The 8 Best Green Laundry Detergents

Keep clothes and the planet clean and green

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"Contains no phthalates, chlorine, formaldehyde, or artificial colors."
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"The plant-based formula is biodegradable and hypoallergenic."
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"Promises to knock out tough stains like grass, tomato sauce and chocolate."
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"The delicious lavender and vanilla scent is made with essential oils."
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"Contains pure essential oils that deliver a dose of aromatherapy, too."
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"Gets out tough stains but without all of the harsh chemicals."
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"Powders are often more green (no wasted water like with liquid)."
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"Specially formulated for hard water, customers say it leaves clothes soft and clean."
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Best Overall: Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Lavender Laundry Detergent

When it comes to clean, green products for your house, Mrs. Meyers knows what she’s doing. This liquid laundry detergent is safe for your family and the environment. It contains no phthalates, chlorine, formaldehyde, artificial colors or other unnecessary ingredients, but it does provide everything it needs to clean your clothing and linens.

Not to mention it comes in an array of amazing scents like basil, rosemary, lavender and geranium, to leave them smelling naturally divine. It can be used in HE or conventional machines and is safe for septic systems. It’s also 4x concentrated, and you only need one tablespoon of it to wash an entire load of laundry. Just note this is designed to be low sudsing so just because you don't have a lot of bubbles doesn't mean it isn't working. 

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Method 4x Concentrated Laundry Detergent in Beach Sage

For a simple, green clean, this laundry detergent from Method is hard to beat. Method has the natural cleaning game down from its pleasant-smelling products to their sleek, modern packaging, and this laundry detergent is no exception. The plant-based formula is biodegradable and hypoallergenic, but also tough on dirt and stains.

It can be used in both high efficiency (HE) and standard machines and in cold or warm water. It also promises brighter colors and whiter whites with just one-fourth of the amount you have to use with other leading brands of laundry detergent. This bottle will get you 66 loads done By using a concentrated formula you use less detergent which means less waste and shipping of unnecessary water. We love the beach sage scent but this also comes in more familiar scents like lavender or a fruity ginger mango. 

Best Free & Clear: Seventh Generation Natural 4X Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Less is more when it comes to a good, natural laundry detergent like this one from Seventh Generation. This ultra-concentrated formula will clean 53 loads of laundry with one, 40-ounce container and promises to knock out tough stains like grass, tomato sauce and chocolate.

All that power doesn’t come at the price of the environment or your family’s health though. It’s made from renewable, plant-based ingredients with no dyes, synthetic fragrances or optical brighteners included. It's made of 96% plant-based ingredients and since it is free and clear of fragrance it is a smart option for households with children or those with allergies. It's also not tested on animals. 

Best Pods: Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods

If you don’t want to mess with measuring and pouring in a liquid or powder detergent, these Grab Green pods are an easy alternative. Each one contains a dose of detergent, stain remover and fabric brightener. You just toss one in, and you’re done.

They work in regular or HE machines, and can be used in all water temperatures. The biodegradable formula doesn’t have any phosphates, chlorine or dyes, and the delicious lavender and vanilla scent is made with essential oils.

Users love the natural smell and the effective clean they get after use. They also note there is no need to use fabric softener or dryer sheets with this because the clothes feel soft without them. 

Best Smelling: Indigo Wild Zum Clean Laundry Soap Frankincense Myrrh

Yum. This natural laundry detergent from Zum Clean contains pure essential oils that deliver a dose of aromatherapy along with clean laundry. It comes in scents like frankincense and myrrh, sea salt and sweet orange, but it doesn’t contain any parabens, phosphates, petrochemicals or sulfates. Instead, it’s made natural ingredients, including coconut oil, baking soda, vegetable glycerin, and borax.

It can be used in top-loading or HE machines. Just add it to your machine as you would any other laundry detergent for clean, terrific-smelling laundry. Reviewer's not that it leaves their clothes feeling soft from the coconut oil and has a strong pleasant smell, so scent-folks need not apply. 

Best for Babies: The Honest Company Baby Laundry Detergent

When it comes to babies’ sensitive skin, you can’t be too careful. This hypoallergenic laundry detergent from the Honest Company promises to get out all of the stains that come along with kids but without all the harsh chemicals that can harm their skin. It’s specially designed for sensitive skin and is tested by dermatologists.

You can use it for the whole family’s laundry too in a regular or HE machine, or even to hand wash delicate items. From baby formula to coffee and even red wine, this detergent is designed to get stains out without leaving any kind of chemical residue.

For busy households, we suggest ordering this on a subscribe and save basis so you never have to worry about not having detergent again. 

Best Powder: Charlie's Soap Fragrance Free Laundry Powder

Some households prefer a powder detergent and they are often more green (no wasted water like with liquid) and are easy on the wallet. This fan-favorite Charlie's Soap can clean a load of laundry for pennies. Just add a tablespoon of powder to your washing machine and you'll be left with odor and stain free clothing that is non-toxic, biodegradable and safe for the environment. 

Users have noted that their clothing has last longer than with traditional soaps and clothing is left soft and stain free for a bargain price. 

Best for Hard Water: Bubble Bandit Water Boy Liquid Laundry Detergent- Hard Water Concentrate

If you have hard water, this natural laundry detergent from Water Boy can make doing your laundry a little easier. Specially formulated for hard water, customers say it leaves clothes soft and clean.

This formula doesn’t contain any perfumes or dyes, and it’s phosphate free. While it’s made for hard ward water, it will work with any type of water and can be used in a standard or HE washing machine. The formula uses three enzymes to attack stains and dirt leaving you with clean and bright clothing even in the hardest of water conditions. 

Scent It used to be that green laundry detergents featured little to no scent, but today’s varieties include some pleasing natural essences. However, unscented formulas are still widely available and may be the best option for people with especially sensitive skin or allergies.

Form Choose from laundry detergent available in powder, liquid, or pod form. With powder or liquid detergent, you’ll need to measure the output each time you wash, but you can adjust for the size and soil level of the load more easily. However, you may prefer the convenience of ready-to-go laundry pods.

Ingredients Not all laundry detergents are created equal, and the same is true for eco-friendly formulas. While some substances are almost universally omitted—including phthalates, phosphates, and non-biodegradable surfactants—other questionable ingredients may or may not be present in a certain formula. If you have specific allergies or avoidances, read labels carefully to make sure that unwanted additives aren’t included.

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