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The Best Non-Toxic Laundry Detergents

When choosing detergents, most people fall prey to flashy packaging and claims about ‘deep-cleaning power.’

But do you know what goes into these so-called ‘powerful’ detergents?

The truth is some of these ingredients hiding in your laundry room are toxic and throwing them into the wash means they end up on your clothing, and your skin.

Scary, huh?

In this post, I’ll cover the best non-toxic laundry detergents.

A year ago, you’d find me, like most people, unquestioningly reaching for the same laundry detergent my mother used…trusted, familiar, but unfortunately packed with harmful chemicals.

Half the time, I couldn’t even pronounce the ingredients on the label!

It occurred to me, I wouldn’t willingly put those chemicals on my body, so why was I washing my clothes in them?

A Woman Pouring Detergent

When choosing a non-toxic laundry detergent, it is important to consider the ingredients.

Look for detergents that are free from harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, phosphates, bleach, and dyes.

By choosing a non-toxic laundry detergent, you can ensure that your clothes are clean and fresh without exposing your family to harmful chemicals.

Why Choose Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent

A serene laundry room with a jug of non-toxic detergent, surrounded by vibrant green plants and a clear blue sky outside the window

Why It’s Important to Us

In this day and age, we all care about what goes into and onto our bodies.

From the food we eat to the skincare products we use, we’re rightfully picky.

And the same should apply to the laundry detergent we use.

We wear our clothes for hours, allowing them to come into contact with our bodies and any chemicals they might carry.

Non-toxic laundry detergents, are made from natural and plant-based ingredients that are safe for you and the environment.

They do not contain any harsh chemicals that can cause health problems.

They are also gentle on your skin and can be used for people with sensitive skin.

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A clear, sunny day with a gentle breeze. A pristine laundry room with shelves of natural ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils. A large, eco-friendly detergent bottle prominently displayed

Key Ingredients to Avoid

When you’re on the hunt for laundry detergents that won’t mess with your health or the planet, there are some sketchy ingredients you’ll want to steer clear of.

Let’s dive into the no-go list to keep things clean and green:

Phosphates and Phthalates

Phosphates are often added to laundry detergents as a water softener, but they can have negative effects on aquatic life.

Phthalates, on the other hand, are used to make fragrances last longer, but they have been linked to health problems such as hormone disruption and reproductive issues.

Look for laundry detergents that are phosphate-free and phthalate-free.

Chlorine Bleach

Chlorine bleach is a powerful whitening agent, but it can also be harmful to your health and the environment.

It can release toxic fumes when mixed with other cleaning products, and it can also cause skin irritation and respiratory problems.

Instead of using chlorine bleach, look for non-chlorine alternatives such as hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate.

Synthetic Fragrances

Synthetic fragrances are often added to laundry detergents to make them smell better, but they can also be harmful to your health.

They can cause allergies, skin irritation, and respiratory problems. Look for laundry detergents that are fragrance-free or use natural fragrances such as essential oils.

By avoiding these key ingredients, you can choose a non-toxic laundry detergent that is safe for you and the environment.

Top Picks for Non-Toxic Laundry Detergents

Here are my top picks for non-toxic laundry detergents, broken down by liquid, powder, and pod/pack options.

Liquid Detergents

Liquid detergents are a popular choice for many people because they are easy to use and often come in a variety of scents. Here are some of the best non-toxic liquid detergents on the market:

  • Branch Basics Laundry Detergent: This all-natural detergent uses plant-based ingredients to clean your clothes without any harsh chemicals or fragrances. It’s safe for sensitive skin and can be used in both standard and HE washing machines.
  • Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent: This popular brand is known for its commitment to sustainability and non-toxic ingredients. Their liquid detergent is free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and optical brighteners, and is safe for use in all washing machines.
  • ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent: This eco-friendly detergent is made with plant-based ingredients and is free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and optical brighteners. It’s safe for use in standard and HE washing machines and comes in a variety of scents.

Powder Detergents

Powder detergents are another popular option for those looking for non-toxic laundry detergents. Here are some of the best powder detergents on the market:

  • Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder: This all-natural powder detergent is made with just five simple ingredients and is safe for use in all washing machines. It’s free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and other harmful chemicals.
  • Biokleen Laundry Powder: This eco-friendly powder detergent is made with plant-based ingredients and is free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and preservatives. It’s safe for use in all washing machines and comes in a variety of sizes.
  • Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder: This popular powder detergent is made with natural ingredients and is free from fragrances, dyes, and phosphates. It’s safe for use in all washing machines and is known for its ability to remove tough stains.

Pods and Packs

For those who prefer the convenience of pods and packs, there are also non-toxic options available. Here are some of the best non-toxic laundry pods and packs:

  • Blueland Laundry Starter Set: This eco-friendly starter set includes non-toxic laundry detergent pods made with plant-based ingredients. They are free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and other harmful chemicals and come in a reusable container.
  • Dropps Laundry Detergent Pods: These non-toxic laundry pods are made with plant-based ingredients and come in a variety of scents. They are free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and other harmful chemicals and are safe for use in all washing machines.
  • Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods: These non-toxic laundry pods are made with plant-based ingredients and are free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and other harmful chemicals. They are safe for use in all washing machines and include a fabric softener and stain remover.
A glass jar filled with natural ingredients, such as baking soda and essential oils, sits on a clean, white countertop next to a scoop and a measuring cup

DIY Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Recipes

Making your own non-toxic laundry detergent is easy and affordable. Here are some DIY recipes that you can try:

Liquid Recipes

This recipe is perfect for people with sensitive skin or those who want to avoid borax.

  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 10-15 drops of essential oil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a gallon jug and fill it with hot water. Shake well before each use. Use 1/4 to 1/2 cup for each load.

This recipe makes a super concentrated detergent that can be used for up to 64 loads.

  • 1 bar of grated castile soap
  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup borax
  • 20-30 drops of essential oil (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and store in an airtight container. Use 1 tablespoon for each load.

Making your own non-toxic laundry detergent is a great way to save money and reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. Try these recipes and see which one works best for you.

A table with various laundry detergent bottles, each labeled with non-toxic symbols and ingredients. A magnifying glass hovers over the labels for closer inspection

How to Read Labels for Non-Toxic Products

When shopping for non-toxic laundry detergents, it is essential to know how to read labels to ensure you are purchasing a safe and effective product. Here are two key factors to consider when reading labels:

Certifications to Look For

Look for certifications from reputable organizations, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Organic, and the Safer Choice program.

These certifications indicate that the product has been thoroughly tested and meets specific safety and environmental standards.

Misleading Marketing Terms

Be careful about misleading marketing terms such as “natural,” “organic,” and “eco-friendly.”

These terms are not regulated and can be used loosely by manufacturers to make their products appear safe and environmentally friendly.

Instead, focus on the ingredients list and look for products that contain plant-based ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals such as phosphates, parabens, and synthetic fragrances.

By taking the time to read labels and understand the ingredients in your laundry detergent, you can make informed decisions and choose a non-toxic product that is safe for you and the environment.

Remember, small steps like choosing non-toxic laundry detergent can have a significant impact on our health and our environment.

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