Surprisingly, lots of fabric conditioners use animal fats and chemicals that are tested on animals in their fabric conditioner products. Lots of fabric conditioners in the UK aren’t actually vegan.
But there are also plenty of fabric conditioners out there that do cater to vegans and don’t use animal fats in their products or test them on animals.
The animal fats that most fabric conditioners contain are from pigs, cows, horses or sheep. Even people who aren’t vegan aren’t always comfortable knowing that there are animal products in their fabric conditioner, or is tested on animals.
Most vegan fabric conditioner brands aren’t to well known compared to your mainstream supermarket products. Some of the mainstream products may not actually contain animal fat, but are tested on animals so may not be vegan friendly.
This article will take you through what products are vegan friendly and any harmful chemicals to consider that may have been tested on animals first. Not only is vegan fabric conditioner not tested on animals, it is also eco friendly.
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How do I know if vegan fabric conditioner is vegan friendly?
Unless the brand openly markets itself as vegan friendly, and can prove they don’t test on animals and don’t use certain chemicals. It can be difficult to tell.
Lot of fabric softeners don’t have a vegan friendly label on them so you do have to do your research. Some fabric conditioners also contain chemicals that can pollute the water systems.
Again, without due diligence and research, this can be hard to pick up as it won’t always be on the label. Choosing a fabric conditioner that suits you, suits your skin and upholds your values can be a minefield.
Ingredients in detergents that could indicate animal fats:
- Cationic esterquat surfactant
- Lauric Acid
- Oleic Acid
- Palmitic Acid
- Sodium Tallowate
- Stearic Acid
- Stearic Hydrozide
- Tallow Amide
- Tallow Amine
- Tallow glycerides
- Tallow Imidazoline
This list is not exhaustive, sometimes you have to look for ingredients that derive from names like these that will give you a clue if they’re made from animal fats or not. If you’re still not sure, you can email the manufacturer or phone them.
In some people’s cases who have done this, they state that sometimes the staff aren’t totally sure themselves. Which is why you need to conduct some good research on vegan fabric conditioners.
What is veganism?
If you choose to be vegan, it is the practice of not eating animal meat or animal products including eggs, milk and cheese. Or using products that are tested on animals or have any traces of animals used in them.
It is commonly a very plant based diet that consists of vegetables, nuts, seeds, lentils and pulses. There is now a huge variety of vegan alternatives on the market available, such as soya milk, almond milk, vegan cheese, vegan chicken burgers and vegan meat alternatives.
It can be quite expensive to buy alternatives but there is a lot available on the market now. Vegetarians don’t eat animal meat but will eat animal products. Some people choose a pescatarian diet where they don’t eat meat but will eat fish.
Whichever diet you choose, or what products you use, is entirely your choice. Eating less meat has been proven to have a good effect on the environment and help the fight of climate change.
Vegan fabric conditioners
Smol – Smol will refill your bottle by post, saving on mass produced plastic which helps the environment. You can order a supply that will last you 6 months for just £10 a month. It costs around 8p a wash. You can also set up a delivery that will be tailored to how much fabric conditioner you use. Smol also has thousands of reviews on feefo and is a respected vegan brand.
Bio D – Bio D is a fragrance free fabric conditioner and is known for leaving laundry feeling very soft. It is concentrated and is made from natural, raw materials. It does not contain any animal fats and is also good for sensitive skin as it is fragrance free. If you would like a fragrance, Bio D also offer a lavender fragrance. It is stored in a 20 litre drum so will last for a very long time.
Eco Zone – Eco Zone is a mild frantic conditioner that comes with a variety of fragrances, unlike Bio D. It is approved by allergy UK, is vegan friendly and approved by the vegan society. It is also cruelty free. This conditioner comes in a plastic one litre bottle and will last for 37 washes. It is more expensive to use than Smol calculated at 11p a wash. Not only is this fabric conditioner available in the UK, it is also made in the UK.
Dryer Eggs – Dryer eggs are made by eco eggs and they are put in your tumble dryer to leave your washing feeling soft and smelling fresh. The dryer eggs are an alternative to fabric conditioners and can last for 40 washes. They are vegan free, save on electricity using your tumble dryer. And are suitable for sensitive skin. Even after the fragrance has gone past the amount of washes, you can still use the egg. You can also order fragrance refills. Dryer eggs are by far the cheapest options and less than 1p a wash in comparison with other fabric conditioners. Dryer eggs reduce drying time by 28% also.
Astonish 2 in 1 – Astonish 2 in 1 is fabric detergent and conditioner all in one.Astonish doesn’t have as much packaging as it is not packed with water, which most supermarkets use in their 2 in 1 formulas to bulk it out. However, it may not be suitable for those with very sensitive sling due to some chemicals present. Astonish is also made in the UK and is available in most supermarkets. Astonish 2 in 1 is the most expensive vegan fabric conditioner to us at 18p a wash.
Waft Laudry Perfume – Although this bottle only houses 50mls, don’t be deceived! It actually can be used for 100 washes! As it is very concentrated, only a few drops are required to make your laundry smell fresh. It is vegan society approved, and is free from the most common harmful chemicals. The bottle is also recyclable.
Guppyfriend Wash Bag – The guppyfriend wash bag is made from untreated nylon. Using the bag, it helps to prevent lots of microfibres from your clothes drain to the rivers and seas. Small sewages can’t filter out these micro fibres so they end up in the ocean. Fish and other inhabitants in the sea consume these fibres and can give them digestion problems. Guppyfriend does advise that liquid detergent is used as well as the fabric conditioner and not powder for the best results. The Guppyfriend wash bag can be bought online for £25.
Ecoleaf – Ecoleaf fabric conditioner uses natural ingredients from plant extracts and is certified by the vegan society. It is UK produced and the fabric conditioner is available in 5 litre or 20 litre bottles. The fragrance is very mild but it is one of the more expensive vegan fabric conditioners. If you prefer a stronger scent to your washing, this product may not be for you. As you don’t need to use too much of it, it should last you a long time.
Miniml – Miniml is a vegan fabric conditioner that uses plant extracts and is certified by the vegan society and is cruelty free. You can also refill your bottles at a cost of 35p per 100ml. The fabric conditioner is available in 500ml bottles or 1 litre bottles and come with a free reusable glass or plastic bottle. It is free of palm oil, parabens, sulphates, phosphates, chlorine bleaches and petrochemicals. It is also safe for septic tanks and cess pits. Prices start from as little as £2. It is manufactured in Yorkshire in the UK.
Is Ecover vegan friendly?
Ecover is not certified as vegan friendly. Whilst it doesn’t actually contain animal fats, and the product itself is not tested on animals. It is apparently tested on water fleas, which aren’t counted as animals.
Ecover is also owned by SC Johnson and that company does test on animals.
Is comfort vegan friendly?
Comfort is a mainstream fabric softener that is found in all major super markets. It is however, not vegan as it contains the chemical ‘ditalowoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate’.
This is actually another name for animal fat. That’s why it is important to do your research on what words actually mean animal fats.
Comfort in owned by Unilever and sells products to China. In China, animal testing is actually required by law.
Is Lenor vegan friendly?
Lenor is not classed as vegan friendly as it contains a chemical that is animal fat. Lenor is owned my Proctor and Gamble who do test on animals.
Is fairy fabric softener vegan?
Fairy fabric softener is not classed as vegan as it contains cationic surfactants. This element can come from animal fats.
Fairy is also owned by Proctor and Gamble who are known for testing on animals.
How do I know if fabric conditioners are vegan?
A good way to be able to tell if the fabric conditioner you want to buy is vegan, is to look for certain trust badges. Such as if it is certified by the vegan society, states on the packaging if it is vegan friendly, or is recognised by the international cruelty free society.
If these things aren’t present on the packaging, it is likely it is not a vegan friendly product. Another way to be able tell is by knowing what other names are used for disclosing animal fats.
Packages won’t specifically state it has animal fat in it, but will use its scientific name instead when disclosing it.
If a product uses the word ‘eco’, does that mean it’s vegan friendly?
Not necessarily. Lots of products will use the words ‘eco’ in their branding to promote how they are helping the environment.
Many of these products do use animal fats in their products, or come from other companies that do test on animals. Lots of their packaging is also still made of plastic.
The word ‘eco’ in branding on its own, doesn’t necessarily mean it is vegan friendly or has no impact on the environment. People are more likely to buy products these days that claim to be environmentally friendly.
Always check the labels for ingredients used in the product, or look for certain trust badges, for example, being certified by the vegan society.
Are Aldi fabric conditioners vegan friendly?
No. Aldi’s fabric conditioners and laundry products are not vegan friendly as of yet.
Aldi’s laundry products are certified as cruelty free and carry the leaping bunny logo. This means they do not test on animals.