Seventh Generation products are the best-known eco-friendly detergents. Seventh Generation soaps are phosphate-free and use plant-based cleaning agents rather than petroleum-based chemicals. Their Free & Clear formula is fragrance- and dye-free, but it also comes in two fragrances. In tests of cleaning ability, Seventh Generation Natural 2X Concentrated Liquid Detergent falls in the middle, but for many, the slight loss in performance is an acceptable trade-off for a detergent that has less environmental impact. Seventh Generation laundry detergent can be used in standard or high-efficiency washing machines. A less-expensive green option is Country Save Laundry Detergent Powder (*Est. 19 cents per load), which has a strong consumer fan base, though it has not been included in comparison testing and can be hard to find.
Seventh Generation was the top-rated detergent in a comparison test at Grist.org, an environmental website. Amazon.com carries many Seventh Generation laundry products, and they all receive very good reviews. Seventh Generation wins high praise for its cleaning ability, and because it does not aggravate allergies. ConsumerReports.org editors also include Seventh Generation Natural 2X Concentrated Liquid Detergent in its test of 13 HE laundry detergents.
Editors of ConsumerReports.org test 13 HE laundry detergents along with more than 30 detergents for standard washing machines. Seventh Generation is among these detergents that editors test on the ability to remove nine common stains.
Review: Laundry Detergent Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, July 2009
Six environmentally friendly detergents are tested in this review. Cotton T-shirts are stained with ketchup, balsamic vinegar, berries, red wine and mud, then tested for stain-removal ability. Sarah van Schagen also discusses environmental aspects of each. Seventh Generation's does the best job.
Review: It's a Wash: A Review of Six Green Laundry Detergents, Sarah van Schagen, Feb. 26, 2008
Amazon.com carries many formulations of Seventh Generation laundry products, and they all receive very good reviews. Seventh Generation wins high praise for its cleaning ability, and users say it doesn't aggravate allergies. One reviewer notes that it can fade colors.
Review: Seventh Generation 2X Liquid Laundry Detergent, Contributors to Amazon.com
Drugstore.com carries Seventh Generation liquid and powder detergents. They have each accumulated more than 40 reviews. Most agree it doesn't irritate skin and gets clothes clean.
Review: Seventh Generation Natural Laundry, Contributors to Drugstore.com
Dianna Zaragoza compares Tide detergent with Seventh Generation Natural 2X Concentrated Laundry Liquid Detergent. Both laundry detergents clean equally well, she says, although the wash water seems to drain cleaner with Seventh Generation than with Tide.
Review: Traditional Over Eco-Friendly Laundry Soap? -- Tide Detergent Vs. Seventh Generation, Dianna Zaragoza, May 17, 2007