Allergy-prone consumers and environmentally-conscious ones should become acquainted with Sonett Sensitive Laundry Liquid. This liquid laundry detergent has a refreshingly short and gentle ingredient list. It also cleans well.
Haven’t ever heard of Sonett? You should make yourself familiar. Sonett is a company with clear and impressive values. A small 50-person business based in Germany, Sonett is founded on “caring and feeling responsible for water as the essence of all life.” Traditional cleaning products tend to pollute our water supply which is why Sonnet uses only biodegradable ingredients.
But the company hasn’t stopped there. Indeed, every detail of their business appears to be environmentally responsible. Their products are free of petrochemical surfactants, fragrances, dyestuffs, and preservatives. All of the oils and essential oils used in their formulas are organic, and the energy used in their creation is produced by a hydroelectric plant and a state-of-the-art wood-chips plant. All of this effort has been rewarded with multiple certifications and awards for environmental excellence and applied business ethics.
Sounds great, but how effective is the detergent?
The Sonnet liquid comes in rather bland, unimpressive packaging. It looks more like something that would be sold commercially than direct-to-consumer.
If you can aside from the lack of beautiful branding, however, you’ll notice the claims on the label: “Free of fragrances, colorings or complexing agents. Free of preservatives. Free of petrochemical ingredients.” Etc, etc, etc. For anybody suffering from skin allergies, who cares what the packaging looks like if it delivers.
The liquid itself is clear and scent-free. This is thanks to a total lack of dyes and fragrances. It dispenses easily into the lid/measuring cup.
How does it perform on dirty laundry?
Our family has been camping and mountain biking in the desert, so we had plenty of DIRTY, smelly clothes to test this laundry liquid on. I’m pleased to say that everything came out clean and smelling fresh after a single wash cycle.
Unfortunately, the liquid is not intended for microfibres. Thankfully, I read all the fine print before doing the wash because I had several clothing items that contained a polyester blend and a pair of polypropylene thermal underwear. I had to wash these piece in a separate load with different detergent, which was a bit of an inconvenience.
Because the Sonnet sensitive laundry liquid is unscented, my laundry did not come out fragrant but it did smell clean. For folks that prefer some scent and aren’t considered about sensitivity, Sonnet does offer the same laundry liquid scented with mint and lemon.
While we tested the Sonett laundry liquid in a traditional washing machine, it is also suitable for high-efficiency washers.
How does the detergent work?
The Sonett laundry liquid is a laundry soap (that’s right, not all laundry detergents are soap based). The soap is combined with alcohol and surfactants derived from organic castor oil and organic coconut oil. The combination of these ingredients works to moisten, dissolve, and absorb dirt from your clothes.
Because the liquid is soap-based it works well with all degrees of water hardness, which makes this washing detergent especially suitable for folks that have hard water in their homes.
What are the ingredients? Is there anything in there of concern?
The full list of ingredients (and a brief description of each) is listed here. Read on for further analysis of the detergent make-up.
- Aqua – Water
- Potassium soap – Liquid soap made from potassium hydroxide, a type of lye.
- Alkylpolyglucoside C8–16 – A class of surfactant formed when combining a sugar with a fat of some sort. They are starting to become fashionable as they are biodegradable.
- Sodium C8–14 fatty alcohol sulfate – A surfactant, more commonly known as Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
- Alcohol – ethanol
- Sulfated castor oil – made by combining sulfuric acid and castor oil
- Potassium citrate – a ph adjuster
Compared to most laundry detergents, the ingredient list is surprisingly short and inoffensive. The only red flags for folks with allergies are the Alkylpolyglucoside C8–16, SLES and Alcohol. While not as bad as the majority of cleaning prodcts out there – its worth bearing noting anyway.
Lye can also be irritating if any is leftover after the saponification process, although this is unlikely. Likewise the Potassium Hydroxide used for ph adjusting.
So do you recommend it?
Although there is some risk of irritation for people with sensitive skin, the short list of mostly mild ingredients in the Sonett laundry liquid is far better than most laundry detergents on the market. If you suffer from allergies, this liquid should be on your short-list of laundry detergents to try.
Even if you’re not sensitive to detergents, the environmentally-responsible formulation and lack of carcinogens make the Sonett laundry liquid an attractive purchase. Of course, a laundry detergent must do a good job of actually cleaning laundry, which we’re happy to say this one does.
This does come with a caveat – and a rather annoying one. It doesn’t clean microfibres. This can be hugely annoying if you like cycling or are of an athletic disposition. For most of us, the annoyance is limited.
Unfortunately, all this goodness is offset by the price. The Sonett laundry liquid is almost double the price of other popular “natural” laundry detergents. Nonetheless, if you are on a hunt to find a truly eco-friendly, health-friendly laundry liquid, Sonett may be worth the cost.