Mother Earth Living

Wiser Living

Finding a natural solution

Add to My MSN

5 Best Natural Laundry Detergents: Mother Earth Living Editor’s Picks

2/24/2012 3:19:00 PM

Tags: Editors Pick, Laundry Detergent, Natural Laundry Detergent, Method, Biokleen, Eco-Me, Seventh Generation, BerryPlus

Mother Earth Living Editors' Pick logoConventional laundry detergents may leave our clothes smelling fresh, but most contain enough toxic chemicals to make an entire household sick. Optical brighteners, synthetic fragrances, chlorine, distillates and other harsh chemicals can all linger in clothes after washing, causing everything from irritation of the eyes, mouth and skin to reproductive effects and cancer development. Manufacturers aren’t required to list ingredients on laundry products, and few ingredients used in detergents have even been tested for safety.

Instead of dousing your clothes in a chemical bath next time you do laundry, try one of these five natural laundry detergents, all safe to use in both HE and standard washers, and all tested by Mother Earth Living editors. Free of toxic chemicals, these laundry detergents will leave your clothes naturally clean and fragrant.

Get a load (or 50) of these natural laundry detergents.

natural laundry detergents 

Method Ultra-Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Method’s ultra-concentrated laundry detergent brings new meaning to the phrase “good things come in small packages.” Just 20 fluid ounces of the company’s super-concentrated, Cradle-to-Cradle certified formula is good for 50 loads. The pump top means you can easily dispense the required amount without any drips or spills (and did we mention that it’s kind of fun to use, too?). And thanks to Method’s handy refill pouches, you can keep using that little bottle over and over, cutting back on the amount of waste laundry day generates.

Cost: $15 for 20-ounce bottle (50 loads); $20 for 32-ounce refill pack

Biokleen All-Temperature Citrus Laundry Liquid

For a fresh pile of laundry that you’ll want to bury your nose in while folding, try Biokleen’s Citrus Laundry Liquid. Extracts of grapefruit seed, orange peel and coconut combine to create a wonderful, long-lasting scent that lingers on clothes after washing—but without the addition of lingering chemicals. Biokleen’s laundry liquid is free of phosphates and chlorine and is three times concentrated so you can use less liquid to wash more clothes.

Cost: around $7 for a 32-ounce bottle (64 loads)

Eco-Me “Emma” Laundry Soap

Eco-Me’s all-natural laundry soap was crafted with the health of both our bodies and the environment in mind. Made with basic ingredients like jojoba, coconut and olive oil soap, this simple laundry soap is free of colorants, dyes, chemical preservatives, synthetic fragrances, sulfates and phosphates for a clean that you can feel good about it. The detergent comes in Eco-Me’s signature Sweet Tea scent, but if this Southern smell isn’t to your liking, don’t worry—it doesn’t permeate into the clothing.

Cost: $10 for 32-ounce bottle (64 loads)

Seventh Generation Natural 4X Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation’s ultra-concentrated natural laundry detergent is free of optical brighteners, dyes and synthetic fragrances. Instead of the typical plastic jug, its biodegradable formula comes in a compostable bottle made from 100 percent recycled fiber. Couple that with a biodegradable, ultra-concentrated formula—one bottle is good for about 60 loads—and using this natural detergent can help you cut down on your waste stream.

Cost: $15 for 50-ounce bottle (66 loads)

BerryPlus Soapberries

Berryplus offers a completely different laundry experience. Instead of a plastic jug full of detergent, Berryplus offers flat round packs of detergent “microdoses,” each individually measured to make using the right amount easy. Made of soapberries—berries that grow on Sapindus trees and, when mixed with water and shaken, give off a soapy residue that cleans clothes, each little vial of detergent will leave a full load of laundry clean and soft.

Cost: $8.80 for 20 loads

BerryPlus soapberries 

Related Content

Seventh Generation Debuts Recycled Cardboard Bottles

Laundry detergent manufacturer reduces plastic by 66 percent in new easier-to-recycle bottles made f...

Growing Herbs in Texas: Soapwort Plant

Soapwort is growing well for Cynthia Meredith, our guest blogger from Texas.

Saponaria Officinalis: Growing Soapwort

Soapwort has an array of health benefits. You can grow this herb in your garden and the leafy branch...

Vaska Laundry Line Now Available at Target

Check out Vaska Laundry Care's line of environmentally-friendly clothing care products, now availabl...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.