July 8

Plastic-Free Laundry Detergent: The 7 Best Eco-friendly Laundry Detergents


As more and more people become aware of the issues associated with conventional laundry detergents, the demand for eco-friendly alternatives has been steadily increasing. At the heart of this shift is a desire to protect both human health and the environment by eliminating harmful chemicals and toxins from our homes.

At first, glance, switching to an eco-friendly detergent may seem like just another expense or hassle. But when you take into account the negative impacts of traditional laundry detergents on human health and the environment, making the switch becomes a critical step in creating a healthier environment.

So why should we make the shift to eco-friendly detergents? Some of the key benefits include reduced exposure to potentially harmful chemicals, lower risk of water and soil contamination, and less pollution from packaging waste.

If you’re ready to make the change to an eco-friendly laundry detergent, there are many options available that can meet all your cleaning needs. Whether you prefer natural or chemical-based products, there is sure to be an option that works for you – and helps keep your home free from toxic chemicals and pollutants.

Toxic ingredients in conventional detergents

Most laundry detergent manufacturers prioritize profit over the health of your family. Their products often contain harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, which can have negative consequences on our health. Here are a few toxic ingredients to watch out for when choosing a laundry detergent:


Formaldehyde is a widely used chemical in laundry detergents and other cleaning products, but it has been linked to many adverse health effects. Exposure to formaldehyde can lead to sinus and throat irritation, as well as skin rashes and breathing problems. Research has also shown that carcinogens such as Formaldehyde can increase the probability of contracting certain cancers, particularly lung cancer.

In addition to posing health risks to humans, formaldehyde in laundry detergents can have negative impacts on the environment. It contributes to air pollution by releasing toxic compounds like carbon monoxide into the atmosphere, which can harm both wildlife and plant life. In addition, formaldehyde can be harmful to aquatic organisms when it comes into contact with water sources. Overall, the use of formaldehyde in laundry detergents is a major concern for public health and environmental protection.


Methylisothiazolinone (MCI) is a preservative commonly found in many laundry detergents and other household products. While in low concentrations, MCI is generally considered safe for human use, there is some concern that the chemical may be harmful to our health and the environment.

One potential impact of MCI in laundry detergents is on hand washing practices. Many people are exposed to MCI regularly via their skin or through inhaling vapors from these products. This can potentially lead to allergic reactions or other adverse effects, particularly for people with sensitive skin or underlying health conditions.

There is also growing concern about the environmental impact of MCI in laundry detergents. The chemical has been linked to toxicity in aquatic environments, which can have broad negative effects on water quality and ecosystems. As a result, many countries have restricted the amount of MCI allowed in laundry detergents, though there is still debate about whether these restrictions are adequate to protect the environment.

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)

The impact of Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) in laundry detergents on our health and the environment can be significant. EDTA is toxic to animal DNA, which can threaten marine life and damage the overall ecosystem. In addition, this chemical does not break down easily, further threatening water quality and posing a risk to human health. 

Furthermore, its use in laundry detergents may contribute to the overuse of phosphates and other harmful chemicals, which can cause additional environmental damage. Ultimately, it is important to consider the potential impacts of EDTA in laundry detergents to make more responsible decisions about using these products and minimizing their negative effects on our health and the environment.

Harmful dyes

The impacts of dyes in laundry detergents on our health and the environment can be significant. Dyes are known to be developmental and reproductive toxicants, which means that they can interfere with fetal development and cause reproductive issues. They can also be endocrine disruptors, which are linked to several different risks involving the brain, immune system, and other aspects of human health.

Due to their widespread use in cleaning products, food, cosmetics, and other consumer goods, dyes are abundant in our environment and have the potential to cause significant harm to both humans and the environment. In particular, these chemicals can have a damaging effect on ecosystems by interfering with the growth and development of plants, animals, and other organisms.

To mitigate these risks, consumers need to choose eco-friendly laundry detergents that do not contain harmful dyes or other synthetic chemicals.


The impact of dioxane in laundry detergents on our health and the environment is extremely harmful. Dioxane is a cheap chemical that is often included in liquid detergents to soften fabrics, but it is carcinogenic and can cause serious damage to the liver, kidneys, and other vital organs. In addition, this toxic chemical has been shown to contaminate our water sources and can have detrimental effects on the environment as well.

As more and more people switch to eco-friendly detergents, manufacturers must take steps to remove dioxane from their products. This will help to protect the health of consumers and prevent further contamination of our water supply.

Chlorine bleach

Chlorine bleach is often used in laundry detergents to provide cleaning power and kill harmful bacteria. While this ingredient can effectively remove dirt and stains, it can also have negative impacts on human health and the environment.

Exposure to bleach can irritate the lungs, skin, and eyes, leading to respiratory failure, fluid buildup in the lungs, blurred vision, burning sensation in the eyes, and other health problems. Additionally, the production of leach releases toxins into the air that contribute to air pollution and harm wildlife.

To minimize these negative impacts, it is important to choose environmentally-friendly laundry detergents that do not contain bleach or other harmful chemicals. Some natural alternatives include baking soda and vinegar for stain removal, as well as using cold water when washing clothes. 


Sulfates are a common ingredient in household laundry detergents, and they can have negative effects on both our health and the environment. These chemicals can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs, and they may lead to problems like dermatitis or edema if they are repeatedly exposed to small quantities. 

Moreover, sulfates contribute to the acidification of surface water and soil by causing increased runoff from farms or factories where they are produced. As such, it is important to be conscious of the amount of laundry detergent we use when washing clothes and the potential environmental consequences of using these products.

UV brighteners

eco-friendly laundry detergent

UV brighteners are used in laundry detergents to enhance the whiteness or brightness appearance of white or light-colored fabrics. While they can have several negative impacts on human health and the environment, some of the most significant risks include irritation of the eyes, skin, and lungs, as well as toxicity to aquatic life and the potential for spontaneous combustion. 

Not only do these chemicals threaten our environment in the short term, but they can also bioaccumulate into aquatic organisms over time, causing long-term damage. Despite these risks, UV brighteners remain an important ingredient in many laundry detergents due to their ability to improve the appearance of fabrics and make them appear brighter and whiter. As such, consumers need to be aware of these potential risks and take measures to minimize their exposure when using these products.

Synthetic fragrances

Synthetic fragrances are found in many types of laundry detergents, and they have a significant impact on our health and the environment. These chemicals can cause respiratory problems, such as coughing and difficulty breathing, as well as triggering asthma attacks or other allergic reactions. In addition, they can also be toxic to aquatic ecosystems, contributing to water pollution and endangering wildlife. For these reasons, it is important to choose fragrance-free or all-natural laundry products that do not contain synthetic chemicals or dangerous pollutants. 


Phenol is commonly found in laundry detergents, where it serves as a surfactant and cleaning agent. While phenol itself may not cause significant health risks, exposure to its toxic byproducts such as nonylphenol ethoxylate can have serious negative impacts on human health and the environment. Exposure to these substances has been linked to reproductive disorders and other chronic health conditions

Furthermore, phenol can contaminate water sources and harm aquatic wildlife through bioaccumulation. Thus, it is important to be aware of the possible hazards associated with phenol-containing laundry detergents when using or disposing of them. To minimize the risks posed by phenol in laundry detergents, it is important to follow appropriate handling and disposal procedures. When possible, choose products that do not contain this chemical or other toxic ingredients, taking care to read all product labels carefully.

Benzyl acetate

Benzyl acetate is a harmful chemical that is found in many laundry detergents. When it is inhaled or spilled on the skin, it can seriously damage the nervous system and kidneys. Constant exposure to moderate amounts of it can have serious consequences for human health, as well as negative impacts on the environment due to its toxicity. 

Eco-labels for plastic-free detergents.

The following are a few labels that certify eco-friendly detergents:

Carbon Neutral Certification: A Carbon Neutral Certification lets customers know that a company has taken measures to counterbalance the Scope 1 and 2 carbon footprint.

CarbonFree® Certified: Our CarbonFree® Product Certification label was created to increase customer awareness of product emissions and to commend the businesses that take action against their carbon footprint.

Global GreenTag Certified: Global Green Tag is a product rating and certification system that uses scientific processes and Life Cycle Assessments (LCA’s) to assess products against similar products in the same category.

Good Shopping Guide Ethical Award: The Ethical Company Organisation exists to independently judge corporate social responsibility. The Ethical Accreditation scheme allows companies and brands to show a verified account of their ethical practices in the areas of human, and animal welfare, and the surroundings.

EPA Safer Choice: Shows whether a detergent is effective and uses safe chemicals

EcoCert: Guarantees that the products and ingredients are natural & organic.

Best sustainable and eco-friendly detergent products (Our picks)

Earth Breeze Detergent Sheets

Looking for an effective and eco-friendly laundry detergent that is gentle on your fabrics and ideal for use in HE washing machines? Look no further than Earth Breeze!

These revolutionary plastic-free laundry detergent sheets are perfect for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Unlike traditional heavy jugs of laundry detergent, these sheets are lightweight and compact, making them easy to transport and store.

What we love about this product;

  • 100% vegan and cruelty-free; Made with all-natural, plant-based ingredients
  • Suitable hot or cold water ( does not leave a sticky residue)
  • They are paraben-free and phosphate-free; it is perfect for those with sensitive skin or allergies.
  • They contain biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol.
  • One of the best zero-waste laundry detergents with plastic-free packaging
  • It has two variants; “fresh scent” and “fragrance-free” 

Try Earth Breeze today and start enjoying the benefits of zero-waste laundry detergents that help you save money while protecting our planet!

Sheets Laundry Club

We’re highly impressed with Sheets laundry club, a plastic-free, and zero-waste laundry detergent. The formula is made from natural, plant-based ingredients that are gentle on your clothes and skin. It is also free from harsh chemicals and other harmful ingredients, making it safe for use with all types of fabrics.

What we love about this product;

  • It has eco-friendly packaging; the formula comes in a recyclable cardboard box that has a minimal carbon footprint.
  • Its Formulated with naturally derived surfactants from coconut oil
  • its safe to use with all colors
  • The formula contains biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol.
  • The formula is Paraben-free and phosphate-free; it is perfect for those with sensitive skin or allergies.

Clean People Laundry Detergent Pods

Clean People Laundry Detergent Pods are a breakthrough! These laundry pods are completely plastic-free, making them a great choice for those looking for a green, eco-friendly laundry solution. The pods are also incredibly easy to use, working with all types of washing machines, from top loaders to front loaders and even HE machines.

What we love about this product;

  • The formula is free from harmful chemicals such as phosphates, parabens, bleach, and dyes
  • The product is 100% vegan and cruelty-free
  • They leave a light fresh scent
  • They’re safe for use in septic tanks.

Molly’s Suds

Molly’s Suds is a plastic-free laundry detergent that utilizes sustainable ingredients and recyclable packaging to provide a clean and eco-friendly laundry routine. The laundry powder is formulated for use with all types of washers.

What we love about this product;

  • The product is made with five natural ingredients, including sodium carbonate,
  • The laundry powder is scented with organic peppermint oil, making it smell fresh and clean.
  • Safe for all types of skin-sensitivities
  • The formula is gentle and chemical free
  • It helps remove buildup from clothing fibers

We’re fans of Molly’s suds for a long time now, as I appreciate its focus on using plastic-free packaging and recyclable materials. We love that the product comes in convenient, reusable tubs that can be refilled and reused when they are empty.

Dropps Laundry Detergent Pods 

Overall, I think Dropps laundry detergent pods are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a powerful stain-fighting product that is also eco-friendly and low-waste. The naturally derived scents are a nice touch, and the formula works well on a variety of fabrics and stains.

What we love about this product;

  • The product is 100% vegan and cruelty-free
  • The natural lavender and eucalyptus scents
  • Incorporates RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil
  • The product a plastic-free packaging

So if you’re looking for a high-quality pod that can handle anything life throws at you, Dropps is the way to go. Highly recommended!

Tru Earth Eco Strips

The advantage of using Tru Earth Eco-Strips is that they are so easy to use. They come in a small box that you simply open up and tear off one of the strips inside. Then you place it directly into your washing machine, along with your clothes and detergent of choice, and let it dissolve completely.

The whole process is super simple and quick, which makes it perfect for people who are busy or on the go a lot.

What we love about this product;

  • The formula is nontoxic and gentle on the skin
  • Easy to use and carry
  • The strips are vegan and paraben free
  • Works for every kind of washing machine

KIND Laundry Detergent Strips

KIND laundry detergent strips are an extraordinary product for anyone looking for an effective, eco-friendly alternative to traditional detergents. These strips contain high-quality ingredients that are tough on stains and odors, but gentle enough to use on even delicate fabrics. 

What we love about this product;

  • These sheets are made of a non-toxic formula that is free of allergens
  • The formula comprises certified palm derivates instead of palm oil
  • The sheets are made of dissolvable PVOH
  • It has a biodegradable packaging

How to develop a sustainable laundry regime

Along with using eco-friendly products, complying with a few laundry rules could help reduce wastage and resource consumption.

Start by washing your clothes less frequently, and in bulk whenever possible, as well as considering sustainable dry cleaning techniques. This will help you to reduce the overall environmental impact of your laundry routine by minimizing the amount of water and energy used for each load.

Also, Consider air-drying your garments whenever possible. Leaving clothes that are only worn once outside overnight can help them to air out and become fresher and less musty, without requiring any additional energy or resources from your washing machine.


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