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Best Natural Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent That Works

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Many popular laundry detergents contain toxic chemicals that can hurt your health and the environment. We set out to find the best natural non-toxic laundry detergent that actually cleans even really dirty clothes well!

collage of powder and liquid detergent - text overlay says non-toxic laundry detergents - what to avoid and what brands work

Making the switch to a non-toxic laundry detergent is easier than ever! We personally use Attitude’s laundry detergent and buy it off Vitacost!

Why is Using a Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Important?

By choosing a non-toxic laundry detergent, you lessen your exposure to harsh chemicals, artificial fragrances, and potentially irritating ingredients.

There are several benefits to using a non-toxic laundry detergent. If you have sensitive skin, harmful chemicals found in popular brands can cause irritation.

Also, the amount of artificial and synthetic fragrances added to detergents can also cause respiratory issues and even effect your home’s air quality!

How to choose safe laundry detergent?

When choosing a laundry detergent, you’ll want to look at the ingredients and avoid ones with brighteners, phosphates, and synthetic ingredients.

You can also look for the EWG verified label, or you can also see how the detergent ranks on Environmental Working Group (EWG) product guide.

We also have found we can type the ingredients into INCI Decoder to decipher if they are clean or not.

Also, the YUKA app can sometimes help, but their database is more food and cosmetics.

attitude natural laundry detergent bottle with ingredients

Reading Labels and Ingredients

Good Ingredients

Natural and non-toxic detergents typically contain common ingredients like baking soda, soda ash, and castile soap.

You may also see plant-based ingredients like coconut oil and essential oils.

Ingredients to Avoid in laundry detergents

There are several harsh and toxic ingredients you should avoid washing your clothes with.

Below are the ingredients to avoid when choosing a natural laundry detergent, and we’ve also linked each ingredient to a study that show the negative potential it could have to your health.

These ingredients can not only effect your skin or cause allergies, but research is starting to show contact with these toxins over time can cause harm to your liver, kidney, lungs, cardiovascular system, hormones, and more!

non toxic laundry detergent attitude 2

How to Find the Best Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent

We use INCI Decoder, Environmental Working Group (EWG) product guide, and the YUKA app to help us find the best non-toxic products when possible, but it really comes down to reading labels and trying clean laundry detergents out!

One quick way to help you find the best non-toxic laundry detergent is to avoid scented options. You’ll still need to read the rest of the ingredients, but choosing an unscented option is likely your best bet! 

non toxic laundry detergent attitude 2

The 6 best non-toxic laundry detergents

Below are our favorite non-toxic laundry detergent brands that also work really well on our dirty clothes:

1. ATTITUDE LAUNDRY DETERGENT

This the healthiest laundry detergent that we’ve found that works with our hard water and high-efficiency washing machines. It comes in a few scents including unscented.

The only one that has an additive we don’t like is the Wildflowers variety — so we recommend avoiding that particular one.

Attitude also has baby laundry detergent and eco-box options that are EWG verified as well.

GET ATTITUDE’S LAUNDRY DETERGENT

2. ASPENCLEAN LAUNDRY DETERGENT (Liquid)

This is another EWG verified option!

Unlike some of these natural laundry detergent brands (later on in the list) this works great in an HE washing machine just like Attitude!

With that said, there were some reviews that said the pod-option didn’t dissolve in the machine all the time — so we’d suggest the liquid!

It also has a ton of great reviews, but it does tend to cost more that Attitude.

Grab a 2 pack of Aspenclean

 

3. MOLLY’S SUDS

Molly’s Suds liquid detergent is a great option! It has only useful, clean ingredients, and works well!

I will say the powder and pods are not as good as the liquid though. Also, you may need to spot treat if you have tough stains.

Also, they do have peppermint oil in some options so if that’s an issue make sure to go for unscented instead.

SHOP MOLLY’S SUDS LIQUID LAUNDRY DETERGENT

4. MELIORA

Not only do they use natural ingredients, but Meliora is also an eco-friendly laundry detergent because it’s plastic free!

It’s a powder detergent, and you’ll want to make sure to read the instructions on how much to use based on your washing machine, but it’s not complicated.

It comes in 4th just because it’s a little different than a traditional detergent like the top 3 are. With that said, if you’re main focus is the environment, this could easily be the top choice!

GET MELIORA ON AMAZON

5. DEFUNKIFY LIQUID DETERGENT, FREE AND CLEAR

Not only does it work well, but it is also EWG verified as well. We also love that they outline what ingredient is use for.

TRY DEFUNKIFY ON AMAZON

6. PACKAGE FREE SHOP LAUNDRY DETERGENT

This is another I’ve not tried yet, but it was recently EWG verified in both lavender and unscented!

It also has a glass jar versus plastic which is better for the environment. 

GRAB PACKAGE FREE SHOP ON VITACOST

Other Potentially Safe Brands Not Ranked

It takes a while to go through laundry detergent so we’ve not ranked these for efficiency yet, but they do appear to be pretty good ingredient wise:


We also haven’t tried Grab Green 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods due to a couple of their ingredients, but several people really love it! The ingredients weren’t enough to make us put it on the “Brands to Skip” section either

“Natural” Laundry Detergent Brands to Skip

Some brands market themselves as “clean laundry detergent” they may still have several harmful ingredients.

Also, traditional laundry detergents have started offering fragrance-free formulas, but most (if not all) will still not be labeled as a nontoxic detergent.

We’d skip the following laundry detergents due to their ingredients:

  • Dropps
  • Method (including Free & Clear)
  • Dreft Free & Gentle Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Mrs. Myer’s Clean Day
  • Better Life
  • Charlie’s Laundry Soap
  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • BioKleen
  • ALL’s Laundry Detergent (including Baby and Free Clear)
  • Honest Company
  • Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Gain Original
  • Planet
  • Presto!
  • Everspring
  • Tide (including Free & Gentle and Simple Free & Sensitive)

Natural laundry detergent also has to actually be able to clean our clothes, towels, linens, and pet items, too!

While the following brands may have pasted our ingredients list, they didn’t clean well and should be skipped:

  • Whole Foods’ 365 Organic Laundry Detergent
  • Eco-Me Laundry Detergent

Can you make your own natural laundry detergent?

Yes, you can make a natural laundry detergent with a few simple ingredients like baking soda and castile soap. With that said, we still prefer to support non-toxic brands, and it’s a lot more convenient!

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