A guide to the chemical free, natural, and environmentally friendly laundry detergents.
Most of us don’t spend enough time thinking about laundry detergent. Why should we be making smart choices when it comes to picking laundry detergent?
Well, because we use it to wash our clothes, and our clothes are on our skin all day, every day. One of the pillars of good skincare is using a skin-loving detergent.
What many of us don’t realize is that most laundry detergents are filled with harsh chemicals. Not only can these cause severe rashes and permanent skin damage, but some of the ingredients used by mainstream brands are known carcinogens.
And don’t even get us started on the animal by-products and the environmental impact of chemical laundry detergents.
We do have some good news for you, chemical free laundry detergent exists. And they work better than their health hazard counterparts.
5 ingredients to avoid in your laundry detergent – What is the most toxic laundry detergent?
If you’re looking to move away from chemical filled laundry detergent, it’s helpful to know what you should be avoiding and why.
Below we have broken down 5 of the worst ingredients that you will find in mainstream detergent. When you are looking for a chemical-free detergent, make sure that it doesn’t have any of the following ingredients.
What is the most healthy laundry detergent? Avoid these toxic ingredients:
- Methylisothiazolinone & Benzisothiazolinone – You will find both of these ingredients labeled as ‘natural’ by most fragrance companies. This is intentionally misleading. Benzisothiazolinone is an antimicrobial agent, studies have shown that it is often extremely irritating to eyes, lungs, and skin. Methylisothiazolinone can trigger allergic reactions in many people, and a study by MIT showed that its toxicity levels are very high.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES) – Sulfates are powerful cleaning agents, they have been used for years to clean machinery. Sadly but not unsurprisingly they are way too strong for our skin and can cause serious irritation.
- Fragrances – both artificial and natural fragrances are one of the leading causes of skin irritation for children. But they can have a really negative effect on adults too. /it can be a struggle to find fragrance-free detergents, but they out there.
- Phthalates* – This ingredient is very rarely listed by big companies, but it can be found in most mainstream detergent brands. It is a scent enhancer that is usually included under the umbrella label of ‘fragrance’. It can disturb our natural hormone cycles, this is particularly dangerous for women and teenagers.
- Bleach (brighteners) – Bleach is often used to brighten and whiten our clothes. However, there are many less dangerous options on the market that won’t burn your skin and damage your clothes over time.
What is the best natural laundry detergent?
We define a natural detergent as a detergent that does not contain any of the 5 ingredients we mentioned in the previous section or any other harmful chemicals.
Below we curated a list of three natural detergents you should have in your life. These detergents will be kind to your skins, your clothes, and the planet:
#1 – Sun and Earth, Plant Based Liquid Laundry Detergent
Sun and Earth have been forging the path for chemical free detergents since 1988 and are one of the most trusted names in the market today. They are famous for their products that are as effective as they are kind to the planet.
They offer a wide range of chemical free products that don’t just include laundry detergents. However, their laundry detergent range includes a few forms of detergent. We prefer the liquid laundry detergent for convenience, but we would happily recommend their whole range. It’s hypoallergenic, chemical, and fragrance free. And it works!
Sun and Earth, plant based liquid laundry detergent – rated A by the EWG.
This product is Kosher, vegan, and cruelty free.
#2 – Seventh Generation, Concentrated Laundry Detergent
If you’re looking for a high quality, natural laundry detergent but don’t want to break the bank then you will want to check out Seventh Generation’s concentrated laundry detergent.
To avoid any chemicals and nasty fragrances then make sure to stick to the Free and Clear scent. As this is the natural and fragrance free version of their traditional laundry detergent.
Seventh Generation, Concentrated laundry detergent – rated A by the EWG.
This product is cruelty free and 96% plant based.
#3 – Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 pure castile soap
Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 Pure castile soap is a seminal product of the natural living industry. As you can probably guess by the name this is a vegan soap that can be used for nearly every type of cleaning.
This means one bottle can do the job of 18 other products (and probably more, we’re always seeing blog posts about people discovering new uses for this stuff). Less waste. Less hassle. Fewer chemicals.
Not only can this product be used for multiple purposes but it excels in those roles. This soap has been awarded the top rating by the EWG multiple times.
Dr Bronner’s 18-in-1 pure castile soap – rated A by the EWG.
This product is cruelty free and vegan. Remember to use the plain scent if you are looking for a fragrance free product.
What is the most environmentally friendly laundry detergent?
If you are looking for an eco friendly form of laundry detergent then there are two main features you should be looking out for:
- A chemical free laundry detergent – not only are the chemicals in laundry detergent harmful to our skin, but they are also harmful to our planet.
- Laundry detergent with as little packaging as possible – many big name laundry brands use unrecyclable plastics to stop their products burning through the bottles. Look for a refillable system or something with plastic free packaging
Here are three environmentally friendly laundry detergents with recyclable packaging:
#1 Tru Earth detrgen sheets – (dissolvable detergent sheets, paper packaging)
#2 Largest Laundry detergent sheets – (dissolvable detergent sheets, cardboard packaging)
#3 Grab Green Stoneworks Natural Laundry Detergent Powder Pods – (solid pods, paper packaging)
Related laundry and eco-friendly cleaning articles:
- Does Vinegar Kill Mold?
- Best Eco Friendly Cleaning Products in the UK
- Where to Buy White Vinegar for Cleaning in the UK
- How to Clean a Washing Machine With White Vinegar
- How Did Washing Machines Changed the World?
- Are Public Washing Machines Clean?