The Best Natural Laundry Detergents in 2022, Tested by TheHouseWire

By
Gladys K. Connelly
As a HouseKeeping Technical Writer, Gladys actively enjoys writing guides and tips about housekeeping for Thehousewire's audience. She's a professional housekeeping specialist with just shy of 9 years' experience to boast. That, combined with seven years prior experience in teaching, helps her create content that is both captivating and insightful.
Learn more about The Housewire’s Editorial Process
Updated May 18, 2022

Enjoy clean clothes without the chemicals

Enjoy clean clothes without the chemicals

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Best Natural Laundry Detergents
A natural laundry detergent is free from harmful ingredients. Thanks to its green formula it won’t pollute the environment, damage your clothing or irritate your skin.

If you opt for a concentrated laundry detergent, you’ll need less packaging – that’s another way to go green.

We spent hours testing and researching different laundry pods, powders, and liquids. We used our own insight along with real user reviews and expert advice to help you make the right choice for you.

Here is our list of the best natural detergents.

Our Top Picks

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Best Natural Laundry Detergent of 2022 
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day's Liquid Laundry Detergent, Biodegradable Formula Infused with Essential Oils, Lemon Verbena Scent, 64 oz (64 Loads)Best Overall Green

Mrs. Meyer's Liquid Detergent

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day's Liquid Laundry Detergent, Biodegradable Formula Infused with Essential Oils, Lemon Verbena Scent, 64 oz (64 Loads)

  • Removes odors

  • No need to use much

  • Lots of scents

Method Liquid Laundry Detergent, Hypoallergenic + Biodegradable Formula, Plant-Based Stain Remover, Lavender + Cypress Scent, 1.5 Liter Bottle, 1 Pack (66 Total Loads), Packaging May VaryBest Overall Eco Bio

Method Concentrated Detergent

Method Liquid Laundry Detergent, Hypoallergenic + Biodegradable Formula, Plant-Based Stain Remover, Lavender + Cypress Scent, 1.5 Liter Bottle, 1 Pack (66 Total Loads), Packaging May Vary

  • Light fragrance

  • Septic tank safe

  • Other products use same scents

ECOS® Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent, Magnolia Lily, 200 Loads, 100oz Bottle by Earth Friendly Products (Pack of 2)Best Eco-Friendly

ECOS® Hypoallergenic Detergent

ECOS® Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent, Magnolia Lily, 200 Loads, 100oz Bottle by Earth Friendly Products (Pack of 2)

  • Simple to pre-treat

  • Removes pet hair

  • Clean and fresh clothes

Persil Laundry Liquid Detergent - Bio 525ml(15w), Pack of 6Best Value Eco

Persil Bio Biological Detergent

Persil Laundry Liquid Detergent - Bio 525ml(15w), Pack of 6

  • Works with cold water

  • Soft clothes

  • Easy to pick up

Gain Botanicals Plant Based Laundry Detergent, Orange Blossom Vanilla, 46 fl oz 32 loads, HE Compatible, Pack of 2Best Plant-Based

Gain Botanicals Detergent

Gain Botanicals Plant Based Laundry Detergent, Orange Blossom Vanilla, 46 fl oz 32 loads, HE Compatible, Pack of 2

  • Clothes stay fresh

  • Gentle for skin

  • Tough on stains

Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods, 100 Count, Oak Tree Scent, Plant and Mineral Based, Cleans Deeply, Eliminates Odors, Fights Stains, Softens NaturallyBest Natural Pods

Grab Green Detergent Pods

Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods, 100 Count, Oak Tree Scent, Plant and Mineral Based, Cleans Deeply, Eliminates Odors, Fights Stains, Softens Naturally

  • No musty smell

  • Earthy smell

  • Eco-responsible packaging

Seventh Generation - Free & Clear 4X Natural Laundry Detergent - 50 fl oz.Best Fragrance-Free

Seventh Generation Detergent

Seventh Generation - Free & Clear 4X Natural Laundry Detergent - 50 fl oz.

  • Lasts long

  • New looking clothes

  • Good for sensitive skin

Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Laundry Detergent Pods: Unscented | 160 Count | Free of Dyes and Fragrances | HE | Safe & Gentle | Powered by Natural Plant-Based Ingredients | Dermatologist TestedBest Non-Bio

Dropps Baby Detergent

Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Laundry Detergent Pods: Unscented | 160 Count | Free of Dyes and Fragrances | HE | Safe & Gentle | Powered by Natural Plant-Based Ingredients | Dermatologist Tested

  • Easy to store

  • One pod tackles a lot

  • Effective against dirt

Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent - 150 Loads - Powder, Concentrated, Eco-Friendly, Plant-Based, No Artificial Fragrance or Preservatives, Free & ClearBest Natural Powder

Biokleen Natural Powder

Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent - 150 Loads - Powder, Concentrated, Eco-Friendly, Plant-Based, No Artificial Fragrance or Preservatives, Free & Clear

  • No clumping

  • Straightforward to use

  • Thorough cleaning

 

1. Best Overall Green Laundry Detergent : Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent
4View on AmazonView on Walmart
Our Ratings
  • Bottle information 4/5
  • Application 4/5
  • Cleaning performance 5/5
  • Scent 5/5
Imagine a laundry routine that feels like a stroll through a flower garden. Well, that’s what Mrs. Meyer’s laundry detergent brings to the party.

We love how the gentle honeysuckle scent leaves clothes smelling fresh for days. But if you want another scent, you can. Mrs. Meyer’s offers an entire line of laundry products.

Thanks to a powerful formula, this concentrated laundry detergent gives clothing a thorough clean, too. It contains plant-based enzymes that tackled all the stubborn stains we tested. And without parabens or phthalates, it’s still gentle enough not to cause any skin irritation.

You can use it both in regular and high-efficiency machines. The packaging isn’t biodegradable – still recyclable. It’s not vegan either but isn’t tested on animals.

Read Also The Best Laundry Detergents to Get Out the Grime

Pouring Mrs Meyer's Natural Laundry Detergent

PROS

  • Users love how it removes nasty odors rather than masking them
  • You don’t need to use much detergent
  • Available in a range of scents

CONS

  • Can cause irritation because of the essential oils and synthetic fragrances

Additional Specs

Form Liquid
Weight 4 pounds
Scent Honeysuckle
Use HE and standard machines
Eco Claims Made with plant-derived ingredients and essential oil. Free from parabens, phthalates, optical brighteners, and artificial colors

2. Best Overall Eco Bio Laundry Detergent : Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent
4View on AmazonView on Walmart
Our Ratings
  • Bottle information 4/5
  • Application 4/5
  • Cleaning performance 4/5
  • Scent 5/5
Read Full Review: Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent Review


Method laundry detergent uses a biodegradable and hypoallergenic formula that’s tough on dirt and stains.

Certified by the Cradle-to-Cradle institute, we were super impressed by how clean, soft, and fresh clothes came out of the machine. The plant-based ingredients pack a powerful punch, on food stains in particular.

And the smell! It’s worth using Method detergent for that alone. The lavender and cypress we tested smelt beautiful, but there’s a huge range of scents.

The formula is concentrated. In other words, less is more. With a small bottle, you’ll be able to wash about 66 loads.

It’s also non-toxic, biodegradable, cruelty-free, and zero waste.
Pouring Method Natural Laundry Detergent

PROS

  • The fragrance isn’t overwhelming
  • Safe for septic tanks
  • Extra products available in the same scent

CONS

  • The pour cap isn’t ideal for accurate measuring

Additional Specs

Form Liquid
Weight 3.5 pounds
Scent Lavender and Cypress
Use HE and standard machines
Eco Claims Plant-based, cruelty-free, Zero Waste

3. Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent : ECOS® Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent

ECOS Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent
ECOS detergent is a non-toxic laundry detergent that cleans well while being climate positive.

It’s packed with green credentials, including a Safer Choice label, vegan, and carbon neutral. And it’s made with only 6 ingredients – no phthalates, phosphates optical brighteners or paraben. It’s hard to find anything as simple and eco-friendly as this.

Yet, it’s still super tough on stains and dirty laundry. There’s even a built-in fabric softener to keep your clothes feeling super soft.

PROS

  • Simple to pre-treat stubborn stains
  • Pet owners love how well it removes hair from clothes and blankets
  • It leaves clothes smelling clean and fresh

CONS

  • It doesn’t remove tough odors, like cologne if you don’t pre-treat

Additional Specs

Form Liquid
Weight 6 pounds per bottle
Scent Magnolia and Lily
Use HE and standard machines
Eco Claims Plant-derived, Safer Choice certified, vegan, Zero Waste, no dyes, optical brighteners, parabens, or phosphates.

4. Best Value Eco Bio Laundry Detergent : Persil Bio Biological Liquid Detergent

Persil Bio Biological Liquid Detergent
3.5View on Amazon
Our Ratings
  • Bottle information 4/5
  • Application 3/5
  • Cleaning performance 4/5
  • Scent 4/5
You don’t have to splash out megabucks on a natural detergent. This offering from Persil is the new King of stain removal on a budget.

The concentrated formula is designed to remove tough stains at low temperatures. You don’t even need a long wash to get a thorough clean.

And since it’s concentrated, for a bottle, you’ll wash about 38 loads. For a normal load or washing in soft water, you’ll just need two tablespoons. Larger loads or washing in hard water, require three.

We did find a few stains survived a cool wash, but it’s simple to treat them with the stain eraser ball. Pre-treating clothes like this was way more effective than our regular laundry detergent.

And we loved the fragrant smell on the clothes – too.
Persil Bio Natural Detergent

PROS

  • Users love how well it cleans with cold water washes
  • Easy to pick up online or at your local grocery store
  • Clothes smell fresh and soft without needing fabric softener or dryer balls

CONS

  • You don’t get a stain eraser ball with each pack, so look after it

Additional Specs

Form Liquid
Weight N/A
Scent Original
Use N/A
Eco Claims Plant-based stain removers, recycled packaging, biodegradable

5. Best Plant-Based Laundry Detergent : Gain Botanicals Liquid Laundry Detergent

Gain Botanicals Liquid Laundry Detergent
Plant power is a popular choice. And it’s easy to see why with this liquid detergent from Gain Botanicals.

As the name suggests, the scent of lavender essential oil gives a nice fresh smell to your clothes.

According to the manufacturer, the formula is made with 65% plant-based ingredients, making it gentle on the skin. This simple detergent contains any dyes, brighteners, or phosphates neither.

Certified by the USDA as a biobased product, it’s safe to use for both high-efficiency and regular washing machines. And if you’re not completely satisfied, you can benefit from the money-back guarantee.

PROS

  • Users love how their laundry stays fresh for ages
  • Gentle enough for sensitive skin
  • Tough on stains

CONS

  • The bottles don’t last as long as some users expected

Additional Specs

Form Liquid
Weight 5.56 pounds
Scent White tea and lavender
Use HE and standard washers
Eco Claims 65% plant-based ingredients, no dyes, phosphates, or brighteners

6. Best Natural Laundry Detergent Pods : Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods

Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods
These handy Grab Green powder pods are easy to grab and go.

Available in different scents, each dose is packed with plant and mineral-based ingredients. No chlorine, no phosphate, and dye-free!

And since it’s a pod, it delivers the perfect amount every time. Simply place a pod in the drum before adding clothes and set the temperature to low, and let the detergent work.

It’s also effective with cold water cleaning, so you can lower energy consumption at the same time.

PROS

  • It doesn’t leave a musty smell in your machine
  • Reviewers love the fresh, earthy smell
  • The company uses eco-responsible packaging

CONS

  • The pods don’t always dissolve, leaving you with clumps

Additional Specs

Form Powder pods
Weight 1.65 pounds
Scent Rose
Use HE and standard machines
Eco Claims Non-toxic, naturally-derived ingredients, dye, phosphate, and chlorine free, no animal testing

7. Best Fragrance-Free Natural Laundry Detergent : Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent
3.5View on AmazonView on Walmart
Our Ratings
  • Bottle information 4/5
  • Application 3/5
  • Cleaning performance 3/5
  • Scent 4/5
Read Full Review: Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Review


Made with 96% of plant-based ingredients, this Seventh Generation Free and Clear makes clothes feel so good.

The unscented plant and mineral-based formula is super gentle, so we recommend it if you’ve got any skin sensitivities. But it still does a decent job of cleaning clothes and removing stains.

Everything felt and smelt clean in our tests, just without the lingering perfume. It cuts through odors and stains, especially if you dab a little straight onto clothes.

It also has several green certifications, EPA Safer Choice or USDA certification, you name it.
Seventh Generation Natural Detergent With Laundry

PROS

  • One bottle covers a lot of laundry
  • Reviewers love how it leaves their clothes looking like new
  • With thousands of positive reviews, it seems it’s a great choice for sensitive skin

CONS

  • Seventh Generation laundry detergent doesn’t get rid of all stains, so pre-treat any stubborn nasties

Additional Specs

Form Powder pods
Weight 3.25 pounds
Scent Unscented
Use HE and standard machines
Eco Claims USDA Certified Biobased Product, 96% plant-based, EPA Safer Choice, free from fragrances, dyes, and artificial brighteners

8. Best Eco Non-bio Detergent for Sensitive Skin : Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent

Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent
It’s hard to find laundry detergents gentle enough for sensitive skin when so many contain dyes and perfumes. But Dropps is designed for the softest baby skin and the most delicate of fabrics.

According to the manufacturer, it’s formulated to prevent skin irritation, eczema, or psoriasis. You can use it on your fragile garments, baby clothes, or pet bedding.

But that’s not to say it’s soft on dirt. Each pod is loaded with enough cleaning power to shift tough dirt and odors.

You can use it in both high efficiency and standard washers. And because the packaging is made from cardboard, it’s recyclable and compostable.

PROS

  • The minimal amount of packaging makes it easy to store
  • Users love how one pod tackles a lot of laundry
  • It’s effective at removing dirt and gunk from clothes – and your machine!

CONS

  • You need to keep the pods dry to stop them from sticking together

Additional Specs

Form Pods
Weight 1 pound
Scent Unscented
Use HE and standard machines
Eco Claims Plant-based ingredients, no animal testing, recyclable and compostable cardboard packaging, free from dyes, optical brighteners, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, enzymes, parabens, and phosphates

9. Best Natural Laundry Detergent Powder : Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Powder

Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Powder
If you’re a powder detergent kind of person, fear not. You can still enjoy natural cleaning with Biokleen.

It’s a bit pricey. But one box of powder handles a whopping 150 washes thanks to the super-concentrated formula. And less packaging means less waste and energy, so it’s kinder to the environment.

With just 10 ingredients, this unscented version is also free from a wide range of harmful ingredients like chlorine, ammonia or artificial fragrances.

The mineral-based cleaning agents also leave colors looking bright and whites looking white.

PROS

  • Users love how you can sprinkle it into the drum to avoid clumping
  • It’s straightforward to use
  • The cleaning is thorough enough for cloth diapers, even in hard water areas

CONS

  • Clumping is an issue when washing at cold temperatures

Additional Specs

Form Powder
Weight 10 pounds
Scent Free and Clear
Use HE and standard machines
Eco Claims Not tested on animals, made with biodegradable ingredients. Free from: Phosphate, chlorine bleach, ammonia, sodium lauryl sulfate, petroleum solvents, brighteners, and other pollutants

What to Look For in Green Laundry Detergent

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Types

A traditional powder detergent is a cheap option that still offers impressive cleaning power. And it often uses cardboard packaging, which is better for the environment than plastic bottles. Rockin’ Green Active Wear Laundry Detergent Powder is an example of a powder.

Liquids are an option that do work well at cold temperatures and you can easily pre-treat stains with them. They also tackle grease and oil marks very well.

Capsules are becoming more popular thanks to their convenience. Just pop the pre-measured dose into the drum! The concentrated detergent dose uses less packaging than many conventional detergents, so it’s easy to store and transport.

For example see this Dropps Stain and odor laundry detergent pods.

Another type exists and is practical if you’re on the go: laundry detergent sheets.

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Composition

A natural laundry detergent doesn’t use harsh chemicals or potentially harmful ingredients. They tend to use non-toxic plant-based ingredients, which aren’t always the most effective on tough stains.

As an example, the Pardo Naturals detergent contains only three natural ingredients: baking soda, washing soda and castile soap.

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Biological or Hypoallergenic (Non-Bio)

Biological detergents use enzymes to cut through stains. Naturally-derived enzymes are super effective but can linger on clothes and cause mild irritation to sensitive skin in rare cases.

Hypoallergenic or non-bio detergents don’t use enzymes or artificial fragrances. It means they’re gentler, but not so tough on stains.

Bio is best for whitening whites and cleaning heavily-soiled laundry. Use non-bio for delicate clothes or if you have sensitive skin.

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Packaging

Biodegradable or recyclable packaging is a must for any natural laundry detergent. 100% plastic-free isn’t always possible, so look for bottles made from recycled plastic if you go down that route, like The Good Home Natural Laundry Detergent.
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Green Certifications

Safer Choice products are environmentally-friendly and better for your own health, too. Only detergents made in a way that creates minimal pollution are awarded this label(1).

In short, it means they use safe and natural ingredients, making them eco-friendly. It’s easy to search for Safer Choice detergents on the Environmental Protection Agency website.

The USDA Organic Seal is given to products made by approved methods and with at least 95% organic ingredients(2). The last 5% of ingredients aren’t harmful to human health or the planet.

The word “organic” is regulated, so look out for this rather than “green”, “eco”, or “natural”. While the latter words are good indications, products don’t require any verification to use them.

There are other labels to look out for, like the Leaping Bunny cruelty-free logo. The Vegan Society, Soil Association, and other trusted environmental bodies approve certain detergents with their own eco-friendly certifications.

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Scent

Many green laundry detergents are free-from synthetic fragrances, so they stay unscented. Like PURE natural laundry detergent that doesn’t use any artificial dyes or smells, so it’s better for sensitive skin.

If you prefer a scent, it’s easy to find eco brands with fresh and natural scents. Better Life Concentrated Detergent Grapefruit uses essential oils to create a fragrant waft without harsh or synthetic chemicals.

How We Tested Natural Laundry Detergents

When testing products, we check label information for ingredients, directions, and certifications.

We also look at how much detergent is recommended to use on large or medium loads.

From coffee to wine stains, we test the detergent in a whole range of conditions to see how it performs in a real home. We also make sure to test the product on different types of fabrics such as cotton, polyester, white and colored cloths.

During our tests, we try several machine settings (cold, delicate, warm etc…) and we load our washing machine with other items such as sheets or towels.

Finally, we look at everything from ease of use to the amount of suds produced, and if it leaves any residues.

Natural Laundry Detergents Comparison Chart

ProductFormUseScentRating
Mrs. Meyer's DetergentLiquidHE and standard machinesHoneysuckle4
Method Concentrated DetergentLiquidHE and standard machinesLavender and Cypress4
ECOS® Hypoallergenic DetergentLiquidHE and standard machinesMagnolia and LilyN/A
Persil Bio Biological DetergentLiquidN/AOriginal3.5
Gain Botanicals DetergentLiquidHE and standard machinesWhite tea and lavenderN/A
Grab Green Detergent PodsPowder podsHE and standard machinesRoseN/A
Seventh Generation DetergentLiquidHE and standard machinesUnscented3.5
Dropps Baby DetergentPodsHE and standard machinesUnscentedN/A
Biokleen Natural PowderPowderHE and standard machinesFree and ClearN/A
Jump to the Full Natural Laundry Detergents Reviews

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