7 Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents of 2020

Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents

Looking for a detergent that’s fresh, clean, and green? The best eco-friendly laundry detergents keep your clothes (and linens) fresh and fragrant without all the harmful chemicals. Thanks to innovative options from brands like Biokleen and Mrs. Meyers, it’s easier than ever to protect your health and our Earth. This article takes you through 7 amazing eco-friendly detergents. We will help you make the right choice for your household and the water supply. Let’s check them out.

Our Top Picks

Short on time? Check out the top picks:

  • Best Overall: Biokleen Laundry Detergent. A cost-effective, 3x concentrated plant-based formula with a light citrus fragrance that’s perfect for sensitive skin.
  • Best Runner-Up: Mrs. Meyer’s Laundry Detergent. From a trusted eco-conscious brand, this detergent offers a honeysuckle fragrance that is delightfully sweet.
  • Best Green Pick: Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent. Seventh Generation’s detergent is 96% USDA Biobased Certified. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a laundry detergent formula greener than this one.
  • Best Budget: Method Laundry Detergent. Our top budget pick is still plant-based, biodegradable, and hypoallergenic. There’s no excuse not to try it.
  • Best Pods: Dropps Pods. It’s so easy to subscribe to Dropps and get hooked on the convenience while doing good in the process.
  • Best Powder: Charlie’s Soap Powder. Go back to the original laundry detergent, powder, but keep it green this time with a biodegradable experience from Charlie’s.
  • Best Strips: Tru Earth Eco-Strips. Expensive, but as a package, this innovative solution is as eco-friendly as it gets.

1. Biokleen Laundry Detergent

The best eco-friendly laundry detergent overall

Biokleen The best eco-friendly laundry detergent overall

Brand: Biokleen / Fragrance: Citrus / Loads: 128 / Size: 64 ounces / Price: 💰

Biokleen Laundry Detergent is one of the most highly rated eco-friendly detergents sold online and in stores like Target. Its 3x concentrated formula delivers just the right potency for the standard household. It provides a deep clean and a delicious infusion of light citrus fragrance. 

As for the ingredients? Biokleen boasts a plant-based, non-toxic blend of mild cleansers and essential oils that’s completely free of preservatives and artificial additives – perfect for sensitive skin. Moreover, the natural formula leaves a minimal footprint, with no adverse effects on our natural ecosystems and wildlife. Speaking of which, Biokleen never conducts animal testing and is completely cruelty-free.

Many eco-aware shoppers are concerned about the plastic container it comes in. Fortunately, the bottle is much smaller than competing brands due to the detergent’s high concentration, and it’s 100% recyclable to boot!

Overall, Biokleen is our #1 pick for the best eco-conscious laundry detergent.

  • Made in the USA
  • Plant-based formula
  • Delicious citrus scent

  • Comes in a plastic bottle
  • Not strong enough for extreme soilage

2. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent

The best eco-friendly laundry detergent runner-up

Meyers

Brand: Mrs. Meyer’s / Fragrance: Honeysuckle / Loads: 64 / Size: 64 ounces / Price: 💰💰

Mrs. Meyer’s is one of the most popular eco-conscious brands on the market. It is known for creating affordable, healthful, and planet-friendly products for households. We’re happy to report that Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is no exception.

Manufactured using plant-derived ingredients and enzymes, Clean Day provides all the cleaning power of big brands, without the harmful derivatives. The concentrated formula is entirely proprietary and never tested on animals. Moreover, each load requires just one ounce of liquid. This leads to a smaller (recyclable) bottle and a smaller carbon footprint.

Most adopters find Clean Day’s Honeysuckle fragrance delightfully sweet. There’s a minority of folks who don’t appreciate the after-scent. At under $20, it’s cost-effective to at least try it out and see if it’s for you.

  • Entirely natural
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Trusted eco-friendly brand

  • Some dislike the sweet scent
  • Requires multiple capfuls for heavy loads

3. Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

The best green eco-friendly laundry detergent

Seventh Generation The best green eco-friendly laundry detergent

Brand: Seventh Generation / Fragrance: Geranium Blossoms and Vanilla / Loads: 66 / Size: 50 ounces / Price: 💰💰

There’s eco-friendly. And then there’s Seventh Generation.

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent is as green as can be, with a powerful blend of natural plant-based cleansers and essential oils that’s 96% USDA Biobased Certified. Use it at any temp, hot or cold (cold water reduces energy consumption up to 90%), and watch the stains and dirt wash away.

Seventh Generation is a Certified B Corporation dedicated to preserving the natural world and promoting healthful products that are safe for you and your family. From the ingredients to the recyclable cardboard packaging, this laundry detergent is the pinnacle of eco-consciousness.

  • Fantastic cleaning power
  • Works at all temperatures
  • Certified USDA Bio-based Ingredients

  • Cardboard packaging is fragile
  • There’s a slim plastic liner inside the bottle

4. Method Laundry Detergent

The best eco-friendly laundry detergent on a budget

Method The best eco-friendly laundry detergent on a budget

Brand: Method / Fragrance: Sage / Loads: 66 / Size: 53.5 ounces / Price: 💰

Sometimes it can be difficult to find a product that’s both eco-friendly and cost effective. Method Laundry Detergent is the top product we’ve found that meets both those requirements.

This 53.5-ounce bottle of naturally-derived detergent keeps you and your family looking fresh and feeling clean. The concentrate is entirely biodegradable and hypoallergenic, making it safe for all skin types, as well as those with allergies and sensitivities. And, the cool ‘Beach Sage’ scent is like an all-natural vacation for your senses. No chemical fumes today, thank you very much.

The best part of it all? Method Laundry Detergent is one of the more affordable solutions on our list, making it a must-try for budget-conscious shoppers.

  • Very affordable
  • Paraben and phthalates free
  • Aromatic scent made with real extracts

  • Bottle prone to leaking
  • Some say the scent is a bit too pungent

5. Dropps Pods

The best eco-friendly laundry detergent pods

Dropps

Brand: Dropps / Fragrance: Lavender Eucalyptus / Loads: 140 / Size: 140 pods / Price: 💰💰💰

Natural formula? Check. No unnecessary fillers or dyes? Check. Eco-conscious packaging with a minimal carbon footprint? And check!

Dropps Pods are one of those awesome products you hear about, try, then never stop using. They’re incredibly convenient: just toss one in with the laundry (they work with all machine types), and that’s it! Clothes and linens come out clean and fresh. The Dropps formula is well-suited for every member of the family, newborn to great-grandma. The detergent is also infused with lavender and eucalyptus for an all-natural scent to match the mineral-based formula. Many shoppers have enjoyed hitting the easy button and signing up for a subscription with Dropps.

The downside is that Dropps Pods are a bit more expensive and ordering direct may be cost-prohibitive. If you can manage to find a deal from a retailer like Amazon, Dropps gets closer to cost parity with other eco brands.

  • Incredibly easy to use
  • Mineral-based formula
  • Carbon-neutral footprint w/ cardboard packaging

  • Must order in bulk
  • Essential oils are not organic

6. Charlie’s Soap Powder

The best eco-friendly laundry detergent powder

Charlies Soap

Brand: Charlie’s Soap / Fragrance: Unscented / Loads: 100 / Size: 42 ounces / Price: 💰💰

While it may be messier than an easy-pour or simple pod detergent, Charlie’s Soap Powder provides a practical, deep clean for pennies on the dollar. That’s not hyperbole – Charlie’s Soap works on everything from grease and grass to clay and tar. The result? An entirely eco-conscious, biodegradable experience that gets the job done every time.

Moreover, Charlie’s Soap Powder is among the best options for families with sensitivities because it’s wholly fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Take care of your family and the planet without sacrificing on quality. Live green – that’s Charlie’s Soap guarantee.

  • Deep, powerful clean
  • Great for sensitive skin
  • Simple to use w/ included scoop

  • Flimsy packaging
  • Works best with fabric softener (sold separately)

7. Tru Earth Eco-Strips

The best eco-friendly laundry detergent strips

Tru Earth

Brand: Tru Earth / Fragrance: Fresh Linen / Loads: 32 / Size: 32 strips / Price: 💰💰

If you’re looking for one of the purest and greenest solutions to laundry day, you’ve got to check out Tru Earth Eco-Strips.

These dissolvable strips imbue the power of an ultra-concentrated, all-natural, hypoallergenic cleaning solution into a one-and-done detergent. Simply tear off a strip from the package, drop it in with your clothes, and voila! With this new technology, everything is pre-measured and ready to go right out of the box. And the best part? The entire experience is 100% plastic-free, from the packaging to the strips themselves. How’s that for eco-friendly?

Unfortunately, innovation comes at a high price. Per load, Tru Earth Eco-Strips are the most expensive option on our list. But for those short on time and true to their eco mission, there’s no better way to go.

  • 100% plastic-free
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Space saver & great for travel

  • Expensive
  • Only 32 loads per purchase

What to Look for in Eco-Friendly Detergent

Best Eco Friendly laundry Detergents

Here are a few essential elements to look for in eco-friendly detergent:

1. Ingredients

The ingredients are the most important consideration when choosing an eco-friendly detergent, and you’ll want to seek out all-natural ones whenever possible.

What’s all-natural? Think mineral or plant-based cleansers that are largely chemical-free. The most important substances to avoid are paraben and phthalates, but many name brands use other destructive compounds like artificial dyes and preservatives, as well.

Local ingredients sourced from the USA are best, but this can be challenging to find in mass-distributed detergents.

2. Fragrance

Not all scents are created equal. And we’re not just referring the smell itself. Different detergents get their scents from different sources, including – unfortunately – artificial ones.

Say no to artificial fragrances and hello to pure botanical and essential oils. These are distilled extracts made from the purest ingredients, often plucked straight from the source. Of course, you should always opt for organic to get the creme of the crop.

Eco Detergents

3. Type & Amount

There are several different types of eco-friendly detergents. In our list alone, you’ll find liquid and powder-based cleansers, as well as pods and strips with detergent inside. They all have their place (for different reasons), so you’ll want to consider which works best for your household. Seeking something simple, for instance? Check out the pods and strips – they’re super easy to use.

If you’re going liquid or powder-based, search for concentrated detergent in higher volumes. Higher volume means fewer trips to the store (or fewer boxes shipped to your door), and better pricing, to boot!

4. Packaging

Lastly, you should keep in mind the product’s packaging and overall carbon footprint. Mass-manufactured plastic bottles created and shipped from overseas are not healthy for the environment.

Whatever you can do to minimize your impact is a major boon. If you’re going plastic, search for bottles made from recycled materials. Better yet, choose paper containers whenever possible. On our list, multiple products are entirely plastic-free, so you can feel good about your choice and your freshly laundered clothes.

Our Process

For this guide on eco-friendly laundry detergents, our team spent 2 hours researching the most popular formulas from over 25 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about a hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each detergent. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 eco-friendly detergents on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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