The 10 Best Non-Toxic Laundry Detergents Every Household Should Own!
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One of the most used cleaning products in the home is laundry detergent—and it’s used on products that make constant contact with our skin—clothing.
For years, consumers have purchased laundry detergent based on factors like popularity, price and performance, while completely turning a blind eye to the ingredient label—until now.
With cancer and other health conditions sky rocketing in the past couple of decades, people are starting to become more aware that certain environmental factors—to include household cleaning agents—are to blame for society’s declining health and overall life expectancy.
Mainstream multi-purpose cleaners, air fresheners, scented candles, and many laundry detergents are just a small example of household items that are actually packed full of carcinogens.
But thankfully, alternatives are available for a lot of household products, and in this article, we’re going to focus on laundry detergent alternatives for a non-toxic and environmentally friendly laundry routine.
Why Should You Switch To A Plant-Based Laundry Detergent?
As mentioned above, mainstream laundry detergents contain ingredients that are actually harmful to our health—but how?
Well, even in the rinse cycle, detergent doesn’t entirely wash out—it lingers in the fibers. And when we sweat, our pores absorb whatever leaches out, resulting in skin conditions like rash and eczema.
That’s why it’s especially important to at least invest in non-toxic laundry detergent when it comes to your children, as well as undergarments, which are tight fitting, and can actually be the cause of your recurring BV (bacterial vaginitis) due to all the synthetic chemicals.
How To Choose The Right Zero Waste Laundry Detergent
Choosing an all-natural, zero-waste laundry detergent can be confusing for anyone—especially because there are so many different kinds like: pods, sheets, powders, liquids and even “berries”. But, there are certain qualities to look for when shopping for eco-friendly and natural laundry detergents and those are:
- Paraben Free
- Pthalate Free
- Phosphate Free
- Bleach & Dye Free
- Vegan & Cruelty Free
- Recyclable & Compostable Packaging
- Plastic-Free Packaging
- Hypoallergenic & Dermatologist Tested
And to help make your decision easier, I’ve made a list of zero waste detergent brands that I have tried personally and found that they work very well on both stains and odor (as I’ve had the privilege to test a few out, while others I’ve purchased based on curiosity).
And for a complete zero-waste laundry routine, I recommend switching from dryer sheets to organic wool dryer balls and a Cora Microfiber Ball, which catches the microfibers that naturally shed from clothes in the wash, and end up in our waterways.
Altogether, these alternative laundry products greatly reduce your carbon footprint—because laundry is something we do often and contributes greatly to environmental pollution whether we like it or not.
Top 10 Zero Waste Laundry Detergents
Brand | EarthBreeze Laundry Strips
EarthBreeze laundry strips are my zero waste detergent of choice. These pre-measured laundry strips are plant-based and smell absolutely fabulous. I also can’t stress enough how convenient these detergent strips are for travel, and can easily be stashed in a baby wipe box or pencil case. For my full review of EarthBreeze laundry strips, click here.
Brand | Dropps Laundry Detergent Pods
If you’re someone who loves the convenience of laundry pods minus the plastic waste, then you’ll love Dropps eco-friendly laundry detergent pods. This low-waste laundry detergent is wrapped in biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol film and packaged in a recyclable and compostable cardboard box to minimize single-use waste.
This zero-waste laundry powder from Bestowed Essentials is an easy swap in making your laundry routine plastic-free. Just one tablespoon of this eco-friendly detergent will get your clothing nice and clean, and you’ll feel good knowing that the detergent bag and inner liner are both compostable.
Brand | TrueEarth Laundry Strips
TrueEarth is another fantastic eco-friendly laundry strip brand with pre-measured laundry strips. I love that they offer several scent options including a formula made just for baby clothing, and that they use recycled material for their packaging. The downside to laundry sheets is that they can sometimes clump when used in front load washers—resulting in slight goo on your fabric. I have a top load washer and the cascading water does a great job at dissolving these.
Soap berries (better known as soap nuts) are perhaps the most natural and affordable zero-waste alternative to mainstream laundry detergents. The shells of these Indian soap berries release saponin (a natural cleaning agent) when they come in contact with water. They are also pesticide free, anti-fungal and completely compostable—making these soap ‘nuts’ a true zero waste laundry detergent alternative. The downside is that soap nuts must be used with warm or hot water to activate.
If you love soap berries, but prefer the convenience of laundry pods, then the soap berry laundry pods are a fantastic laundry detergent alternative for your household. These eco-friendly laundry pods by Nature First are produced using a proprietary natural water extraction method to pull the super-concentrated cleansing agents (saponin surfactants) to create a soap berry concentrate, and they’re packaged in a compostable bag.
The Sheets liquid free laundry sheets are slightly bigger than their laundry strip competitors and do a fantastic job when it comes to stain and odor removal. The scented variety does have a very strong scent, but once used in the wash, clothing comes out with a subtle fragrance that’s not overpowering.
Brand | Meliora Eco Laundry Powder
The Meliora Natural Powder Laundry Detergent is made with highly concentrated, all natural ingredients like baking soda, pH boosting washing soda, and skin softening coconut oil, which easily removes stains. This non-toxic laundry powder is packed in a recyclable and reusable stainless steel canister, and the brand donates 2% of all sales to environmental non-profit organizations.
If you prefer to stick with a liquid detergent, then Grove Collaborative is one of the best go-to brands for an all-natural liquid detergent—and their’s is ultra concentrated. What I love about Grove Collaborative is that is that they will send you a prepaid envelope so that you can mail them your empty detergent pouch and they will recycle it through Terra Cycle. The only downside to this non-toxic liquid detergent is that you have to buy a separate bottle to store and measure the contents.
The Lazy Coconuts eco-friendly laundry strips are yet another one of my favorite zero-waste laundry strips that are made with plant-based ingredients and come in recyclable packaging. I also love that they have a “gentle” formula for baby’s sensitive skin.