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Is your laundry soap clean?

I don't know about you, but when I'm washing my kids' clothes, I like a little animal tallow and ammonia in the mix. I mean, how else to get those tidy whities smelling - well - Tide-y?

Yes, most laundry detergents contain stuff you really don't want in your underwear drawer. Luckily, there are options for us eco-wannabies (read: trying our best but don't hassle us) who want to clean up our clean up.

My beloved Ideal Bite e-newsletter ("...bite-size ideas for light green living") just informed me that if every U.S. household replaces one box of 48-oz, petroleum-based powder laundry detergent (petroleum-based?) with a vegetable-based one, we'll save enough oil to heat and cool 5,300 homes for a year.

So here's their round-up of some of the "green" and clean laundry products on the market. I'll be trying the Mrs. Meyers first (have you smelled their basil fragrance yet? ZOMG!). Yes, it is more expensive, and frankly, that's what's kept me from trying it until now. But I think greening is a gradual process; now that I occasionally remember to bring my 17 cloth bags into the grocery store, I'm obviously ready to take another step.

If you've tried any of these, let us know! Love a few stories from the laundry trenches.

Reviews from Ideal Bite:


  • Ecover Bleach - make your whites even brighter with this nonchlorine bleach ($5/14 oz).


  • Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Laundry Detergent - liquid that really works. Comes in five scents; geranium's our fave, but we don't reco mixing fragrances between washer and dryer ($12/32 oz).

Dryer Sheets

  • Shaklee Get Clean Dryer Sheets - biodegradable and made with none of the vegetarian-unfriendly animal tallow found in regular dryer sheets ($10/80 sheets).

Fabric Softener

  • Mrs. Meyer's Fabric Softener - essential oils (instead of tallow) fluff your fabrics right nice; in four scents, here in sweet geranium ($8/32 oz).

Stain Remover

  • Laundress Stain Solution - we love this whole line of biodegradable, upscale cleaning products - especially this hardworking stain remover that gets out even nasty pit stains ($6/2 oz).

Wool Wash

  • Kookaburra Wash - liquid tea tree oil wash that works great for delicates and even washes wool, so you can skip the dry cleaner ($11/16 oz).

Check out other "Green Bites" bloggin' - click thusly.

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