The Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent is just one of many natural household products that the famous Earth-friendly company Seventh Generation produces. Seventh Generation says that it is “committed to becoming the world’s most trusted brand of authentic, safe, and environmentally-responsible products for a healthy home.”
Over time I have had a chance to try many different commercial laundry detergents of various brands and price ranges. I have really been happy with all of them from a perspective of them doing what they are supposed to do. My clothes felt clean and were not ruined in any way. However, I was not satisfied with the strong scents that lingered on the clothes for days to follow nor was I comfortable with the residue that may be left over on the clothes from the various chemicals, not to mention the environmental impact.
Hence I decided to try Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Natural Laundry detergent. It is a 2 times concentrated solution which means you use less of the detergent per load. One 50 fl. oz. (1.47L) bottle is labeled to be good for 32 loads and is suitable for high efficiency or standard machines. It is also featured as:
- being made with NO optical brighteners
- being made with NO petroleum based cleaners
- being made with NO dyes or fragrances
- being made with NO phosphates
- being safe for septic and grey-water systems
- fighting stains with non-animal derived enzymes
Seventh Generation also makes a baby specific laundry detergent that is also free of scents and dyes, as well as a delicate care version and various scented powdered version or liquid version laundry detergents.
In terms of efficiency, the detergent works just as well as any other commercial brand I have tried in the past. I do not have heavily soiled or stained clothes, so I cannot comment on how effective it is at removing those. I have gone through 2 bottles of this so far on whites, colors and blacks and so far have not had any clothes ruined by it either in any way.
In terms of scent, even though this product is free of perfumes, there is still a delicate scent to the product. No obvious scent is left over on clothes though. I know many in our society love scents on laundry, but this is not at all beneficial to our health.
In terms of ingredients, the company claims this product is made of a unique combination of plant based surfactants and enzymes, and an attempt is made to list all the ingredients on the label, but this is a somewhat toned down version of the ingredients than the actual list that is found on the company’s web site. The company also states that they only use ingredients that do not pose chronic health risks and are safe for the environment.
In conclusion, the ingredients are relatively good for a laundry detergent and the fact that it is free of perfumes, dyes and is safe for the environment is a huge asset. There are however still some improvements that can be made to make this formula even more natural, but for the time being it is a huge improvement to use this product, instead of a popular commercial detergent.
- Aqua (water)
- Sodium laureth sulfate (chemical foaming agent) - (moderate health hazard 3-4)*
- Coconut alcohol ethoxylate & glycerin (plant-derived cleaning agents) – (low hazard 0-2)*
- Sodium citrate (water softener) – (low hazard 1)*
- Oleic acid & glyceryl oleate (plant-derived anti-foaming agents) – (low hazard 1-2)*
- Sodium hydroxide (alkalinity builder) – (moderate hazard 3)*
- Sodium borate (alkalinity builder and soil dispersant) – (moderate health hazard 4-6)*
- Amylase - (low hazard 1-3)*
- Cellulase & protease (non-animal derived enzymes) – (low hazard 0-1)*
- Calcium chloride (cleaning enhancer) – (low hazard 2)*
- Hexahydro-1,3,5-tris (2-hydroxyethyl)-s-triazine (preservative, less than 0.05%) – (moderate hazard 4-5)*
* Safety ratings provided by Skin Deep Cosmetic Database
The detergent comes in a small 32 fl.oz. bottle or regular 50 fl. oz. bottle. The product comes in a white plastic #2 fully recyclable bottle that has been made with at least 25% post consumer plastic.
Price (as of this posting)
- Around $8.00 - $12.00 CAD per 50 fl. oz bottle at local stores across Canada
- $8.39 US per 50 fl. oz. bottle on Drugstore.com
- $139.99 US per 6 pack ($23.33 US per 50 fl. oz. bottle) on Amazon.com
- $32.91 US per 6 pack ($5.49 US per 32 fl. oz. bottle) on Amazon.com
- $5.89 US per 32 fl. oz. bottle on VitaCost.com
- Health Food Stores across Canada and US – To find a store near you, click here
- The product is available from Amazon.com – however shop around as their price for the 50 fl. oz. bottle seems awfully high priced (perhaps it is a mistake?)
- Online stores
- Environmentally friendly ingredients
- Free of harsh chemicals
- Relatively scent free (no scent on washed clothes)
- Great foaming ability
- Cleans clothes very well
- Suitable for cold, warm or hot water
- Competitively priced
- More detail in regards to safety and ingredient concentrations can be found on the MSDS
- Contains sodium laureth sulfate (possible skin irritant)
- Contains a few ingredients (in small concentrations) but ones that could still irritate someone with extremely sensitive skin