Best eco-friendly washing powders and liquids: 6 natural buys

Buy the best eco-friendly washing powders and liquids for a fresh laundry load without the use of toxic chemicals or additives

eco-friendly washing powder: Father and child putting clothes in a washing machine
(Image credit: Getty)

If you are trying to make your cleaning greener, you might have been looking for the best eco-friendly washing powders and liquids. Look no further. We all want our laundry to be clean and fresh when it comes out of the washing machine, but we want to do this in a way that doesn't harm to the environment, too.

What are we talking about when we say eco-friendly washing laundry detergent though? Well, to start, we want something that harnesses the power of nature and avoids the use of harsh chemicals that can impact on your health or pollute the water ways. Then, we have looked at brands that have considered how the packaging can be damaging too – some are plastic free while others concentrate on bulk volumes to limit packaging. As well as doing your bit for the planet, you’ll also be choosing a product that is kind on sensitive skin, won’t harm your appliance and still delivers the perfect wash. 

So if you’re after something natural and kind to the environment we’ve got the lowdown on the best eco-friendly washing powders and liquids you can buy. Our top buys tackle tough stains the natural way, from non-bio detergents and concentrated formulas for woollens to fabric softeners and sweet smelling solutions containing essential oils. Scroll on to see the selection, and consider looking at the best washing machines too – we have selected models that are energy efficient and some have eco cycles too so you can make your whole was as environmentally friendly as can be.

The best eco-friendly washing powders and liquids

Ecozone non bio laundry liquid

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. Ecozone Non-Bio Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best eco-friendly liquid: this non bio detergent will get rid of even stubborn stains such as tomato, wine, grass and greasy marks, even on a cool wash cycle.

Specifications
Best for: Tackling tough stains
Sizes: 1L, 1.5L, 2L, pods
Reasons to buy
+New formula has a lovely smell+Tackles tough stains on clothes+Cleans at low temperatures
Reasons to avoid
-Some prefer a stronger aroma

Best for…
A gorgeous fragrance on your clothes and bedding, without using any additives or harsh chemicals. 

Tough on stains
No more worrying about how you’ll remove stubborn marks such as wine, grass, tomato and grease as this liquid detergent gets rid, even if you select a cool temperature wash. 

Vegetarian friendly
Suitable for vegetarians.

Results
A plant-based formula, this detergent cleans brilliantly at any temperature and leaves a lovely fresh linen scent on clothes. 

Good to know
It’s free from dyes, phosphates, petrochemical derived cleaning agents and optical brighteners. Some buyers say there’s no need to use a fabric softener with it and it is suitable for use where the water drains to septic tanks and cesspits.

Amazon faith in nature super concentrated liquid

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. Faith in Nature Super Concentrated Laundry Liquid

This large bottle of liquid detergent is perfect for woollens, colours, delicate fabrics and reusable nappies

Specifications
Best for: Being kind on fabrics as there are no enzymes, parabens, phosphates or bleaches
Size: 5L
Reasons to buy
+Concentrated solution goes a long way+Cleans at low temperatures+Use on woollens and delicates
Reasons to avoid
-Could be difficult to store as it’s a very large bottle-Pricey investment in one go

Best for…
Hugely reducing your environmental impact, as its super concentrated formula gives more washes even at low temperatures. It also comes in a large 5 litre pack to keep packaging (and order frequency) to a minimum.

Non bio
There are no enzymes, parabens, phosphates or bleaches so it’s suitable for use with woollens, fine fabrics, colours and reusable nappies.

Aloe vera
This detergent contains organic aloe vera, which is known for its skin caring benefits, so it’s ideal for those with sensitive skin. 

Results
You’ll get around 150 washes with this huge bottle that contains a super-concentrated solution.

Good to know
Always follow the wash instructions on the label of clothes for best results.

Faith in nature fabric softener

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Ecover Fabric Softener Apple Blossom & Almond

When you want a natural, plant-based fabric softener, this one’s for you as it’s kind on skin and gives laundry a lovely fragrance

Specifications
Best for: Sensitive skin thanks to its plant-based biodegradable ingredients
Size: 750ml, 1.5L, 5L, 15L
Reasons to buy
+Comes in small easy to hold bottles or larger economy bottles with over 100 washes worth+Leaves washing clean with a lovely smell+Good for sensitive skin
Reasons to avoid
-Not suitable for silk-Pouring it can be a bit messy as it’s a heavy bottle

Best for…
Giving laundry a fresh apple blossom and almond fragrance the natural way thanks to its softening agents derived from rapeseed oil and soya bean. Other scents in this range include Gardenia & Vanilla and Rose & Bergamot.

Sensitive skin
This eco-friendly liquid fabric softener is good for allergies and those with sensitive skin.

Long lasting
As it’s concentrated, this fabric softener lasts and lasts so you certainly get value for money. 

Results
Users say it has a nice subtle scent and leaves clothes feeling soft. It’s also suitable for use with septic tanks and cesspits.

Good to know
Perhaps buy a funnel or a pump to make pouring the softener into your machine a tad easier. You may want to decant the largest bottles into smaller reusable bottles and store the big bottle out of the way.

Lavender laundry detergent

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent

This one goes a long way thanks to its ultra-concentrated formula and it smells gorgeous too

Specifications
Best for: Giving clothes and bedlinen a lovely lavender scent after washing
Size: 1.56L
Reasons to buy
+Gentle on your clothes+Plant-based ingredients+Use with colours and whites
Reasons to avoid
-Some users say the smell is a little strong

Best for…
Making a little go a long way thanks to its ultra-concentrated formula, which also makes your money go further too. 

Lavender scent
The lovely fresh aroma isn’t overwhelming and leaves laundry smelling fabulous.

Non toxic
This liquid laundry detergent is a natural solution that uses plant-based ingredients to tackle tough stains and it can be used on colours and whites too, so no need to buy two separate detergents. 

Results
Buyers say it’s kind on sensitive and baby’s skin as well as doing a reasonable job on cloth nappies. 

Good to know
The bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic, so you can also recycle it after use.

Probiotic liquid laundry detergent

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Probiotic Liquid Laundry Detergent

This patent pending formula encourages healthy bacterial balance

Specifications
Best for: Creating an ecosystem of good bacteria in your wash
Size: 1.5L
Reasons to buy
+Enough for 100 washes+Economical to buy
Reasons to avoid
-May need a separate softener

Best for…
Active ProBiotics technology helps to encourage healthy bacterial balance. Only some bacteria are harmful and the best defence is a thriving ecosystem of good bacteria, which is what this liquid detergent aims to deliver. 

Ecological ingredients
Organic, vegan and biodegradable, this ProBiotic detergent is 100 percent eco-friendly and uses 99.8 percent plant-based ingredients with 0.2 percent preservatives approved by EU Ecolabel and Nordic SWAN.

Sensitive skin
There are no artificial colours, fragrances or chlorine in this liquid detergent and it’s approved by dermatologists and allergologists for a naturally clean solution. 

Results
Keeps colours strong and prevents them from fading while taking care of delicate fabrics and can be used on all temperatures. 

Good to know
Can be used on delicates such as wool and silk and will leave laundry smelling naturally clean and fresh.

Bio-D washing powder

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Bio-D Washing Powder

Best eco-friendly washing powder: This one works brilliantly at 40˚ to leave clothes feeling soft and clean with no artificial scent.

Specifications
Best for: Those who prefer using a powder to a liquid detergent
Size: 1kg, 2kg, 12.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Totally biodegradable+Hypoallergenic
Reasons to avoid
-Poor packaging, as the recyclable paper bag comes wrapped in plastic

Best for…
When you want a washing powder that doesn’t contain any optical brighteners or phosphates and is completely biodegradable. 

Non-bio powder
This concentrated washing powder is suitable for all automatic machines and can be used for homes with septic tanks and cesspits as it’s non-biological with no enzymes or perfumes. 

Cruelty-free
We love this brand as it’s Certified Cruelty-Free so it’s not only eco-friendly but it’s vegan, vegetarian and isn’t tested on animals.

Results
Users say it’s great for those with sensitive skin and perfume allergies as well as baby’s skin. 

Good to know
It uses only sustainable palm oil in its ingredients and is suitable for use with septic tanks.

How to buy the best eco-friendly washing powders and liquids

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. Companies such as Ecover, Ecozone, Method, Faith in Nature, Bio-D and ProBiotic all have ranges to choose from.

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

What are the best eco-friendly washing powders and liquids you can buy?

We think the best eco-friendly washing powders and liquids you can buy are the Ecozone Non Bio Liquid Laundry Detergent, as it deals with tough stains such as wine, grass and tomato even on a cool wash and has a lovely fresh fragrance without the use of additives or chemicals. 

We also rate the Bio-D washing powder for those who prefer powder over liquid. It works on everything from nappies to bedding and doesn’t leave any powdery residue.

Read more on eco-friendly cleaning: