Best Eco-friendly, Non-Toxic Laundry Detergents According to An Expert Linens Stylist
Is Laundry Detergent Toxic?
Laundry detergent is a common household cleaning product that we come into contact with almost every day. It wouldn’t cross your mind to think that it might be made with harmful ingredients or materials. Finding a laundry detergent that is both safe and effective is vital for your health, your linens, and the environment.
Below are some of the best eco-friendly and non-toxic laundry detergents, recommended by Liz Barbatelli, fine linens expert and world-renowned for her ability to curate luxurious, life-enhancing products for your home.
What Do We Mean by “Eco-Friendly” and “Non-Toxic Detergents?”
Eco-friendly Laundry Detergent
When a laundry detergent is considered “eco-friendly,” it means that the product is formulated with environmentally sustainable ingredients. Biodegradable ingredients are safer for your home and are also gentler on your linens, clothing, and your washing machine.
Most eco-friendly detergents also come in packaging that is made of recyclable materials to help reduce excess waste and plastics that can take many years to decompose.
Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent
Many products that are used within your home are made with toxic ingredients that can cause significant health issues. Non-toxic detergents are sourced from natural ingredients for safer cleaning for you and your linens.
However, please do not be fooled, all detergents, eco-friendly, biodegradable, or “non-toxic,” are not safe to ingest, inhale, and are harmful to your eyes. It is very important to treat all cleaning agents with care and safety.
Top Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Detergents
The Laundry’s Finest Detergent
Curated by the foremost fine linen laundry in the country, The Laundry’s Finest Detergent features an exclusive, time-tested formula, made from naturally sourced surfactants that reflects the distinctive old-world artisan approach to laundry care that you can bring to your own home.
Ideal for everyday use, for everything from fine knits to towels to denim, The Laundry’s Finest powder detergent is formulated to dissolve in all water temperatures and keep your garments and linens looking their best and performing at their peak for years.
This exclusive, American-made detergent is fully biodegradable and made without chemical additives or brightening agents, making it gentle on clothes, the environment, and you. The Laundry’s Finest can be used in any style washer with each 40 oz bag cleaning up to 80 loads of laundry, and has a light lemon scent that leaves your laundry smelling fresh and clean. Keep your detergent moisture-free and neatly stored in the decorative, refillable canister. This canister is made of recycled materials and can hold up to one 40 oz refill bag of The Laundry’s Finest detergent.
Earth Breeze Laundry Sheets
Earth Breeze makes everyday laundry simple and sustainable with its eco-friendly, liquidless laundry detergent sheets. Eco Sheets are sourced with biodegradable ingredients that are safe for your home and the environment. These hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested sheets dissolve within seconds in hot or cold water in any standard washing machine. Each set of Earth Breeze Eco Sheets delivers up to 60 loads of powerful cleans while saving space with its light and compostable packaging.
Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent is designed to provide a healthy, sustainable, and practical product for your home linens. This laundry soap is EPA Safer Choice Certified, made with a formula that excludes the use of dyes, synthetic fragrances, or optical brighteners, making your linens safe to wear, dry with, and sleep in.
Each 40 oz bottle of concentrated detergent contains 53 loads of high-quality washes for use in any GE or standard machine.
Method 4x Concentrated
Method is a trusted brand for bringing high-quality products to your home. Method 4X Laundry Detergent’s naturally derived, plant-based formula is hypoallergenic and provides a clean, eliminating dirt and stains without the use of parabens, phthalates, silicones, sulfates, or dyes.
This certified cruelty-free detergent comes in a sleek, 53.5 fl oz bottle and can clean up to 66 loads. This laundry soap comes in several scents including Free + Clear, which is made with no dyes and fragrances.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Detergents
There are many detergents on the market that use ingredients that are not only harmful to our linens but can also trigger skin sensitivities. Some of the harsh chemicals to avoid when choosing a better-quality laundry detergent include:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) or ingredients ending in the suffix “eth” or “oxynol”
Choose a detergent made from naturally sourced ingredients from the earth.
Prices of laundry detergents can vary depending on the brand or load count, so a higher-priced detergent does not always determine the quality. Liquid detergents and single-dose tablets are often more expensive than powder detergents but do not wash as many loads.
When comparing prices of luxury laundry detergents, look for one that will give you the most for your dollar. A high-quality detergent may be higher in cost, but you’ll feel confident knowing it is both safe to use and that you are getting a cleaner wash.
Eco-friendly products are more sustainable and reduce our impact on the environment. Many products are “green” or “eco-friendly,” there are indicators to help you determine which ones are truly safe to use in your home.
To ensure a product is safe for the environment and your health, check to see that the product contains an ecolabel. If the detergent has an ecolabel on the packaging, then it meets the specific criteria as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency.
When shopping for an eco-friendly laundry detergent, look for one that is also both biodegradable and non-phosphorus, and a package that you can recycle after use.
While you want a laundry detergent that is safe for your home and the environment, you still want one that will be effective in cleaning your linens and garments. Many detergents can leave residue on your linens or stain your clothing. For the best value, choose a high-quality, luxury detergent that is made with a time-tested formula, and applies to all machine types.
Benefits of Using Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Detergents
There are many benefits of using these better-quality laundry detergents, such as:
Protects the environment – Detergents made with biodegradable materials can lower your carbon footprint and preserve wildlife.
Safer for people & our pets – Non-toxic laundry detergents are designed with your health in mind by using less harmful ingredients.
Safer for pets – Fragrance-free and non-toxic detergents can help avoid allergic reactions in pets.
Cost-effective – Investing in eco-friendly detergents naturally leads to saving through energy conservation and reduced waste.
Long-lasting – Better quality detergents require fewer ingredients and smaller measurements for washes.
Types of Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic Detergents
Natural Detergents/Plant-Based Detergents
Naturally-derived or plant-based laundry detergents are made with ingredients that originated in nature, such as minerals, natural chemicals, plants, or microbes. These surfactants or cleaning agents that help lift dirt and stains from your linens and clothes, can include naturally milled chemicals, coconut oil, palm, and palm kernel oil, or even olive oil, and are typically biodegradable.
Laundry detergents that are hypoallergenic are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. These products are made without the use of artificial fragrances, toxic chemicals, and other additives that commonly irritate the skin or eyes. Many detergents that are hypoallergenic have also been tested by dermatologists or professionals.
Harsh Chemicals in Traditional Detergents to Look Out For
Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) – SLS is toxic to the environment and can cause irritation and inflammation in the eyes, skin, and lungs. It also has oil- and skin-stripping properties, which can clog pores and acne.
Phosphates – High levels of phosphates can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis heart attacks, and strokes. They can also cause mineral poisoning in waterways when mixed with certain elements in the water.
Chlorine Bleach – Chlorine Bleach can irritate and burn the skin and eyes. It is also a known polluter to the environment and can create the spread of toxins in our water.
Synthetic fragrances – Synthetic fragrances are responsible for many chemical sensitivities, allergic reactions, and rashes. These artificial fragrances contain phthalates, which are linked to many health issues like asthma, ADHD, Autism, cancer, type 2 diabetes, neurodevelopment issues, behavioral issues, premature birth, early puberty, reduced fertility, and birth defects.
Optical brighteners – Optical brighteners contain no cleaning power and are non-biodegradable, making them extremely toxic to aquatic life and the environment.
Live Cleaner With The Right Laundry Detergent
When it comes to finding the right laundry detergent for your home, the details matter. Detergents that are eco-friendly and made with non-toxic ingredients can make a big difference, both in your home and the environment. Knowing you can wash your laundry in a detergent that is both safe and effective will make this everyday chore something to look forward to.
Create remarkable experiences in your home with insights from expert linen stylist, Liz Barbatelli, as she shares her lifelong passion and decades of expertise to help you to curate sumptuous yet practical environments that enhance your everyday living.
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“A love of linens is innate in my being. There's no greater comfort than beautiful Supima cotton bedding, 100% Giza cotton towels, and gathering family and friends around the dining room table dressed to perfection with linen napkins and festive settings.”
“A love of linens is innate in my being. There's no greater comfort than beautiful bedding, 100% cotton towels, gathering family around the dining room table, dressed to perfection with linen napkins and festive settings.”
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