Best Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Guide (2024)

Written by:

Maia James

Image of various laundry detergent options. | Gimme The Good Stuff

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Image of a collection fo various non-toxic laundry detergents approved by Gimme the Good Stuff. | Gimme The Good Stuff

1. Mama Suds / 2. Christina Maser / 3. Kind / 4. Eco-Me / 5. Tandi’s / 6. Sonett / 7. Meliora

I admit it: finding a natural laundry detergent that actually works is a challenge. When we had babies in the house, my husband used to joke (more like complain) that he knew we were using the #goodstuff when the bibs came out of the dryer with the spit-up still intact. And every time he came home with a “free and clear” version from the drug store, I would read the ingredients and veto it.

But! Things have changed over the last decade. Toxin-free laundry detergents work better, there are more environmentally friendly options, and the Sneaky Stuff has gotten less sneaky.

In this updated, comprehensive shopping guide for natural, non-toxic laundry detergents, we’ve reviewed over 40 brands of detergent and found powders, pods, sheets, and liquid versions that meet our criteria for Good Stuff.

Read on for more about the best non-toxic laundry detergents we love, what to look out for when choosing a detergent, and the 17 “natural” laundry detergent brands we’d advise you to avoid.

Best Overall Laundry Detergent

Tandi’s Naturals

I used to have a real thing against powder detergent, but then I tried it and it turns out it works just as well as liquid. My absolute favorite is Tandi’s natural laundry soap. I didn’t think I could fall in love with a beef tallow-based powder detergent, but we can all surprise ourselves, right?

Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent

Kind Laundry

If you want to lower your carbon footprint when doing laundry, Kind is the best sheet detergent we’ve found. Each sheet is good for an entire load of laundry, and these are great for kids who are learning to do their own laundry (no measuring and no potential for a mess!).

Toxins in Laundry Detergent

All laundry detergents leave a residue on clothing, which is absorbed by our skin (and inhaled). The ill effects of some of the chemicals in detergents range from skin or eye irritation to possibly much more serious, such as endocrine disruption (some ingredients are even considered potential carcinogens, but I’m not going to suggest that if you don’t give up your Tide you’ll get cancer!).

The following common laundry detergent ingredients can be harmful to human and/or planet health:

  1. Phosphates: Found in many detergents, phosphates can contribute to water pollution, leading to issues like algal blooms and oxygen-deprived “dead zones” in water bodies.
  2. Surfactants: Some surfactants used in detergents can be derived from petrochemicals, which are non-renewable and contribute to carbon emissions. Others can be immunotoxins.
  3. Fragrances: Many conventional detergents use synthetic fragrances, which can contain phthalates and other chemicals linked to respiratory and skin issues.
  4. Optical Brighteners: These chemicals, like stilbene and coumarin, are designed to make clothes appear brighter, but they can be irritating to the skin and are not easily biodegradable.
  5. Dyes: Synthetic dyes used in detergents can contain heavy metals and other harmful compounds.
  6. Chlorine Bleach: This common laundry additive can create harmful byproducts when mixed with other chemicals, and its production and use can contribute to environmental pollution.
  7. 1,4-Dioxane: This is a byproduct of the ethoxylation process used to make some surfactants, and it’s classified as a probable human carcinogen.

Shop Best Natural Laundry Detergents

Do You Need a Special Detergent for Baby Clothes?

Image of Dreft Liquid Laundry Detergent. | Gimme The Good Stuff

When I was pregnant and setting up a nursery that would never be used (Felix slept with us), everyone told me to wash all of his clothes in Dreft. After a bit of research, I decided against it (see below, under “The Bad Stuff”).

I’m sure there are people who separate baby linens from other household laundry–but if you’re using a nontoxic detergent there is no reason you cannot use it to wash all of the family’s clothing, including your baby’s!

More importantly, if my laundry detergent is an irritant for my babies’ skin (or worse), I don’t want to use it on my clothes! My own health aside, when my boys were infants, I spent about 30 percent of my day snuggling their little naked bodies to my clothed one, so I was determined to find a safe, natural laundry detergent.

Best Laundry Soap For Cloth Diapers & Baby Diapers

Mama Suds

Mama Suds is my favorite baby safe laundry detergent for cleaning cloth diapers and baby clothes. It’s gentle enough for a baby’s skin but tough enough for stubborn stains. And of course, it’s completely non-toxic, so concentrated that the large bottle lasts forever.

best Natural fabric protectors

Proof +

If you enjoy our natural laundry detergents and you want to protect your clothing fabric naturally then look no further. We are excited to introduce Proof+. A collection of non-toxic fabric protectors that are completely natural and free of all PFAs.

The clothing fabric Protector creates an invisible barrier that helps protect apparel from damage caused by liquid stains. Simply spray this treatment on any fabric and watch it magically repel liquids and help protect your favorite clothing from absorbing stains.

We’ve highlighted some of our favorite natural laundry detergents above, but a bunch of other brands meet our criteria for Good Stuff. You’ll find those, plus the brands we consider Okay, Bad, and Sneaky in the sections that follow.

Good Laundry Detergent Brands

Attitude Laundry Detergent

This laundry liquid’s formula changed since we last updated this guide, and is now safer. The surfactants used have been changed to sodium coco sulfate and lauryl glucoside, both of which are of low concern. If you’ve tried Attitude, let me know how this one works!

Price per ounce: $0.30

Aspen Clean

This EWG-verified laundry detergent is safe in both liquid and powder formulas. Aspen uses decyl glucoside as its primary cleaning agent and contains only essential oils for fragrance.

Price per ounce: $0.44
Price per pod: $0.37

Blueland Laundry Tablets

I haven’t tried them, but Blueland’s “naked” laundry tablets are unique because, unlike laundry pods, they contain no polyvinyl alcohol. Blueland’s refills are packaged in compostable paper pouches, and the ingredients are clean.

Price per ounce: from $0.28 to $0.35

Branch Basics Laundry

I love Branch Basics planet-friendly cleaning system, and their Laundry Detergent contains only the surfactants we’ve deemed safe (decyl glucoside and coco-glucoside).

Price per ounce: $0.27

Christina Maser Vegan Concentrated Laundry Soap

Christina Maser is a natural laundry soap rather than a detergent, and a perfect alternative for those of you who want a vegan option for your laundry. Find it in the Gimme the Good Stuff laundry detergent section. Start with a glass jar, and then refill with eco-friendly bags.

Price per ounce: $0.78

Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent

Dropps is a good eco-friendly laundry detergent option, without dyes, phosphates, phthalates, and optical brighteners. New customers can use code Gimme25 for 25% off and existing customers can use Gimme15 for 15% off this non-toxic baby laundry detergent.

Price per ounce: from $0.36 – $0.40

Eco-Me Laundry Detergent

Eco-Me is my favorite liquid natural laundry detergent–it’s got a safe ingredients list, works well, and smells nice.

Price per ounce: $0.40

Esembly Baby Laundry Detergent

This is the best brand for cloth-diapering moms, and works really well on workout clothes. Esembly is also made in the USA and has an almost impossibly short list of clean ingredients.

Discount code: GOODSTUFF*10* for 10% off.

 Price per ounce: $0.39

Fit Organic Laundry Detergent

You guys have been asking about this one for years, and I am pleased to say that–after reviewing the ingredients in Fit’s various lines of natural laundry detergents–it is definitely Good Stuff! The surfactant is saponified coconut oil, and Fit laundry detergent doesn’t contain any of the usual gross preservatives. EWG score: A

Price per ounce: $0.16

Grab Green Laundry Detergent

If you love a detergent pod, this one does the job. GrabGreen contains a few mildly concerning ingredients (such as sodium metasilicate, which may have respiratory effects), but only in small concentrations. EWG score: B

PLEASE NOTE: Grab Green recently switched to synthetic fragrance (phthalate-free), so we only recommend the unscented natural laundry detergent. And their dish soap and hand soap should be avoided as they both contain SLES.

Price per ounce: $0.33

GreenShield Laundry Detergent

The main cleaning agent here is saponified organic coconut oil. GreenShield’s unscented variety is great for even those with the most sensitive skin (like babies). EWG score: A

Price per ounce: $0.25

Healthybaby Laundry Detergent Concentrate

This new laundry concentrate is 100% plant and mineral-based and is safe for a baby. It was designed to be neurologically-safe and microbiome-friendly. I also really like how easy HealthyBaby laundry detergent is to use. You can pump it directly into your washing machine without any spillage (it’s easy for my kids to do their own laundry with this one!).

Price per ounce: $1.76 (but you need very little–this lasts forever!)

Use code GIMME15 for 15% off, including subscriptions.

Hello Bello Organic Laundry Detergent

Hello Bello is among my favorite of the celebrity-run clean products brands. Their laundry detergent has a legitimately safe list of ingredients, although I haven’t tried it so cannot speak to how it performs.

Price per ounce: $0.22

Kind Laundry Detergent Sheets

We switched to Kind Laundry sheets a few months ago, and I don’t know if we will ever go back to liquid or powder! With a simple, safe ingredients list, Kind is a completely plastic-free laundry detergent alternative.

Price per sheet: $0.36

Meliora Laundry Powder

Coming in as the most affordable per ounce, Meliora is also a great natural laundry detergent option for those who want to clean their clothes with less of an environmental impact. All scents are free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, and brighteners, and the entire system is 100% plastic-free.

Price per ounce: $0.14

MamaSuds Liquid Laundry

MamaSuds is a deep cleaning, all-natural laundry soap that is safe for cloth diapers. This is NOT a detergent, and therefore you will not need a fabric softener when using it. MamaSuds household cleaning products are simple, nontoxic, and eco-friendly. They are also incredibly effective and completely free of the Bad Stuff.

Note: This soap contains borax.

Price per ounce: $0.28

Molly’s Suds

Molly’s Suds line of laundry products is safe and even includes some organic ingredients, such as peppermint oil.

Price per ounce: $0.28

Pur Laundry Detergent

I love this Black-owned brand of cleaner cleaning supplies. Due to supply chain issues, Pur does not currently have this cool cardboard jug, but I hope it’ll be coming back soon!

Price per ounce: $0.23

Sonett Laundry Liquid

This is my favorite natural laundry detergent. Sonett is made in Germany, smells delish (although it’s also available in an unscented Neutral), and gets our clothes super clean. Of course, it contains none of the questionable ingredients listed above.

Price per ounce: $0.44

Tandi’s Naturals

Tandi’s  is suitable for regular and high-efficiency (HE) washers. Tandi uses tallow as the basis for this soap, which she blends with natural cleaners like baking soda, plus essential oils for a delicate scent. This soap does not contain borax or SLS/SLES, and is a very effective option.

Price per ounce: from $0.35 – $0.52 

Whoa Nelli Laundry Soap

We haven’t tried Whoa Nelli, and therefore cannot speak to how it performs, but we are big fans of its short list of clean ingredients. Whoa Nelli’s line of powders contains just baking soda, washing soda, old-fashioned coconut soap, and some essential oils.

Price per ounce: $0.22

Zum Clean Laundry Soap

Almost all of Zum’s formulas are safe, with three primary ingredients: vegetable glycerin, saponified coconut oil, and baking soda. Avoid the Frankincense & Myrrh formula as it contains synthetic fragrance (although it is free of phthalates). EWG score: B-C, depending on the formula.

Price per ounce: $0.33

365 Concentrated Laundry Detergent

This is a good choice for people who are looking for an effective laundry detergent that is also safe for sensitive skin. 365 concentrated laundry detergent is made without phosphates, chlorine, or artificial fragrances and dyes.

It’s also designed for HE washing machines, so you only need to use a small amount per load.

9 Elements

9 Elements Natural Laundry Detergent is plant-based. It’s free of harsh chemicals and made with natural ingredients. It’s great for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

It’s biodegradable and does not contain any phosphates or dyes. 


Earthley laundry detergent is tough on dirt but gentle enough for the whole family. It’s made with plant-based ingredients and is free of harsh chemicals, sulfates, brighteners, fragrances, and dyes.

Plus, it’s also biodegradable and septic safe.

Truly Free

As the name suggests, Truly Free is free of harsh chemicals and contains natural, plant-based ingredients. On top of that, it helps your washing machine run smoother and cuts down on plastic waste with refillable jugs. Win-win!

“Okay” Laundry Brands

Common Good Laundry Detergent

I love when I can move brands out of the Sneaky Stuff category! Common Good got rid of almost all of their problematic ingredients–really all that is left is sodium benzoate, and I’m not so worried about that in this case. Extra points for the option of a refillable glass bottle!

Price per ounce: $0.56

Dirty Labs Bio Enzyme Laundry Detergent

Dirty Labs Bio Enzyme uses plant-based power to clean clothes gently. It’s EWG-verified, meeting strict safety standards. We rate it “Okay Stuff” due to its synthetic fragrance. But they are transparent about all ingredients, and none are of concern.

Price per ounce: $0.45

Grab Green Laundry Detergent

If you love a detergent pod, this one does the job. Grab Green contains a few mildly concerning ingredients (such as sodium metasilicate, which may have respiratory effects), but only in small concentrations. EWG score: B

PLEASE NOTE: Grab Green recently switched to synthetic fragrance (phthalate-free), so we only recommend the unscented natural laundry detergent. And their dish soap and hand soap should be avoided as they both contain SLES.

Price per ounce: $0.33

Nellie’s Laundry Soda

We’ve moved Nelly from Sneaky to Okay Stuff, since they removed a few of their most concerning ingredients, and now garner an A from the EWG. We still don’t love alcohol ethoxylates and sodium metasilicate so we can’t quite call this Good Stuff.

Price per ounce: $0.26

Planet Laundry Detergent

Planet’s laundry detergent is an okay choice if you can’t find any of the Good Stuff, but I’m not crazy about the fact that it contains laureth-7, which contains a bunch of contamination concerns.

Price per ounce: $0.27

Bad Laundry Detergent Brands

Most big name and generic laundry detergents have the same bad stuff in them; if a bottle doesn’t list its specific ingredients on the label, I wouldn’t use it.

Dreftas we all know, is marketed as being special for babies and recommended by many pediatricians. Amazingly, nowhere on are ingredients mentioned. The closest they come is under their FAQ:

Q: How is Dreft formulated for my baby’s laundry needs?

A: The Dreft® formula is designed to not only help fight tough baby and toddler stains, but also provide a gentle clean for baby.

With a bit more sleuthing, I was at last able to dig up a list of Dreft ingredients. Fragrancepropylene glycol,ethanolamineethanolsodium hydroxidediethylene glycol, polyethylene glycol 4000 (which Skin Deep scores as 5-8), and about a dozen other ingredients make up the “gentle” clean of Dreft.  EWG score: D-F, depending on the formula.

Tide has a section of its website devoted to product ingredients, and a quick scan reveals that it’s made up of lots of stuff that the EWG’s Skin Deep Database scores as moderately to highly hazardous—such as benzisothiazolinonefragrance, FD&C Yellow 3, and laureth-9. EWG score: D-F, depending on the formula.

“Sneaky” Laundry Detergent Brands

BabyGanics Loads of Love Laundry Detergent. Contains SLES and undisclosed conditioning agents. I like that they are relatively transparent about all of their ingredients, and while nothing sounds particularly horrid, when I asked for more details on what was meant by “naturally derived plant-based cleaning agents,” they admitted: “Our products do not contain SLS however some our products do have SLES in them.”

Yuck! I’ve often made my peace with SLS, but definitely not with its more sinister cousin, which is sometimes contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, a well-established carcinogen. EWG Score: F.

Better Life was once a Good Stuff fave for its natural, plant-based formula, but it has taken a turn we can’t support. They’ve added benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, preservatives known to irritate skin and potentially cause allergies.

BioKleen uses cocamidopropyl betaine as a surfactant, so I cannot call this Okay Stuff.

Caldrea Laundry Detergent. Also contains neurotoxic methylisothiazolinone and sodium laureth sulfate. EWG score: F.

Charlie’s Soap is the perennial favorite on tons of natural living blogs, and having used their powder formula, I can attest to its effectiveness.

Like other producers, Charlie’s is unwilling to provide their exact ingredients, and would only say this when I probed them further: “Our formulas are what make us special. They have been fully tested for toxicity (Duke University), biodegradability (Japan Food Research Labs), and effectiveness (SGS US Testing Labs). They are unique and (following the practices of Coca-Cola) secret. Their formula is secret too, but that doesn’t keep folks from drinking it.”

Hmmm, comparing themselves to Coke probably isn’t Charlie’s savviest PR move—The Coca-Cola Company is not exactly exemplary when it comes to concern for the health of its consumers. While Charlie’s denies using SLS or SLES, one of the ingredients they disclosed is sodium metasilicate–which Skin Deeps considers moderately hazardous and which the Journal of Reproduction and Fertility found to show reproductive effects in animals at low doses. EWG Score: D

Citra-Suds has also been moved from Good Stuff to Sneaky Stuff. One of my readers suspected that their laundry detergent contains sodium laureth sulfate and I followed up to discover that it does. When doing the initial review, I had an email exchange with a company representative and I asked twice if their laundry detergent contained SLES. I was told that it did not.

I suspect that the woman I talked to was just uninformed, but this is no excuse. In addition, some Citra products (laundry and otherwise) contain limonene, a potential carcinogen, and definite respiratory irritant. I was told they used orange oil for fragrance, which is a misleading answer as orange oil is technically a different (and harmless) ingredient. It also contains neurotoxic methylisothiazolinon. EWG Score: C.

Dapple’s various laundry detergents contain tetrasodium iminodisuccinate (which gets a C from EWG), cocamidopropyl betaine (which also gets a C), and benzisothiazolinone, which is a concerning preservative.

Earth Friendly ECOS laundry detergents contain bad surfactants (like cocamidopropyl betaine) and preservatives (neurotoxic methylisothiazolinone).

Melaleuca Mela Power Laundry is going to remain here in Sneaky Stuff until this brand gets back to me with a list of any of the ingredients found in it.

Ecover gets an A from EWG, but because it contains sodium laureth sulfate, which is known to be contaminated with carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane, I consider it to be Sneaky Stuff.

Grove Collaborative’s Ultra-Concentrated Laundry Detergent has plant-based power and eco-friendly features. But a closer look at the ingredients list reveals benzisothiazolinone  and methylisothiazolinone. 

Melaleuca Mela Power Laundry is going to remain here in Sneaky Stuff until this brand gets back to me with a list of any of the ingredients found in it. 

Method laundry products contain a number of concerning ingredients, from synthetic fragrances to PEG chemicals.

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Laundry Detergent. Contains synthetic fragrance (though phthalate-free), and preservatives such as methylisothiazolinone, a suspected neurotoxin. EWG Score: F.

Ology Laundry Liquid contains a bunch of ingredients that give me pause, from laureth-7 to cocamidopropyl betaine. I don’t know why EWG gives this laundry detergent an A, but I strongly disagree with this assessment.

Puracy laundry detergent contains borax, which doesn’t worry me, but which I know many of my readers would prefer to avoid. Worse, it uses cocamidopropyl betaine as a surfactant.

Sapadilla Lovely Liquid Laundry Liquid contains cocamidopropyl betaine.

Rockin’ Green has some powerful eco-friendly laundry detergents, but they could provide more detailed fragrance descriptions. Just calling them “naturally-derived” isn’t enough to convince us to switch to this detergent.

Seventh Generation Liquid Formulas also contain methylisothiazolinone. This raises the question: is Seventh Generation laundry detergent safe? The powder formulas are okay, but not quite Good Stuff. EWG Score: D.

Tide Free & Gentle contains optical brightenersoptical brighteners and 1,4-dioxane, a probable carcinogen. (A recent New York Times blog post discussed Tide Free & GentleTide Free & Gentle specifically.) EWG Score: F.

While Trader Joe’s laundry has removed some problematic ingredients (like optical brighteners and synthetic fragrance), it’s still worth wondering if Trader Joe’s laundry detergent is safe. You may also wonder if Trader Joe’s laundry detergent is non-toxic, but unfortunately, they still use cocamidopropyl betaine as their surfactant.

Tru Earth doesn’t make our Good Stuff list because it includes cocamidopropyl betaine and synthetic fragrance.

Better Life used to be on our Good Stuff list for its natural ingredients. But they snuck in preservatives called benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone into their laundry liquid which can irritate skin.

While Grove Collaborative emphasizes its plant-based cleaning power and eco-friendly packaging, it contains benzisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone.

Rockin’ Green laundry detergent sounds pretty cool, right? They use plant-based ingredients and it’s free of harsh chemicals, but here’s the hitch: they don’t provide specific details about their “naturally-derived” fragrances. For us to give them a thumbs up, we need the full scoop on what makes this option safe.

Tru Earth laundry detergent is a popular brand that comes in strips for easy use. While it avoids some harsher chemicals, it contains cocamidopropyl betaine and synthetic fragrance, which doesn’t meet our criteria for the Good Stuff list.

I hope you found this guide helpful in your quest to find the best natural laundry detergent. Please comment below with other brands you’d like us to review–and we will include them in the next update of this guide.

Stay sane,

About the Author

Maia, Founder & CEO

Maia grew up in a Vermont household without a TV or microwave. She has been researching and writing about non-toxic products since 2010, and has appeared in a variety of media outlets, including The New York Times, The Huffington Post, New York Magazine, and The Dr. Oz Show. Maia lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons, and you can follow along as she tries to live a less toxic, more planet-friendly life here.

Note: This article contains affiliate links or sponsored content, which means that if you make a purchase, we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that meet our strict standards for non-toxicity and that we use (or want to use!) ourselves. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that make Good Stuff! 

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367 responses to “Best Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Guide (2024)”

  1. Brenda Avatar

    What about Honest Landry detergent?

    1. Anita Avatar

      Honest is not so honest with some of their claims (e.g. “No SLS” but they use sodium coco sulfate which chemically is the same) but their detergent is fine anyway. I would recommend Dapple natural baby laundry pods. They clean better

  2. Anita Avatar

    Ok.. I just can’t stand it any more. I’m a PhD chemist and I formulate laundry detergents. The misinformation that is propagated by posts like this is just mind boggling. I am a mom too and I totally understand that you’re concern with health and safety of your children. Also I’m very “green”. I care deeply about the environment and try to pollute as little as possible. But please, let’s not get obsessed! Everything is toxic- it all depends on concentration. Water will kill you if you drink too much of it.
    Let me share with some facts:
    – petrochemicals are just as good/bad as “naturally derived” chemicals. It’s the chemical that is good/bad not the source/raw material
    – phospahtes are bad for the environment but laundry waste water is a tiny fraction of the pollution. Overdosing and uneducated use of fertilizers is much bigger issue that should be addressed. Besides nobody uses phosphates in laundry anymore anyway (even though they work great!)
    – SLS is not toxic/carcinogenic. In fact it is a great surfactant (cleaning agent). If it is applied directly on skin it can cause irritation (because it washes off protective oil on your skin so well) but when used in laundry it will be washed off and will not contact your skin.
    – sodium metasilicate is totally safe cleaning agent/pH adjuster/soil redeposition agent. It can have “respiratory effect” if you want to breath it in.. But I wouldn’t recommend to sniff your powder detergent 🙂 And BTW essential oils can cause respiratory effect too if you breath the vapors but again it’s all about concentration.
    – bleach is safe! Just don’t drink it or sniff it! And read the instructions about dilutions. The chlorine is there in a form of sodium hypochlorite and not in a form of toxic gas (unless you mix it with acidic toilet bowl cleaner…). It’s like saying eating table salt will kill you (salt contains chlorine and sodium).
    In general you’re safe using most of the detergents.
    However I have to agree on some of the points the author makes:
    – I wouldn’t recommend optical brighteners – they are design to stay on the clothes so they appear whiter that they really are. They can cause some irritation to sensitive skin. Just dry your clothes outside if possible. Good old sun will do the brightening for you.
    – avoid fragrance in general. You really don’t need it. Clean laundry should smell.. like nothing. That’s indication of clean laundry. At very low concentrations they are fine if you really want your laundry to smell but they can irritate sensitive skin
    – dyes are totally unnecessary. And can be irritating. They add them for purely esthetical reasons.
    – make sure ingredients are biodegradable. Just be nice for the environment.
    I also recommend to use concentrated powders instead of liquids for two reasons:
    1. don’t pay for water and extra packaging
    2. to reduce the amount of chemicals. In liquid you have to add special chemicals (that don’t do any cleaning) to keep all ingredients “together” so they won’t phase separate but also won’t deactivate each other.
    I can attach references if you ‘re interested. And please let me know if you have any questions. I would love to debunk some of the urban legends circulating around this topic.
    Stay happy and healthy!

    1. Kayla Avatar

      I am curious what detergents you recommend that fit the requirements you laid out?

      1. victor Avatar

        Hi my name is victor I have exactly what you are looking for SA8 detergent my email is you can contact me for more information

    2. Terry Avatar

      Hi Maia, Anita and Stephanie,

      What are your thoughts on Method’s Baby Laundry detergent (apparently only come in a liquid formula, unfortunately as I agree with you on Powder vs. Liquid Anita)? And in general, what are your thoughts on Free and Clear formulas? While generally I don’t disagree with you, Anita, on SLS it is not suitable for us because of an allergy in our family to SLS and SLES – and Dapple contains Sodium Coco Sulfate, chemically the same as SLS. Any suggestions?

      Many thanks,


      1. Maia James Avatar
        Maia James

        Hi Terry-
        I don’t like Method–their baby detergent contains synthetic fragrance (although free of phthalates), optical brighteners, and PEG-chemicals. Free & Clear formulas vary by brand–some I think are good, others just pure greenwashing. Have you checked out Tandi’s laundry detergent? It’s made of beef tallow, which sounds weird, but it’s worked very well for us, and developed sort of a cult following.

    3. Angie Avatar

      So it doesn’t matter what time of laundry soap just avoid optical brighteners and make sure it is biodegradable. I have been trying to eliminate toxins in my house and it has been very overwhelming.

      1. Maia James Avatar
        Maia James

        Hi Angie-
        I know how overwhelming it can be, and it sounds like you’re off to a great start! In terms of laundry detergent, you definitely want to avoid optical brighteners and any synthetic fragrance. I hope the list of Good Stuff above will be helpful!

    4. Camilla Avatar

      Thanks for the clarification and alternate perspective. After reading your thoughts/input I’m curious to know, what detergent to you use for your own family?

      1. Maia James Avatar
        Maia James

        We use Tandi’s! As do the other Gimme the Good Stuff owners;)

    5. Kayla Avatar

      I really respect what you said and how you said it. I’m wondering what resources you have to share for non scientists to review.

      I’m also wondering what you think about the EWG.

      As for the validity of avoiding “chemicals,” for some it is a matter of health. Chemical sensitivity is real- recognized by the CDC and HUD (requiring housing modifications for section 8 housing recipients who have MCS disorder). Most of us who are researching recommendations such as this site has to give are seeking resolutions after experiencing immune complications.

      For me, I prefer to keep things as simple as possible. Including not using soaps that remove my skin’s oil because it isn’t meant to be disturbed. Our bodies don’t need soap- they need oil and warm water to be cleaned.

      Another interesting tidbit is the New Zealand study that illuminated SIDS by sealing the crib mattresses to illuminate off gassing. SIDS dropped from 150-some odd cases to zero. That is significant. If not for picking a non surfactant laundry detergent, avoiding the things mentioned for mattresses and furniture could be very valid.

      And anyway, the way I generally feel about things is that we have choices for a reason. Different bodies respond to different household items the same way they respond to foods differently. It’s ok for someone to find a way of purchasing things that works for them that might be contrary to what chemists think, because scientific opinion changes. Particularly in regard to what’s deemed as safe in our homes and bodies.

      1. Kayla Avatar

        Eliminate not illuminate

    6. David Block II Avatar
      David Block II

      What detergent is best for flame resistant clothing? Tallow is not supposed to be used at all so they say. I just want my FR clothing to stay FR since I am a lineman. Meaning I work on 4100 KV to 500000KV.

      1. Maia James Avatar
        Maia James

        I’m sorry, but this is outside my area of expertise! Maybe someone else will chime in with an answer!

    7. Barbara Bush Avatar
      Barbara Bush

      Saponified coconut oil is really NOT THAT SAFE! Look at the research here or google it yourself – genotoxicity…

    8. E Avatar

      “Let’s not get obsessed’…., “Everything is toxic…”, “water will kill you…”
      It’s possible you MAY have had some good insights to share but when you start off by spouting the same buzzwords all the other pro chemical gmo people do I shut down. We AREN’T stupid, even natural things like mushrooms can kill you if you eat the wrong one! And who are you to judge how much risk (aka how ‘obsessed) we should or should not take with our health and the health of our families?

      If you want to have a real dialagoue and didn’t just come here to troll people you should start with some common courtesy and respect. But I caught where you said ‘bleach is safe” and all my monthes of research say otherwise so I wouldn’t trust a word you say. I feel bad for your children; if you don’t care that strongly about your health fine but DON’T risk smeone else’s health unessisarly.

    9. John Avatar

      Bleach is safe? It’s corrosive, may cause asthma, and diminishes lung function. Not gonna use that in our home.

  3. Stephanie Avatar

    LOVED finding this site! Question on the detergents… are ALL of the “good” detergents 100% safe for baby skin (minus any allergies / sensitivities per baby)? THANK YOU!!!

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      Hi Stephanie!
      Yes, I would feel comfortable using any of the Good Stuff on baby clothes.

  4. Amy Dell Avatar
    Amy Dell

    Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into these guides!

    I cloth diaper and am wondering if any of “The Good Stuff” Landry detergents would not work well for cloth diapering. Are there a few you think will clean them best? Thanks!

    1. Mamma B Avatar
      Mamma B

      I’m wondering this too.

      1. Audrey Avatar

        I need help finding a good cloth diaper laundry soap as well!

        1. Nicole Avatar

          I’m struggling with the same thing. Unfortunately, all the detergents on this list seem to be “not recommended” for use with cloth diapers. According to the website Fluff Love University, they don’t recommend detergents if it “does not contain a sufficient concentration of surfactant to clean human waste from multi-layered cloth diapers when used at up to three times the manufacturer’s recommended use amount, uses a formula that is known to cause burns to users, uses a formula that will cause damage to cloth diapers or impede their function (as by coating fibers to trap soil or cause repelling of liquids), has been consistently shown to be ineffective among users in our Facebook troubleshooting group.”

          Here’s a site I use to check:

          Personal results may vary, but in the mean time, I’m still searching!

          1. Alison Avatar

            I’m struggling with this exact same issue! The best detergent I’ve found that fluff love university recommends is Attitude, but I’m not sure if it would be considered “Good Stuff”….

          2. Alexis Avatar

            I am in the same boat. Have always wanted to use a eco friendly, non toxic detergent for diapers and came here for recommendations, but we have VERY hard water and the only thing that doesn’t leave strong ammonia smells and funk is TIDE free and clear powder. Before reluctantly switching to TIDE, I was using Mighty Bubbles and adding Calgon to manage the build up and it still didn’t solve my washing problems. I fear that cloth diapers and hard water are incompatible for finding a safer detergent if you don’t want to be dealing with build up and bad odors.

  5. Amy Avatar

    What about Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda?

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      Nellie’s is Sneaky Stuff:(

      1. Debbie Avatar

        What Ingredient in Nellie is considered sneaky? I want to go with tandi but it’s so incredibly expensive for a small amount and I am trying to find a detergent for my ezcema baby ?

        1. Maia James Avatar
          Maia James

          Here are the ingredients the concern me in Nellie’s:

  6. Tonya Avatar

    You mention that both Sonett & Eco-Me are your favorite. I’m not sure when this post was written, but I’m curious if you still like them both equally or if your opinion has changed on either. Thanks!

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      Sonett is my favorite:)

  7. Anna Avatar

    Thanks for this post…I was surprised to find my usual clothing detergent (Seventh Generation) on the ‘Sneaky’ list. I use ‘Rockin’ Green’ powered detergent on my cloth diapers and it does an excellent job. Would you recommend it?

    1. Maia James Avatar
      Maia James

      Hi Anna-
      Yes, Rockin Green looks good!

      1. Lauren Avatar

        Hi, did you ever hear anything about the detergent brand attitude for little ones.

        1. Barbara Bush Avatar
          Barbara Bush

          Is saponified coconut oil really THAT safe? What about research studies on its genotoxicity?

    2. Tamara Avatar

      Rockin green will not effectively clean diapers. I use to use it and ended up with ammonia which caused ammonia burns on my LO.

      1. Ann Avatar

        what do you use instead? I am trying to get rid of the ammonia smell in my cloth diapers.

        1. Renee Avatar

          Hi. Have you been able to find anything to get rid of the ammonia smell? I’m having the same problems, and they smell just down right funky once my little one urinates in them. I currently use Tandis, and it’s not working well. 🙁

          1. Glenellen Maxwell Avatar
            Glenellen Maxwell

            OK, I am old school being over 70, but I used to use a diaper pail full of water and add a cup of Borax . I would immediately throw rinse diapers and stained clothing into soak until laundry time. The whole thing plus my laundry soap got dumped in the machine for super soft stain freeand fresh smelling baby clothes.

          2. Judy Avatar

            I had the same issue with our cloth diapers. First i did a cold rinse then I added 3/4 cup of white vinegar to the bleach compartment (HE front loader) and washed with hot water. Problem solved!!

      2. Kris Avatar

        If possible, dry cloth diapers outside in bright sunshine. Will get rid of the ammonia.

      3. Juanita Avatar

        I throw in a little vinegar and it seems to have done the trick. I also hang outside and it helps.

    3. angelina Avatar

      I am having a baby soon, wondering which detergent I should get to wash all her stuff in and that would be easy to get and supply….

      looking at the Tandi’s, the Greenshield, or another company not sure if you have researched them yet, they are fairly new they are called MYGreenfills laundry detergent…. Let me know what you think.. and if any of these or if one you think works better than another.

      1. Maia James Avatar
        Maia James

        My vote is for Tandi’s, and it’s what we use ourselves. I haven’t heard of MyGreenfills but will add it to the list for when we update this guide!

        1. Vanessa Avatar

          Have you heard of Lion Bear Naked Soap? Funny name I know, it’s a company based out of Denton, TX. Not very known, but I tried out their unscented laundry powder after seeing they had high EWG ratings. Makes our clothes smell fresh! I love it but I hate that shipping costs as much as the product..
          Also what are your thoughts on Dapple?

          1. Maia James Avatar
            Maia James

            I am not familiar with Lion Bear soap, but will add to my list for a future investigation! Dapple is mostly okay, although there are other brands that I prefer.

    4. Diana Avatar

      Hi, Thanks for all the valuable information! I’m stocking up for a new baby and your site has been really helpful. Any thoughts on the GO by Greenshield Organic Laundry Detergent for Free & Clear for baby or regular?

    5. Rachel Avatar

      DO you know much about Whole Foods lavender detergent ?