Everyone reacts differently to new detergents which is why buying a new product can come at a risk. To help avoid any potential reactions from the chemicals in these products, a lot of people opt for natural laundry detergent. Not only this, but those with sensitive skin will find them to be a lot more suitable.
Still, this leaves the task of finding a quality product. The brand you opt for should tick all the right boxes meaning as well as being natural, it needs to clean clothes to a high standard, have a great smell, and offer good value. Using plant-based enzymes to do a lot of the hard work is a good place to start but finding that mix between quality and value can be difficult in a crowded market. We have listed the best natural laundry detergents below to help make this decision easier.
- Editor’s Choice
Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent (Amazon) – Review
- Best Powder
Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent – 150 Loads – Powder (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Kids
Bollicine Eco Organic Baby Clothes Laundry Liquid Detergent Fabric Softener for Sensitive Skin (Amazon) – Review
- Best Scent
ECOS® 2X Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent, Non-Toxic (Amazon) – Review
- Best Compact
Nellie’s Laundry Soda (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value
Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent
For us, this is the best natural laundry detergent in terms of quality and value. The two-pack means it is going to last a long time, which is a good thing considering this is ideal for anyone with sensitive skin yet still fights stains. It is hypoallergenic and made without artificial fragrances, dyes, or brighteners.
Each bottle can be used for around 53 loads and is made from 96% plant-based ingredients making it closer to nature than most of the competition. The enzyme stain removers used are plant-based, so expect the Protease and Amylase to be able to get rid of coffee stains without irritating. Fragrance-free but still able to get rid of unwanted odors, it is an excellent option for anyone looking for quality, natural laundry detergent.
- 96% plant-based
- No artificial fragrances or dyes
- Great value
- Fine for over 100 washes
Best Powder: Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent – 150 Loads – Powder
Plant-based and fragrance-free, this ticks a lot of the boxes that one would want from a natural laundry detergent. It lasts for up to 150 loads making it the only product a lot of people will need for a long time. With non-toxic ingredients, it is kinder on the skin than most products in the range and less likely to irritate sensitive skin. With no artificial colors or preservatives, it is made so that there are no negative impacts on the environment in streams and for wildlife.
Made in the USA, it still does the task of removing tough stains and cleaning clothes the way a family needs, and removes odors without leaving a strong scent.
- Fine for up to 150 loads
- No artificial colors or preservatives
- Some prefer liquid
Best For Kids: Bollicine Eco Organic Baby Clothes Laundry Liquid Detergent Fabric Softener for Sensitive Skin
For young skin, there is no better natural laundry detergent for kids. With some organic ingredients and Eco friendly, Bollicine has included a detergent and a fabric softener meaning it is the only purchase needed to clean babies’ clothes. We like that it is dermatologist tested and fine for sensitive skin so it could be used by the whole family.
It is free from some of the usual nasties people like to avoid such as SLS, Petroleum, SLES, parabens, and chrome among others. Because it is concentrated, the compact containers have enough liquid to last for 33 washes and are both machine and hand wash friendly. It contains quality ingredients such as passionflower oil, Ginkgo Biloba leaf extract, and avocado fruit oil to name a few. A firm favorite for families, and rightly so.
- Detergent and fabric softener
- Free from nasties
- Eco friendly and organic
- 33 washes
- Not all ingredients are organic
Best Scent: ECOS® 2X Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent, Non-Toxic
Another non-toxic, natural laundry detergent, this is hypoallergenic and comes as a pack of two. There are no optical brighteners, artificial dyes, or parabens, phthalates, or phosphates among other nasties. This is good news for anyone with sensitive skin and there are also fabric softeners built-in so there is no static cling once the clothes have been through a cycle.
We like plant-based ingredients such as magnolia and lily essential oils giving it a pleasant scent. It is also not tested on animals which is something we always like to see and it can be used at all temperatures for both color washes and whites. As the name suggests, it is sustainably made in the USA and is available in several pleasant scents such as lavender or lemongrass.
- No artificial dyes or parabens
- Fine for sensitive skin
- Contains fabric softeners
- Not tested on animals
- Other products are stronger cleaners
Best Compact: Nellie’s Laundry Soda
One of the best in terms of quality, this comes in a pack of two in the well-presented tins. Because it is hypoallergenic and non-toxic, this is kinder on the skin and biodegradable. It leaves clothes with a soft feel that does not risk any chemicals being left on the fabric.
It rinses clear so nothing is left behind and only a teaspoon is needed in every load. Sometimes, it is best to look at what a product doesn’t include to make sure it is as close to natural as possible,. With Nellie’s Laundry Soda, there is no SLS, gluten, phosphates, SLES, chlorine, or fragrance among others.
- Rinses clear
- Free from SLS, phosphates, chlorine, etc
- Can be a bit pricey for some
Best Value: Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent
With plenty of natural ingredients, this is an easy to use natural laundry detergent from the reputable Purracy brand. It lasts for up to 96 loads which are more than most and it is hypoallergenic making it well suited to sensitive skin. There are no nasty chemicals used in the formula and the plant-based enzymes are efficient at lifting stains.
It is packed full of active ingredients where other bottles are often made up of mostly water. As expected, this is not tested on animals and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee so purchasing it is risk-free. Use it on a variety of fabrics and colors with the confidence that it is safe and free-from a lot of the rubbish found in commercial detergents.
- Lasts for up to 96 loads
- No nasty chemicals
- 100% satisfaction guarantee
- Not as effective at lifting strong smells
You don’t have to have sensitive skin to be cautious when it comes to buying laundry detergent, when you can’t pronounce any of the ingredients due to their complex chemical driven names, it can set alarm bells ringing. This is one of the reasons why so many people look for a natural laundry detergent for their family.
With numerous benefits (and some of them are listed below), there has never been a better time to look for a new detergent. To help you find a quality natural product that works, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
The polar opposite to natural is toxic, so any product that uses the usual suspects should be avoided. This includes the likes of SLS, parabens, SLES, phosphates, chlorine, artificial dyes, artificial fragrances, and allergens among others. These ingredients are part of what can irritate the skin so are best avoided when washing kids’ clothes or for sensitive skin in general.
A lot of natural laundry detergent includes softeners in their formula which is good news for a few reasons. Not only is it better for avoiding static cling but it is also economical and can save money on purchasing dual products.
Where do these products get their cleaning power from? Plant-based ingredients when chosen correctly can include enzyme-focused ingredients that lift stains and odors without the use of chemicals. The more of these the better and choosing a product based on the percentage of plant-based ingredients can give you a good indication as to how natural the product is.
No Animal Testing
This should be one of the first considerations for anyone as any product that is cruelty-free is kinder, and more likely to be natural. It is usually easy to find out if a product has been tested on animals as the reputable brands will proudly display it on the bottle.
Number of Washes
The value is in the concentrated products as a compact bottle can last longer. Look for the maximum washes expected with most brands ranging from anything from 30 to 100 washes per bottle.
This is a good indication as to how likely the product is going to cause a reaction. Those who have sensitive skin will look for this on all products that they use and know it is probable gentler on the skin. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it is going to be able to guarantee no reactions but it is a step in the right direction.
Although it is a good idea to use fragrance-free products if you have sensitive skin, there are naturally scented products. These can come in the form of lavender or jasmine to name a couple, and often use essential oils that are kind on the skin. Everyone wants a fresh-smelling laundry pile when it is folded and ready to be put away, but not at the cost of irritating skin.
Anyone looking for a detergent that can be used by the whole family should always consider a natural product. Even if no one shows signs of sensitive skin, it is always best to be careful when it comes to children. Not only are the ingredients used better for your health, but they are also better for the environment when washed away. This means the streams and rivers, and wildlife is all going to benefit from every household that uses natural laundry detergents.
Consider the fact that even after washing, these products leave chemicals on clothing. Even if this doesn’t irritate the skin in a way that is easy to see, they are still there. These products may irritate the throat but one thing that is for sure is their impact on the environment, causing many people to turn to natural products.
In truth, they both do a similar job although liquid tends to wash away easier. Powder, on the other hand, can be more abrasive for tackling tougher stains like mud but a lot of the success of this will come down to the quality of the ingredients. The brand is a better gauge of how well the product will work over the type.
For us, we found Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent to be the best. The two-pack makes it the best value as well but the cleaning power is impressive for a natural product. Its strength lies in the lack of artificial fragrance or dyes so it is fine for those with sensitive skin. Also, the pack of two combine to allow over 100 washes which means there is plenty of fragrance-free, natural detergent.
Although it means using more expensive ingredients, particularly the plant-based in every formula, these products do not need to break the bank. It is possible to get 100 loads for around $20 and some cost even less. Sometimes it is wise to invest a little more as the savings can go further. Buying two bottles to save a little can go a long way.
The problem with doing this is that the ingredients some websites recommend can damage certain washing machines. There is a reason that most people trust a natural formula from a reputable brand. Although it is possible to replicate a product’s formula, it is not so easy to work them, in the same way, to ensure any chemical reactions are created safely and effectively.
It is only right that detergent is given careful consideration where young ones are concerned. Thankfully, a lot of natural laundry detergents are fine for all the family to use. Still, there is a reason that there are products made specifically for young children. Babies and toddlers may need something with a natural formula that is not as strong.