There’s nothing like the smell of fresh laundry. And although brands like Tide and Glad ensure that your clothes come out clean and smelling amazing, sometimes that comes at a cost. That’s where Dirty Labs come in. This natural laundry detergent brand is good for your skin and the environment, which is a lot more than mainstream alternatives can say. But how does Dirty Labs measure up to the competitors when it comes to cleaning power, scent and more? Find out everything you need to know in this detailed Dirty Labs detergent review.
Dirty Labs laundry detergent avoids the chemical-based ingredients that are in so many household brands. From known irritants to carcinogens and toxins, these chemicals can wreak havoc on the ecosystems and our health. In comparison, this company goes out of its way to eliminate all chemicals listed in Cal Prop 65 and Fragrance allergens outlined by the EU.
Formulated by scientists, Dirty Labs detergent is great for the environment and sensitive skin. Instead of using synthetic ingredients, Dirty Labs uses enzyme-driven formulas with a technology called Phytolase®. The enzymes target different types of stains, breaking them down into components that are more dissolvable. Some of these enzymes even work to break down microfibrils, which are a major cause of fabric dullness. Even after washing, customers note that the clothes came out completely clean and still held onto the scent of the non-toxic laundry detergent.
The Bio Laundry Booster is their 4-in-1 Advanced Stain & Odor Remover. With the power to work on your stinkiest, grosses laundry, it’s a powder that helps strengthen their detergent but can also be used on its own as a stain-remover.
Beyond their two best-selling detergents, they also sell a Bio Laundry Starter Kit, which is perfect for testing out their products if you’re not sure what to commit to. Includes one 32-load Signature detergent, one 32-load Free & Clear detergent, and two Dirty Labs reusable beakers. Although these products all work on hot water machine settings, they perform best in cold water.
They’re an environmentally conscious company, which also means they use minimal plastic packaging. Detergent bottles arrive in recyclable aluminum and the product arrives in cardboard vices. Even the cap and spout can be recycled. A particularly thoughtful point of the design is the spout, which is v-shaped and hence makes pouring a lot easier (and less messy.) The bottles of the detergent itself are modern and minimalist, which you don’t often find in laundry detergents.
One feature that sets Dirty Lab apart is the scent options, which are far more nuanced than your average overpowering laundry detergent. It comes in a signature scent with notes of cedar, magnolia and bergamot, which customers call dreamy with floral hints. According to some customers on Amazon, the smell also blends well with other brands, if you’re mixing products like softeners or fragrance beads. There’s also a fragrance-free version called Free & Clear, which is great for anyone with sensitive skin. It was even awarded the National Eczema Associated Seal of Acceptance.
Another feature is its proprietary formula known as Phytolase®. This is a natural, eco-conscious formulation with non-toxic ingredients that are biobased, including responsibly sourced palm oil. Using sugar and plant-derived surfactants, this brand is able to produce a product that breaks down odors and stains as well as its competitors. They offer a full, transparent ingredient list which is available on their website.
Lastly, their website is their hidden gem containing a wealth of information. Unlike many other laundry brands, Dirty Labs doesn’t just use its site to market products. Instead, it is a legitimate source of info on laundry, cleaning, and environmental advocacy. They even have a column called Ask Dr. Pete, where one of their scientist co-founders answers common questions about laundry care and sustainability in relation to cleaning.
Their laundry detergent is super concentrated – just two teaspoons will get the job done – meaning that these bottles will last longer and cost you less. The smallest size of the Signature or Free & Clear costs $13.00 and yields 32 loads, while the larger one will yield 75 loads and cost you $19.00. It’s true that at the drugstore, your average detergent cost will be in the single digits, but if you can spare a couple of extra bucks, it can get you a higher quality that’s better for your skin and also helps minimize your carbon footprint.
Pros & Cons
- Popular range of alluring but subtle scents
- Sustainable laundry alternative
- High-quality ingredients that are pet and sensitive skin safe
- Performs optimally in cold water
- More expensive than drugstore brands
- Not as powerful as some chemical-based alternatives
Ultimately, having a non-toxic laundry detergent that’s also biodegradable is important for the environment. Laundry has a massic impact on marine ecosystems and waterways – many of them contain petroleum, which is disastrous for aquatic life. The popular ones that big box stores are selling are doing some serious damage when it comes to long-term effects. The gentle, EWG-certified formula means that your clothes will last longer, along with Planet Earth. Plus, we love that they have so many sophisticated scent options.
A brand for the modern laundry consumer, this product will have you rethinking laundry day and might even have you looking forward to it. If being eco-friendly is important to you, they have similar values with a focus on clean science and using less harsh ingredients. Still, it might get expensive if you have a large family or do many loads of laundry a week. Along with being perfect for anyone with sensitive skin, it’s also great for city-dwellers and anyone who has to go to a laundromat to do their loads, since the container is about the size of a water bottle and uses such small serving sizes.
They ship to the USA, including Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. They don’t ship internationally. For standard delivery, it’s a flat shipping fee of $5. It’s an additional $12 for two-day shipping. They offer free shipping on orders of $25 or more.
They’ll allow you to try their biobased detergents for 30 days and if you don’t love it by then, they’ll refund the full purchase.
They’re all made and developed in the USA, with ingredients sourced from the USA, Europe, South America and Southeast Asia.
Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins. They help digest, decompose and decay items. Phytolase is a blend of bioenzymes, and they’ve been designed to target all kidneys of stains.
Yes, they’re designed for both HE and traditional washers and have a two teaspoon per load serving size.
These products can be bought on Amazon as well as the company website.
Yes, they work with hard water, groundwater or well water. The formula itself has a biobased water softener, and some water with extra ionized calcium or magnesium may cause mineral deposits on clothes. If you have this issue, use more detergent per load, or use the booster along with the liquid. Adding diluted white vinegar can also act as a natural softener.
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