Laundry detergent on a dairy-free website? The dairy-free lifestyle isn’t just about food. Dairy lurks in the strangest of places and many (many!) of us who can’t do dairy have skin woes, from allergic reactions to eczema to general irritation. And the real kicker: natural products can often be more irritating than the chemically-formulated “sensitive” products. So I’ve sought out and tested options to find what I think are the best natural laundry detergents for those of us with touchy skin.
All of the following natural laundry detergents are “Free and Clear” of colors and fragrances, and suitable for both Standard and HE (High-Efficiency) washers.
I cannot believe how ultra-concentrated and effective this liquid soap is. Just a couple pumps (equivalent to a tablespoon or two) of Simply SoapBerry tackles just about any load with ease. It comes in two varieties: Nature’s Own Powerful and Baby Nature’s Gentle. Both are biodegradable, non-GMO, and hypoallergenic, but the Baby version is also enzyme-free and made with aloe vera. I’ve been happy with both varieties, but may even like the results of the gentle baby version better. Either way, this is currently my go-to brand of natural laundry detergent.
To note, soapberries or soapnuts are drupes that contain saponins, a natural surfactant, and they have been used for thousands of years in washing. In the past decade, they have gained increasing attention as a natural clothes cleaner. Some simply toss the soapnuts in their laundry (see below), but Simply Soap Berry uses a concentrate of the berry saponins, and offers a liquid soap format that is more familiar to most of us. That said, don’t be alarmed by the burnt red-orange hue of this truly “clean” natural laundry detergent – it won’t dye your clothes! For more info: www.simplysoapberry.com
Dapple is a fantastic brand of gentle cleaners that are sensitive enough for a baby’s touch and skin, but powerful on stains. Their product line includes a good range of dish, surface and clothing cleaners. Thus far, I’ve sampled their surface wipes, dish soap, and liquid natural laundry detergent. All are commendable, but we’re talking laundry right now…
I found Dapple Baby Laundry Detergent to be effective and the closest to “traditional” laundry detergent. It wasn’t quite as concentrated or deep cleaning as the SimplySoap Berry. That said, Dapple did leave our clothes soft and fresh, and moms will like that this brand is pediatrician-approved for little ones (and adults!) with eczema. For more info: www.dapplebaby.com
Truth be told, I’ve yet to venture into using straight up soapberries, but rumor has it that these really are the purest and best natural laundry detergent. Eco Nuts Soap Nuts (a.k.a. soapberries) have no added ingredients; they are just simple little shells that you place in a mini burlap bag. You use 4 to 5 soap nuts at a time, and they reportedly work for up to 10 loads. The soapberries will look dried and shriveled once their cleaning power has been exhausted.
Eco Nuts Soap Nuts are certified organic, low-sudsing and very mild. They are said to be gentle enough for those with eczema, allergies, psoriasis, or generally sensitive skin. For more info: www.econutssoap.com
I will update this post if we learn of and trial more great natural laundry detergents, so be sure to bookmark or pin this post for later reference. Also, feel free to share your favorite natural, sensitive cleaners in the comments!