ECOS Free and Clear Laundry Detergent

Used to be, we had very few choices in laundry detergent. And all of them had fragrances that were so strong people could smell us coming. Now, with Free and Clear detergents as an option, we no longer have to walk around smelling like some chemist’s idea of nature. ECOS Free and Clear All Natural Laundry Detergent is one of many options available to people like me, who would rather not have to smell my clothing all day (or anyone else’s).

But there are other good things about this item in the Earth Friendly Products line, like no itching.

I often help take care of an elderly friend, in a home where chemical scents are valued, sought out, even. Her family member who buys detergent — and soap and shampoo and all other cleaning products — likes those scented cleaners. My elderly friend doesn’t really know the difference, but she itches like crazy when she’s been bathed with scented soap; has her hair washed with heavily perfumed shampoo; or has her clothes, sheets, or towels washed with scented detergent. When I help her shower, I can see long scratch marks where she has been digging at her skin to relieve the itching.

When I’m there to help, I make sure she has free and clear products to use. Of course, she doesn’t scratch when she isn’t using scented products. (She’s not senile, and she could certainly insist on free-and-clear products, but she doesn’t want to ask the people she lives with to change the way they do things.)

The last time I visited, I saw more long scratches on her shoulder, where, she said, “It itches!” Her towels and nightgown smelled of a scented detergent. But, I had brought along a sample of ECOS Free and Clear All Natural Laundry Detergent. I washed her towels and clothing in ECOS that weekend. She stopped itching and scratching once she had changed her clothes.

No scents and no itching are two good things about ECOS. And there’s more:

  • 1,4-Dioxane Free
  • Formaldehyde Free
  • Petrochemical Free
  • Neutral pH
  • Low Sudsing
  • Plant-Based, Non-Polluting Ingredients
  • 100% Biodegradable
  • Greywater Safe
  • Septic Safe
  • Recyclable Bottle and Cap

The ingredients are “all natural,” including:

  • 100% natural anionic coconut kernel oil based surfactant
  • Soap Bark
  • Chamomile
  • Horsetail Plant
  • Purified Water

One thing I do want to caution you about, if you decide to try ECOS liquid laundry detergent is that you don’t need to fill the whole cap to do a load. In fact, you need very little. I overdid it the first time I used the detergent, until I had a moment of brilliance and actually read the directions (argh). There’s a diagram on the back that shows how to fill the cap for high efficiency (HE) washers (line 1) or standard washers (line 2, which is 2x line 1).

I actually used about 3x line 1 for a large (but not super-sized) load. My laundry came out fine. There wasn’t a residue of extra detergent. But, unfortunately, I wasted enough for a small load of clothes in my standard washer.

I’ve written about Earth Friendly Products before, and I definitely like the company’s environmental ethics. This is yet another product in a line that’s good for the planet and good for your body.

ECOS Free and Clear All Natural Laundry Detergent is available in 50 oz., 100 oz., 5 gallon and 55 gallon drum sizes. You can purchase the 50 oz. size for $6.79 (13.6 cents per oz.) plus shipping on the Earth Friendly Products website. Or, buy 4 bottles of the 100 oz size at Amazon for $48.99 (12.2 cents per oz.) plus shipping.

For those of you who like scented products and aren’t bothered with itching, you can purchase ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent in magnolia & lilies, lavender, or lemongrass scents.

The Small Print

Blue Planet Green Living received a free sample of the product described in this post. No other compensation or incentive was provided.

Blue Planet Green Living’s policy is to only review those products we feel merit overall positive comments. If we do not like a product, we do not review it. We are not influenced by complimentary products and provide our honest opinions. For more information, please visit the Policies tab on the top navigation bar.

Blue Planet Green Living has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. If you purchase this product or any other products through Amazon by clicking on our affiliate link, Blue Planet Green Living will receive a small financial compensation from Amazon, which we gratefully use to sustain this website.

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living

Related Posts

Love Those Fruits and Veggies – When They’re Safe to Eat

Parsley Plus All-Surface Cleaner Does It Right

Scented Cleaning Products May Harm Your Health

Love Those Fruits and Veggies – When They’re Safe to Eat

Organic fruits and vegetables don't have pesticides, but they still need washing. Photo: © Tomo Jesenicnik - Fotolia.com

Hungry? How about a juicy peach? Imported grapes are sooo delicious. Apples are yummy. And cherries are a snack straight from Paradise.

Or not.

Watch Out for the Dirty Dozen

Fact is, every one of those conventionally raised, scrumptious food choices is laden with pesticides — dozens of different pesticide chemicals. According to an article on About.com, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) compiled information about pesticides “from approximately 96,000 studies by the USDA and FDA of the 49 fruits and vegetables listed between 2000 and 2008.” EWG then created a handy Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, which lists the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen.”

When I first read EWG‘s list last year, I was more than a little chagrined to see many of my favorite foods listed in the Dirty Dozen. I truly love 11 of the 12 foods: “peaches, strawberries, apples, blueberries, nectarines, bell peppers, spinach, kale, cherries, potatoes, grapes.” (I’m not so crazy about celery.) These are many of the foods I most enjoy. And being almost-entirely a vegetarian, they’re foods I depend on for their nutrient value — especially kale.

If, like me, you love eating foods from the Dirty Dozen list, there’s a solution: Eat organic. Foods raised using organic methods don’t have pesticide residues to worry about. Yes, there’s the occasional bug. (I’m very selective when choosing kale at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Bugs are hard to see without pulling back each leaf and taking a good, long look.) But I’d rather work around a bug or two that I can see than try to fight against invisible pesticide residues. Wouldn’t you?

You can download the EWG Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, print it, and take it shopping with you. Or, you can insist on organic produce. It’s an easy choice for our family most of the time, though our selection can be somewhat limited at the grocery store. Farmers’ markets and CSAs are more likely to provide more organic options.

If avoiding pesticides in your foods is important to you, too, then ask for organic selections. Consumers won’t get more options if we don’t create a demand for them. Farmers have to make a living, too, and there’s more work and more spoilage when raising organic produce. Our willingness to pay a little more and to purchase organic foods helps support farmers in their efforts to bring us more healthy choices.

Wash Your Fruits and Veggies

When I started writing this post, I had intended to focus on Earth Friendly Products’ Fruit & Vegetable Wash as way to clean produce of “soil, dirt, and wax” (their words). That’s all good. And it’s important to clean produce before you eat it. But then I started wondering if this product could wash away the biggest problem of all: pesticides.

According to the Earth Friendly Products website, their Fruit & Vegetable Spray is “especially ideal for cleaning off oily pesticides, waxes and chemicals that are designed to be water resistant.” Wow. I didn’t expect that.

And, as for cleaning produce — organic or conventionally grown — it seems to do the job as well as similar products I’ve tried. But what I like best about Earth Friendly Products’ Fruit & Vegetable Wash is that it’s made from all natural ingredients — no artificial chemicals that I can’t pronounce, let alone comprehend.

What’s in it? “Purified water, 100% natural amphoteric coconut based surfactant, citric acid.” No sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which some other products contain. (SLS is a skin irritant for many people.)

Using it is simple. Spray it on every exterior surface of the fruit or vegetable. Then wash it off with warm water. Frankly, I expected the directions to include scrubbing or waiting for the spray to take effect. In fact, when I washed grapes just before writing this post, I waited a couple of minutes before washing it off. When I’ve used the Earth Friendly Products spray to clean apples and oranges, I’ve rubbed it on the skin of the fruit, rather than just giving it a quick spritz. (I’m apparently a creature of habit.)

Once the Earth Friendly Products’ Fruit & Vegetable Wash has been washed off, there’s no aftertaste or residue left behind. Does it completely clean the fruits or vegetables? I don’t honestly know, but they look and feel clean. Does it do better than using distilled water, which is preferred by the Extension Office at the University of Maine over other fruit and vegetable sprays? I don’t know that, either;  I haven’t done any scientific tests. But distilled water doesn’t contain any surfactants, and this product does. The plant-derived surfactant in Earth Friendly Products’ Fruit & Vegetable Wash should loosen anything attached to the skin of the produce.

You might be interested in the features of the product, according to the Earth Friendly Products website:

  • pH 3.0-3.5, but gentle on hands and skin
  • Non-polluting/100% biodegradable/non-toxic/natural.
  • Made of replenishable/sustainable ingredients
  • Plant-based surfactants we use do not harm the item being cleaned, your body or the environment
  • Helps remove pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, dirt, wax and bacteria.
  • 100% tasteless
  • Odorless
  • Rinses away completely; leaves no residue or aftertaste
  • No lengthy cleaning process required: sprays on and rinses off; works quickly and easily; no need to scrub or soak; no waiting period
  • Free of alcohol, bleach, DEA or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Easy to recycle: #1 PETE HDPE plastic container

Did you notice the words, “Helps remove pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, dirt, wax and bacteria”? They give me confidence that Earth Friendly Products’ Fruit & Vegetable Wash is much more powerful than distilled water.

And then they list the benefits:

  • Doesn’t irritate skin.
  • Fruit and vegetables grown inorganically can be cleansed of surface pesticides, chemicals and waxes without depositing other harmful chemicals or adversely effecting taste.
  • It really works
  • Safe for you and the environment
  • Non-toxic/non-polluting


One thing I do know is that Earth Friendly Products has a long-standing reputation as an environmental company making eco-friendly products that live up to their advertising. With each Earth Friendly Products item I’ve tried so far, I’ve been pleased with the results and confident in their safety. But check out the company for yourself. I think you’ll like what you learn.

You can purchase Earth Friendly Products Fruit & Vegetable Wash from the company’s website (though I’m having trouble getting it to work on my Mac as I write this). You can also find local retailers by entering your zip code into their store finder. Or, you can purchase the product through Amazon, though Amazon doesn’t seem to offer individual bottles. Current offerings on Amazon range from $18.00 for a 6-pack of 17-oz. bottles to $32 for a 6-pack of 32-oz. bottles to $49.57 for a 12-pack of 22-oz. bottles. As always, please try your local stores first.

The Small Print

Blue Planet Green Living received a free sample of  the product described in this post. No other compensation or incentive was provided.

Blue Planet Green Living’s policy is to only review those products we feel merit overall positive comments. If we do not like a product, we do not review it. We are not influenced by complimentary products and provide our honest opinions. For more information, please visit the Policies tab on the top navigation bar.

Blue Planet Green Living has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. If you purchase this product or any other products through Amazon by clicking on our affiliate link, Blue Planet Green Living will receive a small financial compensation from Amazon, which we gratefully use to sustain this website.

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)

Parsley Plus All Surface Cleaner Does It Right

When Earth Friendly Products makes the claim that they’re eco-friendly, they have the credentials to prove it. This family-owned business makes and sells super-effective cleaning products, including Parsley Plus All Surface Cleaner. In my opinion, this is one of the best all-around cleaners available — and that includes both natural and toxic cleaners. I love how well it cleans, what it’s made of, and even how it smells. I can’t say all that about many other cleaners — can you?

Parsley Power

Like pretty much everyone we know, Joe and I are busy people. Sometimes we don’t get around to doing all the cleaning tasks on our list as quickly as we’d like. Recently, we let our upstairs tub and shower go just a little too long between cleanings. When we were sprucing up the house for a family party, we kicked into gear for a quick spritz around the house before everyone arrived. I got ready to tackle our upstairs bathroom. Oh, boy.

To say that the white walls of the tub and shower enclosure were looking a little gray might actually be an understatement, but let’s just leave it at that. I grabbed the bottle of Parsley Plus All Surface Cleaner and started spraying about a three-foot-square section of a shower wall. Then I turned my attention to the sink while that part was soaking.

Only Natural Fragrance

The sink cleaned nicely, and it looked quite bright when I had finished. But, I expect that from a good all-purpose cleaner. What I noticed most was that the scent was light and pleasant.

I’m flat-out not a fan of “scented” anything. I don’t want to be bathed in someone else’s idea of what smells “good,” “fresh,” “spring-like,” or “sexy.” If there’s a “free and natural” option, I always take it. Still, this scent didn’t bother me at all.

I couldn’t quite get my head around what fragrance I was smelling, but it didn’t seem to match the parsley on the picture. It took me a while to figure it out, but I finally decided it smells like chrysanthemums. What a lovely change from the heavy citrus or pine scents I’m accustomed to finding on the grocery store shelves. And there’s absolutely no toxic odor, because the ingredients are more like foods than unpronounceable chemical concoctions. But more on that in a minute.

Parsley Plus All Surface Cleaner is an effective natural cleaner like none I've ever used. Photo: Courtesy Earth Friendly Products

After the sink was sparkling, I turned back to the shower. It had only been about five minutes, but the soap deposits on the section I had sprayed were practically gone! I picked up a wet a terrycloth rag and ran it over the area that had been soaking under a spray of Parsley Plus.

With very little effort — but definitely some — I soon had a clean section that gleamed compared to the rest of the shower. But the thing I liked best was that I could run my hand along the surface without feeling any of the hard-water and soap-scum buildup that covered the rest of the shower walls. That section was squeaky clean!

After working about 15 minutes, I had cleaned the entire shower. With less effort than I’ve probably ever used on a shower, I got better results than ever before. Joe probably thought I was a bit nuts (no more so than usual…) when I made him take a look at how white the shower was when I had finished.

And, I have to confess, I even asked him to run his hand along the shower walls to feel the lack of residue. He didn’t exactly shout “Hallelujah!” but he definitely agreed that Parsley Plus had done an amazing job.

For several days, every time I walked past that bathroom, I was struck with momentary awe by how bright and white the shower looked. I kid you not.

What’s Inside?

Although the company has its roots in manufacturing industrial cleaners, Earth Friendly Products has been making only plant-based cleaners since “Jimi Hendrix turned rock upside down and played guitar with his teeth,” according to the company literature.

They go on to say, “Our award-winning products are based on pure, honest and simple (and pronounceable) plants.” In the case of Parsley Plus, that’s just “Purified Water, Biodegradable Coconut Based Surfactant*, and Parsley Essence.”

It’s pretty hard to argue with a list of ingredients so simple as that.

What’s Not Inside?

This question is every bit as important as the one before. With Earth Friendly Products, the list of what’s not inside is too long to publish here. But it’s worth noting. So, I’ll give you a taste of the company’s Freedom Code, which also appears on their website:

Earth Friendly Products Freedom Code

Our products are FREE OF the following toxic petroleum-based ingredients:

Ammonia

Ammonium Hydroxide

Amyl Acetate

Animal By-Products

Artificial Colors/Dyes

Artificial Fragrances/Perfumes

Benzalkonium Chloride

Benzene or Naphtha

Boron or Borine

Butyl/Ethyl Cellusolve

Butyl Oxitol …

And that’s just the list of words starting with A and B. Take a look at Earth Friendly Products’ website. I guarantee you’ll be impressed with the bad stuff they left out.

More to Love

There are plenty of other reasons to love Earth Friendly Products. As they write on their website:

Earth Friendly Products is a “champion” in the eyes of the Environmental Protection Agency and its Safer Detergents Stewardship Initiative, or SDSI. We are committed to the use of safe surfactants (wetting agents in detergent “that break down quickly to non-polluting compounds and help protect aquatic life in both fresh and salt water,” as the EPA says). In accordance with SDSI, our products are readily biodegradable, non-toxic, free of phosphates, and have a neutral pH. Because they are plant-based and petroleum-free, our surfactants do not bio-accumulate or mimic human hormones.

Here are a few more:

  • No Animal Testing
  • Chlorine Free
  • Replenishable Ingredients
  • Endorser of CERES principles
  • Septic/Gray Water Safe
  • Recyclable
  • PETA Approved
  • Winner of Socially Responsible Award for “demonstrating exemplary effort in socially responsible business practices.”

To see a list of the may awards the company has earned, check out their “About Us” page.

Suffice it to say that I’m a believer. The only thing that leaves me shaking my head is one question: With such a long history, healthy ingredients, and excellent performance, how did I miss this line of products?

To purchase Earth Friendly Products Parsley Plus or any of the dozens of others, look in your local retail outlets or buy directly on the company website at ecos.com. At $5.09 (plus shipping) for 22 ounces, Parsley Plus is well worth the small extra expense compared to more toxic or less effective cleaners. I expect it to be a staple of my cleaning routine for years to come.

Small Print

Blue Planet Green Living received a free sample of the product described in this post. No other compensation or incentive was provided.

Blue Planet Green Living’s review policy is to only review those products we feel merit overall positive comments. If we do not like a product, we do not review it. We are not influenced by complimentary products and provide our honest opinions. For more information, please visit the Policies tab on the top navigation bar.

Blue Planet Green Living has an affiliate relationship with Amazon.com. If you purchase this product or any other products through Amazon by clicking on our affiliate link, Blue Planet Green Living will receive a small financial compensation from Amazon, which we use to sustain this website.

Julia Wasson

Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)