If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, SPY.com may receive an affiliate commission.
When it comes to laundry, your list of must-haves for detergents may be a bit longer than ‘cleans clothes’ and ‘smells nice.’ If you suffer from allergies, finding a detergent that won’t aggravate your already running nose is at the top of the list. No one notices your clean shirt when you’ve just sneezed all over it.
Not only do natural laundry detergents help with allergies, but they’re also often easier on the environment and good for people with skin sensitivities. That’s great news because as anyone in charge of washing clothes knows, the more your detergent can do for you, the less you’ll loathe laundry day.
Natural detergents offer an option that the whole family can use, which is important in homes with young children. Many children have sensitive skin, which forces parents to buy expensive detergent that is specially formulated for babies and young kids. Depending on the natural detergent, it can be used on bedding and clothing used by babies, which means fewer loads of laundry for tired parents.
If you want your clothes looking and smelling clean without wreaking havoc on the environment or your skin, it’s time to switch to a natural detergent. Check out some of our favorite options below.
1. Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods
Opting for natural laundry detergent can mean giving up some of the stain-fighting power of traditional brands, but Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods still pack a punch, with its naturally-derived ingredients. The detergent is phosphate, chlorine and dye-free and the non-toxic formula is still strong enough to get out stains and odors. We love that the detergent is eco-friendly and gentle on septic tanks. Also, the fragrance is pleasant and doesn’t aggravate allergies.
Pros: Customers can choose from four soothing scents, including Birch Branch, Oak Tree, Olive Leaf, Rose Petal (shown here) and a fragrance-free option.
Cons: The pods sometimes have trouble breaking down in cold water cycles.
2. Better Life Natural Plant-Based Laundry Detergent
Better Life Natural is a 100% plant-derived, non-toxic, biodegradable, cruelty-free detergent that is tough on stains and easy on your clothes and the environment. We like that the detergent works well with colored and mixed loads (even in cold water!) and that it gets rid of smells and stains. Better Life is made without the use of petroleum-based solvents, synthetic fragrances, optical brighteners, sulfates and ethoxylates.
Pros: Better Life has a refreshing Lavender Grapefruit scent that is derived from botanical extracts.
Cons: Customers will likely still have to use a spray treatment for tough stains.
3. Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Powder
The Water Lily-scented Grab Green detergent (also available in unscented) is tough on stains and brightens clothes without the use of harsh chemicals that can aggravate sensitive skin. The detergent’s lack of fillers is not only great for the skin, but easy on septic tanks. A detergent, stain remover and brightener in one, Grab Green is naturally derived from plants and designed for both HE and standard washing machines.
Pros: Grab Green comes with a scoop that measures out enough detergent for one load and has a Velcro top for easy and secure closing.
Cons: Grab Green includes some safe but synthetic ingredients to create its fragrance.
4. Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent
Stains don’t stand a chance when using the Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent. The pack of two 40-ounce bottles of liquid detergent can tackle up to 106 loads and fight everyday messes as well as tough, stuck-on stains like coffee and spaghetti sauce. Designed with sensitive skin users in mind, the liquid detergent is free from fragrances, dyes and artificial brighteners. The detergent, which is available in six scents, is safe for both standard and HE washing machines.
Pros: Seventh Generation is a USDA certified bio-based product that is made with plant-based ingredients.
Cons: Customers may find that Seventh Generation does not get the sweat out of workout clothes.
5. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent
Get clothes clean with the great smelling Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent. Thanks to the fresh honeysuckle scent created with essential oils, users don’t need to add fabric softener when using Mrs. Meyer’s laundry detergent. The concentrated detergent has dirt and stain-fighting enzymes while still using natural, plant-based ingredients for a biodegradable and HE compatible detergent.
Pros: One bottle of Mrs. Meyer’s has enough liquid to clean up to 64 loads.
Cons: The scent doesn’t always last long on clothing.
6. Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent
Get clothes clean without aggravating your skin or allergies using Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent. Created by medical professions, the liquid detergent is made with plants and is free from phosphates, sulfates, petrochemicals, animal by-products, chlorine, perfumes, gluten, tree nut-based ingredients, dyes and allergens. Designed for users with allergies and skin sensitivities, the concentrated liquid cuts down on plastic waste and is easy to use.
Pros: Puracy is 10 times concentrated, which means one 24-ounce bottle has enough detergent for 96 loads. This is ideal for users with limited storage space.
Cons: The pump can sometimes become clogged and must be rinsed under warm water.
7. Earth Friendly Products ECOS 2X Liquid Laundry Detergent
Earth Friendly Products ECOS 2X Liquid Laundry Detergent is a hypoallergenic detergent that is made with naturally derived, plant-based, non-toxic and biodegradable ingredients. The set of two-times ultra-concentrated bottles are safe for colors, hot and cold washes and can be used on top and front loaders. The detergent is also greywater and septic safe. Each 100-ounce bottle includes enough detergent for up to 100 loads.
Pros: ECOS is the only option on our list that includes fabric softener and static guard.
Cons: The lemongrass scent is very light and some users may want a stronger scent.
8. Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda
Nellie’s All-Natural Laundry Soda is biodegradable, non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and gets clothes clean and smelling fresh without leaving a residue that often appears with natural laundry detergents. We love that the soda works in HE washing machines and only requires a small amount of product per load. Nellie’s is made without SLS, SLES, gluten, phosphates, chlorine, fragrance, optical brighteners or solid synthetics.
Pros: Nellie’s product is a laundry soda, which means it dissolves quickly in water, even when used in cold loads.
Cons: Some users may find that Nellie’s is not strong enough for extremely dirty clothes.