Most Effective Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent

** edited on 9/17/19 had an unfortunate set of events with Zum Laundry Soap, read further for details!!

If you have stepped into the arena of trying to remove the toxic products in your home, you know that finding an effective laundry detergent can be quite difficult.

Normally, I come to you with the best natural solution for you and your family, but today I am looking to you for your advice. I will share with you what has worked for us and what problems I have had with natural laundry detergents and I would love to know what you have tried and what you like!

I am Not Going to Reinvent the Wheel

There are many blog articles regarding why laundry detergent can be very toxic and I am not going to attempt to rewrite all of that, but can be found here. I will give you a quick rundown of the toxic ingredients that need to be avoided in laundry detergent. This list was written by Natural Living Family and for more details on the following ingredients read more here.

  • Fragrance/Parfum (To learn why I call this the F word read here)
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate & Sodium Laureth Sulfate/ Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLS/ SLES)
  • Phosphates
  • Formaldehyde
  • Bleach
  • Ammonium Sulfate
  • Dioxane (1,4 Dioxane/ Diethylene Dioxide/ Diethylene Ether/ Dioxan)
  • Optical Brighteners/ UV Brighteners
  • Ammonium Quaternary Sanitizers (Quats/ Synthesized Cationic Surfactants)
  • Nonylphenol Ethoxylates (Nonoxynol, NPEs)
  • Benzyl Acetate
  • Dyes
  • Dichlorobenzene (P-Dichlorobenzene/ Benzene)

A Quick Side Note

Just so you know when switching to natural laundry detergents, you will not have the same smell when you open your washer or dryer. This is because they lack the heavy toxic fragrance that most toxic laundry detergents contain. Continue reading for an amazing dryer oil you can put on a dryer ball if you want a non-toxic smell to your laundry.

What All Have I Tried?

You may be asking yourself what I have tried… I have tried a lot of different “natural non-toxic” laundry soaps and detergents. I will tell you about each of them and the pros and cons I have found. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links and I will earn a small commission from your purchase.

Side note, my husband is a super hard-working man so if the detergent is unable to get the “stink” out of his socks, it does not work for us!

Mama Suds

I do not have a bottle in the picture. I finished it up before trying these others. I will say that I enjoyed using this laundry soap.


  • Very minimal ingredients, which I appreciate
  • What I appreciate about this brand is that everything is handmade, non-toxic
  • The price point is great for the value you receive


  • I needed to add an oxygen booster to get the stink out of my husband’s socks.

Molly’s Suds

Molly’s Suds background story and why this company was created touches my heart deeply, especially as a labor and delivery nurse. The founder lost her precious baby before she could take her little breath of life and was stillborn. This sent the founder, also a nurse into figuring out how toxic most household products are and made a commitment to make cleaner, non-toxic laundry detergent. For more about this company and to check out their products visit their website and their products are also offered on Amazon (these are affiliate links).

The Pros:

  • I LOVE the Peppermint Essential Oils in the laundry powder
  • I LOVE the Oxygen Whitener

The Cons:

  • Did not remove the “stink” from my husband’s socks!

Zum Clean

I am hesitant about Zum Clean. They have some laundry soap that contains fragrance which is a big no-no for me in choosing a product. I decided to try their Sea Salt laundry soap which contains only essential oils for an added smell. It has a very strong smell and it almost is too much, which makes me hesitate if it truly is fragrance-free.

The Pros:

  • Super minimal ingredients
  • Gets the “stink” out of my husband’s socks
  • ** after writing this post our laundry began to stink and this was the current detergent! I do NOT recommend

The Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Almost too much essential oil smell
  • ** I Do NOT recommend, over time we developed stinky, smelly laundry that didn’t stink before being washed

Hex Performance Anti-Stink Laundry Detergent

I found this detergent at my local Publix and wanted to try it for my husband’s stinky work socks… I will keep this short and simple.

  • It smells heavily like chemicals
  • It did NOT get the “stink” out
  • I would NOT recommend

Norwex Laundry Detergent

I enjoy all of my Norwex cloths and products, but the laundry detergent powder is just ok. To me, it is personally too expensive and does NOT remove the “stink” from those work socks. I use this only to clean my Norwex mop and cloths.


Last time I was at Target, I saw this little small bottle of their new natural brand, EverSpring. It was a bottle that gives you a coupon off a larger bottle. I would say this detergent is ok, nothing spectacular and nothing impressive.

Thieves Laundry Soap

After the terrible mishap with Zum Laundry Soap I asked in one of my natural groups what else I should try based on my current problem. Several suggested Thieves Laundry Soap and it actually got the smell out of our funky laundry that the Zum caused. So far so good. My mother in law gave me half a bottle to try.

A Few Things I Add to Basic Laundry Soap/Detergent

There are a few additives that I add from time to time to my laundry. I love wool dryer balls and I use these instead of dryer sheets. I recently tried Bio Kleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover for those stinky socks! I also use this for personal items that need extra cleaning. I like this product and will always keep this on hand.

If you like using natural laundry detergents, but miss that amazing smell that you would get from your scented laundry detergent check out Poofy Organics Dryer Oil. Look for more articles about Poofy Organics, love their mission and their products! Poofy Organics also has a Pre Laundry Spray to remove stains that I also really like to use! It worked amazingly well on my daughter’s white shirt and ketchup!!

To Try in the Future

A few brands I hope to try in the future are Doterra and BioKleen Premium Powder or the Sport formula! Stay tuned to see how these work out!

I Want to Hear From You!

Do you have a good non-toxic laundry detergent/soap that you think is effective! Also, sorry to my husband and having to talk about his work socks. I will say that most of the laundry detergents mentioned seemed to work on most things, but the socks and stinky laundry were the deciding factor!

I would love to hear from you and please feel free to share this post with your friends!

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