Honest Liquid Laundry Detergent Product Review

Honest laundry detergent
Courtesy of The Honest Company

Honest Laundry Detergent features a stylishly decorated label decked in today's trendy colors. One of their philosophies is "Delightful Design" to make laundry a little more enjoyable. The design is quite fun, but how does the detergent perform?

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Honest Laundry Detergent

Honest Laundry Detergent is a plant-based laundry detergent that is safe to use in both regular and high-efficiency washers.

The product contains no dyes or fragrances and is safe to use on all washable fabrics including wool and delicate fabrics like silk.

The listed laundry detergent ingredients are:

  • Purified water
  • Cocamidoprophyl Betaine
  • Sodium Coco Sulfate
  • Cocamidophopylamine Oxide
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Equisetum Heimale

The detergent can be used in any water temperature and can be used as a pre-soak or as a pre-treatment for stains. It is safe for septic tanks and graywater systems. Honest Laundry Detergent has received the United States EPA Design for the Environment designation. The product contains no animal by-products and is not tested on animals. It is made in the United States.

Honest Laundry Detergent is offered in a recyclable 70 fluid ounce bottle. The bottle will handle 70 high-efficiency loads or 35 standard loads. Honest Laundry Detergent is not available from retail stores and can only be purchased online from the Honest.com website or Amazon.com.

The Honest Company Story

The Honest Company was founded and launched in 2012 by Jessica Alba and Christopher Gavigan; parents who were looking for safe and environmentally-friendly products for their families. Ms. Alba is an actress and mother. She is actively involved with charities such as Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, ONE, Habitat for Humanity, Project HOME and more.

Mr. Gavigan is the former CEO of Healthy Child Healthy World (a national nonprofit) and author.

The company shares its principles and visions on the corporate website. There is a commitment to transparency and honesty in ingredients and business practices. Each year a nonprofit organization is selected to receive products, money and time from Honest employees.

The company has faced numerous lawsuits claiming that the formulas used in producing products are not non-toxic. Some ingredients have been removed and the litigation continues.

Honest Company laundry products include

  • Honest Laundry Detergent
  • Honest Stain Remover
  • Honest Oxy Boost
  • Honest 4 in 1 Laundry Pods
  • Honest Dryer Sheets

In addition to laundry products, the company also offers baby products - diapers, wipes and bottles; bath and body products - toothpaste, soaps, shampoos and bug spray; cleaning products - sponges, bathroom cleaner and fruit and vegetable wash; and wellness products - vitamins and baby supplements.

Product Review and Laundry Recommendation

I gave Honest Laundry Detergent a test on our regular laundry and on test squares of muslin stained with ketchup, oil, mud and grass stains. On a normal soil load, the detergent performed well and left the clothes feeling soft to the touch and free of any residue.

There is no fragrance so the clothes simply smell clean. On the stained test squares, unfortunately, the detergent did not perform well in removing the stains. There were traces of the mud and oil left on the squares.

I did another test with another set of pre-stained pieces and some freshly stained squares and pretreated each stain with a bit of the liquid detergent. I worked the detergent into the stains with a soft brush and allowed it to work for fifteen minutes before washing. The fresh stains, when pretreated, were removed. However, even with pre-treatment traces of the set-in mud and oil stains remained.

To clean heavy stains, additional laundry boosters will need to be used. Honest Laundry Detergent does not contain enzymes that are often necessary to get the best results in stain removal.

The bottle and it's opaque measuring cap are easy to read and use. I am surprised that the bottle does not contain post-consumer plastics but it can be recycled.

Since Honest Laundry Detergent is not available in stores, you can arrange a monthly delivery schedule on the website. Money-saving bundles are also available.

If you have sensitive skin, allergies or chemical sensitivity, Honest Laundry Detergent may be a good choice for your laundry room. However, for cleaning most stains to does not perform well.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy