The Best Toxin Free Laundry Detergent Brands (Complete Guide)

Over the past few years, I’ve tried multiple brands, hunting for the best toxin-free laundry detergent. Many brands have tricky marketing while others don’t clean clothes well. This is why I’m sharing my experience and research to help you make an informed decision without feeling overwhelmed!

jug of biokleen laundry liquid
Source: Plum Branch Home

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I’ve always had sensitive skin, even as a small child. I remember many dermatologist visits, my mom finding better laundry detergent, and being restricted with what skincare items I could use. To this day I still have sensitive skin but I choose to look at it as a blessing. It’s brought a lot of awareness around what’s really in our products. I’ve learned tons just by reading ingredient lists. That’s what’s brought me to writing this blog post, my many years of research, trial and error, and buying way too many brands to find what detergent was best.

Why Toxin Free Laundry Detergent?

Did you know many laundry detergents and softeners can leave a chemical residue on clothing that gets absorbed into your skin? These chemicals can then cause many skin related issues as well as get into your blood stream. I don’t know about you but that is scary for me! This is why I choose toxin-free laundry detergent. I don’t want chemicals in or on my body that can cause health issues, even cancer!

Understanding Confusing Marketing

There are so many companies using tricky marketing words to get people looking for healthier options to buy their toxic products. For example regular Tide is absolutely terrible for our bodies so the company came out with Tide Free & Gentle as a healthier, natural option. Yes this is a dye free and fragrance free laundry detergent however what they don’t tell you is the same dangerous chemicals are still present. It’s the same toxic ingredients without coloring or scent. How tricky is that?!

What To Look For When Choosing a Brand

The words, “natural, eco-friendly, free of chemicals” don’t always mean they’re nontoxic (toxin-free). To know if a product is actually safe, natural, eco-friendly, and/or free of chemicals check for a certification of some sort on the bottle. These certifications can be, but are not limited to: USDA Organic, EcoLogo, EGW and EPA Safer Choice. You’ll also want to make sure the package says and confirms with the ingredients that it’s free of phosphates, bleach, dyes, and artificial fragrance.

If you’re ever not sure of a brand, go on to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website to see what score it has been rated for safety)

Toxic Ingredients To Avoid in Laundry Detergents

These are the most common ingredients you want to always avoid in laundry detergents, softeners, dryer sheets, and any other product you’re using on or around your body!

  • Synthetic Fragrances or the words “fragrance” or “natural fragrance”
  • Artificial Dyes
  • 1,4-Dioxane
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Phthalates
  • Optical Brightners
  • Chlorine
  • Formaldehyde
  • Phosphates
  • Synthetic Nonylphenol Ethoxylates
  • Ammonia

Laundry Brands to Avoid

These brands have been rated an F on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website and are ones you want to avoid due to the presence of dangerous chemicals. From personal preference and research I steer clear of the so called “natural” versions of these brands as well. Many still have dangerous chemicals.

  • Tide
  • Gain
  • All
  • Arm & Hammer
  • Ultra Purex
  • Woolite Everyday
  • Babyganics
  • Ajax
  • Fab Ultra
  • Cheer
  • Persil
  • Xtra Sensation
  • Up & Up
  • Dynamo
  • Wisk
  • Ivory
  • Era
  • Dreft
  • Caldrea
  • Safeway Ultra

Things To Look For in Toxin Free Laundry Detergent

I know you may feel overwhelmed right now. There is a lot of information packed into this one blog post. Let’s summarize what we do want in our laundry soap before I share the brands that are toxin free, safe to use.

  • Free of dyes, fragrances, phosphates, formaldehyde, chlorine, ammonia, brighteners
  • Has some sort of certification label on the front and/or back on container
  • Short list of ingredients
  • Safe for HE Loads (if you have one of these washers)

One thing to keep in mind, you will probably not know every ingredient on your toxin-free laundry detergent bottle and that is okay. Many of them are plant-derived but have a fancy name. If you’re worried do a quick google search to find out what it is. Otherwise if it’s not one of the chemicals mentioned in the earlier section, you’re safe.

basket of fresh towels with jug of laundry liquid in it
Source: Plum Branch Home

Best Toxin Free Laundry Detergent Brands

This list is created from my personal research and experience. I’m sure there any tons of other great brands but these 5 are my top picks for safe, reassuring toxin free laundry detergents. They have each been carefully researched by me with a fine tooth comb. Use this list to feel empowered in making the best decision for you and your family.

1. Biokleen Free & Clear

Biokleen states, “Biokleen’s formulas/ingredients have been third-party reviewed for environmental and human safety as well as for efficacy. We were the was the first natural brand to introduce concentrated products to reduce packaging waste and reduce energy used in shipping. We stand behind our 3X concentration formulas for their superior effectiveness and value.”

2. Aspen Clean Unscented

Aspen Clean states, “All our products are put under the microscope for how they affect both human health and the planet. We believe in 100% ingredient transparency and every formula is made without toxic, or even potentially toxic, ingredients. They are cruelty-free, Ecocert® certified and have received an A-rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).”

3. Attitude Nature+ Unscented

Attitude states, “We develop our formulas with the highest standards of quality and transparency, using only the most effective and clean naturally-sourced ingredients. EWG VERIFIED™, Vegan & Cruelty-Free and dermatologically tested. We monitor developments in scientific databases, such as California’s Proposition 65, to continually challenge our ingredient choices, in addition to the strict health criteria of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and their EWG VERIFIED™ program, to ensure that our products are free of ingredients of concern.”

4. Dirty Labs Free & Clear

Dirty Labs states, “Our detergents are certified EPA Safer Choice and USDA Biobased. Our Free & Clear detergent is EWG Verified and recognized by the National Eczema Association (NEA).”

5. Defunkify Free & Clear

Defunkify states, “As parents and experts in Green Chemistry, we knew we could do better. Much better. So, we create Defunkify cleaning products from square-one & apply state-of-the-art toxicity testing to ensure safety. It’s an uncompromising approach, and the result is rare. Powerful, ProvenSafe™ Cleaning.”

My #1 Toxin Free Laundry Detergent Pick

After trying so many brands I recently found a favorite. It’s the Biokleen Free & Clear Laundry Detergent, I love everything about it. You use less detergent making it last a long time, cleans our clothes better than any brand I’ve tried, HE safe, holds a Safer Choice certification, contains minimal ingredients that are truly natural, clearly states what’s absent, and tackles stains and odors effortlessly.

Biokleen won the 2021 Eco Excellence Award as well as has eco-friendly plastic-free container options! The only downside? It’s not available in stores, but online ordering, especially through Amazon, solves that!

Will I Switch To Another Toxin Free Laundry Detergent Brand

I never know, all 5 of the brands listed above are wonderful, in the future I may swap one brand out for another. But I trust them all equally. When you’re picking a toxin free laundry detergent brand don’t feel like it’s a forever choice, if you want to try something new in a few months go for it! You’re not tied down to one brand forever.

Is the Extra Cost Worth Toxin Free Laundry Detergent

You may have noticed it costs a little more for toxin free laundry detergent than the gigantic jug of Tide at Costco but I’m telling you, it is 100% worth every cent. You’re not spending money on a luxury item, you’re protecting your health and your family.

Try These Toxin-Free Home DIYs

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  1. Wow what an eye opener, fantastic blog!!!!
    Thanks for your research on this & giving a list of safe detergents to use!!!!
    I knew about fragrance to be a problem in laundry detergent. But not how many other chemicals are in it that’s horrible for us. And I never thought about the laundry detergent being one of the things that are against our skin 24/7.
    That’s way to much time for harsh chemicals to be laying against our skin that can cause so many problems! Just think our face is on our pillowcase 6-8 hrs breathing in those fumes from our laundry detergent (another thing I didn’t think about)!
    Thanks so much for bring this to our awareness!!!!
    This is a #1 switch out for sure!!!

    1. Thank you so much!! I am so happy to hear how much you’ve enjoyed reading my post!! It’s so sad we have to worry about these things but I definitely wanted to provide my thoughts and research on how to easily make the switch! That’s an amazing point, I didn’t think of pillowcases! Thanks so much for commenting 😊