Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent for Naturally Clean Clothes
An important part of having a zero waste laundry room is choosing the best eco-friendly laundry detergent. But how do you know which one you should get? We tested a variety of different laundry detergents to help you pick out the one that will best suit your needs.
Is Laundry Detergent Toxic?
Is it even necessary to switch to an eco-friendly laundry detergent? You might be wondering, is laundry detergent toxic? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes.
Take the common laundry detergent Tide as an example. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) gives Tide a D grade because its ingredients can have negative effects on the environment, nervous system, and respiratory system.
One of the most harmful chemicals found in laundry detergents like Tide is 1,4-dioxane. The EPA states that short-term exposure to 1,4-dioxane can cause headaches, drowsiness, vertigo, and irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and skin. Long-term exposure can damage the liver, kidneys, and even cause cancer.
A few other worrisome chemicals found in laundry detergent include:
- Ethanolamine– Concern for respiratory effects, organ effects, nervous system effects, skin irritation, and aquatic toxicity.
- Benzenesulfonic acid– Concern for damage to vision and skin irritation.
- Alcohol ethoxylates– Concern for aquatic toxicity.
What’s worse, many of these chemicals don’t wash off in the laundry. Since your clothes sit on your skin all day, your body can absorb these chemicals and harm your health.
This is why it’s so important to choose an eco-friendly laundry detergent that’s safer for your health and better for the environment.
1. Dropps Laundry Pods
Laundry pods have become increasingly popular over the years since they’re so easy to use. Now you can enjoy the same convenience with an eco-friendly twist thanks to Dropps laundry pods.
These pods are made from a water-soluble film. When the film dissolves in water, micro-organisms that you typically find in water treatment plants can break it down to water and carbon dioxide.
Since the biodegradable formula contains plant-derived ingredients, the pods are safe for delicate clothing and natural fibers.
To use, you simply place one pod in your washing machine and do your laundry like usual.
Even better, Dropps makes several types of pods to handle all of your laundry needs. In addition to the stain and odor detergents that come in a variety of scents or unscented, you can also get active wash detergent that’s designed for activewear and synthetic fabrics.
To help whiten and revive whites, pick up the oxi boosters for a color-safe bleach alternative.
The sensitive skin laundry pods are ideal for babies and anyone else with sensitive skin because they’re hypoallergenic and don’t contain any dyes, fragrances, perfumes, chlorine, phosphates, enzymes, or optical brighteners.
Dropps even makes an eco-friendly fabric softener so you can enjoy super soft clothes using natural ingredients.
If you’re a new Dropps customer, be sure to use the code EarthTips25 for 25% off. Already a Dropps customer? Not a problem! You can enjoy 15% off when you use the code EarthTips15.
2. Etee Concentrated Laundry Powder
This concentrated laundry powder from Etee whitens and brightens without using any plastic at all. The laundry powder works so well, you only need one tablespoon per load, so it’s also very affordable.
It offers high cleaning performance without any harsh chemicals. It’s also safe for the entire family, septic safe, biodegradable, and compatible with all washing machines.
Best of all, the laundry powder comes in a 100% biodegradable bag and it’s not tested on animals. It also comes from one of the best online zero waste shops, so you know you’re making a truly sustainable choice.
Related: How to Shop at a Zero Waste Store
3. Earth Breeze
Earth Breeze is a company that actually cares about our planet. That’s why they make laundry detergent sheets that are completely free of plastic packaging.
Even though these laundry detergent sheets don’t contain any parabens, phthalates, phosphates, bleach, or dyes, they offer an incredibly powerful clean that can handle just about any mess on your clothes.
The eco sheets dissolve within seconds in hot or cold water, and they can work in all machines, including high-efficiency washers. Plus, since they’re hypoallergenic, you can hand wash with them and they’re safe for sensitive skin — even babies.
But it’s not just the environment Earth Breeze cares about. It also wants to make sure our world is a better and safer place for all people and animals.
In addition to being vegan and cruelty-free, Earth Breeze donates 10 loads of detergent to people in need for every package sold. They’re also a carbon neutral company that’s a proud member of 1% for the Planet.
4. Kind Laundry Detergent Sheets
You can be kind to the planet when you’re doing laundry by using Kind laundry detergent sheets. These pre-measured sheets are easy to use and made with just 5 simple, eco-friendly ingredients.
You can use anywhere from one to three sheets depending on how large and dirty your load of laundry is.
Not only will these sheets dissolve immediately in cold or hot water, but you can also use them in front-loading, top-loading, standard, and high-efficiency washing machines. You can even use them for hand-washing delicate clothing!
The cleaning formula is non-toxic, biodegradable, allergen-free, and cruelty-free. You can also feel good knowing these sheets are free of petroleum, parabens, phthalates, phosphate, dyes, artificial color, and optical brighteners.
Best of all, these eco-friendly laundry sheets come in 100% recyclable and plastic-free packaging, so you don’t have to worry about any plastic waste at all!
5. Soap Nuts
If you’re looking for a completely natural and zero waste laundry detergent, soap nuts are the perfect option. Never heard of soap nuts? This guide will answer all of your questions about soap nuts.
A quick explanation is that soap nuts are a natural berry that grow on the soap nut tree. You put them in a bag, toss them in your washing machine, and do your laundry like normal. Since they’re natural, you can compost them when they no longer produce any soap.
I use them when I do laundry since they’re so gentle on my son’s sensitive skin. You can even make a concentrated liquid soap nut detergent to handle those extra dirty clothes.
6. Tru Earth Laundry Detergent Strips
Around 700 million plastic laundry jugs end up in landfills across North America every year. That’s certainly NOT eco-friendly! And that’s why Tru Earth created these laundry detergent strips.
Each one packs a ton of ultra-concentrated cleaning power into one lightweight and easy-to-use strip. You don’t have to deal with any measuring or messes. Plus, the strips dissolve in both hot and cold water, so they work perfectly in all washing machines.
The eco-friendly laundry detergent strips are hypoallergenic and gentle enough for sensitive skin. They’re also packaged in a plastic-free, compostable cardboard sleeve.
Tru Earth also has you covered if you have specific laundry needs. Their baby laundry detergent strips are specially formulated to clean cloth diapers, towels, blankets, and baby clothes without any fragrances, harsh chemicals, enzymes, dyes, and artificial brighteners.
For times when your family gets really messy, you can use the platinum laundry detergent strips that have a heavy-duty cleaning formula for the dirtiest clothes.
Plus, don’t forget to pick up the laundry strips storage tin to hold your strips in one convenient and stylish spot.
7. Molly’s Suds
Molly’s Suds is one of the best eco-friendly laundry detergents because it was developed to be Earth-safe and people-safe. Not only is it made for people who are sensitive to chemicals and people who have sensitive skin, but it’s also safe for almost all types of fabric.
It contains no chemical-based sudsing ingredients. Instead, it’s formulated with only five Earth-derived ingredients.
In addition to the original laundry detergent powder, you can also get a sport laundry wash for those workout clothes, an oxygen whitener that doesn’t contain any bleach, and a delicate wash for those finer pieces of clothing.
Best of all, the product is made in the USA, vegan, cruelty free, and rated “A” in EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.
8. Meliora Eco Laundry Powder
Meliora laundry powder is a highly concentrated, eco-friendly laundry detergent that’s made with all-natural ingredients, such as washing soda, baking soda, and skin-softening coconut oil.
While it quickly and easily removes stains from your clothes, it doesn’t do so with any synthetic fragrances, additives, or dyes. The natural laundry powder is also compatible with standard and high-efficiency washing machines.
Additionally, Meliora is a member of 1% for the Planet and donates at least 2% of all sales toward nonprofit organizations, such as Women’s Voices for the Earth.
You can purchase Meliora laundry powder at EarthHero. If you decide to try it out, be sure to use the code EARTHFRIENDLY to enjoy 10% off your order!
9. Organic Laundry Soap
This organic laundry soap offers a simple way to do your laundry. To use, you just dilute the amount of soap you need in water using your own container.
If you only have to do a few loads, you can just dilute a small amount of soap. If you have numerous loads, you can dilute more soap. You have complete control over how much laundry soap you use!
The laundry soap is made with quality natural and biodegradable ingredients that are safe for septic tanks, all types of washing machines, and sensitive skin.
You can even skip using dryer sheets since the laundry soap naturally softens clothes as it removes dirt and grime. Best of all, the cruelty-free laundry soap comes in a compostable package, so it’s completely zero waste!
10. Dilutable Laundry Bar
If you like the idea of having complete control over how much soap goes into your eco-friendly laundry detergent, here’s another dilutable laundry bar you can use.
While this laundry bar is lightweight, small, and plastic-free, it can handle up to 125 loads of laundry. After you dilute the laundry soap, you can use the detergent just like any regular laundry detergent. One tablespoon is good for a regular load, and two tablespoons work for a larger load.
The natural laundry detergent is safe for sensitive skin and can be used in both high-efficiency and front-loading washing machines.
11. Plastic-Free Laundry Detergent Strips
Even though there are a lot of laundry detergents on the market that claim they’re green, they often contain isothiazolinone, which is a chemical that’s bad for aquatic life.
These zero waste, plastic-free laundry detergent strips don’t contain isothiazolinone or any other harmful ingredients, such as parabens, phosphates, added dyes, and chlorine bleach.
Instead, the laundry strips use vegan, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic ingredients to remove tough stains and brighten and whiten your clothes. Plus, they’re amazingly easy to use. Simply remove one strip, place it in your washing machine, add the clothes, and wash like you normally do.
12. Bestowed Essentials Laundry Powder
It couldn’t be easier to use this laundry powder from Bestowed Essentials. Just add one tablespoon of the vegan and cruelty-free powder to your average sized load of laundry and let it naturally clean your clothes.
You can feel good knowing your clothes are getting clean without any scary chemicals or ingredients. That’s because the zero waste laundry detergent doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances, parabens, sulfates, or preservatives.
It even comes in a compostable paper bag, so there’s absolutely no waste when you’re done using it!
13. Eco Roots Laundry Detergent Sheets
You can say goodbye to lugging around heavy plastic jugs of laundry detergent when you make the switch to these Eco Roots laundry detergent sheets. This eco-friendly laundry detergent is lightweight, hypoallergenic, and incredibly easy to use.
They pack a ton of ultra-concentrated cleaning power into a tiny, pre-measured strip of detergent. There’s no measuring, no mess, and they dissolve in both hot and cold water.
Although the cleaning formula doesn’t contain any parabens, phthalates, phosphate, or harsh chemicals, the detergent is able to pull dirt and stains from your clothes and keep them suspended in the water until they’re washed away.
And it does all of this while still being gentle enough for the most sensitive skin!
The biodegradable strips come in recyclable or compostable packaging to help you easily reduce waste. They’re also available in fragrance free or Fresh Breeze varieties.
Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent
You don’t have to get your clothes clean using chemical-based laundry detergents that are bad for your health and bad for the environment. Instead, all you need to do is choose a best eco-friendly laundry detergent. Then you can get your clothes naturally clean and not have to worry about what’s ending up in our waterways!
More Eco-Friendly Laundry Tips
Now that you know which best eco-friendly laundry detergent will suit your needs, are you interested in even more outstanding eco-friendly laundry tips? Then don’t forget to check out some of these other popular posts:
- How to Stop Microfiber Pollution
- Guppyfriend vs. Cora Ball- Which Microfiber Catcher Works Best?
- The Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Stain Removers
- How to Make DIY Bleach Alternative