ECOS Laundry Detergent Review: Healthiest Detergent?

ECOS Laundry Detergent Review: Healthiest Detergent?


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ECOS is a laundry detergent brand that's marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional detergent. The brand claims that their detergent is "made without harmful chemicals and nasty ingredients."

But is ECOS really a healthier option than traditional detergent, or is this just a marketing claim? Does the brand use any unhealthy additive ingredients? How do real users rate and describe this product? And which retailer sells ECOS Laundry Detergent for the best price?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in ECOS Laundry Detergent based on clinical studies to give our take on whether it's a safe and effective option.

We'll compare the ingredients in ECOS to a commercial detergent to share our opinion on if it's really healthier or not, feature unsponsored customer reviews and provide a cost comparison to show which retailer sells ECOS for the best price.

Ingredient Analysis

ECOS Free & Clear ingredients

The ingredients in the Free & Clear version of ECOS Laundry Detergent are shown above.

Sodium coco-sulfate is an important cleansing ingredient used in both detergent and soap.

A medical review published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science found this ingredient to be particularly safe and non-toxic because it has low irritation potential and seems unlikely to penetrate through the skin.

Enzymatic blend is used as a stain adjuster, although we'd prefer if the brand clearly listed the specific enzymes used.

As we discussed in our Laundry Sauce reviews article, some enzymes have been clinically shown to be effective detergent ingredients, but without the specific enzymes listed, it's challenging to predict effectiveness.

Phenoxyethanol is the only ingredient we take (minor) issue with, because this synthetic preservative is clinically shown to be toxic to human cells.

It's a good thing that this version of ECOS Laundry Detergent is fragrance-free, because some of the other scents contain fragrance.

For consumers planning to purchase ECOS Laundry Detergent, we recommend the Free & Clear version.

We consider ECOS Laundry Detergent likely to be effective for cleansing clothing and to be a safer choice than commercial detergent.

To explain why, consider the ingredient list below from a popular commercial detergent brand:

Purex laundry detergent ingredients

Fragrances suggests multiple fragrance ingredients, and a 2016 medical review suggests that fragranced consumer products pose serious health risks.

Methylisothiazolinone is a synthetic preservative and its use is strictly controlled by Health Canada due to "potential safety issues," as we discussed in our review of Tru Earth Laundry Strips.

Colorants fails to identify the specific chemical compounds used, and synthetic blue dye (used in many laundry detergents) may have "toxic effects" in humans according to a medical review published in the Advances in Nutrition journal.

Real People Try ECOS

A YouTube creator named "The Clean Psycho" put ECOS Laundry Detergent to the test by using it to clean serious stains:

A TikTok creator named Karly Alane has a video that shares her opinion on every detergent in Whole Foods (including ECOS):

@karlyalane_ watch out for greenwashing 😭 my favorite laundry detergent is Molly Suds! All my laundry must-haves are on my amazon 🫶🏻 #laundrydetergent #toxinfreelaundry #wholefoods #wholefoodshaul #wholefoodsfinds #seventhgeneration #dirtylabslaundrydetergent #ecoslaundry #charliessoap ♬ original sound - Karly Alane

Are ECOS Sheets Better?

To this point in the article we've analyzed ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent, but the brand also sells laundry detergent sheets, which is a growing trend in the laundry detergent industry.

The ingredients in ECOS Free & Clear Laundry Detergent Sheets are shown below:

ECOS Free & Clear Laundry Detergent Sheets ingredients

This formulation is slightly different from the liquid detergent formulation.

Saponins are plant-derived and have an antibacterial effect according to a 2012 clinical trial.

Glycerin is clinically shown to naturally improve scent.

Phenoxyethanol is included, but overall we consider ECOS Laundry Sheets to be a superior option to ECOS Liquid Detergent because we're able to identify two research-backed active ingredients in the laundry sheets.

Why Was ECOS Sued?

In 2022, ECOS was sued in a class-action lawsuit which alleged that their products contained harmful ingredients while being marketed as "non-toxic."

According to Classaction.org, the plaintiffs allege that ECOS' marketing is false and misleading, and that the following ingredients are "toxic" and "dangerous": phenoxyethanol, methylisothiazolinone, cocamidopropyl betaine, and lauramine oxide.

We disagree that cocamidopropyl betaine is dangerous, but we share concerns about the other three listed ingredients.

At the time of publishing this article, we're unable to find any information about whether this lawsuit is ongoing or if it has been settled.

Where to Get the Best Price

ECOS Laundry Detergent is sold at a variety of online retailers.

Here's a price breakdown for a one-time purchase at the time of publishing this article:

Liquid Detergent (2-pack)

Walmart: $22.96 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $17.18 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Laundry Sheets (2-pack)

Vitacost: $26.78 (plus shipping, link)

Amazon: $23.14 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)

Amazon currently has the best prices on ECOS laundry detergent by 20-40% when factoring in shipping fees.

ECOS does not appear to sell directly from their website at the time of publishing this article.

Our Clean Detergent Pick

Truly Free Laundry Wash is our top laundry detergent for two reasons: formulation and eco-friendliness.

Use code LABS30 for 30% off your first order.

Truly Free uses essential oils like lime oil and eucalyptus oil to scent their detergent rather than harsh fragrances.

All of the active ingredients in this detergent are safe and non-toxic based on our review of clinical studies, and the product is sold in a large refillable plastic jug, which is better for the environment than typical single-use plastic cartons.

Real Customers Review ECOS

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

ECOS' most-reviewed product on Amazon is currently their liquid detergent, which has over 13,000 views and an average review rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Liv" who gives the product a 5/5 star rating and claims that it's a good choice for people with sensitive skin:

"This is my favorite eco friendly detergent I've used. It works well with my sensitive skin. The scent is really strong in the bottle but it leaves a pleasant light smell on your clothes. I use it with a little borax to enhance cleaning power, the two work really well together."

The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Kathie" who gives the product a 1/5 star rating and claims that it has questionable effects on clothing:

"I used this for about a month and started noticing my clothes feeling like slimy, oily and also left a funny smell. I do use fabric softener so I knew it was this detergent. I was able to return and get refund. I had to re-wash all my clothes. So much better now."

Pros and Cons of ECOS

Here are the pros and cons of ECOS laundry detergent in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Healthier than commercial detergent
  • Should be effective for cleaning clothes
  • Offers fragrance-free options
  • Mostly positive online customer reviews
  • Offers sheets which may be more environmentally-friendly
  • Should be good for sensitive skin

Cons:

  • Contains phenoxyethanol
  • Some formulations contain other questionable additives
  • Brand was sued over alleged false advertising
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

ECOS is a healthier option than commercial detergent in our opinion, and we think the crop of cleaner laundry brands emerging is a good thing for consumers.

We do not view ECOS as the best of these "healthy" detergent brands, because this brand uses phenoxyethanol, uses fragrance in some of their formulations and uses methylisothiazolinone in at least one product.

ECOS was sued over alleged false advertising in 2022 due to promoting their products as non-toxic while containing some of the above-listed additives.

Most of the online customer reviews we came across while researching this article were positive.

We recommend ECOS Laundry Sheets over ECOS Liquid Detergent because we consider the sheets to have a superior formulation.

At the time of publishing this article, Amazon has the best prices on ECOS products by a wide margin when factoring in shipping fees.