These are the 9 very best eco laundry detergents everyone should know about

Fresh laundry, without the nasty chemicals

Mrs Meyer's Clean Day eco laundry detergent on kitchen countertop
(Image credit: Amazon)

Hands up if you always leave your laundry till the last minute. Yep, me too. Amidst the hustle and bustle of working life, it can be tricky to slot in this ever-essential errand. Often, it's only when we find ourselves short of socks or work shirts that our panic response kicks in, and we get the washer going. Naturally, other considerations — such as the environment — don't always figure in this rushed schedule. Certainly, they never used to for me.

But curveball: they should. And it's easier than you'd think to reduce your damage to Mother Nature. In fact, every day, new products are being designed to remove stains and keep clothing fresh without the use of harsh chemicals. And these eco laundry detergents work just as efficiently and effectively as your standard detergents, only they rely on ingenious formulas to keep your wardrobe in working order and the Earth happier than ever. 

We've already rounded up our favorite eco-friendly cleaning supplies to use for cleaning everywhere from your patio to your bathroom, so we've done the same with laundry detergent. And we're talking natural ingredients, recyclable packaging, reduced plastic, sustainable solutions, and sensitive skin-friendly wonders. If you're running out of this essential, look to one of the nine best eco-friendly detergents and make this switch.

9 eco laundry detergents for natural cleaning

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Is it cheaper to wash on eco?

Provided you are running a cold wash, switching your washing machine to eco-mode is always a smart economic move. Most obviously, this is because it relies on less water and lower temperatures, thereby reducing your energy bills. But, dear reader, you might be wondering what this means for cleaning competency. In short, the wash won't be as strong, but that doesn't mean it won't be adequate. If you're using enzyme-based cleaners, for example, it's better to keep the temperature lower, anyway — as too high, and it will kill the enzymes. Should you be faced with especially caked-in, oily stains, a little pre-treatment beforehand (hand-washing) will save you from having to double wash. So, yes, it's cheaper, but a little common sense goes a long way to make it work.

What is the most eco-friendly way to do laundry?

In short, less is more. By washing less frequently, you save water and energy and probably get more wear out of your clothes than you would otherwise. Certainly, I'm a little guilty of throwing things in the wash after just one wear, when really they're still clean. 

That said, sometimes you gotta wash! Here, it's about impact reduction. By washing on shorter cycles, lower speeds, and lower temperatures, you not only save money, but you also reduce your environmental impact on the earth. As outlined above, it's also important to use eco-friendly detergents, which due to their kinder ingredients, work in unison with nature, as opposed to against it. Of course, these are just some of the actions you can take to help improve your washing routine, but we've got plenty more where that came from — check out our eco-friendly laundry tips for more sustainable laundering.

Browse more eco-friendly laundry detergents...

If you want to explore more options when it comes to making your laundry day more eco-friendly, then these are our favorite retailers for picking up similar detergents:

What else to consider when buying eco laundry detergent

Washing laundry with an eco-friendly washing powder or liquid enables you to achieve a fresh, clean finish while also doing the best for our environment as you won’t be using harsh chemicals, enzymes, or any artificial ingredients. There are liquid detergents as well as traditional washing powders to choose from, all of which are kind on sensitive skin so are ideal for those with allergies or baby’s skin, clothes, and bedding.

If you want to go all-out on the eco front, look for packaging that’s recycled and recyclable or better still, nonplastic. A large bottle or box will go further, as will an ultra-concentrated solution. Just make sure you have room to store it, especially if it’s to go in the cabinet under your sink.

Natural ingredients
Check the label of ingredients before you buy and look for natural, biodegradable contents as these are kind to our planet. Plant-based rather than man-made components are always more eco-friendly, and if they are organic, even better. Biodegradable means they will biodegrade easily so they won’t contaminate the sea or earth where they are placed after use. Avoid anything with chlorine, bleach, artificial fragrances or additives, brighteners, phosphates, and parabens, as well as palm oil unless it’s sustainably sourced.

Before you go, you might want some guidance on how to clean your washing machine so that it's working to its full potential. I mean, who knows when the last time that thing was properly cleaned?

Molly Cleary
Ecommerce Writer, Homes

Molly is the Ecommerce Writer for RealHomes and spends her time searching the internet for the next best thing for your home. With previous experience within the Home section of TopTenReviews, another Future site, writing about everything from ride-on lawnmowers to robot hoovers, she has knowledge of all of those niche areas of your home and garden that you might need a new purchase for. Shopping and buying content are now her biggest area of focus, with an emphasis on cleaning products and home gym equipment.