best organic laundry detergent

Conventional detergents have toxic substances that are harmful to you and the environment. Whichever laundry detergent you use, it leaves a residue on your clothes, bedsheets, and curtains. These are items that come into contact with your skin for hours every day.

Laundry detergents are never entirely rinsed out. You continue inhaling them when you wash your laundry through your nose, mouth, and some absorbs through your skin. To avoid the mess that these detergents can do to your body, opt for the best organic laundry detergent. These are made of natural and organic plant-based ingredients that are safe for your family and the environment.

Below is a complete guide on shopping for natural laundry detergent:

Index Table: 10 Top-Rated Organic Laundry Detergents

Product

Features

Rating

Our #1 rated

Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent

Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent

  • Natural citrus scent
  • Concentrated formula
Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Detergent

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Detergent

  • Liquid form
  • Rosemary scent
NaturOil Organic Soap Nuts

NaturOil Organic Soap Nuts

  • Soap berries formula
  • USDA certified organic
Greenshield Organic USDA Certified Liquid Laundry Detergent

Greenshield Organic USDA Certified Liquid Laundry Detergent

  • Biodegradable
  • Fragrance and dye-free
EcoMe Plant-Based Concentrated Laundry Detergent

EcoMe Plant-Based Concentrated Detergent

  • Concentrated formula
  • Plant extracts
CitriSafe Remedy Organic Laundry Detergent

CitriSafe Remedy Laundry Detergent

  • Citrus scent
  • Concentrated formula
Absolutely Clean Natural Detergent

Absolutely Clean Natural Laundry Detergent

  • Enzyme-based
  • Hypoallergenic
Tangie Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent

Tangie Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent

  • Unscented
  • Concentrated
Grab Green Stoneworks Organic Laundry Detergent

Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent

  • Oak tree scent
  • Plant and mineral-based formula
ECOS Earth Friendly Laundry Detergent

ECOS Earth Friendly Liquid Laundry Detergent

  • Magnolia and lily scent
  • Fabric softener in the formula

What are Organic Laundry Detergents?

Organic detergents feature all organic ingredients sourced from plants. For plants to be organic, they need to grow in rich soil without using inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. The end product will contain no chemicals such as pesticides, and this makes the detergents safe. 

The United States Department of Agriculture certifies organic products. You can always check the certification of a product before buying it. However, not all organic products come with USDA certification, as some only have organic ingredients. 

To ensure that a product is organic, look at the list of ingredients. All ingredients need to be plant-based. If you do not understand a particular ingredient, you can search it online to verify its true identity. Some organic laundry detergents contain natural minerals. However, it is not easy to ascertain whether a mineral is organic, especially when the place of origin might be contaminated with chemicals. Sea salt is one of the common minerals. When sourced right, this ingredient is safe for you. 

Forms of Organic Laundry Detergents

organic powder laundry detergent

Powder Detergents

These detergents have more cleansing power than liquid detergents. You can use them when you need to clean heavily soiled clothes. However, they may not be ideal for use on gentle fabrics such as synthetics. They may also be available in the form of flakes, which are milder. When you add it to the water, the detergent dissolves.

bars organic detergent

Bars

Bars are great when you need mild detergents for your clothes. However, you have to dissolve the bar to dispense it the way you distribute other soaps. You can also use them on babies’ clothes as they are mild.

organic detergent pods

Detergent Pods

Pods are single-dose packs that are effective and convenient. They are like small blocks of bar soap, but these are more effective in small quantities. The manufacturer will direct you on how to use the pods to get your laundry done. You can use them in High Efficiency (HE) top-loaders, and you can also use them in standard machines. Ensure they dissolve before you add your clothes.

liquid organic detergent

Liquid Detergent

Liquid detergents are effective when used on delicate fabrics. They are easy to use and do not need much preparation. Some more concentrated options might need thinning before use, but most of them work perfectly the way they are. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to ensure that you get the best quantity for easy rinsing.

soap berries organic detergent

Soap Berries

These are the most organic forms of laundry detergents. They are berries that produce saponin soap that is effective in small quantities. You can use only two berries when washing with warm water, and they produce enough lather to clean your clothes. The berries are great when you have allergies, or your skin is sensitive. They are inexpensive, and they take little to no ecological footprint, depending on the packaging. However, the berries only work well with hot water.

Why Use Natural Laundry Detergents?

Organic laundry detergents are safe for everyone in your family, and they also help you conserve the environment. Below are reasons to go organic:

  • No Harsh Chemicals – Chemicals such as sulfates, phthalates, and phosphates do not completely rinse out of your clothes. The chemicals stay on your clothes, and they can absorb through the skin and affect your hormones. They can cause allergies and asthma. Organic soaps are free of these chemicals. 
  • Safe for the Environment – The plant-based ingredients in organic detergents are biodegradable and safe to the environment. Some organic detergent manufacturers use biodegradable packaging and avoid plastics. Others offer one bottle that you refill instead of buying a new bottled detergent. 
  • Gentle on Clothes – The plant-based or natural minerals are gentle on your clothes. You can use them to clean delicate fabrics such as synthetics, wash babies’ clothes, and clean any other fabric at home. Some detergents can be used for the body and face. 
  • Contains Essential Oils – Essential oils not only leave your clothes with a sweet scent, but they are also safe on your skin. When used in organic detergents, essential oils such as myrrh, lavender, and frankincense are soothing to your skin. Citrus is more exciting, while eucalyptus is relaxing. 
  • Fabric Softening – Organic ingredients naturally soften your fabrics. They may contain coconut oil, which gives your clothes the softness you need. These ingredients also add a natural scent to your clothes. 
  • Concentrated Formula – Most detergents come with a concentrated formula where an ounce will be enough for a load of laundry. This way, you only need a small amount, and you are good to go. 

Organic detergents might be more expensive than conventional products, but they are worth the price when you need safety.

Ingredients to avoid in Laundry Detergent

Ingredients to Avoid In Organic Laundry Detergent

There are so many harmful ingredients in conventional detergents. While these ingredients make the detergents more effective and give them a sweet scent, they are not safe for your hands. They include:

  • Fragrances: Fragrances are nothing but chemicals that make a detergent smell nice. FDA does not require that companies list the ingredients used to make the fragrances. As such, the ingredients will only be listed as a fragrance and nothing more. The challenge with scents is that they cause skin irritation. For people with allergies, the fragrances might exacerbate them. 
  • Bleach: Bleach is not safe for your skin or your clothes. Bleach irritates your skin, your eyes, and the lungs. Bleach doesn’t do well with delicate and colored fabrics. These bleaches make conventional detergents more effective, but they will fade the bright colors of your clothes. 
  • Brighteners: Brighteners are excellent when you need your clothes to appear bright after washing. The substances make your clothes seem cleaner than they are. However, these chemicals are harsh on your skin. They do not rinse out well, and they keep absorbing into your skin and causing more harm. 
  • Phosphates: They are one of the ingredients in pesticides. In laundry detergents, phosphates make hard water soft. This makes the soap to lather well with water, and cleaning becomes easier. However, the ingredients are harmful to the environment. When used, they cause algal bloom when they come into contact with water. Another dangerous substance is EDTA, which is non-biodegradable and harmful to the environment.
features in organic detergent

Features to Look for in Best Organic Laundry Detergent

Organic laundry detergents are safe for you and your family. Some of the factors that make them safe include:

  • Plant-Based Ingredients: Herbs and other plants are safe for human use. Except for a few obnoxious plants, it is hard to go wrong with plant-based ingredients. These ingredients are biodegradable, making them safe for the environment. 
  • Biodegradable Ingredients: Not all-natural ingredients decompose. However, if you find a product that decomposes, you are sure that it will be safe for the environment. The biodegradation should extend to the packaging, which should be less plastic and more degradable.
  • Essential Oils: Natural essentials oils are good for your skin. These oils not only smell nice, but they also absorb into your skin, giving you naturally soft skin. The oils are also safe for the environment so that you can use them every day without any expected damages. 
  • Hypoallergenic: If you suffer from allergies and sensitivities, you need to choose a hypoallergenic product. Most organic detergents are hypoallergenic. However, if you are allergic to some plants and some oils, you need to check the ingredients to ensure you are safe when you use a certain product.
  • Scented: Organic laundry detergents might come with some natural scents extracted from plants and plant products. They may be flower scents or fruit scents. The most common are citrus fruit scent and rosemary scent. These scents are not harmful to your body or your clothes as they are natural.

Types of Ingredients in Organic Detergents

Many ingredients are missing in organic detergents but are available in conventional detergents. They include builders, brighteners, polymers, preservatives, solvents, and fragrances. Instead, the detergents might contain:

  • Enzymes: Not all organic detergents contain enzymes, but some have natural enzymes. These are great when you need to remove plant-based stains such as blood, eggs, milk, and food-related stains. The enzymes break down the stains, making them easy to remove. 
  • Surfactants: These are the main cleaning ingredients in a detergent. Plants have natural surfactants that clean your clothes as effectively as artificial surfactants. They remove stains by enhancing the wetting ability of water, and then they loosen dirt, emulsify the dirt, and suspend it in water for easy rinsing. 
  • Stabilizers: Natural stabilizers help maintain the enzymes to ensure the product stays on the shelf for a long time. Some plants are great natural stabilizers, and these are used instead of chemicals. 
  • Fabric Conditioners: Most organic ingredients are natural fabric conditioners. However, some detergents contain built-in fabric conditioners that enhance the softening power of the detergents. The conditioner also removes static electricity.
Certifications and Endorsements in Laundry Detergents

Certifications and Endorsements in Laundry Detergents

How do you know a cleaning detergent product is safe for you and the environment?

USDA certification

USDA Certification: This certification shows that the product uses organic ingredients that are safe for human use. Some products show a given percentage of natural or organic ingredients, while others are 100 percent organic. Always go for the latter.

leaping_bunny_logo

Leaping Bunny Logo: This logo shows that a product does not undergo animal testing, which means that it is 100 percent cruelty-free, and it considers the well-being of animals.

grey water certification

Greywater Safety Certification: This certification shows that a product is safe if it ever comes into contact with greywater that may need to be recycled.

dermatologist endorsments

Dermatologist Endorsements: There is no way to prove dermatologist endorsements, but when available on a product, they make it seem more trustworthy. You can always check the dermatologist and see if they are legit.

EPA certifications

EPA certifications: If a product has EPA certification, it is safe for the environment. Besides products, EPA certified laboratories or manufacturing facilities to ensure they are safe. Detergent manufacturers do not have to apply for the certification, but some do so to show that their products are safe. The Environmental Protection Agency considers different factors when awarding products the certificates.

Does the FDA Regulate Cleaning Products?

The FDA does not regulate laundry detergents since they do not fall under foods. However, the agency lays out procedures on good manufacturing practices. These practices note that manufacturers should observe cleanliness, avoid toxic ingredients, and manufacturers should take care of the residue they produce. 

It is up to you to choose a brand that has the best ingredients for you. Some organic detergent manufacturers observe the good manufacturing practices laid out by the FDA, but some do not. It is up to you to choose trustworthy brands. 

Which Organic Detergent is Good for You?

When it gets down to shopping, you need to know what you need from a laundry detergent. Some detergents have a formula that cleans a specific stain, say mold or oils, while others are general and can remove all types of stains. Other detergents are versatile and can do laundry dishes, wash the body and face, and still wipe surfaces. Others are only good for laundry. Other factors to consider include:

  • If you have babies and wash delicate fabrics, you need to be very careful when choosing detergents. Babies need unscented or naturally scented detergents that soften clothes after cleaning. Babies’ clothes might also feature delicate and soft fabrics that may not withstand tough detergents. 
  • Your washing machine also determines the detergent you pick. Although most detergents work with high efficiency and standard machines, a few might only work with one type of these machines. Check the amount of detergent that you should use for each kind of machine to ensure that you get the best value for money. 
  • Ease of use should also be a consideration. Most detergents are ready-to-use, but some require you to dissolve or dilute them, such as pastes, bars, and soap berries. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and compare the different soaps. 
  • Lastly, check the bottle and the means of dispensing. This may not be your first priority, but a detergent that dispenses with ease gives you value for money. 

10 Best Organic Laundry Detergents

#1 Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent

Best Scented Natural Laundry Detergent

  • Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent features an all-plant based formula that removes tough stains and beats odors. It rinses out with ease to leave no residue or strong scent. 
  • The formula is highly concentrated, with the 150-ounce bottle offering 300 High-Efficiency Loads and up to 150 standard loads. You only need a small amount to get your clothes clean. 
  • All ingredients are safe for babies and pets. The plant-based formula contains no artificial fragrance, preservatives, colors, or any other toxic chemicals. Instead, it contains grapefruit seed extract blended with orange extract to create the scent. This formula has no borax, caustics, or metasilicates.
  • The detergent is kind to those with chemical allergies since it doesn’t have phosphates. Again, it is safe on rivers, streams, and wildlife. 
  • You can use it for all your laundry needs. It is safe on delicate fabrics and effective on tough stains.

Pros

  • Sweet citrus scent
  • Good for users with sensitive skin
  • Great value for money with a concentrated formula

Cons

  • Doesn’t remove oil stains well

#2 Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Liquid Detergent

Best Natural Liquid Detergent

  • Mrs. Meyers Clean Day features a concentrated formula that works on delicate fabrics and tough stains. The formula contains all plant-based ingredients with stain-fighting enzymes. Each bottle of 64 ounces offers 64 loads of laundry. 
  • The detergent comes with a natural rosemary scent blended with evergreen leaves and mauve flowers. 
  • According to Mrs. Meyers, the detergent is 2x concentrated, and you only need a little to get your laundry done. 
  • It is free of phthalates, formaldehyde, chlorine, colors, parabens, brighteners, and animal-derived ingredients.

Pros

  • Concentrated formula
  • Easy to recycle packaging
  • Sweet natural rosemary scent

Cons

  • Doesn’t rinse with ease: you need to use a small amount

#3 NaturOil Organic Soap Nuts

Best Hypoallergenic Organic Laundry Detergent

  • NaturOil Nuts are made of 100 percent soap berries. These berries produce saponin soap, which is a strong natural surfactant. The manufacturer does not use plastic packaging. 
  • Soap nuts are useful without the addition of chemicals. This makes the formula hypoallergenic and ideal for babies and people with skin conditions such as psoriasis. The formula is allergy-free, renewable, biodegradable, and antimicrobial. 
  • The soap berries have no palm oil. They are eco-friendly and vegan.  
  • You can use the detergent for body, face, dishes, and laundry. When used for laundry, the detergent offers 240 loads. You need two soap nuts when washing with warm water and four soap nuts when washing with cold water. You can reuse the nuts up to six times.

Pros

  • USDA certified organic
  • Reusable nuts, giving good value for money
  • Natural scent of soap berries
  • Good for those with allergies

Cons

  • Doesn’t work well with cold water
  • Greenshield Organic Liquid Laundry Detergent is made of 100 percent organic biobased ingredients. The ingredients penetrate tough stains and can protect the colors. 
  • It is safe to use on babies’ clothes and delicate fabrics. Its concentrated formula means that you can use it in high-efficiency and standard washing machines.
  • The detergent is free from fragrances, colors, toxic chemicals, phthalates, parabens, and other harmful substances. 
  • Ingredients in the detergent include saponified coconut oil, palm oils, sea salt, organic fatty alcohol, organic guar, and water. These ingredients are a blend of natural surfactants and materials that help keep your laundry clean. 
  • The formula does not require thinning but is effective even in small amounts. It rinses from the clothes fast.

Pros

  • Protects your colors
  • Rinses from clothes with ease
  • Safe for use on babies’ clothes
  • Hypoallergenic and suitable for people with sensitive skin

Cons

  • Comes in plastic packaging

#5 EcoMe Plant-Based Concentrated Detergent

Most Concentrated Liquid Detergent

  • The detergent features a concentrated formula that works perfectly on dirt and tough stains. Each bottle offers 64 loads, and you can use it in high-efficiency and standard machines. 
  • EcoMe is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and ideal for people with sensitive skin. You can use it to clean bed linen, baby clothes, and everyday clothes. It is also ideal for use on delicate fabrics. 
  • All ingredients are plant-based. EcoMe uses premium quality botanical extracts that effectively cleans all your clothes. 
  • The formula is free from sulfates, chlorine, phosphates, perfumes, formaldehyde, dyes, ammonia, fragrance, bleach, and preservatives. 
  • Each bottle comes with a Leaping Bunny Logo to show that the detergent is cruelty-free. It is also Greywater and Septic Safe, Gluten-free, and vegan.

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Versatile for use on all clothes
  • Unscented and good for use on babies’ clothes

Cons

  • Comes in plastic packaging

#6 CitriSafe Remedy Laundry Detergent

Best Organic Detergent for Mold

  • The formula cleans clothes contaminated with mold. You can use it for the other stains, but it works better for mold. 
  • It has a high cleansing power with tea tree oil to leave your skin soft. It also comes with citrus seed extract to give it a sweet scent. It removes dirt, mold, debris, and mold spores.
  • The detergent is powerful, so you only need one ounce for every load. You can use it for towels, linens, pet beds, and other textiles. It is also safe for use on baby clothes, which have been sitting damp for a long time. 
  • The formula is free from phosphate enzymes. It is also free from sulfates, fragrance, and colors, making it ideal for use on sensitive skin. Each 32-ounce bottle offers 32 loads, with each ounce working through the cleaning and rinsing cycle. 
  • The detergent can be used with hot, warm, or cold water. It leaves your clothes with a subtle citrus scent.

Pros

  • Concentrated formula to wash more clothes
  • Safe for all clothes
  • Sweet citrus scent
  • Words with HE and standard machines

Cons

  • It takes time to rinse out
  • Absolutely Clean uses an enzyme-based formula to remove odors and stains from your clothes. The formula uses all-natural enzymes that are safe on your hands and your clothes. 
  • Absolutely Clean is a company owned by veterans and produces high-quality products at all times. 
  • The natural enzymes remove stains and deodorize your clothes. It can remove different stains from pet messes, mold, and other fixed stains. It is more effective when used on protein-based stains and oils. You can also use it on surfaces such as tiles and horse stalls. 
  • The product is free from harsh chemicals such as sulfates, phthalates, phosphates, fragrances, colors, and preservatives. The packaging is compact by design, making it safer for the environment. 
  • The plant-based formula is hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and safe for use on sensitive skin.

Pros

  • Works with hot, warm, and cold water
  • Sweet scent
  • Only small quantities needed to get the clothes clean
  • Compact packaging with an easy to use pump dispenser

Cons

  • Takes longer to rinse out

#8 Tangie Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent

Best Paste Bar Laundry Detergent

  • Tangie Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent comes in the form of a laundry paste bar. You need to dilute the paste bar before using it to make it effective. The 3.5-ounce bar offers up to 256 loads, which is more than what bottled detergents offer. 
  • You can use the paste bar on any cloth from delicate fabric and babies' clothes to towels. You can also use it in high-efficiency and standard washing machines. Its concentrated formula means that you only need a little to clean your clothes. 
  • All ingredients are naturally based. They include soap nuts liquid, coconut and olive oil, yucca powder, oxalic acid, and baking soda. It also contains rosemary oleoresin that gives it a sweet scent. 
  • The bar dissolves with ease in warm water, so you can use it the same way you use liquid detergent. You need to have your own container and keep refilling as you like. This way, the manufacturer ensures that there are no plastic wastes. 
  • If you do not like the results you get from the detergent, you can send it back to the manufacturer for a refund.

Pros

  • Offers up to 256 loads
  • No plastic wastes as you use the same bottle
  • Rinses from the clothes with ease
  • Effective in removing different stains

Cons

  • You need to buy your own bottle

#9 Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent

Best Laundry Detergent Pods

  • This detergent comes in the form of detergent pods with a natural oak tree scent. Each bag of 50-load detergent pods is EPA certified safe. 
  • The pods are easy to use and naturally effective in removing stains such as oils and other tough stains from your clothes. Its formula is concentrated, so a little goes a long way. The pods fight odors and leave your clothes naturally soft. You can use them on delicate fabric and babies’ clothes. 
  • The white powder pods feature a Bitrex that makes the pods safer for the family. It leaves your clothes with a subtle essential oils scent. 
  • Its formula is free of toxic substances such as phosphates, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, optical brighteners, and preservatives. All ingredients are naturally derived. The manufacturer doesn’t test its products on animals. 
  • The formula works well with high efficiency and standard washing machines, and can work with all temperatures.

Pros

  • Safe for all clothes, including delicate laundry
  • Great value for money
  • Cruelty-free and gluten-free

Cons

  • A small amount of the pods fail to dissolve and remains at the bottom of the dilution water

#10 ECOS Earth Friendly Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best for Delicate Fabrics

  • The ECOS comes with 2x concentration, so a small detergent goes a long way. The formula is tough on stains and dirt and gentle on all fabrics. It contains no dyes, brighteners, phosphates, parabens, and phthalates. 
  • It is hypoallergenic and good for those with sensitive skin and allergies. The balanced pH formula makes it effective on alkaline and acidic stains. 
  • It has a built-in fabric softener that keeps off static electricity and saves you money. The ingredient contains plant-based ingredients with magnolia and lily essential oils for a sweet scent.
  • Ingredients come from different parts of the world, and ECOS only works with high quality natural and organic ingredients.

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients
  • Gentle formula for use on delicate fabrics
  • Concentrated formula, so you only need a little
  • Free of toxic chemicals

Cons

  • Bottle pours out more when you need less

Final Thoughts

While conventional detergents might fight stains better, and they leave your clothes with a sweet fragrance, they are harsh on your hands, your skin, and your clothes. The chemicals that give these detergents the high cleaning power also makes them powerful enough to leave your skin dry and to wash off color in some clothes. Unlike bar soaps that have less cleansing power, detergents can be harsh on delicate fabrics. 

The best organic laundry detergents are safe on delicate fabrics, baby’s clothes, and your skin. The ingredients in these detergents are plant-based and safe for you, your family, pets, and the environment. Take the safe step today, and get organic detergent. 

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