This Green Laundry Detergent Not Only Works, It Also Only Costs $11

published Nov 23, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Small round wood table with rug underneath. Someone vacuuming
Credit: Photo: Sidney Bensimon; Prop Styling: Anna Surbatovich

I just went through a breakup after a decades-long relationship. While change is difficult, there is one transition I am actually excited about: I’m saying goodbye to my grocery store laundry detergent because I finally found an environmentally-friendly alternative that works. 

As a mom of four messy kids, I’ve had a fraught relationship with laundry detergent. We do a lot of loads — at one point, we had three kids in cloth diapers — so I’ve considered my laundry room a sort of “test kitchen” for detergents. As much as I want to be clean and green, I’ve often found myself frustrated instead. Detergents that describe themselves as such have left our clothes dingy, stiff, or not-that-clean. I even tried making my own detergent at one point, which only blocked up my machine and forced me to get it fixed.

After that debacle, I’ve stuck with basic, go-to detergents. Liquid Tide Free and Gentle was my favorite, with Costco’s Kirkland dupe being a close second. There’s no guesswork. The clothes come out clean, most stains lift off without any pretreating, and they are affordable and readily available. 

Sometimes as a lifestyle journalist, though, product samples show up at my door. One recent Sunday night, I reached for one of them, MyKirei by KAO, when I ran out of my trusty Tide. I squirted a few pumps of it directly into my front loader, and my first thought was how effortless that was. 

I didn’t pretreat any stains and found the first load came out extremely clean. Once dry, the sheets felt soft rather than stiff. MyKirei uses plant-based surfactants that don’t contain the types of animal fats or petroleum that can break a washing machine. I washed a muddy batch of sports gear and a fancy toddler dress with a bright red stain for my second load of laundry that Sunday, and while I would typically use a stain stick on the dress, I just sprayed a bit of MyKirei on and worked it into the fabric with my fingers. This load, once again, came out fresh and stain-free. 

If you want more than just the bottle, MyKirei sells a pump bottle and refill set for $30 that is biodegradable, environmentally safe, and uses sustainable packaging. Because this detergent isn’t made up of mostly water, the small package I received actually lasted as long as three jugs of grocery-store detergent. Free of phthalates, parabens, and phosphates, MyKirei also washes clean with one cold-water rinse — another boon for the environment. The company also provides a detailed product sheet that lists any safety concerns so consumers can examine for themselves. 

While I still remain a bit skeptical about many products that market themselves as “green,” I have officially made one swap in this household. An added bonus? I have so much more free shelf space in my laundry room.