The detergent comparison and why Washo strips are the better alternative.
Detergents come in all shapes and colors. But how do they differ in washing performance and which detergent is the most environmentally friendly? We took a closer look at the four most common forms.
In Europe, we consume around four million tons of laundry detergent every year. With this enormous volume, it's no surprise that the range of brands and types of detergent is very wide. Consumers are thus spoiled for choice: Should it be the concentrated or non-concentrated liquid detergent? Or would powder detergent be better? Will the capsules meet my needs or should I try the washing strips?
Every detergent has its advantages and disadvantages. This refers not only to the washing power, but also to ingredients, application and the impact on the environment. In this overview, we show how the different detergents work and what effect they have on nature. We refer to a common wash of everyday clothes.
Liquid detergents contain more washing-active substances, known as surfactants, than other washing powders or strips. Nevertheless, the washing power is lower compared to other forms of washing. So in the end you need more detergent for the same result, which leads to even more dragging and even more harmful substances in the waste water. A disadvantage for the laundry is that the color liquid detergents put a gray haze over the clothes with time.
If the detergent is purchased in large bottles, the liquid usually also contains preservatives that are difficult to biodegrade and are intended to prevent microorganisms from multiplying. This can trigger allergies, as well as asthma or headaches from the use of formaldehyde. Both the increased concentration of washing surfactants and the preservatives are harmful to the environment. An evaluation by Ökotest last summer showed that many liquid detergents contain boron compounds, which are suspected of damaging fertility in larger quantities.
Compared with washing powder, liquid detergent has one advantage: its production is less energy-intensive. Liquid detergent performs significantly worse during transport and in use. In addition, liquid detergents do not contain bleaching agents, which fade the color and have a negative impact on the environment.
Washing powder has the better washing performance than the liquid detergent. However, the powder often contains zeolite for water softening, which can cause white spots on the laundry. Therefore, with washing powder, it is enormously important to measure the amount accurately. Softeners such as zeolite A, citrate or silicates are more environmentally friendly than phosphates, which are a burden on water bodies. Other commonly used softeners are also difficult to break down. Unlike liquid detergents, powder must be spray-dried during manufacture, which consumes energy. When used, the powder can also create dust, which can irritate mucous membranes. Therefore, care is needed in handling.
Washing powder usually comes in cardboard packaging that can be recycled. This is a clear advantage over the plastic bottles of liquid detergents. But large packs are not always the right choice: some of them contain salts as fillers, which pollute the environment. They prevent lumps from forming, but have no effect on washing power. Compact products are therefore better - with a look at the label.
Washo strips are light, tightly pressed and dry strips. In Washo's case, they weigh just two grams. Packed inside are highly concentrated biodegradable washing substances. With Washo, we rely on a formula that contains ionic and anionic surfactants as well as water. For the Summer Breeze Edition, fragrances are also added to the strips. Washo's wash strips are completely plant-based and free of phosphates, palm oil, bleach or microplastics. Thanks to the gentle ingredients, wash strips are also suitable for allergy sufferers.
Washo strips have numerous advantages for the environment compared to conventional detergents. On the one hand, due to the use of fully degradable substances, and on the other hand, due to their low weight. This saves resources and emissions during transport. In other words, if all washes in Europe were done with washing strips, the four million tons of detergent mentioned at the beginning could be drastically reduced.
Washing capsules, also called liquid caps, are gel pads filled with liquid detergent. They usually come with different bright colors, which can be appealing to young children. That's why safekeeping is especially important, as the contents are hazardous to health and anything but environmentally friendly.
The same disadvantages apply to washing capsules as to liquid detergent, the only difference being that the caps are already pre-dosed. This is convenient, but also expensive. As with the washing strips, the Liquid Cap goes directly to the laundry in the drum and dissolves during washing. With the Caps, however, only optically: the microplastic in the washing capsules gets into the waste water and thus into our ecosystem. Sometimes they Caps do not dissolve completely and remain as sticky residues on the laundry.
By the way, there are also mixed forms with capsules that contain both liquid detergent and powder. They have an improved effect in comparison, but require higher temperatures.
No matter what type of washing you choose: Make sure your detergent doesn't contain microplastics and comes in recyclable packaging. Biodegradability is enormously important for detergents, so that substances as well as the tiny plastic parts do not end up in the ecosystem. Vegan detergents usually meet this criterion. Furthermore, non-vegan detergents often contain animal ingredients such as slaughterhouse waste.