Sustainability, Eco-Friendliness, Laundry Detergent and You

Is it possible for a laundry detergent to be sustainable or eco-friendly? What do these terms even mean? The key differences in laundry detergent ingredients and manufacturing processes can offer choices that are better for you, your family and the planet.


Defining Eco-Friendly, Sustainable and Natural



What is Sustainability?

The United States announced its commitment to sustainability with the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 which declared that to pursue sustainability means “to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony [to support] present and future generations.”


In other words, sustainability happens when people and companies make choices to minimize harm to the natural environment to ensure our planet is livable now and in the future. Examples of sustainable practices include using renewable energy, incorporating reclaimed or recycled materials, establishing limits on resource usage, and offsetting or replacing resources used to make or transport a product.


What Does It Mean to be Eco-Friendly?

In simplest terms, eco-friendly means that something is designed to have little or no damaging effect on the environment. For products that inevitably have some negative environmental impact, including detergents, to be eco-friendly means doing the least possible damage. When you see a product described as “eco-friendly” consider how it’s made and its ingredients.


How Can a Laundry Detergent be More Sustainable?

Laundry detergent manufacturers can strive to be more sustainable when producing and transporting their products. ARM & HAMMER™ is committed to employing sustainable practices when manufacturing laundry detergents whenever possible. Some examples of this commitment include:


  • Packaging Choices: Nearly all ARM & HAMMER™ laundry detergent containers, whether for liquid, power paks or powder are made with recycled materials and are recyclable. ARM & HAMMER ™ began using recycled paperboard for washing soda and baking soda boxes all the way back in 1907, long before recycling was a consumer habit or the norm in paper manufacturing, and that commitment continues today.
  • Energy Choices: Manufacturing laundry detergent requires energy, but the type of fuel used to produce power can be renewable or not. Non-renewable fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) are burned to generate about 80% of all electricity at U.S. power plants. As part of our commitment to sustainability, Church & Dwight (the producer of ARM & HAMMER™ laundry detergents) manufacturing facilities use 100% certified renewable electricity to manufacture ARM & HAMMER™ laundry detergents. The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes these efforts by naming us to the Green Power Partnership Top 100.
  • Manufacturing choices: ARM & HAMMER™ Liquid Laundry Detergents help conserve water by using water reclaimed from the production process in our finished products. In addition, our soda ash, baking soda, and oxygen bleach are refined using a process that does not use ammonia or create undesirable byproducts.
  • Concentration choices: Choose a brand committed to concentrating its liquid detergents. Concentrated liquid detergents use less water and smaller packaging reducing plastic, fuel, and water used per load. ARM & HAMMER™ launched a new concentrated liquid laundry detergent in 2022. The ARM & HAMMER Brand is committed to reduce water usage by 118,000 tons and plastic usage by 7 million pounds by 2024 through liquid detergent concentration.
  • Ingredient choices: ARM & HAMMER™ laundry detergents are phosphate-free. Phosphates are chemicals that can cause excessive plant growth in bodies of water, leading to the destruction of an ecosystem. Church & Dwight was the first to introduce a phosphate-free laundry detergent in 1970, long before the industry agreed to remove phosphates from detergents in 1994.


What You Can Do as an Environmentally Conscious Consumer

Being more eco-friendly and sustainable requires effort from both consumers and companies. You’ve heard of some ways ARM & HAMMER™ strives to be better for the environment with its laundry detergents, but what can you do? If you’re hoping to decrease your environmental impact, try these eco-friendly and sustainable actions:


  • Recycle your empty detergent bottles and boxes locally or laundry pak pouches through a partnership with Terracycle. Empty ARM & HAMMER™ powder laundry detergent boxes can be recycled with cardboard. ARM & HAMMER™ liquid laundry detergent bottles (#2 plastic) are completely recyclable. Be sure the bottle is empty, rinsed of any detergent residue, and the cap is securely attached.
  • Use concentrated detergent. ARM & HAMMER™ Liquid Detergent is now more concentrated, using less water and plastic vs. previous formula. Each bottle of ARM & HAMMER™ liquid laundry detergent is concentrated with 2X powerful stain fighters in every dose vs. the leading bargain detergent.
  • Choose Green-e® Certified Manufacturers. Church & Dwight plants produce ARM & HAMMER™ laundry detergents using verified renewable electricity. You can find the Green-e® certification symbol on most ARM & HAMMER™ Laundry Detergent packaging.
  • Celebrate Earth Day and educate your family and friends about being a conscious consumer. Church & Dwight sponsored the first Earth Day in 1970 and continues to support its mission of promoting ways to protect the planet. Earth Day is April 22 every year and more than a billion people participate in this worldwide secular holiday. How will you make a difference this year?
  • Consider purchasing carbon offsets for the carbon emissions you produce by driving, flying, or using electricity. Make it a goal to be personally carbon-neutral.
  • Join Church & Dwight in planting trees. We support the Arbor Day Foundation, which plants millions of trees in the Mississippi River Valley, helping to eliminate 300 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. We will continue to do that as part of our commitment to you and the planet! You can start by planting a single tree to help absorb carbon dioxide, provide shelter for animals and help landslides.


ARM & HAMMER™ : Safer Choice Certified Laundry Detergents

Baby Hypoallergenic Formula: Created with newborn babies in mind, ARM & HAMMER™ Baby Detergent is tough on stains but gentle on skin. It’s a newborn essential that’s free from unnecessary chemicals so there are NO dyes, phosphates, GMOs, added preservatives, brighteners or parabens.


Clean & Simple™ Formula: With only 6 essential ingredients, ARM & HAMMER™ Clean & Simple™ Laundry Detergent is a major step forward in a laundry detergent that is “better for you and the environment” and doesn’t sacrifice effective cleaning. It’s free from dyes, phosphates, GMOs, added preservatives, enzymes, brighteners, parabens, gluten, and animal-derived ingredients. The overall formula in Clean & Simple™ Laundry Detergent is readily biodegradable.


U.S. EPA's Safer Choice program helps consumers and commercial buyers identify products with safer chemical ingredients, without sacrificing quality or performance. More than 2,000 products have this designation, including ARM & HAMMER™ Clean & Simple™ laundry detergent and ARM & HAMMER™ Baby Laundry Detergent. In 2021, ARM & HAMMER was recognized as EPA’s Safer Choice Partner of the Year for our efforts and commitment to creating sustainable designs and products with safer chemicals.


EPA Safer Choice Certification: The Environmental Protection Agency awards the Safer Choice label after rigorous evaluation of every ingredient in a product to ensure that it contains only safer ingredients for families, pets, workplaces, neighborhoods, and the environment –without sacrificing quality or performance. ARM & HAMMER™ Clean & Simple™ Laundry Detergent and ARM & HAMMER™ Baby Laundry Detergent are Safer Choice certified.

Learn More About Sustainability with ARM & HAMMER™ Laundry Detergent

When consumers and companies work together to make sustainable choices, everyone benefits. As you choose which laundry detergent to use in your home, look for the Green-e® certification and EPA Safer Choice logos. You’ll know that these products contain ingredients that are better for the environment and were manufactured using renewable energy.


Plus, they’re effective at removing stains and odors from your clothes, which is the reason you use a laundry detergent to begin with!


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