Laundry detergent comes in many forms, including liquids, powders, pods, tablets, and strips. While liquid detergent is the most common, powder detergent is an effective alternative that has several distinct advantages.
Powder vs liquid laundry detergent
Powder detergent is an ultra-concentrated form of laundry detergent that comes in a dry, shelf-stable powder. Think of it as a liquid detergent with the water taken out, making it easier to package, ship, and use around the house.
Powder vs laundry pods and sheets
While sheets and pods are also dry, lightweight alternatives to liquid detergent that can be packaged in cardboard, these products are made with polyvinyl alcohol (commonly called PVA or PVOH). Recent research has shown that PVA does not readily break down in our wastewater systems and contributes dissolved plastic to our waterways.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of laundry powder:
Powder detergents do not require preservatives
Avoiding preservatives is our favorite reason to make laundry powder. Water-based products are prone to growing mold and bacteria. To avoid this and keep products safe and effective, liquid detergents need to have added preservatives. Many preservatives used in green cleaners, like hexahydro-1,3,5-tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine, also known as THT, are derived from petroleum. These chemicals are known as formaldehyde releasers or donors because they may release small amounts of formaldehyde over time. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and skin irritant. Some improved preservatives are known to be safer, but even gentle preservatives like methylisothiazolinone (MI) can be irritating to some folks, so we’re happy to avoid using them altogether.
By eliminating water as an ingredient in our Laundry Powder, we’re able to make an effective, shelf-stable detergent free of unnecessary preservatives.
Powders make it easy to go plastic-free
Many people want to avoid using plastic, especially in packaging materials that will be used once and thrown away. Plastic does not easily break down in the environment and often contains phthalates and other undesirable additives. By avoiding plastic when better alternatives exist, we fill up fewer landfills and shorten the cycle time of materials back into nature.
Our Laundry Powder is dry and shelf-stable, so it can be packaged in plastic-free containers made from cardboard and paper. Our canisters, refill bags, and soap wrappers are made with recycled paper that can be re-recycled after use. To further reduce waste, we also offer Laundry Powder Refills you can use to fill up your first canister when it runs low.
Concentrated laundry powders have lower shipping weights and smaller containers
Compared to liquid detergents, our Laundry Powder is about a third of the weight and takes up half the space on a per-load basis*. This reduces the energy used for shipping and makes it easier to transport it home from the store, carry it up and down stairs in a laundry basket, and find space for it in your laundry room or pantry.
*Comparing 7th Generation Liquid Detergent to Meliora Cleaning Products Laundry Powder.
Laundry powders are just as effective as liquid detergents
Simply put, water in laundry detergents and soaps is not necessary. Your machine adds water at the start of the laundry cycle. Why would you need us to send you extra water from Chicago?
Our Laundry Powder dissolves easily in hot and cold water—just add the powder directly to the drum of your washing machine. It’s ultra-concentrated, so you don’t need much, just half a tablespoon for high-efficiency (HE) machines and a full tablespoon for standard machines. With 128 HE loads in each 35 oz. canister, that comes out to just 15 cents per load!