Do Tru-Earth Eco-Strips laundry detergent actually get clothes clean?
Any new product such as this can be met instantly with skepticism, or at least perhaps ‘curiosity’ as to whether they will work as well as claimed. So the first question – Do Tru Earth laundry detergent strips actually work? We tried these laundry strips to write this review, and this is what we found...
Who are Tru-Earth then?
But first, the background. Tru-Earth is a company based in British Columbia, Canada, started by 3 like-minded and family-orientated entrepreneurs who saw an opportunity to make a difference and do good business with a product that worked well. The easiest way to sum it up is by shamelessly lifting a quote from the Tru-Earth website (we're sure they won't mind!)
“Taking care of the environment by making small decisions that work just as well as or better than what you did before, that is how we get there. You don’t have to sacrifice for that. You’re actually going to find that you like this stuff. It’s a neat little hack. It saves time, it saves space, it’s all good!” - Dave Asprey, Bulletproof CEO
Pretty much a philosophy that aligns with The Ecohome Network's core values about building better homes!
So, as we had seen some marketing online (some of which it must be said looked a little hypey) and as we were sick of the sticky mess our current eco-friendly and hypoallergenic laundry detergent always leaves on every surface near our washer anyway (why do those jugs always drip?) we were curious enough to order some Tru-Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent online to try for ourselves (check here for latest pricing & availability) and we added some of their eco-friendly laundry detergent strips to an online order we were doing anyway and put them to the test - not really knowing what to expect.
Are True-Earth laundry strips more eco-friendly than liquid laundry detergents?
Just by simple math we are comfortable saying yes, for a few reasons. Firstly though, a rant - the large laundry detergent bottles that claim ‘100 loads’ or even more, often have sizeable cups with a selection of fill lines to choose from and tiny instructions on the bottle on dosage we can't read without our glasses on. I don't know about you, but we never remember to wear our readers when doing the laundry, and who even has time for that anyhow? Seriously.
And, since no one wants their clothes to come out not completely clean, who doesn’t, at some point, go over the fill line a bit ‘just to be sure’? Or even just wing it with a generous free-pour?
And if you’re not that kind of person, it’s possible you live with one and don’t even know it! (Or maybe do, but let's not sweat the small-stuff - am I right? ;-) And it is purely speculation of course, but personally I’d be very surprised if anyone actually gets 100 loads out of a 100-load laundry jug because I know we sure don't.
These humungous jugs of synthetic-smelling chemical goo might look like an unmissable bargain when they loom up in the supermarket like an oil-tanker steaming down that central isle, but they're really not, so please - people - let's stop falling for it so 'they' stop doing it, ok? Rant over (for now).
Secondly, as we've been doing a lot less shopping to minimize the contact from outside our bubble for obvious reasons that we're determined not to mention, it's also great to be able to store plenty of laundry detergent easily, and to be very clear on dosing as mentioned above so that we would actually get the number of loads advertised out of what we bought - making it surprisingly affordable.
We don't know about you, but the liquid laundry detergent in our house, concentrated or not, tends to get just about the same size capful thrown in the machine... We're not overly-proud of that - but it's true and it grinds certain folks gears - especially as most of the contents of these huge, leaky and environmentally-disastrous jugs is water anyhow! (Ok, maybe the rant is done now.)
Shipping laundry strips compared to shipping liquid detergent for eco-friendliness
Whenever you see or hear encouragements to ‘buy local’, among the reasons for that is to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that come from shipping materials around the country and the globe. No matter the product, the less something weighs and the less volume it takes, the less fuel is used in shipping, full stop.
The highest volume ingredient in regular laundry detergent is water; non-concentrated detergent may contain up to 95% water (no, really, read the ingredients!), while even concentrated and eco-friendly laundry soaps may still contain as much as 50% water. So, why do we need to ship water?
In the case of washing our clothes, if you’re buying machine laundry detergent then there is clearly going to be water available at the final destination, so there is really no need to also buy water from the company that makes the soap. One fastidious friend of ours uses two strips for her full white-wash, along with a handful of baking soda for insurance. Is that necessary? Maybe not, but she is fussy and will not use chlorine to get those whites clean. Again... small stuff...
The company claims that they can ship 400 loads worth of Tru Earth Eco Laundry Strips for the same carbon emissions and packaging as it would take to ship a 100-load jug of eco laundry soap. It doesn’t take a mathemagenius to know that choosing one product over another means cutting the environmental impact from shipping and packaging by at least 75%, which is a significant achievement by any standard. In addition, the package it comes in can be recycled or composted with other cardboard in a lasagna garden. That means no waste.
Quoting the Tru-Earth website again, they've apparently done some more extensive calculations and concluded:
"There are 30 billion loads of laundry done each year. If everyone switched to Eco-Strips we could eliminate 1 billion plastic jugs, and save truck fuel and CO2 equivalent to taking 27 million cars off the road a day... or planting 9 million new trees."
Even allowing for some marketing speak, we're certain that the fewer plastic jugs full of synthetic chemicals, very often toxic fragrances, and a heavy and voluminous amount of unnecessary water that are sold, the better!
What are the ingredients in Tru Earth laundry strips?
Finding eco-friendly laundry soap with less harmful ingredients is not particularly hard to do, so of course Tru-Earth Laundry Strips meet that standard as it would be business suicide to come to the market with an innovative green green-home lifestyle product such as this and miss the boat entirely by including ‘unfriendly’ ingredients.
Tru-Earth strips contain no phosphates, no dye, no chlorine, and the company website states that they have been certified hypoallergenic (by an independent dermatologist) and that they are biodegradable in accordance with OECD* 310D. The company also claims the strips are vegan, though we weren’t able to verify that, and wouldn't suggest anyone try the Tru-Earth equivalent of the Tide-Pod challenge either...
So, does Tru Earth eco-strip laundry detergent work & clean clothes well?
For our review, we decided to try the Tru Earth Eco-Strips in both a HE High-Efficiency Front-Loader and a regular, older top loader washing machine with agitator. (Or in other words, we bought two packets, used one at our house and gave one to Mom to try in her machine, and these are the results).
Diligently seeking out and reading the instructions was a pleasant surprise because of their simplicity - KISS works best in our experience - and it couldn't be more simple:
- Tear off a strip of Tru-Earth laundry detergent
- Throw the laundry detergent strip in the tub
- Add a load of laundry
- Select our regular washing program and hit "go!"
So, 'erm, pretty easy really... but how did Tru-Earth Eco-strips actually clean our laundry, that's the acid test?
Over the last 6 weeks we've had smelly, oily clothes after cleaning up a garage, we've had regular sweaty clothes because the weather here in BC, Canada has been warm and sunny and we've been camping, we've had a few red wine stains because we've all been drinking (and spilling) more than usual, we've had fruit-juice and grass-stained clothes because the blackberry season was so copious (and we've been dreaming about off-grid living), and we've chosen to social distance by getting out and about in Beautiful British Columbia - and guess what?
Tru Earth Eco-Strips have not only cleaned at least as well as our regular laundry detergent did - but the whole family has commented on how our laundry and clothes now simply feel and smell more fresh! A few stains needed assistance to dissappear by gently rubbing in a paste before washing, that was done by dissolving an Eco-Strip in a little water in an old tupperware first, you can also use one of the stain removing tips below - but then we did this before too if anticipating that a stain was going to be particularly stubborn. Prevention is after all better than a cure where stains in laundry is concerned.
So there you have it – after trying them, we are confident saying that Tru Earth laundry strips work well in our experience, and the preponderance of their environmental claims also appear to be true, rather than just being marketing hype. We are now converts, and we are happy to not purchase and have to dispose of large plastic laundry jugs of laundry detergent any more - and we also happen to love how our laundry now simply smells clean - rather than an ersats Alpine meadow!
We also gained some space, no longer have a sticky trail of laundry detergent goo all over the laundry room, and only buy the amount of laundry detergent that we need - which is awesome!
(Sucks to be you, regular laundry detergent marketeers - sorry, not sorry... :0)
Tru Earth eco-strips laundry detergent can be ordered online here, and even put on recurring re-ordering so you never have to think about buying an environmentally friendly and superior laundry detergent product again - they just drop in the mail. What's not to like? (Except we wish we'd thought of it first, just maybe.)
If you've tried Tru Earth eco-strips laundry detergent, or an alternative brand that you feel are comparable and have feedback you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you in the comments below folks.
Now you know more about Tru Earth eco-strip laundry detergent and reducing the climate impact of packaging and shipping materials, find more pages about green lifestyle choices in these pages :
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*Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
For full disclosure - The Ecohome Network may, (or may indeed not), receive a referall commision if you order product via a link in our articles - bear in mind that the opinions we express are genuine, and we use appropriate discretion in deciding which eco-friendly products we write about in the first place... Thank you.