Do Laundry Detergent Sheets Really Clean Your Clothes?

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Woman putting clothes in washing machine
Motortion Films /

If you are concerned about the environment, laundry detergent sheets make a big promise: Clean clothes without harm to the planet.

But do these sheets really work?

For those who are unaware, laundry detergent sheets are made up of concentrated laundry detergent held by a type of paper that dissolves in the wash. They have been touted as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional methods of washing clothes, which use detergents housed in plastic that contain chemicals that can pollute streams and landfills.

Unfortunately, this new, greener method of washing clothes leaves a bit to be desired, according to Consumer Reports.

CR’s team of experts recently tested six brands of laundry detergent sheets:

  • Earth Breeze
  • ECOS
  • Ecowise
  • Kind
  • Sheets Laundry Club
  • Tru Earth

After putting the detergents through their paces, the CR team concluded that the sheets underperformed, with scores ranging from “fair” to “poor.”

Earth Breeze Liquidless Eco Sheets received a “good” rating for cleaning dirt, but that was the only mark above “fair” earned by any of the sheets.

In a summary of CR’s rankings of the laundry detergent sheets, Rich Handel, CR laundry expert, says:

“In fact, they had lower performance as a group than our lowest-performing liquid or pod/packs detergents.”

Still, it might make sense to use laundry detergent sheets in some situations. CR notes that their environmental footprint is smaller than that of liquid detergents — which come in plastic jugs — and pods and packs, which come in plastic containers.

CR says the products should work fine for clothes that are only lightly soiled. Still, the publication’s overall verdict regarding laundry detergent sheets is negative:

“Until laundry sheets up their game, eco-conscious consumers will have to continue to nudge the laundry industry to address environmental concerns with better packaging and more effective eco-friendly detergent formulas. Until then, it’ll require some patience and ingenuity because, for now, laundry sheets are a bit of a washout.”

You can use your washer for more than just cleaning clothes, as we detail in “15 Surprising Things You Can Clean in a Washing Machine.”

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