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I’m Shocked By How Happy I Am with My Swap to Sustainable Laundry Powder

Don't mail yourself water.

Annie Burdick

I tend to get anxious when I think about the environmental impact I have. For a couple of years now I’ve been making as many earth-conscious product swaps as I can, throughout my house and even in the way I shop. (Though I promise I’m not here to proclaim myself a faultless earth warrior.)

One change that I was nervous about but have been pleasantly surprised by was the switch from liquid laundry detergent to powder laundry soap.

Like most, I grew up with nothing but liquid soap and thought of it as the end-all-be-all for cleaning my clothes. But the plastic waste from the giant bottles was driving me crazy.

Not only do liquid detergents create lots of plastic waste, but they’re also extremely heavy because they’re made of mostly water—who wants to pay extra for mostly water?—so they have a huge carbon footprint when it comes to shipping.

Enter my whole new thing: Eco Laundry Powder by Meliora. The powder comes in a compact and entirely compostable paper bag (or a refillable metal canister). You need no more than a tablespoon per normal load. And that small amount absolutely cleans my clothes! That means a $13 bag lasts more than 60 loads.

Here are my best practices for getting the most from this soap:

  • Pour the powder into the bottom of the washer before adding clothes.
  • If you have hard water or want a stronger clean, add a little bit of white vinegar to the washer.
  • If you like a nice scent to your laundry, choose one of their scented options (I like the lemon!).

I order the powder from EarthHero, my absolute favorite place to shop online for everything sustainable. They pack in entirely recyclable and compostable materials—no plastic bags and packing peanuts!—and use compact boxes that perfectly hold your items without extra space (my #1 Amazon pet peeve). They also provide all the sustainability info you need on any item. However, if you do prefer the convenience of free shipping from Amazon, they have a few sustainable laundry powder options, too.

Annie Burdick is a writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. She has written for numerous websites, magazines, and anthologies on wildly varied topics. She is also the author of two nonfiction books, Unconscious Bias and Bring the Wild into Your Garden, both published in 2021 by an imprint of Hachette UK. She spends most of her spare time reading, playing with her dogs, and seeking out new adventures in the Pacific Northwest.