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The Laundress Laundry Products Review 2021

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Editor’s note: Information about The Laundress voluntary recall can be found at the end of this article.

No matter what material your clothes are made of or how carefully you wash them, maintaining them to look and feel brand new seems like a challenge no one is ever able to surmount.

We’ve come to accept that the stains of life — sweat, everyday dirt and grime, wine, baby spit-up, and more — are inevitable, but removing the evidence is a task less easy to swallow as we get our daily arm workouts scrubbing vigorously in the sink, encounter washing machine mishaps, and schlepping armfuls of clothing to the dry cleaners. 

A few years ago, we discovered the power of a $6 magic-in-a-bar stain remover from a company called The Laundress and it gave us hope that the nice clothing we’ve spent hundreds of dollars on will really last a lifetime.

Founded in 2004, The Laundress makes highly effective, eco-friendly detergent and fabric care products for the clothing you thought you could only let the dry cleaners handle. It was acquired by Unilever, which will only help accelerate its mission of “taking the chore out of doing laundry.”

the laundress detergent


The Laundress/Facebook



We’re not surprised The Laundress caught the eye of the consumer goods giant because its products work beautifully at cleaning while doing better things for both your body and the environment. From food to beauty, shoppers are more concerned than ever about how their purchases will impact them and the world around them, but they still want the products to work well. 

Brand background

The founders of The Laundress, Lindsey Boyd and Gwen Whiting, first met at Cornell University’s Fiber Science, Textile and Apparel Management and Design program. Both went on to careers in luxury fashion, Boyd as a US sales manager at Chanel Ready-to-Wear, and Whiting as a senior designer at Ralph Lauren.

Their specialized knowledge of all things fabric and garments, plus their frustration with toxic cleaning products and ineffective natural ones, put them in the perfect position to bring change to the laundry market. 

the laundress detergent 3


The Laundress/Facebook



Knowing that 90% of “Dry Clean Only” items are actually washable, they developed powerful cleaning formulas that can take care of fabrics like cashmere and wool, as well as everyday cotton, linen, and blends without ruining them. The formulas don’t resort to harsh and harmful ingredients to be effective. They’re free of ammonia, chlorine bleach, dyes and colorants, perchloroethylene (a chemical solvent often used by professional dry cleaners), parabens, phthalates, and VOCs. 

Instead, you’ll find ingredients like oxygenated bleach, which is gentler, safer, and just as effective as chlorine bleach; enzymes like cellulase, lipase, and mannanase, which quickly break down soil and stains; plant-based grease-cutting agents; biodegradable surfactants made from coconut and sugar to help dissolve dirt and stains; and natural essential oils to lend a light, fresh scent to your clothing.

the laundress detergent 2


The Laundress/Facebook



Some Laundress products we recommend are Delicate Wash, Signature Detergent, and Sport Detergent. These 16-ounce bottles are highly concentrated and should last 32 washes, giving you more value and less waste per wash. Fabrics that you thought you couldn’t confidently wash, like silk or performance fabrics, will stay preserved with each wash. 

Review of The Laundress

Hesitant to buy more wool and cashmere clothing simply due to their tricky care process, I was most excited to try the Wool & Cashmere Shampoo on my favorite soft sweaters and coats. I lightly hand-washed the wool and cashmere items with the shampoo, let them soak, and dried them on a rack. They kept their shape and came out softer than I ever remembered, plus they had a light cedar scent (which also happens to keep moths away). 

The convenient thing is that you can use the products for hand-washing or any laundry machine at any water temperature, so you don’t have to juggle a handful of different care instructions for every load of laundry. Putting aside time to do laundry is enough of a nuisance, but The Laundress makes the chore seamless, and our clothes look like they got the professional dry cleaner treatment without the high cost or harmful chemicals. 

The aforementioned Wash & Stain Bar that multiple Business Insider reporters and editors swear by is another secret to vanquishing the realities of coffee spills and makeup stains. This vegetable soap is excellent for spot treating and pre-wash prep. Since it’s small, you can carry it wherever you go in case a stain disaster ever strikes. 

The bottom line 

The Laundress has succeeded in making laundry and cleaning glamorous and sophisticated — something the laundry category has never been described. With its minimalist designs and Le Labo partnership that have landed it on the shelves of luxury department stores, it’s making shoppers excited to do their laundry. 

About the recall

While we stand by the effectiveness of The Laundress fabric care products, you should stop using the recalled products listed here. On November 30, 2022, the brand issued a voluntary recall after testing determined that bacteria was present in some of the recalled products produced between January 2021 and September 2022. 

The bacteria include cepacia complex, Klebsiella aerogenes, and different species of Pseudomonas. These can cause serious infections in people with weakened immune systems, external medical devices, and underlying lung conditions. Read more about the recall on the website www.thelaundressrecall.com and follow the provided directions to request a refund.




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