Do you know what toxins are present in your favorite laundry detergent? And how confidently can you say that this detergent is 100% safe?
Laundry detergents brands are not required to list all their ingredients on the label. So, there’s a solid chance that toxic chemicals are lurking in your “safe” detergent.
One thing is for sure, brands that name their ingredients correctly and discuss their toxic statuses have nothing to hide. In my weeklong research, I have gathered nine such detergent brands that use only safe and non-toxic ingredients.
I have ranked these brands on the basis of their ingredients, certifications, plastic-free packaging, carbon neutrality, cost, cleaning performance and contribution to societal and charitable ventures.
Let’s get right into it.
1. Earth Breeze Eco Sheets — 9.8/10 (The best non-toxic laundry detergent)
Earth Breeze is the best non-toxic laundry detergent because it’s free from harmful chemicals such as parabens, phthalates, phosphates, bleach, and dyes. Moreover, they are the only other laundry detergent brand on this list that tremendously gives back to the environment!
Earth Breeze ticks all the boxes of an eco-friendly laundry detergent. You will find no toxic chemicals in their ingredients list.
Earth Breeze clearly displays all their ingredients on their packages and website.
They contain plant-based sodium dodecyl sulfate, sodium acetate trihydrate, and alcohol ethoxylate, leaving out harmful phosphates, sulfates, and parabens. They don’t use chlorine or alternative bleach options.
Earth Breeze has no harmful preservatives, dyes, or artificial fragrances. You can toss baby clothes in the washer without worrying that it might agitate your baby’s sensitive skin or cause an allergic reaction.
Unlike most plant-based detergents, Earth Breeze Eco Sheets have excellent cleaning performance. They removed even the toughest stains without damaging clothes.
I was pleased to see no fading or discoloration in my light- and dark-colored articles. The whites turned out whiter and brighter even without optical brighteners in their formula.
The laundry sheets are compatible with high efficiency (HE) washing machines and produce no suds. In addition, the ingredients are safe for septic and greywater, making them highly eco-friendly.
All Earth Breeze detergents are Leaping Bunny certified. They don’t test on animals or use ingredients that are tested on animals.
Switching to eco-friendly laundry detergents should NOT put you in a financial bind, and Earth Breeze gets that. They are super affordable! A single pack of Eco Sheets will cost you $0.33 per load. This price can be further reduced to only $0.20 per load if you get their monthly subscription. They also offer free shipping and a 100% money-back guarantee.
Earth Breeze laundry detergent sheets come in convenient cardboard boxes that occupy very little space in the cupboard. These lightweight packs require less energy to ship and thus reduce carbon emissions.
What separates Earth Breeze from the rest is their dedication to making Earth a better place. It’s not often you see brands going above and beyond to reverse the damage we have done to our planet.
They have partnered with We Are Neutral to ensure 100% carbon-neutral operations. They are also a part of 1% for the Planet, the members of which donate 1% of their annual revenue to environmental protection causes.
Their “Buy One Donate Ten” campaign gives away ten Eco Sheets for every package sold, allowing customers to select specific charities at checkout.
In addition, they organize ocean cleanups and tree planting programs.
Earth Breeze is relatively new to the detergent market, and people are often hesitant to try out new things. Traditional laundry detergent companies have brand recognition and consumer loyalty built over decades.
To Earth Breeze’s credit, they have thousands of positive reviews and ratings on their website and on Amazon.
Earth Breeze is made of non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan ingredients that are safe for sensitive skin and the environment.
These laundry sheets are plant based and still manage to be excellent at removing tough stains. They offer competitive prices going as low as $0.16 per load!
If you want a laundry detergent that not only cleans well and protects the environment at a great price, but is also free from the harmful toxins present in most other laundry detergents, head to Earth Breeze now.
2. Blueland Laundry Starter Set — 8.8/10 (Non-toxic but does not give back)
Blueland takes the #2 spot because, while they use safe and non-toxic ingredients and are 100% plastic free, they don’t engage in any environmental programs.
Blueland takes a unique approach to packaging their laundry detergent. On your first purchase, you get a reusable tin canister with refills coming in compostable paper bags.
What’s even better is they have made their tablets PVA/PVOH free. PVA/PVOH is usually used in laundry detergent pods. If not treated under specific conditions, PVA can enter the water streams in the form of harmful microplastics.
Blueland makes sure that none of their ingredients pose even the slightest risk of harming the planet. You will find only organic ingredients free of parabens, ammonia, sulfates, phosphates, phthalates, and chlorine bleach. I endorse brands that are transparent with their consumers and mention every ingredient alongside its Chemistry Abstracts Service (CAS) number, which can be used to crosscheck its toxicity level on the official website of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
All of their ingredients are Cradle to Cradle certified—an organization that ensures safe, eco-friendly, and sustainable ingredients. They are vegan and cruelty free, proven by their Leaping Bunny certification.
Blueland tablets clean laundry well too. One tablet is enough for a small dirty load. My test articles came out fresh and clean. This laundry detergent dissolves well in high efficiency (HE) machines and banishes even the toughest stains. In addition, the tablets are safe for sensitive skin and hypoallergenic.
Blueland didn’t make my #1 spot because they don’t really give back to the community. Although they are plastic free and Climate Neutral certified, they don’t do anything to help vulnerable communities or reverse environmental damage.
In addition, they cost $0.45/load and offer a subscription on only their “Essential Kit.” They’re certainly not as affordable as Earth Breeze.
Blueland‘s thoughtful packaging and 100% eco-friendly approach compelled me to put them in the #2 spot.
They’re plastic free, use only safe ingredients, clean laundry exceptionally well, are carbon neutral and Leaping Bunny certified, but they don’t participate in environmental and charitable programs and they’re more expensive than Earth Breeze.
3. Meliora Laundry Powder — 7.8/10 (Non-toxic but does not clean well)
Meliora sneaks into third place because they openly discuss their non-toxic ingredients on the website and have nothing to hide. They use 100% safe materials and are plastic free, however, they don’t clean as well as the top two contenders.
Meliora uses only three ingredients in their detergent powder: baking soda, washing soda, and vegetable soup (made of sodium cocoate, glycerin, and coconut oil). I particularly love how they have broken down their ingredients and explained every chemical thoroughly on their website.
In addition, they are Made Safe certified.
All of their ingredients are cruelty free, vegan, hypoallergenic, and eco-friendly. Even the scented variation of their products contain only organic essential oils.
Meliora goes plastic free by packaging their laundry powder in canisters that come with reusable stainless steel scoops and refills wrapped in paper. As much as I like this plastic-free concept, canisters are heavy and use more energy during shipping, adding to the overall carbon footprint.
The best part about Meliora is they are also a part of 1% for the Planet and donate 1% of their annual revenue to conservation initiatives. Not many companies take this bold step to help the planet.
In addition, Meliora costs only $0.28/load, which is super affordable. But they offer free shipping only on orders over $49 and don’t offer a money-back guarantee, which kind of takes away the charm.
In my opinion, Meliora’s natural laundry detergent could beat Blueland if they cleaned better. Although this powder is made of only three eco-friendly materials, this is also the reason why it fails to wash away stubborn stains very easily. You will need more scoops of detergent and at least two wash cycles to remove all the stains properly.
Although Meliora is non-toxic, its cleaning power is not on par with my #1 and #2.
Moreover, if you’re looking for a 100% eco-friendly detergent, why not choose a brand that offsets its carbon footprint by using lightweight and compact packs, like Earth Breeze?
4. Truly Free Signature Scent Laundry Wash
Warning: Plastic jug! While Truly Free has done a good job keeping its ingredients non-toxic and safe for the planet, they come in plastic jugs. Although this jug is recyclable and comes with refills, it still isn’t sustainable.
What I like the most is their active contribution to many charitable initiatives and environmental programs.They financially support hundreds of orphans and a deaf village in Jamaica. In addition, they support the Blue Heart Campaign, “a global awareness raising initiative to fight human trafficking and its impact on society.” Truly Free makes sure that some portion of your money has a positive impact..
However, they earn the fourth spot for two reasons: the plastic jugs and the irritating smell that lingers on the clothes after washing. They also don’t have cruelty-free or vegan certifications.
Truly Free offers an average cleaning performance. This liquid laundry detergent is not concentrated enough to remove heavy stains from cotton fabrics. You might need to use double the amount mentioned on the instruction label.
But if you cannot get your hands on the top three recommendations, then Truly Free is not a bad alternative. They offer free shipping and a 100% money-back guarantee.
5. Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent Pods
They are 100% non-toxic and safe for the environment. However, not much can be said for their cleaning performance. This powder could not wash away troublesome grease stains from my test clothes and left a strong scent.
They are Leaping Bunny certified and use only vegan and cruelty-free ingredients.
Molly’s Suds caught my attention because of their motivation to give back to the planet. They participate in charitable causes by donating detergent to communities across Florida, Nevada, New York, and Virginia. During the devastating early days of COVID-19, Molly’s Suds provided relief to 859 pandemic-struck families by washing their laundry. Hey Social Good has also awarded them a gold medal.
Despite an average cleaning performance, Molly’s Suds is a good option if you want to try a non-toxic and green laundry detergent.
6. Happi Earth
All the brands from this point offer an average cleaning performance.
Happi Earth deserves sixth place because they use 100% safe, non-toxic, and eco-friendly ingredients. They use only four organic ingredients: soapberry nut concentration, bean glycerin, sugarcane ethanol, and essential oils.
They are super affordable, priced at only $0.25/load, with free shipping. They even offer hassle-free returns and a full money-back guarantee.
While they’ve reduced the use of plastic by using refillable pouches, the inner lining of these packages is still made of plastic. You can send them your empty pouch to be sterilized and refilled, which at first seems inconvenient and time consuming, but, to their credit, one pouch can wash 400 loads! If you do an average of 45 loads per month, you’ll need to get it refilled after almost eight months. Not bad.
They don’t do much for society compared to the rest of the brands except plant one mangrove tree for every purchase.
While their cleaning performance is average and they don’t contribute a lot to eco-friendly initiatives, Happi Earth is not a bad alternative if you want a non-toxic, safe, and environmentally friendly laundry detergent for your family.
7. Tru Earth
While Tru Earth sheets contain only non-toxic and safe ingredients, they’ll cost you a whopping $0.56/load! Tru Earth is the most expensive laundry detergent on this list, which is why I had to rank them seventh. You can get the same or better value at half the price with Earth Breeze Eco Sheets.
They claim to be vegan and cruelty free but don’t own any certification to prove it. In addition, they couldn’t take off tough stains from my test swatches. You might require two sheets for a heavily soiled load.
If this costly laundry detergent doesn’t bust your budget, you can try them here.
8. Dropps Stain and Odor Detergent
I had to mention Dropps because of how open they are about their ingredients. You can download a full ingredient disclosure from their website to confirm the non-toxicity of all their cleaning products.
Dropps unscented laundry detergent is 100% safe and non-toxic. But you will find fragrances in their scented variation, such as “citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil” and “abies sibirica (fir needle) oil,” that may cause skin irritation and allergies.
Moreover, Dropps laundry detergent pods could not dissolve in my HE machine or remove tough stains.
They’ll cost you $0.46/load for one-time purchases, which is pricey compared to the top contenders on this list.
9. Grab Green Laundry Pods
Priced at $0.50/load, Grab Green laundry pods are made of only non-toxic materials. You can find complete details of their ingredients on their website.
Grab Green is eco-friendly and plastic free, but they don’t do anything noteworthy for society or the environment. While their competitors are consistently finding new ways to aid the planet, I urge Grab Green to at least make an effort in this area.
They are pretty expensive, and you can easily find better value for your money somewhere else.
Other Laundry Detergents I Tested
The non-toxic laundry detergents I’ve reviewed so far aren’t the only ones I tested in my weeklong research. Surprisingly many other brands boast being completely free of toxic ingredients, but their claim is often bogus.
Here I’ve mentioned the laundry detergents that couldn’t grab the spot in my top nine list of non-toxic laundry detergents.
10. Ethique Flash Laundry Bar
Ethique’s laundry detergent bar is completely free of toxic ingredients, and I’d have placed it in the top 10 if it weren’t for the one major flaw. These soaps are only good for handwashing.
This laundry soap is not suitable for an HE washing machine, and it’s only good for spot cleaning.
11. The Unscented Company
Some Unscented Company laundry products contain sodium lauryl sulfate, a harmful ingredient that causes skin irritation and inflammation in the lungs. So, the Unscented Company’s laundry detergents aren’t exactly non-toxic.
12. Pur Home
Pur Home is a natural laundry detergent, but it lacks cleaning performance. This liquid detergent couldn’t remove dirt and stains from my samples. Furthermore, their delivery time is around 21 days!
It’s better to choose the top two detergents from my list, which offer better delivery time and value for money.
13. Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent
Method liquid laundry detergent makes the laundry dull and dingy. Even though it claims to be non-toxic, it’s not hypoallergenic.
During my research, I found out some people suffered severe eye irritation from this product. It’s better to spend your money wisely and avoid this detergent.
14. Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent
First, Seventh Generation laundry detergent comes in big plastic jugs. Second, they contain synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, methylisothiazolinone and octylisothiazolinone. Steer clear of this liquid detergent!
The Bottom Line
I tested the 14 most popular non-toxic laundry detergents available on the market right now. While researching the non-toxic element of the laundry detergents, I carefully studied the ingredients used in the products.
Long-term exposure to toxic ingredients can cause irritation and allergic reactions. In extreme cases, it can even lead to cancer.
Earth Breeze laundry detergent performed well on my samples and removed tough stains without the need to pretreat the spots. One sheet was enough for a big load, and I didn’t notice any fade in color.
Earth Breeze comes in compact and zero-waste packaging. They’re a member of 1% for the planet and they donate ten laundry sheets with every sale.
Having said that, Earth Breeze is a relatively new player in the market compared to traditional brands, but thousands of customers have used their Eco Sheets and left positive reviews.
So, if you want an eco-friendly laundry detergent that has 100% non-toxic ingredients, is cruelty free, vegan, economical, and above all, cleans exceptionally well, go for Earth Breeze.
Here is the eight-step methodology that helped me determine the best laundry detergent with non-toxic ingredients.
Step 1: Listing all the popular non-toxic laundry detergent brands
I started off by searching the popular brands that sell non-toxic laundry detergents. Surprisingly there are tons of them.
I shortlisted these and made a list of 14 popular laundry detergent brands that claim to be “non-toxic” and “eco-friendly.”
Step 2: Checking the ingredients and certifications
The next step was to determine the authenticity of their “non-toxic” claim. So, I made a list of harsh chemicals found in conventional laundry detergent and went through the ingredient list of each product.
Generally, the common toxic chemicals present in detergents are of two categories.
Ingredients toxic to the human body
- Sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS & SLES)—Irritate the eyes and inflame sensitive skin and lungs
- Phthalate—Damages the liver, kidneys, and lungs
- Phosphates—Harms the cardiovascular system
- Methylisothiazolinone—Harmful to the eyes and causes dermal irritation
- Formaldehyde—Irritates throat and eyes
- Parabens—Negatively affects hormone function
- 1,4-dioxane—Carcinogenic and causes skin, eye, and lung inflammation
- Synthetic fragrances—Carcinogenic and triggers allergies
- Surfactants—Cause skin irritation, affect enzymes, and damage the body’s normal functioning
Ingredients toxic to the environment
These are nonbiodegradable ingredients, so they become hazardous to aquatic life when they are disposed of in the water system. Moreover, they are not safe for septic and greywater.
- Surfactants—Toxic effects on aquatic ecosystems
- Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPE)—Highly toxic to aquatic life
- Dyes and optical brighteners—Not biodegradable, hazardous to aquatic life
Now that I had the list of culprits, I visited the company’s websites and checked out their ingredients.
Step 3: Non-toxic detergent analysis
Now that I had sorted my list according to non-toxic claims and certifications, I progressed to the next step.
I established a scoring system to determine the safest laundry detergent. Here are the factors that play an important role:
- Ingredients and certifications
- Cleaning performance
- Effect on skin
- Septic Safety
- Sustainable packaging
- Cost per load
- Subscription offers, delivery charges, and refund policies
- Contribution to eco-friendly initiatives
The non-toxic laundry detergent brands that checked most of the above-mentioned factors ranked higher in my list.
Step 4: Online reviews
To add a fresh perspective to my research, I considered what buyers said about the product. Going through hundreds of reviews on the brand’s website and e-commerce stores, I got real-time insight.
Some people had their cleaning products delivered in damaged packaging, while others experienced an allergic reaction to a specific product even though it was labeled fragrance free and hypoallergenic.
Others had mixed opinions about the cleaning performance of laundry detergent pods, while some endorsed the use of only plant- and mineral-based detergents. Seeing things from a buyer’s perspective helped me rank the products even better.
Step 5: Interviews with real customers
Even though online reviews reveal a lot of info, some brands put fake reviews on their website. To get an even clearer picture, I contacted real customers and asked about their experiences with the detergents.
Some had issues with the cleaning performance and odd-smelling laundry. Others were doubtful about the cost per load of detergents.
Some customers had a bad experience with customer service as well.
I included all these experiences in my scoring system.
Step 6: Interviews with companies
To keep my analysis unbiased, I needed to hear the company’s side of the story. For this, I contacted multiple brands and asked their representatives about their non-toxic ingredients, cruelty-free and vegan policies, and their eco-friendly initiatives.
As expected, some brands responded to my email promptly and gave positive responses. Some didn’t even reply to my emails.
Brands such as Earth Breeze, Blueland, and Molly’s Suds were transparent about their products. However, companies like Seventh Generation gave a poor response. This helped me judge each company’s customer service, and I’ve considered this in the overall ranking.
Step 7: Test drive
To keep it fair, I made 16 identical batches of test samples. Each batch had four types of fabrics, namely cotton, wool, silk, and denim. All the swatches were covered in dirt, grass, oil, ink, and food stains.
I used the recommended amount of laundry detergent, no more and no less. After one wash cycle, I let my sample dry naturally.
Once dried, I examined the test articles under natural light and UV light, which exposed the slightest of the stains.
The top three brands on my list performed the best across all kinds of fabrics, both whites and colors, while the rest lacked efficient cleaning. In some cases, I even noticed a slight fade in color. Some failed to dissolve properly in water, while others needed multiple rinse cycles.
Step 8: Ratings
Out of sixteen competitors, nine made it to the final list.
This methodology helped me rank the best non-toxic and eco-friendly laundry detergent available on the market, and this review will surely help you decide which non-toxic laundry detergent you are going to try next.
The Best Non-toxic Laundry Detergent That Actually Cleans!
According to a survey report by the European Commission (EC), nearly 42% of companies are greenwashing their products (labeling products as eco-friendly even when they aren’t) to deliberately fool customers!
I analyzed 14 non-toxic laundry detergents, from which Earth Breeze stood out effortlessly.
Here’s what the brand has to offer:
- 100% natural and non-toxic ingredients
- Paraben, phosphate, and chlorine free
- Exceptional cleaning performance
- Wallet-friendly free shipping and monthly subscription discounts
- Zero-waste packaging
- 1% of the annual revenue to eco-friendly initiatives
- 10 sheets donated with every sale
If you are looking for the best non-toxic and eco-friendly laundry detergent, then Earth Breeze is the right choice for you.
To learn more about laundry detergent sheets, read my review of the eight best eco-sheets today!