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6 best eco-friendly laundry sheets that are kinder to the planet

With natural ingredients and plastic-free packaging, wash day can be more sustainable, and your clothes just as clean

Dominique Boulan
Monday 16 January 2023 15:25 GMT
<p>Our picks use less space than bottled detergeants and fit straight through the letterbox </p>

Our picks use less space than bottled detergeants and fit straight through the letterbox

Our Top Picks

The UK government will be banning a range of single-use plastics from October 2023, including plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, balloon sticks, and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers. In doing so, they’re finally placing the responsibility for taking climate action on companies and industries, rather than the consumer. The new ban will mostly affect food and hospitality businesses and there are still plenty (more polluting) industries that would benefit from similar regulations to protect the environment, but we’ll take the small win.

In the meantime, all we can do is opt for green alternatives in our day-to-day lives. Whether you invest in a reusable water bottle or coffee cup, purchase second-hand or sustainable clothing or have decided to say farewell to animal-based products and opt for a vegan lifestyle, there are plenty of changes, big and small, we can make to help take climate action.

As for cleaning products, there are many eco-friendly options that can replace your go-to supermarket buys. While liquid laundry detergent might leave your clothes smelling and looking clean, there are some downsides. Most come in plastic packaging, and with less than 10 per cent of plastic actually being recycled, the rest ends up in landfill, polluting our oceans or being burnt. So, for those looking to reduce their environmental footprint, laundry sheets sound like a solid solution.

The sheets dissolve in the washing machine, consist of natural ingredients and come in plastic-free (and often even compostable) packaging, but we’re wondering whether they actually get the job done as well as our go-to liquid detergent.

If you’re a fan of strong fragrances, eco laundry sheets might not be for you. We’ve found that while these will leave your clothes smelling clean, the strong scent mostly dissolves during a wash – this is because they lack the synthetic chemicals found in regular detergents. Strong aromas aside, our clothes still came out smelling and looking clean, so we were more than happy with the products in this round-up.

Most options are available as a one-time purchase as well as a subscription service, to make sure you never run out. The sheets also take up very minimal space, so packaging is a lot smaller and easy to store, but do keep them somewhere dry – as mentioned, they dissolve when wet and you wouldn’t want to waste them.

How we tested

While we didn’t go around deliberately spilling red wine all over our outfits, stains do happen and each load contained some soiled items. We’d still treat heavy spills with a stain remover first – as we would using liquid detergent – but we left the less aggressive stains alone to let the laundry sheets work their magic.

We’re also a relatively active household, so we paid special attention to how well these laundry sheets tackled sweaty gym and hockey clothes. All clothes were directly air-dried after washing to test the longevity of any leftover fragrance too. These are the ones that we decided were worth taking for a spin.

These laundry sheets deserved a spot in our round-up

The best eco laundry sheets for 2023 are:

  • Best overall – The Green Company eco laundry detergent sheets, lavender, pack of 32: £7.95, Thegreencompany.online
  • Best subscription – Reco laundry detergent sheets, pack of 92: £28.00, Reco.shop
  • Best fragrance-free option – Kind Laundry zero waste laundry strips, pack of 60: £16.20, Kindlaundry.com
  • Best hypoallergenic option – True Earth eco strips laundry detergent, fragrance free, 32 sheets: £11.99, Truearth.uk
  • Best soapy scent – Blue Earth fragrance berry garden laundry pack: £6.79, Blueearthclean.com
  • Best for personalisation – Simple Living Eco spring fresh laundry detergent sheets: From £6.40, Simplelivingeco.com

The Green Company eco laundry detergent sheets, lavender, pack of 32

The Green Company laundry detergent sheets.png
  • Best: Overall
  • Number of sheets in pack: 32 or 64
  • Number of sheets per wash: One sheet for smaller load, two for heavier or dirtier loads
  • Scented: Lavender, fresh linnen or fragrance-free
  • Subscription: Yes

We were a little weary of laundry sheets when we first started testing, as we were unsure they’d deliver the same results as our liquid detergent. We also soon noticed there weren’t as many different fragrance options available as with liquid detergents and you’re often stuck with a plain “fresh linen” option. That’s the main reason we loved this option from The Green Company.

We tried the brand’s fresh linen option too, but the lavender-scented one really stood out for us. Its scent lingered after washing and, overall, these sheets left our clothes feeling soft and both smelling and looking clean. We’ve been reaching for these sheets since long after the testing period was over.

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Reco laundry detergent sheets, pack of 92

Reco laundry detergent sheets, pack of 92 indybest.jpg
  • Best: Subscription
  • Number of sheets in pack: 92
  • Number of sheets per wash: One for a small load, two for a bigger or dirtier load
  • Scented: Fresh linen
  • Subscription: Yes, saving 20 per cent

The price of this pack was a little shocking at first, until we found out it included 92 sheets. For comparison, most of the others we’ve tried came in batches of 32 of 64, so we’d say Reco’s sheets are worth the extra cost. Additionally, you can subscribe and save 20 per cent.

The brand also offers a convenient testing pack of 10 sheets (£1, Reco.shop), which will last you for five to 10 washes, so you can try out the formula without having to fully commit.

This was, again, one of the stronger-smelling sheets and its fresh linen scent lingered long after washing. For harsher stains, we’d still recommend treating them before chucking your load into the washing machine. But less aggressive stains (rosé, in this particular case) were easily removed.

  1. £28 from Reco.shop
Prices may vary
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Kind Laundry zero waste laundry strips, pack of 60

Kind Laundry zero waste laundry strips, pack of 60 indybest.jpg
  • Best: Fragrance-free option
  • Number of sheets in pack: 60
  • Number of sheets per load: One for small load, two for bigger or dirtier load
  • Scent: Fragrance-free or ocean breeze
  • Subscription: Yes, save £2.50

As this option is fragrance-free, we tested it on a load of our dirty sports clothes, to make sure it would still get the job done and leave them smelling fresh before our next workout. Luckily, they delivered. While there was still a faint smell to the sheets upon opening the box, after washing they are – you guessed it – fragrance-free.

We were impressed by how well it could tackle the smell of post-match hockey clothes, without leaving a trace. If you prefer a scented detergent, though, Kind Laundry also has an ocean breeze option (£17.48, Kindlaundry.com).

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Truearth eco strips laundry detergent, fragrance-free, 32 sheets

True Earth eco strips laundry detergent, fragrance free, 32 sheets indybest.jpg
  • Best: Hypoallergenic option
  • Number of sheets in package: 32
  • Number of sheets per load: Half a strip for light load, full strip for bigger or dirtier loads
  • Scent: Fragrance free or fresh linen
  • Subscription: Yes, save 14 per cent

We found, for our clothes, the recommended half a sheet wouldn’t do the trick. However, the sheets are quite small and, even when using a full one, it’s still less product than you’d use with most of the other products.

The formula is hypoallergenic and certified by independent dermatologists, so, if you have sensitive skin or allergies, this might be a good option. It’s also vegan, paraben-free and phosphate-free.

As with the other fragrance-free options we tried, the subtle scent of these sheets mostly disappears when washing, but our clothes still felt clean after using. The only thing we were a bit worried about was how sticky these sheets felt in comparison with others we’ve tested, meaning you might want to store them within a box to make sure they won’t get too damp and spoil.

  1. £13 from Truearth.uk
Prices may vary
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Blue Earth fragrance berry garden laundry pack

Blue Earth fragrance berry garden laundry pack indybest.jpg
  • Best: For soapy scent
  • Number of sheets in package: 24
  • Number of sheets per load: Half a strip for a small load, one strip for a bigger or dirtier loads
  • Scent: Berry garden
  • Subscription: Yes, save up to 20 per cent

With only 24 sheets included in one pack, they won’t last you as long as some of the others we’ve tried, but you can subscribe to receive a new load every one, two or three months, to make sure you’re never without.

When opening this batch, we were surprised by how similar its sweet, floral scent was to our go-to liquid detergent, so we were curious to find out how well that would last after washing. While our laundry definitely smelled and looked clean coming out of the machine, the scent didn’t linger as much as some of the other ones we tried. The brand recommends half a sheet per load but, in contrast with most of the other sheets we’ve tested, it didn’t come with a perforated line, so you have to tear them up yourself. Luckily, they split quite easily, so this wasn’t too much of a hassle.

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Simple Living Eco spring fresh laundry detergent sheets

Simple Living Eco spring fresh laundry detergent sheets.png
  • Best: Personalisation
  • Number of sheets in pack: 32 or 64
  • Number of sheets per load: One for a lightly soiled 5kg load, two for more cleaning power and three for heavy loads (such as bedding and towels)
  • Scent: Fragrance-free, spring fresh or coconut
  • Subscription: Yes, save 20 per cent

With its subscription service focusing on the number of weeks rather than months before your next delivery, it’s a lot easier to find a frequency that suits your preference. Simply choose the fragrance you want (spring fresh, coconut or fragrance-free), the package size (32 or 64) and whether you want them delivered every two, four, six or eight weeks. For those who don’t want to commit to a subscription, the brand does also offer one-off purchasing (£8, Simplelivingeco.com).

We appreciated the easy-to-follow instructions that come both pictured and in writing. Our laundry came out smelling fresh and looking clean, but we did always opt for two sheets (providing more cleaning power) rather than one, as it gave us better results.

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The verdict: Eco laundry sheets

The Green Company’s eco laundry detergent sheets had a lovely design and we rated its distinctive lavender fragrance. If you prefer to stock up, we recommend opting for Reco’s sheets, as they come in the largest pack out of the ones we’ve tested. For those who want to stay as close to their go-to liquid detergents as possible, we’d recommend Blue Earth’s berry garden sheets for their scent.

No matter what laundry sheets you opt for, rest assured the natural ingredients and plastic-free packaging are, in our opinion, enough of a motivation to swap out our good old supermarket favourites.

Find a brew that’s better for the planet with our best plastic-free tea bags round-up

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