Right around when Joy wrote her post about diaper-friendly detergent I was in the process of phasing out my conventional laundry soap. I hadn’t switched over to an eco-friendly brand because I kept getting hung up on the price. Imagine my shock when I discovered that eco-friendly detergent can be cheaper than conventional detergent! I no longer have any reason to use a mainstream brand.
Laundry Detergent–from cheapest to most expensive
T.J.’s powder / $5.49 / 40 loads / $.137 per load
Biokleen laundry powder / $13.99 / 100 loads / $.139 per load BEST DEAL
T.J.’s liquid HE / $8.99 / 64 loads / $.14 per load
All (not eco-friendly) / $14.00 / 96 loads / $.145 per load
Biokleen liquid laundry detergent / $9.49 / 64 loads /$.148 per load
T.J.’s powder / $10.00 / 64 loads / $.156 per load
Biokleen laundry powder / $8.29 / 50 loads / $.165 per load
Planet laundry powder / $10.00 / 32 loads / $.31 per load
Ecover laundry powder / $9.00 / 20 loads / $.45 per load
Seventh Generation laundry powder / $8.00 / 16 loads / $.50 per load
Some Notes on the Conventional Detergent
I wanted to see how eco-friendly brands compared to the cheapest conventional brand and was pleased to find that Biokleen powder is actually cheaper than All. Now, I’m sure you can find cheaper detergent at a big warehouse store, but I was looking only in the stores within walking distance of my house. One huge plastic container of All costs $14 ($.145/load). That’s almost twice as expensive as the Biokleen.
My frugal friend (we’ll call him Thrifty Bob) told me that he’d just found a container of All on sale for $9 ($.093/load). Not bad, Thrifty Bob! However, if you read the fine print on the container, it says you’ll get 96 loads if you fill the cup half-way full. If you have a top-loader, you may be filling the cup to the top, so you’d actually get just 48 loads out of the container. Thrifty Bob has a front-loader and admitted that he often filled the cup more than halfway full. Not only does this waste detergent, it may ruin a front-loading machine. The guy who delivered our front-loader warned me to never, ever, ever use more than a third-cup of detergent.
I will admit that before I found Biokleen laundry powder, I was using All detergent, too. Now I’m kicking myself, because not only was I paying more, I was polluting the Earth with toxins and adding a huge hunk of plastic to the recycling bin. Even worse, I had to throw away three non-recyclable plastic parts of the container: the plastic cup, spout, and cap.
Another big advantage to green detergent is that it doesn’t contain chemicals that can cling to skin or petroleum-based oils that coat diapers and cause unpleasant smells. Thanks to Biokleen, I’ll be saving money, keeping toxins away from our bodies, and helping the planet.