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


Attitude – Natural Laundry Detergent

Biovert – HE Laundry Detergent, Fragrance Free

Echoclean – Natural Laundry Detergent

Ecomax – Laundry Detergent

Ecover – Zero Sensitive Laundry Detergent

Nature Clean – Laundry Liquid, Fragrance Free

Nellie’s – Laundry Soda

Seventh Generation – Laundry Detergent, Free and Clear

With fragrances (essential oils)

All Organic – Laundry Detergent

Planette – Laundry Detergent

Simply Clean – Laundry Detergent

The Unscented Company – Laundry Soap


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