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  • 10 Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents in 2022 (Tide, Seventh Generation, and More) 1
  • 10 Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents in 2022 (Tide, Seventh Generation, and More) 2
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10 Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents in 2022 (Tide, Seventh Generation, and More)

It's probably not news to you that many laundry detergents on the market aren't great for the environment. Some ingredients can be harmful to the aquatic life where your used laundry water may damage the overall ecosystem, and later on, our health. 


Also, their packaging, production, and shipping methods are often not eco-friendly, either. That's why we took it upon ourselves to research the best biodegradable, gentle, and sustainably manufactured laundry soaps such as Seventh Generations Liquid Laundry Detergent that uses plant-based ingredients. Our top 10 products and buying guide will give you some tips in choosing the right product! 

Last updated 09/26/2023
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Table of Contents

10 Best Eco-Friendly Detergents

When choosing an eco-friendly detergent, consider factors such as the type of packaging and how the detergent is produced to ensure that your product is truly eco-friendly! Take a look at this buying guide for more details. 

1

Decide How Much You Want to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

While it's quite tough to find laundry detergents without plastic packaging, there are definitely alternatives out there that you can opt for, such as buying in bulk or going for eco-friendly packaging. 

A Large Detergent Bottle Minimizes Trash

A Large Detergent Bottle Minimizes Trash

Liquid detergents dissolve well in different water temperatures, from cold to hot. Plus, most liquid detergents are made with alcohol ethoxylates, which are great for removing greasy and oily stains. However, they aren't as environmentally-friendly as others since there are not as many plastic-free packaging options available.


Also, not all types of plastic can be recycled, so look for a liquid detergent with 100 percent recyclable plastic. Biodegradable plastic packaging, which is made from all-natural plant materials, is another great option as well!


You can also use big bottles since they utilize less plastic compared to the detergent volume. Try to reuse and refill them afterward! Moreover, liquid detergents' shipping tends to use more energy, so go for an ultra-concentrated product to help save some waste. 

Powdered Detergent Often Has Eco-Friendly Packaging

Powdered Detergent Often Has Eco-Friendly Packaging

For powdered detergents, you can choose a product packaged in cardboard that is both biodegradable and recyclable. Getting a laundry powder also means that you don't have to pay for shipping water, so your carbon footprint shrinks! 


Powdered detergents might not dilute well in cold water, and you might end up with chunks of residue on your clothes. Follow instructions carefully or look up tips on avoiding this, such as dissolving the powder first and adding it before the clothes. 


Still, if you're looking for a product that can help remove stubborn outdoor stains such as mud, nothing beats powdered detergent! It's not diluted with water and thus has stronger cleansing power

Pods are Convenient but Check the Outer Packaging

Pods are Convenient but Check the Outer Packaging

Pods are a convenient option since they're already pre-measured and often contain both detergent and softener. The gel pouches covering the liquid are made from polymer (polyvinyl alcohol) and dissolve in water. It prevents you from accidentally wasting too much detergent, which can cut down on consumption.


However, the main problem lies with the packaging. Some manufacturers wrap the individual pods in plastic which might result in more plastic waste. The outer packaging is usually a plastic container as well. If reducing plastic is your goal, find one with recycled packaging or consider a different option.

2

Look for Plant-Based Ingredients

Look for Plant-Based Ingredients

Detergents can't fully biodegrade and can actually leach chemicals such as phosphates, cadmium, and arsenic into local water bodies and lead to contamination. They can also accelerate plants' growth, modify the natural habitat of aquatic species, and even starve them of oxygen. While most detergents in the U.S. are phosphate-free, not all of them are. 


Compared to harsh chemicals, plant-based ingredients with great cleansing properties such as citrus essence, tea tree oil, lemon thyme, and so on are much kinder to the ecosystem since they can break down quickly in the environment.


It's a great idea to look for products with a high percentage of plant-based ingredients (95 percent and above), but we have some words of caution.


Plant-based ingredients are not necessarily safe for your health. Limonene, pine oil, and other essential oils might be natural but have been shown to trigger allergic reactions and be harsh on the skin. Look for products labeled "for sensitive skin" or "hypoallergenic" to be on the safe side!

3

Consider a Brand That Uses Renewable Energy

Consider a Brand That Uses Renewable Energy

Plastic-free and biodegradable packaging is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, but most practices harmful to the earth stem from production processes. So consider purchasing laundry detergents produced partially or wholly by renewable energy. 


It's sometimes difficult to determine this from reading the product description, so we suggest looking at the manufacturer's site to see details of their production process.

4

Stay Away from Skin-Irritating Ingredients

Stay Away from Skin-Irritating Ingredients

It's tough to completely avoid all unknown chemicals as even the most eco-friendly detergents are likely to contain some chemicals that you probably won't be familiar with.


Generally, try to stay away from harsh chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions such as ammonia, chlorine, and alcohol. They might be effective in removing all the stains but can dry out and irritate your skin. 


Artificial fragrances and dyes should also be avoided. Most people are fine with them, but some with sensitive skin might experience redness and other skin irritation issues. 

5

Go for a Product With Trustworthy Certifications

Go for a Product With Trustworthy Certifications

Many products claim to be 100 percent biodegradable, organic, and eco-friendly to attract environmentally-concerned consumers. Some studies have shown that many "earth-friendly" and "eco" detergents actually contain the potentially cancer-causing chemical 1,4 dioxane. 


To know how many of their claims are actually true, you should look for official seals from certification bodies. Usually, only products that meet stringent standards and have gone through intense inspection processes can bear reputable stamps such as Green Seal, EcoLogo, and USDA Certified Bio-Based Product. 

6

High-Efficiency Machines Need Extra Consideration

High-Efficiency Machines Need Extra Consideration

While searching for laundry detergents, you might encounter the little "HE" symbol. So what does it mean exactly? "HE" stands for high-efficiency, and detergents bearing that symbol are uniquely designed for high-efficiency washing machines that use much less water in comparison to the standard washers. 


So why shouldn't you use regular laundry detergent in a high-efficiency washer? Well, with regular detergent, your HE machine will generate lots of suds that won't be washed away easily, eventually causing damage to the electronics. HE laundry detergents are low-sudsing and can quickly disperse without forming too many bubbles. 


So if you own a HE washer, absolutely look for detergents with an "HE" symbol on the packaging to avoid ruining your machine!

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10 Best Eco-Friendly Detergents

Here's a list of the top 10 best eco-friendly laundry detergents based on factors such as the effectiveness of the main ingredients and reviewer satisfaction. Hopefully, you'll find the right product for you!
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

Seventh Generation

Liquid Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation  Liquid Laundry Detergent 1枚目

Bio-Based Product With 97% Plant-Based Ingredients

2

Rockin' Green

Active Wear Laundry Detergent

Rockin' Green Active Wear Laundry Detergent 1枚目

100% Biodegradable Detergent With All-Natural Ingredients

3

ECOS

Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent 2 pack

ECOS Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent  1枚目

Hypoallergenic Detergent With Built-in Fabric Softener and Static Guard

4

Tide

Laundry Detergent Liquid Eco-Box

Tide Laundry Detergent Liquid Eco-Box 1枚目

Concentrated Formula That Uses Less Plastic

5

Tru Earth

Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent

Tru Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent 1枚目

Keep Your Carbon Footprint Small With Zero-Waste Packaging

6

Biokleen

Laundry Liquid

Biokleen Laundry Liquid 1枚目

Concentrated Formula That's Gentle on Skin

7

dropps

Dropps Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods

dropps Dropps Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods 1枚目

Eco-Friendly Laundry Pods With Essential Oils

8

Excelsior

Unscented Laundry Detergent

Excelsior  Unscented Laundry Detergent  1枚目

All-in-One Laundry Detergent to Whiten, Brighten, and Soften

9

Grab Green

Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods

Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods 1枚目

Pre-Measured Pods With 94% Naturally-Derived Ingredients

10

Savvy Green

Eco Clean Laundry Detergent

Savvy Green Eco Clean Laundry Detergent 1枚目

Laundry Detergent That Leaves Fabrics Soft and Clean

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent

Liquid Laundry Detergent Image 1
Source:walmart.com
Reference price
$27.18
Reference price
$27.18

Bio-Based Product With 97% Plant-Based Ingredients

This liquid laundry detergent is a USDA Certified Bio-based product with 97 percent plant-derived ingredients. The fresh lavender scent comes from 100 percent essential oils and botanical extracts, with no artificial fragrances! Plus, the product works well for both high-efficiency and standard machines in all washing temperatures. 


Some people were not that impressed with the detergent and said it couldn't clean heavily stained clothes. Meanwhile, many others were satisfied that the product didn't irritate their skin and was gentle on the fabrics. Others mentioned that a little went a long way, so you don't have to use a lot to clean your clothes.

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No.2

Rockin' GreenActive Wear Laundry Detergent

Active Wear Laundry Detergent Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$21.95
Reference price
$21.95

100% Biodegradable Detergent With All-Natural Ingredients

This laundry detergent is crafted with 100 percent all-natural, plant-based ingredients that are safe for the planet. With plant-based enzymes and clean-rinsing surfactants, this product helps clean and fight off even the toughest stains and smells on your activewear. 

 

Some reviewers commented that the product broke them out or caused itching, so those with sensitive skin should definitely take some caution here! Meanwhile, others were amazed at how fabulously this detergent worked; it got all the gunk out while not fading or making colors bleed. Some others also noticed that their clothes came out a lot softer. 

No.3

ECOSHypoallergenic Laundry Detergent 2 pack

Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent  Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$29.51
Reference price
$29.51

Hypoallergenic Detergent With Built-in Fabric Softener and Static Guard

This ultra-concentrated liquid detergent is crafted with plant-based ingredients and has a fabric softener to leave your clothes feeling fresh and soft after laundering. If you have sensitive skin, don't worry, this product is hypoallergenic and pH-balanced, so it's less likely to irritate your skin. 


Some reviewers said the detergent didn't work on their dirty clothes. On the other hand, many were impressed with how gentle this product was on their skin and said it caused no irritation or itchiness at all! Many reviewers mentioned that their laundry came out soft, and since the product is concentrated, it lasted for a long time! 

No.4

TideLaundry Detergent Liquid Eco-Box

Laundry Detergent Liquid Eco-Box Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$17.94
Reference price
$17.94

Concentrated Formula That Uses Less Plastic

This laundry detergent is more concentrated and can effectively get rid of smells and stains. It's also made using renewable wind power electricity and packed in an eco-box created with 60 percent less plastic. Plus, the product comes with an easy-to-use no-drip tap to help you dispense the detergent without causing a mess. 


While many reviewers found the product's smart design convenient and liked how the nozzle didn't drip at all, some others had trouble getting the remaining soap out of the bottle. Still, many were happy with the eco-packaging that allowed them to cut down on their plastic waste. 

No.5

Tru EarthEco-Strips Laundry Detergent

Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$16.95
Reference price
$16.95

Keep Your Carbon Footprint Small With Zero-Waste Packaging

This laundry detergent comes in zero-waste, compostable, plastic-free packaging that reduces transportation pollution by 94 percent compared to other liquid and powder detergent brands. Furthermore, each strip equals one load, so you can easily do your laundry without having to calculate the detergent amount. 


Some reviewers noted that one strip didn't work for big loads of clothes, so use more if you need to! Still, many commented that the product cleaned their clothes well without leaving behind any residue. And for many others, the best part about this product was that it left no plastic in landfills. 

No.6

BiokleenLaundry Liquid

Laundry Liquid Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$26.99
Reference price
$26.99

Concentrated Formula That's Gentle on Skin

Powered with plant-based surfactants and extracts of citrus and grapefruit seed, this laundry detergent is three times more concentrated and strong enough to remove stains and odors while being gentle on sensitive skin. 


Many reviewers complimented how the product didn't cause any allergic reactions. Meanwhile, some noted that the product worked well for most stains but couldn't really remove oil and sweat. On the other hand, many loved that the detergent was very concentrated, so they only needed to use a small amount

No.7

droppsDropps Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods

Dropps Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$27.41
Reference price
$27.41

Eco-Friendly Laundry Pods With Essential Oils

Crafted with biodegradable plant-derived ingredients, these pods are gentle on your fabrics, skin, and environment. The packaging is eco-friendly as well! It's recyclable and compostable to help you reduce your plastic waste. 


Some reviewers mentioned that sometimes the pods left behind a residue, however, so you might want to use an extra rinse cycle if that's the case. For many others, these pods helped them clean their dirty clothes and remove nasty odors effectively. Many adored their convenience as well - just drop them inside the washing machine, and done! 

No.8

Excelsior Unscented Laundry Detergent

Unscented Laundry Detergent  Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$79.99
Reference price
$79.99

All-in-One Laundry Detergent to Whiten, Brighten, and Soften

This laundry detergent is ultra-concentrated and powered with enzymes to help remove tough stains like sauce, blood, or grease. It's also color-safe and can actually help brighten and soften your clothes naturally. Plus, it's biodegradable and friendly to the environment! 


A few reviewers had issues working the packaging, while one said it didn't clean their clothes well. Still, reviewers commented that the product worked well for high-efficiency washing machines and was gentle on fabrics. Many others also loved that the detergent was unscented, thus suitable for those with fragrance sensitivity! 

No.9

Grab GreenStoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods

Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$11.82
Reference price
$11.82

Pre-Measured Pods With 94% Naturally-Derived Ingredients

There are many things to love about these little laundry pods: they're convenient to use, free from chemicals like phosphates and chlorine, and made with 94 percent naturally-derived ingredients. The formula also works for both high-efficiency and standard machines and all temperatures. 


A few users weren't fans of the overpowering scent, while some noted the pods didn't dissolve fully in cold water. Still, many reviewers were in love with how soft, fresh, and clean their clothes came out. Many mentioned that they had no trouble with pods dissolving in hot water. Others said the product was gentle on their sensitive skin as well.

No.10

Savvy GreenEco Clean Laundry Detergent

Eco Clean Laundry Detergent Image 1
Source:amazon.com
Reference price
$17.25
Reference price
$17.25

Laundry Detergent That Leaves Fabrics Soft and Clean

This fragrance-free laundry detergent is ultra-concentrated and strong on dirt while gentle on the environment. It's also biodegradable and contains no fragrance, chlorine, or phosphates. The innovative recyclable and resealable packaging is another plus point for the ecosystem! 


A few users noted the powder left white spots on clothes while noticed staining. Meanwhile, others were impressed with how potent the detergent was. Many others also mentioned that the detergent softened their clothes, so you don't need any extra fabric softener. 

More Eco-Friendly Products to Make Your Life Greener

Top 5 Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents

No. 1: Seventh Generation Liquid Laundry Detergent

No. 2: Rockin' GreenActive Wear Laundry Detergent

No. 3: ECOSHypoallergenic Laundry Detergent 2 pack

No. 4: TideLaundry Detergent Liquid Eco-Box

No. 5: Tru EarthEco-Strips Laundry Detergent

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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