What We Like
Free of dyes and scents
Hypoallergenic; good for sensitive skin
What We Don't Like
Laundry doesn’t smell fresh after use
Need more detergent than traditional brands to get same clean
Today’s savvy consumers are becoming more and more taken with green cleaning. And with advanced technology and superior products hitting the market everyday, we no longer need to choose between getting the clean we want and responsibly taking care of ourselves, our homes, and the environment. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Concentrated Laundry Detergent is one of the leading green laundry detergents and it hails from a historically environmentally friendly company. Keep reading for our full review of their plant-based detergent.
Cleaning Performance: Gets things clean, if not fresh
Eco-friendly sounds great and all but it still has to get clothes clean, right? Fortunately, Seventh Generation products deliver great cleaning power. We’ve been using Seventh Generation laundry detergent for almost two years now due to the product’s superior cleaning performance and safe ingredients. You do have to use a bit more Seventh Generation detergent than other non-eco-friendly brands, but that comes with the territory.
The brand’s Free & Clear formula uses enzymes found in plant ingredients to break down particles that make clothes dirty; they’ll target everything from grass stains to spaghetti sauce. By following Seventh Generation’s recommended pretreatment instructions, we found that most common stains came right out. The only stain we had trouble removing was the result of a diaper blowout from our 3-month-old, but that would be a challenge for any detergent. If you’re regularly dealing with stubborn stains, you may need to use an additional stain remover to get them out.
Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear detergent can be used in front loading, top loading, or high-efficiency washing machines. The versatility of its application means that we can take it on vacation without worrying about what kind of machine will be available.
Our 3-year-old son suffers from eczema, and Seventh Generation proves gentle enough for his hypersensitive skin.
Ingredients: Plant-based and eco-friendly
If you’re in the market for a green laundry detergent, you’ll want to pay close attention to the ingredient list of any you consider. Seventh Generation products are so named because the ingredients that the company uses promise to be safe for the next seven generations.
The company’s Free & Clear laundry detergent is made of 97-percent plant-based ingredients (all listed here) and is a USDA Certified Biobased product. We were happy to see this seal of approval, but the real test was in how our skin reacted to the ingredients. And as our two-year loyalty to the detergent has shown, we’ve had no issues with irritation.
Scent: None to speak of
As parents to a few small kiddos, we sought out Seventh Generation Free & Clear Detergent so we’d know exactly what their clothes were washed in. While we’d prefer a subtle scent for our own clothes, it was important to us that our children’s clothes be free of scents and dyes that could potentially irritate their skin. Our 3-year-old son suffers from eczema, and Seventh Generation proves gentle enough for his hypersensitive skin.
Seventh Generation does offer scented laundry detergents made with essential oils. While citrus or lavender and blue eucalyptus may sound enticing, we’d still recommend using the Free & Clear version if you have sensitive skin as it’ll introduce the least amount of potential irritants.
Commitment to Environment: Above and beyond
Seventh Generation is committed to protecting the health of its consumers and the environment. Their detergent is concentrated, so a 40-ounce bottle can last 53 loads. Just keep in mind that if you use the detergent to pretreat stains, this will cut down on the actual number of loads that you can get out of one bottle.
As noted by the leaping bunny on the packaging, the company doesn’t test its detergent on animals. Seventh Generation has also been recognized as a Certified B Corporation. This means that they’ve demonstrated a commitment to ethically- and environmentally-sound business practices.
We’ve been using Seventh Generation laundry detergent for almost two years now due to the product’s superior cleaning performance and safe ingredients.
Price: Not bad for a green product
Green products can be expensive, but Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Detergent is fairly priced at $18 for a 100-ounce bottle. It helps that the product is concentrated, so consumers are able to buy less but still complete the same number of loads. If you’re looking for an eco-friendly detergent, this is a good one to try without spending a fortune.
Competition: Budget-friendly green products exist!
Method Beach Sage Laundry Detergent: Method’s Beach Sage Laundry Detergent is another budget green contender. The detergent also has plant-based ingredients and the company has green business practices. While its formula is also concentrated, we found that the 53.5-ounce bottle ($13) didn’t actually make it through the advertised 66 loads. It’s a great detergent, but plan on using more than you initially expect to get your clothes clean.
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent: If you’re looking for the fanciest green detergent on the mainstream market, check out Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent. At around $16.00 for a 64-ounce bottle, it is slightly more expensive than its competitors, but the cleaning power and subtle scent make it a must-buy for many eco-conscious consumers. With essential oil-based scents, the laundry detergent is pleasantly fragranced but it may be a bit overpowering for infants.
- Product Name Free & Clear Concentrated Laundry Detergent
- Product Brand Seventh Generation
- Price $25.99
- Weight 6.55 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 10 x 5.6 x 10.2 in.
- Model Number 732913228928
- Size 40 fl. oz. (pack of two)