Best forParents with an HE washing machine who prefer a plant-based detergent
Top BenefitsGentle enough for baby's skin but strong enough for the entire family's laundry, biodegradable, pH-balanced
ConsiderationsCap measurements can be difficult to see, you have to use nearly double the detergent with top-loading washing machines
Bottom lineThe Honest Company Liquid Laundry Detergent is a high-quality, plant-based detergent that works
Launched in 2011 by actress Jessica Alba, The Honest Company is a consumer and household goods company with an ecological bent. Free of dyes, fragrance and chlorine, The Honest Company Liquid Laundry Detergent is a plant-based detergent that is both hypoallergenic and biodegradable. All of our parent testers agreed this detergent did a good job of cleaning their baby’s clothing. And while the pH-balanced detergent is safe for use with cloth diapers, it's still up to the task of effectively cleaning the whole family's laundry.
To put The Honest Company Liquid Laundry Detergent to the test, we stained dozens of 100% organic cotton swatches with common stain-makers like formula and frozen blueberries. Half of the stains were left to sit overnight; the other half were freshly stained, immediately rinsed under cold water, and washed in under two hours. For both of those batches, we pre-treated one swatch with a bit of the detergent, and left the other untreated. The Honest Company Liquid Laundry Detergent completely removed washable marker and formula, and significantly reduced sweet potato puree stains, with only one wash and no pre-treatment.
While none of the detergents we tested were able to completely remove stains from frozen blueberries, coffee, mud or spaghetti sauce with a single wash, The Honest Company Liquid Laundry Detergent was able to fade coffee and spaghetti sauce to a wearable degree if the fresh stains were rinsed with cold water and pre-treated. Parent testers noted that Honest Co. detergent did a good job removing stains from sweat, spit-up, urine and even the occasional diaper blowout. Testers also agreed this detergent helped keep their whites white and their brights bright.
The majority of our hands-on parent testers found the unscented detergent was indeed unscented (not always the case with unscented products; even natural ingredients can have a smell). The parent testers who detected a scent in the detergent described it as very pleasant and neutral, and we agree.
While the measurement instructions on the back of the detergent bottle are easy to understand and properly correlate to the measurement lines inside the cap, the majority of testers found that the provided lid/measure did not make it easy to dispense the correct amount of detergent. With the cap, measurement lines and even the detergent being clear and free of any colour, we can imagine how the less-than-ideal lighting of most laundry rooms could make the lines hard to read. During our own lab tests, however, we did not have any trouble measuring out the right amount of detergent. It’s worth noting that the cost per use of this detergent is based on usage with HE washing machines, so if you have a standard, top-loading machine, you’ll need to use almost double the amount of detergent, which will also almost double the $0.29 cost per load.
Overall, the majority of our parent testers rated The Honest Company Liquid Laundry Detergent's quality as good to very good, and their opinions on its ease of use ranged from very good to average. Based on the cost per load, our testers' feedback on the detergent's value ran the spectrum from very good to somewhat poor. But because The Honest Company Liquid Laundry Detergent is a great option for the whole family (and you don't have to buy a separate detergent for your baby's clothes), it could end up saving you money if you're committed to buying a detergent with plant-based ingredients (and you use an HE washing machine).
Roughly half of our testers said they would buy this detergent again, and those who wouldn’t typically prefer fragranced products or detergent pods. All but one tester would recommend this product to other parents and the majority agreed it deserves the Today's Parent Approved seal. Considering its stain-fighting power and commitment to being an eco-friendly product, The Honest Company Liquid Laundry Detergent is a good choice in the family laundry detergent category.