Lots of stuff has gotten smaller and more efficient, now it's the turn of laundry detergent to disappear

by Rachel Bray

Technology has made many things we use smaller over time - why laundry detergent is no longer the exception

Everything changes over time

While bigger used to be synonymous with better, these days technological changes and sustainability pressure have led a shift to smaller being better in many cases. You may not remember original mobile phones or computers, but you will have seen the pictures! Laughably huge through a 21st century teens downward looking eyes.

But while innovations in technology constantly seek to miniaturise components to make them lighter, faster, and more powerful, the laundry detergent industry has been slow to get in on the act.

Unfortunately, until very recently it’s the changes that have been small rather than the products. Bulky and environmentally unfriendly packaging, toxic chemicals, and poor performance: laundry detergent needed a makeover.

What have laundry detergent manufacturers done to innovate?

Traditional laundry detergent manufacturers targeted convenience over the environment and the consumer’s real needs, Powders and liquids can be messy to use, so ‘innovations’ include individual pods of liquid or gel and individually wrapped tablets of compressed powder. They all contain fillers and toxic chemicals are often also used. 

laundry pods in plastic box

While pods and tablets may be more ‘convenient’, they are a fixed dose so you may be using more detergent than necessary, which is wasteful. The typically used fillers and additives are not just damaging to health and the environment, they lead to gunk building up in your machine and residue clogging up the pores of your clothes. 

Packaging and waste are big problems for traditional laundry detergents

Traditional products are heavy and bulky and use excessive amounts of plastic packaging. They are expensive and damaging to the environment to transport. AISE, the International Association for Soaps, Detergents and Maintenance Products, reports a “reduction in dosage per wash and therefore a reduction of packaging per product, estimated to be around 35,000 tonnes less packaging over the years” since 2000.

While any reduction is positive, they report only a 14% reduction since 2006. We’ll leave you to work out how many tonnes of packaging are still being used - it’s hardly miniaturisation!  

rows of plastic detergent bottles with different brightly coloured caps

The huge benefits of the miniaturisation of technology 

Since the microchip was invented in 1959 there has been a drive to make things smaller but more efficient. With nanotechnology the possibilities are endless. Microchips are continually being miniaturised and have revolutionised consumer electronics. Along with wireless technology and rechargeable or smaller, more powerful batteries, phones, speakers, cameras, computers, car engines, and so on have got smaller and smaller over the years.

So, surely the laundry detergent industry can do better?

Miniaturisation in the laundry detergent industry - finally!

Finally, with zero-waste, fully biodegradable laundry detergent strips available on a subscription basis to your door the industry has caught up with the times. Melt laundry detergent strips use new techniques, technologies, and attitudes to create the future of laundry. It’s another example of smaller being most definitely better. Better for you, better for your clothes, and better for the environment. 

Melt laundry strips only weigh 1.5g per strip, compared with approximately 20g per pod. The ingredients are in concentrated form, without bulkers or water. They are formed using a unique dry roller process and disperse fully on contact with water of any temperature.

Unlike liquids and powders they leave no gunk or residue. They work just as well in eco washes with lower temperatures and reduced amounts of water. 

 melt laundry detergent strips in box

Extremely light and minimally packaged in recycled, recyclable cardboard, a pack is small enough to be posted through your letterbox.

In volume terms, a Melt box is about a tenth of a plastic bottle providing the equivalent amount of detergent, cutting out thousands of tonnes of waste and emissions. So why would you use traditional detergents?

The laundry detergent industry was an industry desperately needing miniaturisation. Melt has stepped up to the challenge and is saving your clothes, your washing machine, and the planet. Join us!