7 Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents For Fresh Clothes

Trying to find the perfect eco-friendly laundry detergent? Check out this simple guide to natural laundry detergents.
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On cold winter mornings while growing up I loved to grab my clothes out of the dryer just as they finished so I could slip into a warm pair of jeans before heading out the door.

Back then I didn’t give a second thought to the products being used to clean my clothes. Fast forward a few years however and I’ve come to realize that I need to be more mindful of the chemicals I expose myself to.

Many conventional laundry detergents are loaded with chemicals that haven’t been tested. We don’t know how our bodies will be affected by long term exposure to these chemicals.

We do know that some of the potential health risks associated with some of these chemicals. These side effects can include;

  • skin, eye and throat irritation,
  • liver and kidney damage
  • and hormone disruption.

Negative reproductive and developmental effects have also been discovered in animal studies.  Below is a list of laundry detergent chemicals to avoid. You can learn more about their side effects here.

Trying to sort through eco-friendly laundry detergents to find just the right one? Use this handy guide to see why you should be using an eco-friendly laundry detergent and find out how to pick out the right one for you.

If you ever wonder what your laundry detergent has in it you should search through the Environmental Working Groups laundry products guide to see how they rate your products.

Eco-friendly laundry detergents are a good alternative to conventional products. These companies focus on keeping their products free from toxic ingredients.

When it comes to choosing an eco-friendly laundry detergent however, the sheer number of choices can be a bit overwhelming.

After spending some significant time sifting through reviews, fact sheets, and ingredient lists I’ve put together this list of eco-friendly laundry detergents that are safe for your home and the environment. *This article does contain affiliate links. If you purchase using one of these links we will receive a small commission.

Best Eco-friendly laundry detergents

Molly’s Suds

Started in 2008 by Monica Leonard, Molly’s Suds has a rather unique story.

In 2005, Monica gave birth to her third daughter, Molly, who was sadly, stillborn. After going through this tragedy, Monica, a nurse, wanted to try and find some explanation as to why this happened.

After spending significant time researching, Monica discovered the sheer number of chemicals that are used in today’s cleaning, skin care, and personal care products. With very few of these chemicals ever being tested for human use.

Monica set out to create a line of products she new was safe. And thus, Molly’s Suds was born.

A photo posted by Molly’s Suds (@mollys_suds) on


Molly’s Suds focuses exclusively on eco-friendly laundry detergent and related products. Their line of products includes laundry detergent, wool dryer balls, oxygen whitener, and even dog shampoo.

Molly’s Suds laundry detergent is free of harsh chemicals, toxins, fillers, carcinogens, preservatives and GMO ingredients. Molly’s Suds laundry powder has received an “A” grade from the Environmental Working Group.

You can buy a bag of Molly’s Suds eco-friendly laundry detergent here.

Biokleen

Jim Rimer was a sales executive for a chemical supply company in the 1980’s. At this time there wasn’t a ton of knowledge on the harmful effects of various chemicals. Jim saw some of the negative side effects his customers and coworkers experienced and tried to institute some changes to educate people on these chemicals. His attempts to help people however weren’t looked upon favorably and he was eventually fired.

Working in his garage, Jim set out to create his own cleaner that was as strong as the conventional cleaning products but safe for people to use.

After a serious amount of work, study, and testing, Jim finally found a natural formula that worked. Over the years his company has grown and now sells his cleaning products nation wide.

On their site, Biokleen gives their mission statement:

To produce natural and effective cleaners with a passion for innovation, dedication to performance and a guiding commitment to our customers and their families, pets and our planet.

All Biokleen products are free of phosphates, chlorine, ammonia, petroleum solvents, alcohol, butyl, glycol ether, brighteners, artificial colors, artificial fragrance.

The Biokleen Laundry Liquid, Citrus Essence received an “A” grade from the Environmental Working Group.

One other thing I love about Biokleen is they package all of their products in #1 or #2 plastic, making them easy to recycle. You can use our recycling search tool to find a recycling location in your area.

Biokleen Eco-friendly laundry detergents are an excellent option if your trying to select an eco-friendly detergent.

Source: Biokleen

Biokleen’s line of laundry products includes liquid and powder laundry detergent, oxygen bleach, stain & odor remover, and baby laundry detergent.

You can pick up a bottle of Biokleen’s eco-friendly laundry detergent’s here.

Better Life

Do you ever spray cleaning products into your mouth? Probably not. But that’s exactly what Better Life cofounder Kevin Tibbs did when he and Tim Barklage appeared on Shark Tank in 2013.

The mission of Better Life is summed up in this statement:

We take great care to ensure our products are free of unnecessary ingredients that may pose health risks for people, pets, marine life, and the planet. They’re packaged using solar energy and recyclable materials, with formulas that biodegrade two-to-five times faster than leading natural and conventional cleaners.

Better Life products are free from Ethoxylates, Parabens, Petroleum Solvents, Phosphates, Phthalates, SLS, Triclosan, Ethers, Chloroform, Chlorine, Bleach, Ammonia, Alcohol, Dyes, and Perfumes. Better Life’s Lavender Grapefruit Laundry Detergent received an “A” grade from the Environmental Working Group.

Better Life’s laundry product line includes laundry detergent, stain and odor remover, and dryer sheets.

You can pick up Better Life’s eco-friendly laundry detergent here.

The Honest Company

The Honest Company is a company favorite here at Earth911. We love their commitment to safe chemicals and cruelty free products.

The Honest Company is a relatively young company, led by actress, Jessica Alba and former Healthy Child, Healthy World CEO, Christopher Gavigan. Their core focus is on creating products for children. However their product line includes products for pretty much everyone.

We tried to think of all the qualities we would want in a dream brand – savvy style, sustainability, and extraordinary service & convenience all wrapped in a passion for social goodness, tied with a bow of integrity and sprinkled with a little cheeky fun.

The Honest Company also offers several different laundry products including; laundry detergent, laundry packs (like pods), dryer cloths, stain removers, and an oxy boost.

A photo posted by The Honest Company (@honest) on

All of their products are free of SLS, synthetic fragrances, phosphates, 1,4-dioxane, chlorine, DEA, formaldehyde, caustics, and optical brighteners.

The Honest Company Laundry Detergent is hypoallergenic, safe for babies and compatible with HE washers.

You can pick up a bottle of their eco-friendly laundry detergent here.

Seventh Generation

When it comes to established Eco-friendly cleaning companies, Seventh Generation is certainly among the oldest. Established over 25 years ago, Seventh Generation has always maintained a commitment to creating products that are safe for you and for the environment.

Their eco-friendly laundry detergent is no exception. Seventh Generation offers a variety of laundry detergents, including those formulated for people with sensitive skin and for infants.

The Seventh Generation Natural Powder Laundry Detergent, Real Citrus & Wild Lavender received an “A” grade from the Environmental Working Group.

Seventh Generation laundry detergent is cruelty free and gluten free. It is made without synthetic fragrances, optical brighteners, or dyes. One thing to note. Their laundry detergent does contain SLS however they are transparent about this and state:

Please know that the SLS we use is always derived from a plant unlike most of the SLS on the market. Our SLS is sustainably derived from Palm or Coconut. When in careful formulation, SLS is not a skin irritant. We do extensive skin patch testing for all our products so you can rest assured they are safe and effective.

You can pick up a bottle of Seventh Generation’s eco-friendly laundry detergent here.

Method

Even though it’s only been around for 15 years, Method has made a serious impact in the world of green cleaning.

Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan are the founders of Method. They run the first LEED platinum-certified soap factory and now have over 60 products that are Cradle to Cradle® certified.

Method’s line of laundry products includes laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and fabric softener.

Method products are free from the following ingredients:

  • Chlorine bleach
  • Triclosan
  • EDTA
  • Phosphates
  • 2-butoxyethanol
  • Phthalates
  • Paraben
  • Ammonia
  • MEA

Method’s 8X Free & Clear laundry detergent received a B grade from the Environmental Working Group.
Now admittedly, one of my favorite things about Method is their unique bottles. They are bright, colorful, and unique. And guess what, they are also made of 100% recycled plastic and are 100% recyclable bottles.

You can pick up Method’s eco-friendly laundry detergent here.

A photo posted by method (@methodhome) on

Mrs. Meyers

One thing I love about Mrs. Meyers products as a whole is their variety of scents. I think they do a better job than just about anyone else in providing different scents. This might seem like a small thing but it’s important to me.

I like to mix it up. I don’t do the same lavender or lemon scent over and over and over. I need to change things up. So being able to use scents like Rosemary, Honeysuckle, Basil and Geranium is a nice bonus.


Mrs. Meyers laundry products are made using Anionic Surfactants that come from plant-derived sources. Surfactants are a molecule that has a “water-loving end” and a “water-fearing end.”

Anionic Surfactants have a negative charge on their “water-loving end.” What this means is they grab the dirt and grime from your clothes and suspend it in a little water bubble that then gets washed away, leaving your clothes clean.

Alright, enough with the chemistry lesson. Mrs. Meyers laundry products also contain stain fighting enzymes and essential oils, which are where they get those delicious scents.

As a bonus, Mrs. Meyers Laundry products are also compatible with High Efficiency washers since they don’t give off many suds.

Mrs. Meyers offers laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.

Do you use any of these eco-friendly laundry detergents? Which one is your favorite? Let me now in the comments below.

Brian Brassaw

Brian manages the Earth911 Recycling Search, making sure there are plenty of recycling resources available for our users. He also shares green living tips and tricks on Earth911’s Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter accounts. Brian also shares DIY projects on Little Pilots Lounge.