Natural Laundry Detergents

Posted by Mrs Money on November 3rd, 2010

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I’ve researched natural laundry detergent for quite some time.  I’m pretty picky when it comes to laundry detergent, and I like to choose something that is friendly to our bodies as well as the planet.  I continue to make my own laundry detergent using my laundry detergent recipe, but there are times that I’ve run out or just wanted to try something else.  I also know there are plenty of people that just don’t want to make their own laundry detergent, and that’s understandable.  I’m going to share with you my favorite natural laundry detergents that you can buy and use yourself.

Dr. Bronner’s Soap

-Dr. Bronner’s. Dr. Bronner’s soap is a staple in our household.  We use it for everything from washing dishes, cleaning around the house, and even cleaning our bodies!  I buy it in bulk from Amazon by the gallon.  It is all natural, suds well, and cleans fabulously!  To use Dr. Bronner’s as laundry detergent, just squirt about 1/8 of a cup of the soap into your soap dispenser on your washing machine.  I like using the lavender scented because my clothes come out clean and smelling good!  I’ve heard you can even use Dr. Bronner’s on cloth diapers, but I obviously haven’t tried it first hand yet.

Soap Nuts

-Soap Nuts. Soap nuts are actually berries that come from trees that grow in India and Nepal.  They contain large quantities of saponin in their shell, which is released when they come into contact with water in your washer.  They contain no chemicals, dyes, or fragrances, which is great for people with sensitive skin.  Soap nuts are also 100% non allergenic.  You can use soap nuts a few ways. You can just toss a muslin bag containing a few soap nuts into your washing machine and let them do their job.  It’s nice because you can use them a few times before they stop losing their cleaning power.  When they are completely used up, you can actually compost them!  If you don’t like that idea, you can also boil them in hot water to release the saponin and then use the liquid as laundry detergent.

Soap Nuts liquid can also be used to wash dishes and clean around the house as well!  Another nice thing about using soap nuts is that you don’t have to use a rinse cycle when you use them, which also helps save water!

Fels Naptha

-Fels Naptha. Fels Naptha has been around for many years as a laundry soap.  When I’ve run out of laundry detergent before, I’ve just grated some Fels Naptha into my washing machine and let it go.  My clothes have always come out clean and smelling great.  Fels Naptha has also been used as a natural stain remover and even a carpet cleaner!

If you’re not into any of these natural laundry detergents for one reason or another, I’d recommend buying a brand like Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent or Ecos Liquid Laundry Detergent. It will be a little more expensive than making your own or buying the products listed above, but at least you’ll know you’re using an Earth and body friendly laundry detergent.

What type of laundry detergent do you use? Do you make your own, or buy it?

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11 Responses to “Natural Laundry Detergents”


  1. Becky R says:

    I make my own. I use Fels Naptha but lately have been wondering if it is natural. It has fragrance in it. I know it is minute, but was just wondering. I have been using it in my homemade laundry soap for years.

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Becky- I have been wondering the same thing!! I know Dr. Bronner’s bar soap would have fragrance with essential oils, so I have thought about using that but it is more expensive. I hate things that have artificial fragrance!

    [Reply]

    Becky R Reply:

    I am going to try bar castile soap, it cost me about .39 cents more a bar than Fels Naptha, but I think it is more natural ingredients.

    [Reply]

  2. I make my own, not because I fancy that it is more natural, just because I am cheap. Mine is a powdered blend of 3 parts Borax, 2 parts grated Ivory, 2 parts washing soda, and 1 part baking soda, which is a modified version of recipe #9 here http://tipnut.com/10-homemade-laundry-soap-detergent-recipes/

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    The Lost Goat- I’m about as cheap as I am green. ;)

    [Reply]

  3. Jd says:

    What about for a high efficiency washer?

    [Reply]

    Mrs Money Reply:

    Hi Jd! You should be able to use all of these in an HE washer. I use my laundry detergent and it works great!
    xoxo

    [Reply]

  4. Just a Friend says:

    Fels Naptha is not ‘natural’ in the sense that many people mean when they only want to use natural products! Yes, is is chemically “organic” but so is arsenic.
    Just look at the name: Fels is the last name of the guy who invented it, and Naptha, well, just wiki search Naptha…

    [Reply]

  5. Jess says:

    Fels Naptha is not natural.

    A really excellent, oft overlooked natural castile soap is Kirk’s out of Kentucky: http://www.kirksnatural.com/

    It’s cheaper than Bronner’s and is super effective as a replacement for Fels Naptha in laundry detergent recipes.

    [Reply]


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