Dirty Labs: How This Eco-Conscious Laundry Detergent Is Turning The Tide On Clean Cleaning

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At the time of writing this review, I have two piles of laundry, fluffed and folded, smelling like artisanal aromatics next to me. Dare I say my next pile of clothes is begging to be washed? Or perhaps that’s just my OCD firing on all cylinders. If you’re concerned with the longevity of your clothes and our planet, Dirty Labs is a great solution (pun intended).

If you’re concerned with the longevity of your clothes and our planet, Dirty Labs is a great solution (pun intended).

Take A Load Off

The pandemic brought an onslaught of challenges to many households. Personally, it gave me ample time to reflect on how I was contributing to the degradation of our larger home… Earth. While in quarantine, I cleaned up my act (as evidenced by my clean skincare review), and I’m now using my pocketbook and buying power to positively impact our environment. Dirty Labs, a direct-to-consumer laundry detergent, is all about “clean cleaning”. Buzzwords like “green chemistry” and “bioenzymes” are ingrained into their ethos, with a mission to be transparent, bio-renewable, and sustainable. The task of doing laundry seems far less daunting these days. 

Environmental degradation from common detergents comes in many forms, and Dirty Labs has a solution for all of them. Dr. Pete, Dirty Labs’ chief scientist says, “the key to resolving potential conflicts between product efficacy, human safety, and environmental issues is through creative innovation, from which we find alternative and superior paths to maximize the benefits for people and the planet.” Detergents that claim to “lift stains” and “preserve colors” (aka surfactants) are highly toxic for aquatic life, as they are typically petroleum based. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Many surfactants used in conventional products biodegrade slowly or biodegrade into more toxic, persistent, and bioaccumulative chemicals, threatening aquatic life.” For us humans, this is highly problematic if you love sushi! But can clean formulations really get your skivvies clean? Keep reading…

Full transparency: Dirty Labs works

Color Instinct

Dirty Labs uses a proprietary formula called Phytolase®, which is a natural and environmentally conscious formulation with biobased, non-toxic ingredients (aka plant and sugar derived surfactants). Their “enzyme-driven cleaning technology targets and breaks down stains and odors at their source,” says Dirty Labs. I put this to the test after my hefty Thanksgiving meal. My beautiful (eco-friendly) white linen tablecloth was spotted with various bite-your-nails scary stains. Dirty Labs did the trick! One large capful, which should be noted is the size of a large thimble, effortlessly lifted every frightful stain.

The cap size is deceiving, but have no fear, DL’s minimal plastic use design packs a punch with this hyper-concentrated formulation of ~2 teaspoons per load! It should be noted that this detergent is cold water optimized, helping your threads last longer, as hot water tends to lift color faster, shortening the life-cycle of your duds.

I was also concerned about how DL would impact my lacy mentionables. I put my hand-wash only Hanky Panky’s and Fleur de Mel’s to the test, opting for a seemingly more delicate approach with the Free & Clear formula. It worked like a charm, as the soapy suds acted more delicately than its toxic name-brand counterpart.

Scent Reimagined

I’m hyper particular about the way things smell. Traditional detergents offer a scent catalog of “Spring Breeze” or “Bright Meadow.” What do these smell like in reality anyway? To me, this translates into “chemical floral” or “manly sport” fragrances, both of which are an olfactory turn off. 

Dirty Labs has three formulations: Signature, Murasaki, and Free & Clear. Their signature scent is reminiscent of an upscale perfumery you’d stumble upon in a sophisticated city. It has notes of magnolia, bergamot, and cedar. It’s neither too feminine nor masculine nor irritatingly heady like an imposter perfume. I found this subtle scent lingered for a few days post-wash. The Murasaki is a blend of jasmine, matcha, and vetiver reminiscent of a soft, early Spring. The Free & Clear formulation is just as the name indicates. It’s like washing your clothes in a cloud.

There’re zero traces of fragrance, but it’s equally as effective on stubborn stains. If you’re deodorant-adverse or an above-average perspirer-er, the Signature scent may be your best bet for fighting any lingering odor.

Money Laundering

Breaking down the cost not only makes this a conscientious choice for the planet, but also for your pocketbook. One bottle of DL washes out to just 44¢ per load with 32 loads per bottle. Each bottle is sustainably packaged using 73% recycled aluminum. According to DL, many green cleaning competitors focus their sustainability efforts on packaging. Dirty Labs focuses on the ingredients in the bottle as much as the bottle itself.

The cap and no-spill spout are BPA free in non-colored, PP and PPE plastic, which according to DL increases recyclability. These conscientious details support Dirty Labs dedication to reducing the carbon footprints on both the manufacturing side and the consumer side. Consider me converted! I’ve officially thrown in the towel and rid my laundry room of all things that don’t bear the name Dirty Labs. I’m a clean-cleaning customer from here on out.

5 More Reasons To Fluff & Fold With Dirty Labs

• Get $10 when you share with your friends using Dirty Labs Referral Program.

• Dirty Labs offers a full, transparent ingredient list which includes their plant-based, soil, and stain remover.

• DL is backed by big-name investors in the sustainability & fashion spaces, including Henry Golding, Veronica Chou, Soo Joo Park, and Chris Smalling.

• Dirty Labs responsibly sources palm oil certified by RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil), which can track extraction from the source down the production chain.

• Formulations are free of carcinogens, they’ve also eliminated all CA Prop 65 Chemicals of Concern and EU listed fragrances and allergens.

Discover Dirty Labs for yourself here.

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