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Whole Foods Markets' Green Mission Organic Laundry Detergent (Unscented)

Join the Green Mission by Washing with an Organic Detergent

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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Photograph of Green Mission Organic Laundry Detergent (Unscented)

Green Mission Organic Laundry Detergent

Photo © Karen Peltier

The Bottom Line

I was on a "mission possible" to test out this Green Mission Organic Laundry Detergent. Would an organic unscented detergent leave clothes fresh smelling? Would it live up to its claim to remove grease, dirt, and tough stains? Seeing it's ranked in Whole Food's highest category of eco-friendly products, I had high hopes - and I wasn't disappointed when I checked out the product's "greenness," but wished it had performed a little better at stain removal.

Pros

  • Organic: USDA Organic
  • Effectiveness: Color-safe; washes 100 HE or 66 standard loads
  • Safety and Environmental Friendliness: Non-toxic, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, and free of undesirable chemicals.
  • Cost: Cheaper than most other brands that aren't even organic (based on price per load)
  • Scents: Available in unscented and lavender, which is naturally scented with essential oils

Cons

  • Stain Removing: Removed some common stains, but not all of them
  • Size: Only available in one size
  • Manufacturer Information: The MSDS isn't available

Description

  • Type: An organic liquid laundry detergent that is 3x concentrated for HE or standard machines
  • Size: 100 fl. oz. (3.12 qt.; 2.95 l.)
  • Cost: $13.99
  • Ingredients: Aqua (Filtered Water), Sapindus Mukorossi (Organic Soap Nuts), Saponified Cocos Nucifera Oil (Saponified Organic Coconut Oil), Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice Powder), Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Carbonate, Xantham Gum, Acacia Senegal (Organic Gum Arabic), Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus Gum (Organic Guar Gum), Sea Salt, Organic Glycerin, Quillaia Saponaria (Organic Soap Bark)

Company Background

As one of the leader's in natural and organic foods in North America and the UK, Whole Foods Market has a reputation for being a feel-good grocery store that cares about sustainability, the community, fair trade, and natural, high-quality products. As such, it's in a strong position to offer many of its own signature cleaning products, which it indeed does, such as the 365 Everyday Value, Green Mission, and Whole Foods Market brands. Whole Foods rates all cleaning products with its own Eco-Scale™ system, which serves as a customer guide as to how eco-friendly a product really is. More information on its company philosophy, customer incentives, and more, can be found on its website.

Product Effectiveness

This detergent left my clothes smelling fresh, but I wanted to know how well it removed stains, so I decided to do a little experiment by treating two cotton rags with common staining agents: red wine, olive oil, marinara sauce, make-up, chocolate, dirt, coffee, grass, and sunflower butter (OK. Not so common, but I was out of peanut butter!). One of the rags I pre-treated with the detergent (per the manufacturer's suggestion) and the other I simply threw into the wash.

The results?

When stains were pre-treated and pre-soaked, the olive oil, chocolate, and coffee were completely removed, but the red wine, sunflower seed, marinara, dirt, and grass stains only faded.

When stains weren't pre-treated, the results were almost the same as above, except that the red wine and marinara stains were darker and the dirt stain was actually gone (I'm thinking this may be due to the fact that I rubbed the dirt in a little harder with the pre-treated cloth perhaps).

So, it seems that the detergent does remove oils well and dirt somewhat, but not necessarily many tough stains. I would definitely combine it with a green stain removing product.

Health & Safety

This product is non-toxic and hypoallergenic, which is a bonus should you have problems with skin sensitivity. Unfortunately Whole Foods wouldn't provide the MSDS in order to protect its trade secrets, but the product label notes that it can irritate the eyes should contact occur and that a physician should be consulted if it's ingested.

Environmental Notes

Whole Foods Market gives this product the highest rating on it's Eco-Scale™ system. Also, the company fully lists all the ingredients right on the label, which is a testament to its corporate responsibility. Seeing that it's organic, biodegradable, and doesn't contain undesirable chemicals, such as chlorine, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, dyes, petrochemicals, and optical brighteners, this is definitely an eco-friendly product. Not only that, but it's even safe for septic and grey water systems. The #2 HDPE bottle ensures that it is recyclable, too.

Misc. Notes

The measurement line for HE loads isn't clear, so measure out the amount recommended and then pour it back into the cap and mark the level with a permanent marker.

Final Thoughts

This product definitely lived up to its green claims, but it didn't deliver on all its cleaning claims (i.e., the ability to remove grease, dirt, and tough stains), so I couldn't give it all five stars. However, I would recommend this detergent if an organic, eco-friendly product with a good price point is important to you. If that's the case, then mission accomplished!

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