I Tested 5 Top-Rated Natural Laundry Detergents (& The Best One Costs Only 20¢ Per Load!)

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Find out which natural laundry detergent is right for you with our comprehensive detergent test.

various laundry detergents on wood table

Wash away your worries with these safe detergent choices! ✨

The best natural laundry detergent comes in many forms. If you’re wondering which is the best laundry detergent, check out these brands I tested for months and which one you shouldn’t be buying.

dark blue washer and dryer in laundry room

What is considered a natural laundry detergent?

Simply put, “natural” has lost its cultural value, and these days, you can find “natural” on numerous product labels that are anything but that. Even more so when referring to food and drink products. This is due to the fact our government and FDA have a very loose definition of what “natural” really is in regard to labeling products.

Natural means…“Existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind.”

The FDA may not take “natural” seriously but when it comes to my home and family, I do. So, my goal for finding the best “natural” laundry detergents was to focus on simple and effective ingredients.

Finding formulas that are nearly completely biodegradable was important to me as well so they’re not just good for you, but our precious environment too.

I also had many non-negotiables when choosing the best natural laundry detergents and ALL of the ones I’m recommending in this post meet these high standards:

  • Phosphate-Free reduces the amount of phosphate that wastewater treatment plants must clean up.
  • Phthalate-Free products containing no more than 1,000 parts per million of either DEHP or DBP. They are free of toxins that can impact your natural hormones and can lead to serious health issues such as lower fertility, development issues, and a higher risk of cancer.
  • Paraben-Free free of preservatives that make products last longer. 
  • Doesn’t contain bleach which would deactivate other cleaning enzymes and weaken and deteriorate fabrics over time and can cause yellowing. Also not “natural”.
  • Cruelty-Free not manufactured or developed by experimenting on or with animals. 
  • Dye-Free – free of harsh chemicals that would not be ideal for sensitive skin. 
  • Hypoallergenic gentle on the skin and unlikely to cause any allergic reactions.
  • Synthetic Fragrance-Free (or undetectable amounts) replicate the scent of natural fragrances and is made up of chemical compounds comprised of aromatic raw materials.
  • Standard and HE machine approved – suitable for all household washing machines.
  • Grey water and Septic safe – suitable for nearly all household water systems. 

various kinds of laundry detergents on wood table

Here are the best natural laundry detergents I tested:

  1. Earth BreezeBest travel-friendly
  2. Dirty LabsBest smelling 
  3. ECOSMost budget-friendly 
  4. Molly’s Suds Best powder detergent
  5. Dropp’s Best detergent pods

*Scroll to the end of this post to see which “natural” detergent I don’t recommend.

Discover which is the best laundry detergent for your home:

1. Earth Breeze Fragrance-Free Sheets

Best travel-friendly

hand holding earth breeze natural laundry detergent sheets

Earth Breeze Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergent Sheets, 60 ct.$20
Opt for Subscribe & Save and score 40% off
Final cost just $12 shipped!

  • 20¢ per load (equal to 1 sheet)

If you want the most convenient, travel-friendly, and NO fuss laundry detergent that takes up minimal space, THESE are for you, friend. 👏🏻 I also love these laundry sheets because they’re completely mess-free and easy to customize to your loads of laundry. “What do you mean by ‘customize’?” you ask?

blue circle on back of laundry load washing instructions

Having your detergent already in pre-portioned sizes (i.e. sheets) makes each load completely hassle-free. Use half a sheet for medium loads, a full sheet for large loads, or two sheets for extra large loads. That means if you’re someone who does smaller loads at a time, your pack of Earth Breeze sheets will seem like they last twice as long! 👏🏻

hand holding a piece of natural laundry detergent sheet

Another unique feature I discovered about these sheets is you can also tear off small pieces from your sheet to pre-treat stains. It’s much easier than messing with liquid and impossible for other types of detergents (like pods) to do altogether! 🙌🏻

Here’s what I love about Earth Breeze:

  • Biodegradeable (including packaging)
  • Extremely travel-friendly
  • Climate Pledge Friendly
  • Space saver
  • No plastic jugs
  • Dermatologist Tested
  • Vegan
  • Dissolves completely in cold or warm water
  • Great for pre-treating stains
  • Hassle-free
  • Easy to reorder with Subscribe & Save
  • Available in scented and unscented options

woman ripping white sheet

Here are a few things I want to point out about Earth Breeze laundry sheets:

Their scented sheets have “fragrance” (which I’ll share more on at the end of this post), and this is the very reason I’m recommending their Fragrance-Free sheets over their scented ones.

Earth Breeze contains Polyethylene Glycol which is a synthetic compound and is used as a stabilizer and keeps ingredients from separating — this makes sense when your detergent is coming in sheets. This ingredient is much more concerning if you were ingesting it and in this case, we’re not so I don’t personally find this to be too concerning. However, it’s not a renewable source so it definitely loses some points there.

Earth Breeze contains Alcohol Ethoxylates which are highly toxic to aquatic life and rates pretty low on EWG. However, it is considered to be only mildly toxic to humans if taken orally, which we are not.

Sodium Laureth Sulfate is another ingredient used in these sheets which has caused a lot of consumer confusion and concerns. It’s also the only detergent on my recommended list that contains it. However, studies prove it does not pose danger to human health and safety. It’s also considered a sustainable material because of its 100% biobased content, biodegradability, and low potential for bioaccumulation.

One final “con” in relation to these sheets is that this product is not made in the USA.

woman holding pile of white sheets

Overall, despite the few “concerns” with this laundry detergent, I still think it’s a great natural and eco-friendly option. The minimal ingredients that could potentially cause some irritation are far outweighed by the convenience and biodegradability of these sheets!

Plus, when testing this entire pack, my family had zero complaints and the sheets did an excellent job of cleaning our clothes thoroughly.

2. Dirty Labs 

Best smelling

dirty labs laundry detergent bottle and box on wood table with white towels and plant

Dirty Labs Bio-Liquid Laundry Detergent$15

  • 47¢ per load 

I am really sensitive to smells. I’m also aware of the health concerns associated with synthetic fragrances which is exactly why all of the detergents I’m recommending either don’t include them or have undetectable amounts. That said, I love a great aroma when I find one, especially on freshly washed linens, so I was THRILLED when I discovered Dirty Labs.

I truly can’t get enough of this amazing-smelling laundry detergent! 🤩

hand squeezing a small silicone cup

The scent I tested has hints of magnolia, bergamot, and cedar scent. It is SUCH a sophisticated smell that leaves my whole house smelling like it when I’m running a load and it even lingers on clothing which I didn’t find any of the other natural laundry detergents to do! I also really love the compact formula and the unique BPA-free cap that’s included with each bottle.

Here’s what I love about Dirty Labs:

  • Biodegradable formula
  • Made from natural and renewable resources
  • For all water temperatures
  • Highly reduced packaging size
  • 100% Recyclable container
  • Unique BPA-free cap
  • Vegan
  • Sulfates-free
  • Preservative-free
  • Free of CA Prop.65 Chemicals
  • Travel-friendly
  • Certified EPA Safer Choice Partner
  • 97% USDA Certified Bio-Based product
  • No artificial brighteners
  • Easy to order with Amazon Prime
  • Available in scented and unscented options
  • Made in the USA

woman giving thumbs up holding bottle of household products

Here are a few things I want to point out about Dirty Labs:

I want to clearly point out that Dirty Labs uses natural and synthetic fragrances which is typically a huge “NO WAY” in my book.

However, they select their fragrances from the IFRA Transparency List. They also eliminated or reduced all Prop 65 Chemicals of Concern and all EU Fragrance Allergens to non-detectable amounts at less than 1ppm. In other words, they’re really not going to pose harm to humans. However, if it’s still a concern to you, Dirty Labs does make a Scent Free Detergent that’s EWG Verified and essentially your most natural and safest option.

Other cons:

  • The priciest detergent tested
  • Cap gets messy and is inconvenient to rinse after use

before and after of dirty labs cleaning stain on pink dress

Overall, this highly-concentrated formula is a BIG winner in my book! It was super effective at getting out stains without the need for pre-treating from dried-on chocolate on my daughter’s dress to grass stains on football pants. However, for me, the real notable feature of this natural laundry detergent is its incredible scent! For someone who can’t even stand to wear perfume, this is one scent I can’t get enough of! 🙌🏻

3. ECOS 

Most budget-friendly 

hand holding jug of ECOS liquid laundry detergent

This is going to be the best natural laundry detergent for your home if you love a tried and true liquid detergent and want something that’s budget-friendly. ECOS is a leader in clean science and takes a very holistic approach to literally everything they do. They also promise to never use 500+ human and environmental toxins that some other brands do. Plus, they’re continuously learning and when new discoveries are made, their list evolves and improves even more. 🙌🏻

It’s honestly incredible their laundry detergent is offered at such an affordable price because the quality and impeccable standards they hold are truly unbeatable! 🤩

woman holding bottle of ecos laundry detergent

ECOS uses plant-derived ingredients as its active cleaners and they’re committed to sustainable chemistry to ensure its products are never over-engineered. I found this detergent to work wonderfully at cleaning, but I didn’t smell any of the lavender aromas after drying my laundry. That said, tough stains (when pretreated) came out just as well as any of the other detergents tested.

Here’s what I love about ECOS:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Plant powered
  • Only 10 ingredients
  • Naturally, stain-fighting
  • Safer Choice Certified
  • Built-in fabric softener
  • Made in a Climate-Positive Factory
    • Carbon neutral
    • Water neutral
    • TRUE Platinum Zero Waste
    • 100% Renewable Energy
  • Sulfates-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Preservative-free
  • 100% Recyclable container
  • No artificial brighteners
  • Available in scented and unscented options
  • Made in the USA
  • Globally sourced ingredients from where they’re indigenously grown
    • Supports a sustainable supply chain and local farmers
  • Easily ordered on Amazon Prime S&S

woman pouring ecos laundry detergent into lid

Here are a few things I want to point out about ECOS:

The lavender laundry detergent I tested rates a “B” on EWG (which is pretty great), but I wanted to point out that they list “fragrance” as a negative ingredient. However, ECOS laundry detergent is EPA Safer Choice partner which is the gold standard of third-party safety certification. This means that every ingredient (regardless of the percentage) must meet strict safety criteria for both human health and the environment, including carcinogenicity, reproductive and developmental toxicity, toxicity to aquatic life, and persistence in the environment.

Other cons:

  • Bulky container

woman holding bottle of liquid detergent

Overall, I really can’t find a better natural liquid laundry detergent than this. 🙌🏻 Aside from many of their standout features, what’s most notable is whether you’re buying the scented or scent-free detergent, you know you’re getting an exceptionally clean formula from an all-around thoughtful company.

4. Molly’s Suds

Best powder detergent 

blue scooper from mollys suds laundry detergent bag

Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent Powder – $14.99

  • 21¢ per load 

This natural detergent has just 5 ingredients and is any minimalist’s dream come true overall rates an “A” on EWG. In fact, of all the detergents on our list, this is truly the BEST natural laundry detergent on our list if we’re comparing ingredient to ingredient.

Let’s take a deeper look at Molly’s Sud’s impressive list of simple ingredients or view these ingredients individually:

list of natural laundry detergent ingredients

Plain and simple, this laundry detergent is the REAL deal, friends. The peppermint scent is also super fresh and revitalizing when you open the bag. Organic peppermint oil is what I always use on my wool dryer balls for laundry and when steam cleaning my hardwood floors, so I’m especially favorable to this scent and enjoyed using it very much!

woman smelling bag of mollys suds

Here’s what I love about Molly’s:

  • Only 5 Earth-derived ingredients
  • 100% Biodegradeable product
  • GMO-Free
  • Naturally, stain-fighting
  • Certified cruelty-free
  • No nonylphenol ethoxylates
  • No phosphate, 1, 4, or dioxane
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate-Free
  • No synthetic fragrances
  • No Petrochemicals
  • Certified vegan
  • No optical brighteners
  • Packaging is manufactured with sustainable sources and manufacturing and non-toxic inks
  • Recyclable bag
  • Made in Oregon, USA
  • Ingredients sourced from Green River Basin in Wyoming
  • Easily accessible on Amazon Prime

hand holding blue scooper full of white powder in washing machine

Here are a few things I want to point out about Molly’s Suds:

I often forgot to put this detergent in the washing machine before loading it up with clothes, which was unlike all the other detergents I’ve used. So it was a bit of a hassle taking my clothes out each time I made this mistake. This is clearly a user error on my end, and I know if I stuck to only ever using this detergent using it would eventually become more routine and habitual.

Other cons:

  • Not the most convenient
  • Potential to be messy
  • Pretreating is difficult (although not necessary)

woman holding bag of mollys suds

Overall, I’m strongly considering making the switch to Molly’s Suds for my everyday use. I love the peppermint option and the simple, effective, and incredibly clean ingredients. My only real complaints are that it’s not the most travel-friendly option and has the potential to be messy, but scooping some out into an airtight container for my next vacation will totally suffice.

5. Dropp’s

Best detergent pods 

hand holding a box of dropps laundry pods

Dropp’s Stain & Odor Laundry Pods – $14.50

  • 45¢ per load (equal to one pod)

All of Dropp’s products on EWG have either an “A” or B” rating so you know you’re getting a clean and natural product. They’re 100% plastic-free and are an Oceana partner which means they contribute to cleaner oceans and lessen our carbon footprint overall. They’re also a is EPA Safer Choice partner like ECOS, which is the gold standard of third-party safety certification.

Aside from the ingredients, this laundry detergent is super unique since the formula is packed into one dissolvable pod.

boxes of dropps pods spilled on wood table

Dropp’s are independent 3rd party lab-tested for effectiveness and I have tested nearly all of Dropp’s laundry pods and can affirm the wonderful results you’ll get when washing clothes. Another notable feature, their detergent is also free from synthetic fragrances so you have various scent options to choose from regardless of your standards.

Here’s what I love about Dropp’s:

  • Travel-friendly
  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Phthalate-Free
  • Plastic-Free
  • No optical brighteners
  • Naturally, stain-fighting
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate-Free
  • No synthetic fragrances or dyes
  • Vegan
  • Oceana partner
  • Certified EPA Safer Choice Partner
  • Recyclable and compostable cardboard packaging
  • Ethically sourced ingredients
  • Easily accessible on Amazon Prime
  • Made in the USA

hand holding clear pods in palm over basket of laundry

Here are a few things I want to point out about Dropp’s:

Dropps contain Alcohol Ethoxylates (just as Earth Breeze does) which are highly toxic to aquatic life and rates pretty low on EWG. However, it is considered to be only mildly toxic to humans if taken orally, which we are not.

Many of the other listed ingredients in Dropps that rate a “C” on EWG such as Polyvinyl Alcohol, Hexyloxy Dimethyltetrahydrofuran, BHT, and Lauramine Oxide, sound really intimidating but don’t pose significant harm to humans. Needless to say, if being able to pronounce every ingredient is important to you, then this may not be the best natural laundry detergent for you.

Dropp’s are on the pricier side, but you’ll pay less per load with the more you buy. The largest quantity at 140 loads will run you over $50. 😟

Try a Dropp’s trial size for just $3 shipped!

Other cons:

  • Second priciest detergent tested (cheaper if buying in bulk)
  • Portions can’t be customized
  • No ability to pre-treat

woman holding palm out hands out with clear pods

Overall, I loved using Dropp’s. They’re simple to use, get the job done, and are somewhat travel-friendly. Plus, their dedication to lessening everyone’s carbon footprint is really monumental. Even more so because they’ve taken action on their leftover carbon footprint by partnering with Clearloop. This is one of the best natural laundry detergents if you’re looking to make a difference in the world. However, given the price point, they’re not my first go-to.

Everspring is a “natural” laundry detergent I would NOT recommend buying.  

woman giving thumbs down holding travel size bottle of white is the best laundry detergent

I’ve been guilty of stocking up on Everspring laundry detergent many times in the past because it’s easy to grab during a Target trip and does a pretty good job at cleaning clothes. It wasn’t until I started researching the best natural laundry detergent that I realized we’re better served without it.

Their clean-looking labels and many natural claims are deceiving until you really start doing some digging. However, compared to other top brands like Tide, it’s still a better choice. In fact, about 90% of the ingredients in Everspring laundry detergent are applaudable and they do meet nearly all of the non-negotiable criteria I listed at the beginning of this post, but the other 10% are why I’m nixing them as a safe household product recommendation.

woman holding travel size bottle of everspring laundry detergent

Here are some things I do I love about Everspring:

However, many of the cons are contradicting to even the few notable features. Here’s why I don’t recommend Everspring laundry detergent. 

Despite their claims of being “synthetic fragrance-free”, they don’t actually specify the fragrance used in their product. Instead, their labeling uses the commonly used “umbrella term” which 3,163 different chemical ingredients can hide behind on any product label. 😳 Sadly, the word “fragrance” can be found on numerous products claiming to be “natural” – from cosmetics to cleaners. Almost all of these chemicals that classify as “fragrance” are hormone disrupters, can lead to cancers, and other concerning health problems, and ultimately not something we should be using to wash our clothes. Scary right?

Everspring also contains Phenoxyethanol and Methylisothiazolinone. Both are preservatives and are linked to many health concerns and skin irritations. These preservatives are manmade chemical compounds and are another huge no-no for any product I’m buying or recommending.

hand holding everspring liquid laundry detergent travel size bottle

Other notable CONS:

Want a safer Everspring laundry detergent choice? Opt for the Everspring Free & Clear Laundry Detergent.

Compared to the “D” EWG rating on the scented Everspring laundry detergents, their Free & Clear has a “B” rating on EWG which is exceptionally better! This is mainly attributed to the fact they entirely nix fragrances in their fragrance-free alternative. However, just keep in mind, even the Free & Clear still contains some concerning ingredients.

Check out these eco-friendly household swaps that will save you thousands!

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger and photographer with 8+ years of experience having work featured in various building, travel, and fashion publications, most notably Bassett Furniture and Fossil.

Join The Discussion

Comments 25

  1. amber-6

    I LOVE this post! It’s so helpful and informative for those of us who have been thinking about making the switch for health and environmental reasons. Thank you! I will try one of these very soon.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      I’m so glad you enjoyed this post, amber-6! It can be so overwhelming shopping for the best “natural” products so I’m thrilled to know this helped you!

  2. Lana

    Are you aware of any natural fabric softener?

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey Lana!

      I don’t personally use any fabric softeners – I use wool dryer balls with a few drops of organic peppermint essential oils.

      However, if you want a product that pulls double duty, ECOS liquid detergent already has the fabric softener built into it. It was my favorite liquid recommendation and also happens to be the cheapest on the list! 😊

  3. bizzymama

    Tip: after filling cap with liquid detergent, wash with clothes to get use of all detergent in cap. Put cap back into container before placing clothes onto dryer. My aunt taught me this trick 20 plus years ago and I still do it! Just a suggestion with your post on the messy cap* Great post! Wondered what your thoughts were on Zum detergent!? I picked a bottle up recently at my local Kroger of the frankincense and myrrh and find that my clothes smell amazing after a wash and dry. Wondered how this detergent compares to the ones you posted. Thanks in advance!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the helpful tip, bizzymama! I have never heard of Zum detergent so I’ll have to keep an eye out for it. Unfortunately, we don’t have any Kroger stores where I live. 🙁

  4. PA

    Any input on Branch Basics? Thanks for the post!

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome, PA! I haven’t used Branch Basics before (although I have heard of them)! I’ll let our team know you’re curious about this brand and maybe this is something I could test at a later date and get back to you with deeper insight. ☺️

  5. Lo

    This is a GREAT post! Thanks Sara! Any thoughts on Seventh Generation Free & Clear?

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey, Lo! I’m so thrilled you loved this post! I have never used Seventh Generation detergent, but I do use their Free & Clear dishwasher pods (which rate an A on EWG) so I’m assuming the detergent can’t be too far off from a “safe” standpoint. I’ve never fully vetted their company though so I can’t put my final stamp of approval on them until then. 😉 I’ll circle back to our team and maybe this is something I could test at a later date and get back to you with deeper insight. 😊

  6. Amy

    We love Trulyfree Laundry products!! Also, their dryer angel replaces toxic dryer sheets and it is sewed by ministries around the world that help women who have been trafficked or who are deaf!

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for taking a moment to share your recommendation, Amy! ❤️

    • Amy

      I second this!!! I’ve been using them for years (laundry wash and rinse) and will never switch! Not to mention the convenience of the refills!

  7. Amy

    This is a great post! I’d like to see Seventh Generation tested here as well.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Glad you found this post helpful, Amy! I’ll pass along your feedback to the team! 🥰

    • Laurieaw1

      I really like seventh generations new zero plastic powder that comes in a small tin. It is fully and infinitely recyclable packaging (unlike the plastic ecos bottle, most plastic does not get recycled and when it is it is usually down cycled into an unrecyclable product), it is highly concentrated and you only need a tablespoon, it dissolves well, and when it goes on sale at target it is pretty affordable.

      • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

        I love that so much, Lauriesw1! Thank you so much for sharing. I am super lucky to have a zero waste store within walking distance of my home and they have a nearly identical product that I can bring my own containers to. I LOVE IT!

  8. Laurieaw1

    Another troubling ingredient in earth breeze laundry sheets (and ask other sheets and pods I’ve seen) is polyvinyl alcohol. Here is an article about it: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.forbes.com/sites/jamiehailstone/2022/11/15/epa-urged-to-regulate-plastic-film-in-laundry-detergent-pods-and-sheets/amp/ Basically it has potential to biodegrade, as the company claims, but unfortunately the conditions are not usually met for it to actually happen, so you are just polluting our water and planet with microplastics.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      Thank you for this info, Laurieaw1! I will be sure to look more into this!

  9. Sara

    Thanks for this post. I’ve wanted to use cleaner laundry detergent for years but have been lazy to do the research, especially since it always seems like our government constantly tells us that ingredients aren’t harmful and then later we find out that they are! I’m definitely going to try out the Molly Suds and Ecos 🙂

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome, Sara, and I totally agree with you! It can be very overwhelming so I’m thrilled this post could help make it easier for you. 😊

  10. Giant Sis

    Thank you for this great article! I love the laundry sheets I’ve used but I don’t think they were this brand. It gets so frustrating that the products that are better for us AND the environment usually cost so much more than the chemical-filled ones.

    • Sara (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome, Giant Sis! I’m glad you found this post helpful. I’m right there with you between the cost of food and cleaning products, life is expensive when you’re trying to make the best decisions for your health. 😞 I’m not sure if you have one near you, but we recently got a zero-waste store that has completely clean products and you refill everything on your own so it really cuts down the cost of all these things since there’s no packaging & middle man.

  11. Amy F;)

    Thank-you!!! I’ve been using biokleen for years but have thought about switching. You did the research work for me!

    • Claudette (Hip Sidekick)

      You’re so welcome, Amy! 💖 Happy it was helpful!

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