Even though modern laundry detergents do a good job of getting clothes nice and clean, they can also present somewhat of a problem for some people. Some of these detergents are made with chemicals that can not only leave a residue on a person’s skin but may also cause skin irritation or sensitivity. And that’s why more and more people are turning to a more natural solution for washing their clothing.
Natural laundry detergents have been around for quite some time, but recently, their popularity has really begun to surge. That’s because an increasing number of people are seeing these detergents as a healthier alternative to some of the chemical-laden commercial products currently on the market. It’s also why we’ve listed ten of the best natural detergents for laundry, so our readers can decide for themselves whether or not using these detergents is an option they want to explore.
The 10 Best Natural Laundry Detergents
#10 Tide Purclean Plant-Based Honey Lavender Scent
You know the natural laundry detergent industry is gaining some popularity when large companies such as Tide are beginning to release their own brand of plant-based detergents. Fortunately, for all of us, this product isn’t just an attempt to jump on the more natural bandwagon but is actually a pretty good product. It’s one of the first bio-based detergents that also has the power of Tide. This formula is free of phosphates, optical brighteners, dyes or chlorine. And it’s also produced at a factory that uses 100% renewable energy sources and is a zero manufacturing waste site. All of these are great reasons to support this innovative product.
#9 Biokleen Concentrated Eco-Friendly Powder
This product is manufactured in the U.S and features a variety of plant-based surfactants and chelators that help to get laundry clean without having some of the usual toxic ingredients that other types of chemical-based soaps have. This formula is designed to be non-toxic and to contain no artificial colors, preservatives or fragrances. That also makes it a detergent that’s easier on sensitive skin and is less likely to bother people with allergies. And since this large 10-pound box of powder is highly concentrated, there’s enough detergent in it to do 100 standard loads or up to 150 high-efficiency loads.
#8 Grab Green Stoneworks Detergent Pods
This product was invented by Patricia Spencer and a handful of botanical experts and artisan chemists to be a natural alternative to some of the chemical-based detergents that were available. It’s specifically designed to be a non-toxic formula that’s natural but doesn’t compromise cleaning power in the process. Some of the ingredients that can be found in the Rose Petal scented detergent include sodium carbonate, sodium carbonate peroxide, sodium chloride, citrus acid and a variety of essential oils that include cedarwood oil, bergamot oil, and lime oil. It’s a product that cleans deeply, naturally softens clothing and fights tough stains.
#7 Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent
This quality product from Seventh Generation is four times concentrated and is laundry detergent liquid that uses the power of three different enzymes to more naturally fight odor and stains. This hypoallergenic product is USDA-certified to have a formula that’s up to 96% percent bio-based because of its use of plant-based ingredients. It’s also certified by the EPA to be a Safer Choice Product for people who are concerned about product safety. And although this product is natural doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have the power to really remove dirt from laundry, because it does and it’s one of the better natural products available.
#6 Grab Green Natural 3-In-1 Powder
This product is specifically designed for individuals who want a concentrated powder that can really power through a load of dirty laundry but does it without containing harmful chemical ingredients. Fortunately, this formula is able to not only do both of those things quite well, but it’s also able to do it without costing the consumer an arm and a leg. This product is manufactured without using phthalates, chlorine, or phosphates, so consumers can rest assured that their skin won’t be absorbing any harmful agents. And it’s also a cruelty-free product, so everyone can rest assured that it was never tested on innocent animals.
#5 Biokleen Concentrated Liquid Detergent
This easy-to-use and economical liquid detergent has three times the power of conventional detergents and is able to easily handle 150 standard loads or 300 HE loads of laundry. This eco-friendly formula is made using plant-based ingredients and is free of artificial colors, fragrances or preservatives. This product is also free of petroleum solvents, chlorine, phosphates, metasilicate, or any of the other toxic ingredients that may be found in other products. That means that this product is not only healthier for the consumer to use on their clothing, but it also means that this product won’t have a negative effect on wildlife or plant life.
#4 Earth Friendly Products Magnolia & Lily Detergent
This product is designed to be concentrated, so each bottle can wash approximately 100 loads of laundry. It’s also a product designed with a built-in fabric softener, so clothes are not only clean, but they’re extremely soft, too. And since this product has a lovely, and quite unique, Magnolia & Lily Scent, it will also leave the laundry smelling fresh and clean. All of those things are great, but that’s not why this is one of the best natural laundry detergents available. It’s one of the best because it’s made without any parabens, phthalates, optical brighteners, phosphates of dyes. It’s also great because it’s hypoallergenic, pH-balanced and is suitable for sensitive skin.
#3 Molly’s Suds Ultra-Concentrated Laundry Powder
Molly’s Suds is a concentrated natural laundry powder that can be used in either standard washing machines or in high-efficiency machines. This product is manufactured using some of the best natural ingredients available, and it is free of synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, phosphates, bleach, SLS, SLES, formaldehyde, or dyes. It only uses natural ingredients that are safe for most fabric types and won’t bother people with allergies, skin sensitivities, eczema, or other sensitivities. That also makes it quite suitable for washing children’s clothing and bedding, too. And since it’s a cruelty-free, vegan, and made in the United States, consumers can also use it with confidence.
#2 Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lavender Scent Detergent
Few liquid detergents can not only be natural but also effective at the same time. And fewer still can do it while being gentle on clothing. Fortunately, this high-quality natural product is able to accomplish all of these feats quite well. This formula is manufactured using the best plant-based cleaning ingredients and stain-fighting enzymes to eliminate dirt and keep clothes looking their best. Another positive benefit that this detergent provides is that it can not only be used in all standard washers, but it can also be used in HE washing machines, too. All good reasons for anyone looking for a natural alternative to chemical soaps to try this lavender-scented detergent.
#1 Nellie’s All-Natural Vegan Laundry Detergent
Even though the package of this natural laundry detergent looks like a call back to the detergents of the 1950s and 1960s, the powder that’s contained within it is one of the most potent laundry detergents available. Although many liquid detergents contain up to 50% water, this product is a concentrated product that can do up to a 100-loads of laundry. And it can clean clothes without all of the harmful ingredients found in other products. For example, this product is free of gluten, fragrances, chlorine, animal products, SLS, SLES, and phosphates. It’s a good product that can really get whites white and colors bright.
More products picked by Amazon also worth checking out:
A Guide To Natural Laundry Detergent
As more and more people become aware of the hazards of some of the chemicals found in commercial detergents, natural laundry detergents are beginning to become ever more popular. And that’s not really a surprise considering that plant-based detergents are not only healthier for a person’s health and the environment, but they also do a good job of cleaning as well. That makes it a win-win for everyone involved and is the reason why we decided to dedicate a whole article to the subject.
Of course, it would’ve been quite easy for us to simply introduce our readers to the best natural detergents and leave it at that, but we wanted to do a little bit more. We wanted to create a guide that enables our readers to make better-informed choices, so they can not only buy their next natural detergent with confidence but will also give them the skills they need to sort the great products from the ones that are merely mediocre. Now that we’ve said that little bit, let’s get started and find out a little bit about natural laundry detergents.
What’s Wrong With Chemical-Based Detergents?
Before we begin, we should probably state that we’re not against commercial non-natural detergents. There are some good brands out there that might not be strictly all-natural but don’t have a lot of harmful ingredients in them. However, there are brands that use ingredients that are less than optimal if the consumer cares about their health or the health of the environment. Some of these ingredients include the following chemicals, some of which are known to pose serious health risks to people.
- Petroleum Distillates
- Artificial Colors
- Artificial Fragrances
- Optical Brighteners
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- Sodium Laureth Ether Sulfate (SLES)
- Nonylphenol Ethoxylate
- Sodium Hypochlorite Bleach
- Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid
All of the above ingredients have their particular problems. Some of them are known for causing skin irritation or rashes, allergies, or skin sensitivities. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Some of the ingredients on the above list are known carcinogens. All good reasons for a person to go with more natural laundry detergents.
However, to be fair, it should be noted that some laundry detergents use Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that’s been derived from natural sources such as Palm Oil or Coconut Oil. These forms of SLS are better tolerated than the chemically created SLS molecules. However, detergents that use Palm Oil derived SLS ingredients do pose environmental concerns because palm oil is seen as a crop that displaces many of the world’s natural ecosystems.
What Ingredients Are Usually In Natural Laundry Detergents?
In order to show our readers the contrast between the above toxic chemicals with some of the more natural ingredients found in organic laundry detergents. Although the following list doesn’t contain all of the ingredients that may be found in natural detergents, it should still give our readers a good idea of what differentiates natural from unnatural detergents.
Coconut Oil-Based Surfactants: These are natural ingredients that provide cleaning power.
Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate): Provides alkalinity to wash water, which softens the water and helps the surfactants work better.
Fatty Alcohol Ethoxylate: A fatty alcohol that’s made from a vegetable feedstock.
Sodium Metasilicate: This ingredient prevents washer corrosion.
Sodium Citrate: This is the salt of citric acid, an ingredient derived from citrus fruits.
Sodium Chloride: Mineral-based formula used for adjusting viscosity.
Sodium Hydroxide: Mineral-based ingredient for adjusting pH levels.
Calcium Chloride: A mineral-based ingredient for stabilizing cleaning enzymes.
The above natural ingredients are less likely to cause skin irritation or other problems for people who have sensitive skin or allergies. They’re also easier for the environment to handle and biodegrade into natural components that don’t pollute.
Why Can’t I Make My Own Homemade Detergent?
A question that’s frequently asked is: if natural laundry detergents are so great, then why can’t I create my own detergent? After all, I have all of the ingredients to make my own, and there are numerous natural laundry detergent recipes on the Internet. Why not just create my own? While that’s a logical question to ask, there’s one problem with trying to create your own natural detergent, and that problem is that it’s destined to fail from the very start. Let us explain why.
We have poured over many of the homemade natural detergent recipes that we’ve found on the Internet, and what we’ve discovered is that not only are many of them destined to cause skin irritation to people’s skins in some fashion, but they may also damage their user’s expensive washing machines.
The big problem with many of these formulations is that they replicate the ingredients found in natural laundry detergents, but they can’t replicate the procedures used to incorporate these ingredients into viable laundry soap. That’s because people can’t create the complex chemical reactions needed for these ingredients to work in their kitchen. And without those complex chemical processes, then the detergent is either not going to work, is going to cause some sort of irritation or is going to corrode the washing machine’s internal components. Therefore, it’s best with consumers to buy one of the commercially available laundry detergents.