Laundry Detergent that’s Good for You

We all did it–as we got close to that 40th week, we all went out and bought Dreft so we could wash our newborn’s clothes in non-irritating laundry detergent. I was faithful about splitting up the baby’s clothes from the rest of the family’s–washing it in Dreft, then putting it through an extra rinse cycle, all to make sure there wasn’t anything left over to harm baby. And, around the 3 month old mark, I stopped. Figuring my child was old enough to not be irritated by soaps, I mixed everyone’s clothes and washed in my normal household detergent. But have you ever stopped to really think about this? Why are we so careful with our newest family member, but not really thinking about siblings or ourselves? Shouldn’t we all be free from the chemicals in laundry detergent? I thought so, which is why I went on the hunt for organic laundry detergents and stain removers that REALLY worked. I came up with the following. . .

Eco Nuts Soap

Seeing this made me see that I have a long way to go in educating myself on being greener. You can use NUTS, over and over again, to clean your toughest stains? HUH?!? According to the Eco Nuts website, “Eco Nuts™ are completely sustainable dried fruit shells that come from the Sapindus mukorossi tree (also called the Soap Berry or Soap Nut Tree) in Nepal, India and Indonesia. The ones we harvest come from high up in the Himalayas and are the highest quality “soap nut” on the market. These fruit shells have been used in India and China for centuries, and are now gaining popularity in America and Europe as a renewable, biodegradable and organic alternative to chemical  detergents and expensive “Green” laundry soaps.” I was told that the nuts are just as effective as regular cleaners, so I tried them out on the toughest job–a washer full of dirty cloth diapers. I put it on “hot”, threw the nuts in, and said a little prayer that I wouldn’t have to be doing another load. That prayer was answered because the diapers were sparkling clean, with no yucky odors. Holy cow, miracles do happen! To learn more, click here. Eco Nuts Soap, $12.00 for 50 loads. Click here to order.

Yoreganics Bright & White and Stain Remover

Now I’m a Oxiclean fanatic. Seriously, a load of wash rarely gets by without a cup of Oxi being thrown in. So, I was interested in trying Yoreganics Bright & White to see if I could get the same effect–and I was not let down. It takes less than half the amount of Oxi, so you’re not letting so much soap drain into the environment, and mixed with the Stain Remover, your chocolate, grease, grass, whatever, stains, don’t stand a chance. Bright & White, $11.99 for a 1.5 pound bag. Click here for more info and to order. Stain Remover, $14.99 for a 8 ounce spray bottle. Click here for more info and to order.

Rockin Green Cloth Diaper and Laundry Detergent

Rockin Green caught my eye at the ABC show this past Fall. Sporting fun play-on-words with famous rock bands and themes (i.e. Soft Rock formula for soft water systems and Smashing Watermelon flavor), I eagerly grabbed a sample to see how it would do. Naturally, I tested it out once again on the cloth diapers (passed with flying colors), but the formula is especially good for workout clothes (gets the stink out), baby’s wardrobe (spills and stains) as well as your regular laundry. For more info (and to see a U.S. map to help decide what formula you should choose), click here. Rockin Green Cloth Diaper and Laundry Detergent, $13.95 for 45 loads. Click here to order.

Ecos Liquid Laundry Detergent

Wash a whole load of laundry with only 1.5 ounces? Ecos does the job, while delivering the ever-so-subtle hint of magnolia and lilies (at least in the bottle I tried, there’s also lavender and lemongrass). You definitely get a bang for your buck–a 50 ounce bottle only costs $6.99, and it’s available at mass grocers such as Whole Foods, Ralph’s, Wegman’s and Nature’s Best. For more info, click here. Ecos Liquid Laundry Detergent, $6.99 for 50 ounce bottle. Click here to order.

Farmhouse Laundry Soap

The shabby chic look of this detergent already had me, but when it did a fantastic job of cleaning, I was completely hooked. (The slight hint of lavender, one of my all time favorite scents certainly didn’t hurt either.) The website touts, “This old fashioned formula is wonderfully fragranced, biodegradable and very effective. You only need 1/8 cup per wash load. This is a low sudsing formula, it is kind to nature, and kind to those with sensitivities to chemicals. Little to no extra packaging or hype.” Enough said. For more info, click here. Farmhouse Laundry Soap, $12.95 for 58 loads. Click here to order.

J.R. Watkins Liquid Laundry Detergent

Free of practically everything but good cleaning power, this detergent is fantastic for those who are looking to live greener, one step at a time. To quote the site, their detergent bottle, “uses less than half the plastic of a standard 100 oz. bottle, which means less waste and less impact on the environment!” I loved the J.R. Watkins shampoo and conditioner duo, and this detergent didn’t let me down either. For more info, click here. J.R. Watkins Liquid Laundry Detergent, $12.99 for 32 loads. Click here to order.

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  1. great post. do these work for HE front loaders?

  2. i just got a bag of yoreganics this week and did my first wash yesterday…it worked great! paired with my buddha bunz wool dryer balls…..perfect laundry:) i can’t wait to get the yoreganics white and bright stuff:)

  3. Are all of these good if your washer isn’t HE? And, if you had to choose one, which one? Just personally, what will you stick with?

  4. Interesting article. I am impressed that you tried the Eco nut soap.

  5. I use robby wash, its hypoallergenic, and costs $32 for a whole years worth of laundry….When I read about the Eco nut soap, i thought it would be similar to that, but its not, at $12 for 50 washes.

  6. Robby wash is full of chemicals, including polyethylene glycol, aka PEGs. I wouldnt use that if you are trying to go less toxic to yourself as well as the environment.

  7. Sarah Beth Stembridge says

    Thanks for posting great info! I started purchasing from an online green Costco type company two years ago in order to remove all chemicals from my home. Everything from bath and body to cleaning to laundry to makeup and more! I also save quite a bit from grocery store brands since I order directly from the manufacturer. For example, for 96 loads of laundry detergent, it’s $17. Baby shampoo is $5. If you’d like to know more about how to shop, email me at This company has been a blessing to my bank account!


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