A self-confessed cleaning addict, I look forward to laundry days. My cleaning days weren’t always so “clean,” however. In college, I used detergents that offered a “pink blossom meadow” smell or some other entirely synthetic concoction. Around the time that I greened my beauty routine, I also became a more conscious consumer of household items, including laundry detergent. The following laundry soap options are cruelty-free and rely on more natural surfactants to leave your clothes clean and free of a synthetic “spring rain” odor.
7 Best Natural and Cruelty-Free Laundry Detergents:
Soap Nuts are probably one of the most natural, non-toxic ways to wash your clothes. Native to India and Nepal, the husks of soap nuts or “soap berries” contain saponin, a natural detergent that actually produces suds. Six to eight husks in a muslin bag can do up to ten loads, no detergent or fabric softener needed. I was skeptical about soap nuts, but they do an impressive job and even made my whites whiter, leaving a fresh, airy scent.
Biokleen Laundry Liquid uses plant-based surfactants and citrus enzymes to rinse away dirt and odor. Biokleen is gentle enough for your delicates and hand-washables. The formula is also highly concentrated, reducing the need for extra packaging.
Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent is free of sulfates and designed for those with sensitive skin and allergies. This biodegradable, eco-friendly soap is one of the most highly concentrated laundry detergents on the market—it requires only ¼ ounce to get your clothes and linens clean, fresh, and soft.
The brainchild of actress-turned-natural-home-goods-guru Jessica Alba, The Honest Company Laundry Detergent is free of harsh chemicals and maintains a neutral pH, so it won’t discolor clothing or irritate skin. The detergent is safe for delicate clothes but effective enough for workout wear and dirty diapers.
Ecover Zero 2X Laundry Detergent will work in even cold water (meaning less energy per load!) and is free of fragrance, dyes, and synthetic brighteners. The bottle is made with recycled plastic and biodegradable “plant plastic.”
Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent may be one of the most widely available natural detergents out there—I’ve even found it at our conventional grocery in south Texas. Like Ecover’s laundry detergent, this formula is designed to function well in cold water to help save energy (and money!).
A side note on Seventh Generation: PETA reports that Seventh Generation once supported legislation that supported animal testing. After much customer outcry, the company reversed their stance—woohoo!
Whole Foods Market Organic Laundry Detergent is free of chlorine, phosphates, and petrochemicals. The formula is non-toxic and biodegradable and uses organic surfactants to tackle grease and grime.
What’s your favorite natural laundry detergent?
More home ideas: 7 Natural and Vegan Cleaning Products
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell, Biokleen, Puracy, The Honest Company, Ecover, Seventh Generation, Whole Foods Market