Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent: In-Depth Review (With Pictures)

By
Jeneva Aaron
Jeneva has over years of passion for home decorating and cleaning. She is the founder and CEO of thehousewire.com where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products.
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Updated April 14, 2022

Green cleaning with Seventh Generation is a mixed bag

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We purchased Seventh Generation laundry detergent to put it through its paces in our writer’s home. Keep reading for our final verdict on how it fared in a variety of tests.

Green cleaning is more popular than ever and green laundry detergents are a great way to do your bit for the environment from the comfort of your own home. But with so many products on the market, how do you choose?

A plant-based detergent is always a strong place to start. And don’t worry, plants still pack a powerful punch of cleaning power!

Seventh Generation detergent is a popular plant-based option, so we tested it to see how clean it gets our clothes. Keep reading to find out if this is the laundry detergent for you.

A Green Detergent that Misses the Mark with Stains
Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

PROS Of Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent
  • Made for sensitive skin and doesn’t use dyes or artificial scents
  • Cruelty-free and eco-friendly with recyclable packaging
  • Suitable for both HE and standard machines
CONS Of Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent
  • The fragrance-free formula doesn’t smell great
  • It doesn’t tackle stubborn stains effectively
Seventh Generation washing detergent is a kind choice for lightly soiled clothes and anyone with sensitive skin, but the lack of stain-fighting power is disappointing.

The Greenest Bottle I’ve Seen

4
Seventh Generation Detergent Bottle Front
Seventh Generation has nailed their packaging. The natural cardboard shell tells you it’s a green product before you’ve even looked at the label!
Seventh Generation Detergent Bottle Back
On further inspection, it’s peppered with stickers letting you know it’s an Environmental Protection Agency Safer Choice product, leaping bunny cruelty-free, a USDA Certified Biobased product, and a Certified B Corporation product.
Seventh Generation Detergent Green Info
In short, it means this liquid laundry detergent is good for the planet and all the living creatures on it. And the concentrated formula has a smaller bottle, taking up less space. This also means a reduced manufacturing impact on the environment.

And seeing as green cleaning is becoming super popular, it’s a strong start for Seventh Generation before I’ve even removed the lid.

The usage instructions are simple to understand. And I enjoy how they’ve explained the plant-based ingredients for reference purposes. It’s often hard to understand the technical jargon, so this is a nice touch.

The only downside to the bottle is how the cardboard sleeve pops open sometimes when pouring. It doesn’t feel overly sturdy, which is a shame.
Seventh Generation Detergent Bottle Split

A Natural Detergent With a Natural Scent

2
Seventh Generation Free & Clear detergent is free from any fragrances. Some people love an unscented detergent, but not me.

I like my clothes to have a fresh smell, and I dislike how this liquid laundry detergent leaves my washing smelling. It’s so unscented that you can almost detect the plant-based ingredients, which leave a strange whiff.

TESTING INSIGHT:

It’s much harder to tell if it’s cleaning your laundry properly when garments are coming out smelling of nothing. They don’t even smell fresh if I’m honest. And it gets worse if I put them through the dryer rather than air drying.

That said, I understand the need for a free and clear liquid laundry detergent option. The plant-based formula is free from dyes and scents to make it gentle on sensitive skin and better for human health.

There aren’t any artificial brighteners or animal-based ingredients, so it’s eco-friendly and better for the surrounding environment.

While there are lots of plus points to an unscented laundry detergent, it’s just not my personal preference.

Doesn’t Tackle Stains

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Seventh Generation Detergent With Laundry
I tested Seventh Generation’s concentrated laundry detergent in a variety of tests using different levels of soiling and washing temperatures. And the results weren’t overly impressive.

TESTING INSIGHT:

It’s fine for clothes that need a quick refresh, but not ideal for anything with stains. I tested some tomato sauce marks, and you can see the liquid laundry detergent didn’t remove it at all.

This kind of stains can be challenging for any detergent. But I also know there are effective plant-based products available, so this was disappointing. I had to use a different brand to remove the stain, so I can’t rely solely on Seventh Generation to handle all of my washing needs.

But I do like the plant-derived enzyme stain removers and the lack of artificial brighteners, so I will continue using it. I like how gentle it is and I feel safe using it on my tSeventh Generation Detergent Tomato Stainsoddler’s items. And one bottle does last a long time!

I’ll keep it in the cleaning closet and save it for garments that need a delicate touch. But it’s not a laundry detergent liquid I’d bring out after muddy dog walks or messy mealtimes.

Common Complaints

Now you know my thoughts on Seventh Generation laundry detergent Free & Clear, let’s see some common complaints. I’ve found these while researching the product alongside my tests at home.

Clothes Don’t Smell Fresh

A few reviewers found their clothes started to develop a bit of a whiff after using Seventh Generation for a while. They didn’t feel like it left their clothes clean after trying it at a few different water temperatures.

Not Sensitive Enough

Some users were disappointed it still irritated their skin and left them with rashes. Especially as Seventh Generation products are made for sensitive skin. They ended up returning to other traditional brands that didn’t cause problems.

Seventh Generation Free & Clear liquid laundry detergent is tested for skin irritation and is often recommended for sensitive skin. But always check how you react to it before washing everything you own with it.

The Laundry Soap Doesn’t Smell Nice

Seventh Generation Free & Clear liquid laundry detergent is fragrance-free by design. But reviews say it doesn’t just smell of nothing; the smell isn’t nice.

And seeing as you’re washing clothes with it, you want to like the smell! It’s also tricky to tell how well your clothes are cleaned when you can’t smell anything.

It Leaves Streaks

Some users found using Seventh Generation laundry detergents left their clothes with streaks after washing. It’s worse on darker colors than on lights and whites.

Small Bottles

This is a concentrated laundry detergent, so small bottles are actually a perk. There’s less water in the formula, but still the same cleaning performance. It means less packaging is required, which is better for the environment.

But many reviewers were disappointed with how small the bottles of Seventh Generation were when they ordered them online. So check the size of the bottle and how many loads of washing it does before you click buy if purchasing online.

Alternatives

Interested in an eco-friendly detergent but not sure Seventh Generation is for you? No worries. We’ve got a couple of alternatives for you to look at.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is a well-loved brand for a reason. This concentrated laundry detergent provides a burst of cleaning power in each capful. And it’s laced with a fresh lavender scent for a wonderful aroma.

It uses plant-derived ingredients, is biodegradable, and has the cute leaping bunny seal to show it’s not tested on animals. So if you’re looking to go green, we can recommend this laundry detergent.

Method Beach Sage Laundry Detergent

Method is another popular green cleaning brand, and their laundry detergent is an excellent choice. The range of crazy scents is a huge selling point, but it’s backed up further by effective cleaning power that leaves your laundry soft and fluffy.

It’s another cruelty-free product from a company that values environmentally-friendly practices. Thousands of reviewers rate it 5-stars, so it’s worth checking out.

READ FULL REVIEW: Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent Review

Final Thoughts – Give it a Go

I don’t want to use a detergent that causes harm to the planet or any living creatures, no matter how great it makes my laundry feel and smell.

So I would continue using Seventh Generation, but for those loads of washing that need a refresh rather than a thorough clean. If you’re on the fence about this brand, give it a go but opt for a scented version.

The company’s ethos is to think about how its decisions and actions impact the next seven generations. They believe we need a healthy planet and create products in line with this.

They’ve been thoughtfully formulating safe products for over 25 years, so you can enjoy guilt-free washing with every load. And if that isn’t worth supporting, I don’t know what is.

Our Final Verdict onSeventh Generation Detergent

Cleaning Performance
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Seventh Generation Free & Clear Detergent Liquid is a top choice if green cleaning or sensitive skin are your top priorities. But I can’t recommend it as worthwhile for removing stains or leaving your washing feeling fresh. The cleaning performance just isn’t as good as my usual liquid laundry detergent.
Scent
4
The fragrance-free scent isn’t pleasant, either. I don’t like how my laundry smells after using it. But it’s ideal if you suffer from contact dermatitis or any skin sensitivities. The gentle formula is less likely to cause irritations than most.
Bottle
8
Another perk is the bottle. I love how much it says about the brand at first glance. It’s recyclable, usable, and packed with info. Yet it’s still easy to read and understand.

Specs

Product Name Seventh Generation Concentrated Detergent
Product Brand Seventh Generation
SKUB07FVX9Z9H
Price28
Weight2.96 pounds per 40 fl oz bottle
Product Dimensions10 x 5.6 x 10.2 inches
WarrantyN/A

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