry strips will shrink your carbon footprint. Since our sustainable detergent strips are lighter and slimmer than heavy plastic jugs filled with liquid chemicals, they’re easier to transport — meaning fewer emissions and reduced fuel consumption. Starting at the basics, they use no harmful chemicals or plastics and can therefore be produced more sustainably. As noted above, even before a plastic detergent jug ends up in a landfill, its production has emitted greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. After production, since our laundry strips are so lightweight unlike laundry pods or regular detergent, they can easily be transported without using excessive carbon emissions to arrive at your doorstep.
Once they’re in your home, SaltyLama’s strips and their packaging can fully biodegrade — it will be like they were never there to begin with! Single-use plastic packaging causes fatal damage to oceans, species, and human health. That’s why our laundry strips come in biodegradable cardboard packaging, which is much kinder to our planet’s health. The same can’t be said for those chunky plastic containers — or the plastic film used in pods. All in all, these easier-to-transport laundry strips cut carbon emissions greatly and reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills every year.
5. I’m not an eco-warrior — are laundry strips really for me?
Absolutely! SaltyLama’s laundry strips aren’t only ideal for the planet’s sake, but for your family’s health as well. Not all the chemicals in your detergent get washed down the drain. Some stay on your clothes — that’s why fabrics have that fresh aroma long after they leave the laundry room. That means these harmful chemicals have come in contact with your skin.
Our toxin-free strips are hypoallergenic, meaning they are great for everyone — including babies and animals. Wash anything with our strips and soak up the kind-on-skin results!
On top of that, these strips are so easy to use that they make laundry day faster and more convenient. Laundry strips are also fantastic if you’re an avid traveler. They take up next to no space in your suitcase, unlike regular detergent, so you can tackle laundry wherever you go. Those are benefits anyone can appreciate — eco-warrior or not.
Now that we have introduced our eco-friendly laundry strips and explained why they are for everyone — eco-warrior or not — come back tomorrow for Part 2 when we’ll discuss why they’re not only great for the environment, but fantastic on tough dirt and stains.