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How to Choose the Best Natural Laundry Detergent

We think a lot about the cleaning products that we use in our home to keep the windows sparkling and the countertops disinfected. You want the best products in your home that will protect your family from bacteria and germs while not having harsh chemicals.

What about your laundry detergent? It’s just as important to learn how to choose the best natural laundry detergent for your family. Making the switch today can be beneficial for the health of you and your family along with the environment.

Why Choose Natural Laundry Detergent

You may be wondering why you should choose natural laundry detergent since so many people rely on brands like Tide and Cheer. The truth is that the chemicals that are put into these detergents are great for getting your clothing clean and making them smell nice, sometimes even for weeks while it’s in your drawer waiting to be worn again.

The problem with this truth is that these chemicals can have a very damaging effect on our bodies, and in quite a few instances, researchers are not even completely positive whether or not some of these chemicals are safe to be against our skin or be inhaled.

In some cases, chemicals are not found to be harmful for years to come after we’ve been using them in the products that we surround ourselves with daily. One excellent example of this is bisphenol A or BPA. This chemical was found to leach into the food and beverage that was stored in it, and that this could have negative health impacts on the person consuming it.

Thanks to this research, there’s been a change in the type of plastic that’s used and warnings given about not heating products containing this up as that can make the leaching worse. There’s no reason to wait until there’s research linking chemicals to problems when there are alternative products that don’t use them to accomplish the same results.

How to Choose Natural Laundry Detergent

There are a ton of brands on the market that claim to be a natural laundry detergent, but how do you know for sure? One particular brand that is very well-known and marketed for the sensitive skin of newborns doesn’t release the ingredient list for consumers to look over before making a decision on whether or not they want to use this product to clean the clothing that lays against your baby’s skin twenty-four-seven.

So, one of the first things that you need to consider when looking for a natural laundry detergent is that they disclose the ingredient list. This can be rather suspicious that they claim their product is all natural, but keep it a trade secret. It may be best to steer clear of these products since you don’t know what you’ll be getting.

There are going to be a number of things that goes into the choosing the best natural laundry detergent for your household. The ingredient list is one of them as this is vital for you to determine how natural a product actually is compared to what they claim.

Price is going to be another factor as you need to stay within your particular price points. The scent is another area that will help you find the right detergent. Some people are more sensitive to scents when it comes to smelling them and having them against their skin.

What to Look for in Natural Laundry Detergent

The ingredient list is where you’re going to gather the most information for what you want to look for in your natural laundry detergent. Many cleaning agents or surfactants happen to be petroleum based, and this is something that people want to avoid.

Petroleum based products can be detrimental to not only the endocrine system of humans but can also have environmental impacts on our waterways and the animals that call them home. Optical brighteners are other chemicals that are added that make your whites whiter.

The chemicals that make up fragrances are another issue as they can have impacts on hormone and endocrine functions along with being a pollutant of air and water. Even detergent that is fragrance-free may still have some chemicals that cover up the smell of the detergent itself.

A good rule of thumb is that if your choice for natural detergent has ingredients that aren’t readily recognized, it may not be as natural as you’d like it to be. Chemicals often have more technical names that their natural counterparts. That being said, you may find something that you’re not familiar with, such as the term saponified, so a little research to fill in the blanks isn’t a bad thing.

How to Use Natural Laundry Detergent

Most natural laundry detergent is going to be used in the exact same way as you use your regular detergent. Most are completely safe to be used in high-efficiency or HE models along with front-loading washing machines along with cold or hot cycles. You will measure out the amount of detergent that is needed for the size of the load being washed, and add it to the water in the machine. This is the great thing about adding most natural laundry detergents to your typical laundry routine as it’s no different, so you’re more likely to stick with this change in your routine.

That being said there are some other types of natural laundry detergent that may require some changes. For instance, soap nuts are wildly popular natural detergent in that they are berry shells that come from a tree in the Himalayas called Sapindus mukorossi or the Soap Berry. As they are a berry, they do not cause allergic reactions for people that have nut allergies.

In the case of something like this, you’ll want to put several of the soap nuts into a wash bag that can be sealed shut. This bag is dropped into the washing machine. It needs to be removed before the clothing goes into the dryer. These soap nuts can be used up to 10 times before they will start disintegrating. You can go a step further and compost these in your garden.

One further note is that if you have a septic system, powders can be harder on the tank, so you may want to stick with liquids.

Natural Laundry Detergent Controversy

The largest controversy that is occurring with natural laundry detergent is the way that it’s labeled. An example of this is with The Honest Co. They came under fire for saying that their natural laundry product didn’t contain sodium lauryl sulfate or SLS as they deemed it too harsh, but they do use sodium coco sulfate or SCS which can often be made with SLS.

This can make consumers start to doubt the ingredients that are being used in their products, and whether or not their definition of natural fits with the company’s definition. The FDA does not have any laws or regulations that enforce what the definitions of organic or natural are, and this leaves it a bit of a gray area for a lot of consumers looking to make an educated decision.

Best Natural Laundry Detergent Brands

There are some brands that really shine when it comes to the best natural laundry detergents. One of the first brands that makes the cut is the Earth Friendly Products ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent. The next is the GreenShield Organic Laundry Detergent. Another is Eco-Me Liquid Laundry Detergent. Zum Clean Laundry Soap is another great candidate on the list of best brands.

Molly Suds is a laundry detergent powder that is popular with individuals looking for all natural products. The only laundry pod on this list for people that adore the convenience and ease of using pods is Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods. It is recommended that you keep this type of laundry out of the reach of children as there have been quite a few accidents with young children ingesting these pods thinking they are edible.


Asking around to people who use natural laundry detergent will net you a large number of answers to what they think is the absolute best. The winner in today’s roundup is Earth Friendly Products Ecos Liquid Laundry Detergent. It’s clear of all of the cleaning ingredients that are deemed harmful or potentially harmful. It uses all natural plants and essential oils. In fact, the cleaning agent in this detergent is coconut oil which is popular for many health and beauty uses. This brand offers several different scents to fit your particular needs.

When you make your ultimate decision on which is the best natural laundry detergent for you and your family you should try to find a detergent that fits the criteria for being a natural and safe detergent that is free from harsh chemicals. You may find that your first choice doesn’t clean as well as you’d like or that you don’t like the way that it makes your clothing feel.

It may even turn into a cost issue as some of the better made products have a higher price tag. This is all okay as there are several good products on the market, and you’ll eventually find the one that you prefer over all others.

About the author

    Melinda Simms

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