- Vegan: no animal testing or animal ingredients
- Environment: The less the rest of the world knows that I've used this detergent, the better.
- Effective: my clothes must look clean and not smell.
My opinions here are by no means fully formed. These are the experiences I've had so far in my search. Feel free to share your own (and even contradict me since I am fairly new to the search for vegan laundry detergents.)
I like Maggie's Soap Nuts for day-to-day washing. I work in an office environment where my clothes don't get heavily soiled except for the occasional food stain. When using these, I occasionally give my clothes a wash with another detergent as these tend to be a fairly mild detergent. Here, I am referring to the actual soap nuts in a bag.
I tried both the Maggie's Soap Nuts liquid and the Biokleen liquid laundry detergent. Both of these had very embarrassing results for me. This summer, I washed my tee-shirts using this detergent, dried the shirts and tossed one on and then went to my friend's house. The summer days here are pretty hot and I usually sweated up a storm on the way to his home and even after I got to his home because he does not air condition the entire house. Even though I had a shower just an hour before, my shirt smelled like I had run a marathon the previous day and then went to sleep in it and came straight to his house. I was difficult to be in the same room with (and we were having an all-day LAN party). I may have done something wrong in using these detergents, but I don't understand why if I had used too much I would not smell like detergent rather than "butt".
Right now, I am using Ecos Laundry Detergent from Earth Friendly Products. This detergent is actually working out really nicely so far and seems to be a decent detergent. Sorry I don't have stain tests or anything myself rather than a lax recommendation.