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Best Natural Laundry Detergents

written by: Lindsay Evans•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 2/12/2012

Natural laundry detergents are easier on the environment because they're made with non-petroleum, biodegradable ingredients. Discover the best natural laundry detergents here.

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    What Qualifies a Detergent as "Natural"?

    Environmentally-friendly laundry detergents should be part of your natural home cleaning routine. When shopping for a natural laundry detergent, keep in mind that product labels such as "natural", "environmentally-friendly", and "green" can be ambiguous in their meaning. Industry labeling standards do not fully define these terms, leaving it up to the manufacturers to determine their meaning.

    Get as much information as you can from the product's label before you buy. A natural laundry detergent should use only biodegradable ingredients, be phosphate-free, and contain only plant-derived surfactants. Some natural detergents are fragrance-free or use only naturally-derived fragrances, others may contain synthetic perfumes.

    In contrast, conventional detergents often use petroleum-based surfactants and may contain phosphates. Phosphates can pose a threat to animals and organisms who live in the water.

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    Highly-Rated Natural Laundry Detergents

    The natural laundry detergents mentioned here are rated tops by consumers and independent testers. These top natural detergents are easily found in most locations.

    Seventh Generation Free & Clear

    This detergent ranks as best green brand by, a website that analyzes reviews by users and experts. Seventh Generation has a long-standing reputation for effective environmentally-friendly cleaning products. Consumers with sensitive skin will appreciate this hypoallergenic formula that is free of optical brighteners. Seventh Generation Free & Clear detergent is HE compatible.

    Ecos Liquid Laundry Detergent

    Ecos laundry liquid performs well in all water temperatures. A concentrated formula, only 2 Tablespoons are required for HE loads. Ecos contains a soy-based fabric softener that keeps clothes feeling soft. Ecos is available fragrance-free or in three essential oil based scents: Lemongrass, Lavender, or Magnolia and Lily. Ecos liquid laundry detergent is highly rated by its users, including reviews at

    Biokleen Laundry Liquid

    Super concentrated Biokleen Laundry Liquid helps keep clothes clean and mildew-free with the help of grapefruit seed and orange peel extracts. The natural citrus scent leaves clothes smelling fresh, but not perfumed. Biokleen detergent performs well in cold or hard water.

    Country Save HE Laundry Detergent, Powder

    Country Save laundry powder is a well-loved, economically-priced natural detergent. With no fragrances or other common additives, Country Save is tolerated well by people with sensitive skin. Country Save rinses clothes completely clean without leaving any irritating detergent residue. If you cannot find Country Save in a store near you, you can order it in bulk at

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    Make Your Own

    If you want more control of the ingredients in your detergent, and maybe even to save a little money, you can also make your own laundry detergent with natural, safe ingredients.