It is often difficult to know the ingredients in laundry detergent or fabric softener from the label. Indeed, many brands warn about potentially irritating ingredients in the product without specifying which ingredients are present. However, laundry detergents sold in supermarkets are very often composed of a combination of more or less toxic chemicals.

Healthy alternatives

Fragrance-free

Brand nameProduct description
AttitudeNatural Laundry Detergent
BiovertHE Laundry Detergent, Fragrance Free
EchocleanNatural Laundry Detergent
EcomaxLaundry Detergent
EcoverZero Sensitive Laundry Detergent
Nature CleanLaundry Liquid, Fragrance Free
Nellie’sLaundry Soda
Seventh GenerationLaundry Detergent, Free and Clear

With fragrances (essential oils)

Brand nameProduct description
All OrganicLaundry Detergent
PlanetteLaundry Detergent
Simply CleanLaundry Detergent
The Unscented CompanyLaundry Soap

DIY

You can also make your own laundry soap using 3 easily available ingredients. This recipe is available on DIY Natural. You will need:

  • 1 natural bar soap finely grated
  • 1 3/4 cups of borax
  • 1 3/4 cups of washing soda

Ingredients to avoid

  • 1,4-dioxane: possible carcinogen
  • Alkyl benzene sulfonic acid: irritant and corrosive
  • Bleaching agents
  • Ethoxylated alcohols contaminated with 1,4-dioxane
  • Ammonia: irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes, respiratory and digestive tract
  • Ethanol (ethyl alcohol): possible carcinogen (confirmed in animals), irritating to the skin, eyes, mucous membranes and respiratory tract, neurotoxic
  • Naphtalene: possible carcinogen (confirmed in animals), irritant to skin and eyes
  • Synthetic fragrances: allergens
  • Phenol: irritant and corrosive to the skin, eyes and respiratory and digestive tract
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: irritant, may cause contact dermatitis