The Best Natural and Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Brands
Get your clothes fresh-smelling and clean with natural, non-toxic laundry detergent. Conventional laundry detergent contains ingredients that aren’t good for your health or for the planet. We’re sharing 8 brands of natural laundry detergent that are effective at dissolving dirt and stains without harmful chemicals.
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I love putting on fresh, warm clothes straight from the dryer, but I’ve never been a fan of strong, perfume-y scents. With my sensitive nose and my daughter’s sensitive skin, I’ve been super cautious to use gentle laundry detergent since she was a toddler. I’ve been trying out some new to me eco-friendly, non-toxic laundry detergent brands, and thought I’d share my experience.
Did you know companies that make laundry detergents are not required by law to disclose their ingredients?
When clothes are laundered, chemicals from the detergent can remain in the fabric. Those signature scents like Cherry Blossom and Botanical Rain are designed to permeate and stay in the fabric.
Synthetic fragrance contains phthalates to help your clothes smell “fresh and clean” all day and beyond. If you suffer from allergies and asthma, breathing in that fresh scent could exacerbate your symptoms. Hundreds of chemicals can be included in the “fragrance” label on an ingredient list. These chemicals may contain endocrine disruptors, allergens, respiratory irritants and possible neurotoxic chemicals and carcinogens (1).
Want to know why the optical brighteners in conventional detergents make clothes look so white? Optical brighteners have nothing to do with actually getting your clothes cleaner. They work by absorbing ultraviolet light and emitting visible blue light. This blue light tricks your eye by cancelling out any yellow or gray hues (2). Optical brighteners can cause irritation to those with sensitive skin (3).
Laundry detergent gets its cleaning power from surfactants. Surfactants in conventional laundry detergents can include chemicals that are hormone disruptors and some that are possible carcinogens (see below). Natural laundry detergent formulas contain non-toxic ingredients, like coconut oil-based surfactants, for cleaning power.
By purchasing natural laundry detergent that’s free from synthetic fragrance, optical brighteners, artificial colors and surfactants that are harmful to your health (like Nonylphenol ethoxylate and Linear alkyl benzene sultanates (LAS)), you’re making healthier choices for your family and for the environment.
Laundry Detergent And The Environment
The chemicals listed above get drained out along with your wastewater. In a USGS survey study, detergent metabolites were detected in 69 percent of streams tested (16). We can all reduce the strain on our aquatic ecosystem and support a healthier environment by switching to a natural laundry detergent with eco-friendly, non-toxic ingredients.
From liquid to powder to pods to tablets to sheets, look below for 8 of the best natural, non-toxic and eco-friendly laundry detergent brands that get your clothes clean without harmful chemicals.
The Best Natural Laundry Detergent Brands
Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder
- EWG Rating: A
- Cost: $0.17 per load
- Fragrance: unscented, lavender, peppermint, ocean mist
- Highlights from the website: Just One Scoop per Load, Made with only 4 earth-derived ingredients, Safe for Everyone in Your Family, Unscented and Safe on Sensitive Skin, Use in any washer, including High-Efficiency (HE), Highly-concentrated, Washes 120 Loads of Laundry. Choose either warm or hot temperature. If your clothing requires cold water, opt for Molly’s Suds Liquid Laundry Detergent.
- Shop: Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder, Molly’s Suds Active Wear Laundry Powder, Molly’s Suds Laundry Pods, Molly’s Suds Baby Laundry Detergent Powder
Kind Laundry Detergent Sheets
- EWG Rating: Not rated
- Cost: $16.95 for 4.4 oz, 60 sheets ($0.28 per load)
- From the Kind Laundry website: No more skin irritation and allergies with our 100% non-toxic laundry strips making it safe for newborn babies and those with skin sensitivities. Our biodegradable laundry strips are hypoallergenic and made from plant-derived ingredients. there is absolutely no plastic waste with our packaging. A 100% biodegradable package makes our laundry strips a much kinder and safer laundry detergent solution for the environment, your skin and your clothes. Pros: saves space, zero mess, travel-friendly, pre cut.
- Shop: Kind Laundry Detergent Sheets
Attitude Laundry Detergent
- Cost: $26.95 for 67.6 oz ($0.40 per ounce, $0.34 per load)
- EWG Rating: A
- From the Attitude website: Liven up your laundry routine with ATTITUDE Nature + Technology™ Laundry Detergent. ECOLOGO Certified and formulated with only natural and plant-derived ingredients like green tea extract, our laundry detergent will keep your clothes smelling fresh and clean thanks to its advanced deodorizing formula. Plus, it’s biodegradable and sustainable, and contains no irritating enzymes – making it perfect for your family and the environment. Laundry away, worry-free!
- Scents: Pink Grapefruit, Wildflowers, Citrus Zest, Summer Berries, Mountain Fresh, Lavender, and unscented
- Shop: Attitude Laundry Detergent, Attitude Baby Laundry Detergent
Grab Green 3in1 Laundry Detergent Pods
- EWG Rating: A
- Cost: $0.31 per load, price goes down with larger amount of pods
- Scents: Fragrance Free, Vetiver, Lavender with Vanilla, Gardenia
- Highlights from the website: Our product combines deep-cleaning concentrated detergent, stain remover, and brightener, all in one! Outperformed Tide in stain and soil removal in a third party test. Works in all temperatures and HE washing machines.
- Shop: Grab Green 3in1 Laundry Detergent Pods
Healthynest Laundry Concentrate
- Cost: $60 for 34 oz ($1.76 per ounce, $0.35 per load) This is a concentrated formula, so only 2-3 pumps is required per load
- EWG Rating: EWG Verified
- From the Healthybaby website: This concentrate is 100% plant and mineral-based, which means it’s non-toxic, neurologically safe for Baby, and microbiome-friendly. Easy to use and HE compatible. 34oz concentrate which makes 170 loads of laundry (2-3 pumps from the bottle per load).
- Shop: Healthynest Laundry Concentrate
Dirty Labs Bio Laundry Detergent with Phytolase
- Cost: $13 for 32 loads ($0.41 per load)
- EWG Rating: EWG Verified
- From the Dirty Labs website: Dirty Labs Bio Laundry Detergent tackles dirty laundry with clean science. Phytolase®, our advanced enzyme cleaning technology precision targets stains and odors at their source while being extra gentle for you, your clothes, and the planet. Consciously formulated with nontoxic, biobased ingredients, our Bio Laundry Detergents are readily biodegradable, safe for sensitive skin, and free of dyes, sulfates, parabens, and all California Prop. 65 chemicals. Our unscented Free & Clear detergent is free of dyes and fragrances and is formulated for the most sensitive skin. Recognized by the National Eczema Association (NEA). Made proudly in the USA. Septic-Safe.
- Shop: Dirty Labs Bio Laundry Detergent with Phytolase
Eco-Me Natural Laundry Detergent
- EWG Rating: A
- Cost: $0.23 per load
- Scents: Fragrance-Free, Vanilla Bean, Citrus Berry, Lavender Blossom
- Highlights from the website: This 2X concentrated natural Laundry Detergent is tough on dirt and stains, yet gentle on sensitive skin. It fights stubborn stains without harmful chemicals. Its clean and safe formula contains powerful natural ingredients and essential botanicals that rinse easily leaving laundry fresh and clean. For front and top load HE and standard machines, perfect for those with sensitive skin, gentle on delicate fabrics, Greywater & Septic Safe. Dyes, colorants, harsh preservatives, sulfates, phosphates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, chlorine & formaldehyde
- Shop: Eco-Me Natural Laundry Detergent
Blueland Laundry Starter Set
- Cost: $18 for 40 tablets + storage tin ($0.35 per load)
- From the Blueland website: Little tablet, big clean. Ditch the traditional plastic-wrapped laundry pods and enjoy a clean you can feel good about. Our dry-form tablet lifts stains and dirt like the miracle worker it is – so you can get a powerful wash without any of the waste. Just drop one tablet directly into the washing machine drum and let it work its magic. For large loads, double the power with two tablets instead of one. Clean Ingredients: Free from dyes, bleach, and harsh chemicals. Effective: Independently tested to perform alongside major brands. Space Saving: 1 steel Forever Tin and 40 laundry tablets (fragrance-free) included in the set.
- Shop: Blueland Laundry Starter Set
Truly Free Refillable Laundry Detergent
- EWG Rating: B
- Cost: $17.96 for 50 Loads ($0.36 per load)
- From the Truly Free website: This revolutionary non-toxic formula will astonish you with its stain-fighting powers and is unscented, gentle and hypoallergenic. Your clothing touches your skin all day, and your sheets all night, so rest easy knowing that your Laundry Wash gives you the clean you deserve while protecting your family from the harmful toxic chemicals in conventional detergents. Free from all thickeners, dyes, optical brighteners, synthetic fragrances, and other chemicals that you & your family want to avoid.
- Shop: Truly Free Refillable Laundry Detergent
- Deal: Truly Free is offering Free laundry detergent for life– it’s true!