Products I Like – Organic Laundry Detergent

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Last updated on September 18th, 2017

Certified Organic Laundry DetergentsAlmost a year ago I published a post in response to the big news that Procter & Gamble agreed to reduce the amount of 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen, in their Tide detergents.  Yes – your laundry detergent (which in the old days was a simple soap) may contain 1,4-dioxane, a petroleum chemical that may cause cancer and is a significant ground water contaminant.  In other words, you may not die from wearing clothes washed with 1,4-dioxane but you will be drinking and eating it afterwards.  In this post, I will share with you an organic laundry detergent I found that not only does not contain 1,4-dioxane but is also certified organic.

 

After strong pressure from consumers, a lot of detergents started boasting 1,4-dioxane-free labels.  However, in many cases, it is unclear if the claims were verified by independent studies.  Also, many manufacturers of detergents claimed to produce 100% natural detergents.  Most of those detergents were made with coconut oil-derived surfactants.  While it is a huge step in the right direction, I can’t say that I am fully satisfied.  First, saying ‘coconut oil-based surfactant’ is like saying that one of the raw ingredients is coconut oil.  The emphasis should be on the derivation process, not on the coconut oil.

 

The derivation process involves chemicals and may be associated with trace impurities that come with these chemicals, and the environmental impact is still under investigation. For example, the derivation process of cocamidopropyl betaine, one of coconut oil-derived surfactants, includes adding not so natural chemicals such as dimethylaminopropylamine that remain in the final product as a contaminant (but which is not listed as an “ingredient”).  Studies have shown that people may experience allergies from the contaminant or the surfactant itself. In short, the long-term impact of these surfactants on human health and the environment is not fully understood.

 

Organic Laundry Detergent by Greenology Products, Inc.

 

With that said, let’s take a look at the USDA certified organic laundry detergents that I recommend.  This organic laundry detergent is made by Green Shield Organic. The USDA certification means that at least 95% of the ingredients are organic.  The Green Shield detergent is made by the process of saponification, where a coconut oil is reacted with an alkali.  The alkali does not remain in the final product (which allows for organic certification).  It is how soaps have been made for centuries.  To read more about the process of saponification, go to my “Natural bar Soap – The Mystery Revealed.”

 

The non-organic ingredients include sea salt, sodium carbonate (soda ash), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and xanthan gum (a sugar-based polymer produced by bacteria).  I do not see anything that would significantly undermine the 95% organic part of this organic laundry detergent.

 

You can buy this organic laundry detergent on Amazon.  The reviews are mixed.  Why?  People complain about the lack of fragrance, the difficulty of pouring, and some could not tell whether their clothes were washed.  Yes, by definition, since it is not a harsh detergent, it might not have the strong foaming properties that harsh detergents have.  But I like that it is mild and I am satisfied with its performance (for full disclosure, I do not normally wash heavily soiled clothing).  And yes, this organic laundry detergent does not have the smell of a rose garden, a bright blue color, or a thick consistent texture – all the things that Tide has brought to us with the help of petrochemicals.  I am easily willing to give up these so-called conveniences.  When you pour it out the first time, be careful and do it slowly.

 

Where to buy

 

Amazon

 

Vitacost

The best price is here! You will find over 45,000 healthy products, including organic food, at below retail prices, with savings of up to 50% off retail.  If you sign up for their email, they will send you frequent discounts.

 

Organic Laundry Detergent by FIT Organic

 

Another certified organic laundry detergent that I found is made by FIT Organic.  Besides water and naturally fermented probiotics, the only non-organic compound in the formulation is potassium hydroxide.  I verified with the company that It doesn’t remain in the final product.  It is used to make soap by reacting it with sunflower and coconut oils.  This process is called saponification.  On my blog, I recommend a lot of personal care products made with the process of saponification.  In my opinion, it is the safest way to make soap.

 

FIT Organic makes two types of laundry detergents: scented and scent-free.  The scented detergent is free of artificial fragrance and scented with lemon oil and sweet orange oil. I used both detergents and I like them both.  The citrus smell is mild.

 

I like the performance of the FIT Organic detergent much better than Green Shield certified organic laundry detergent.  It is so far my favorite detergent on the market.

 

Where to buy

 

Amazon

 

 

Vitacost

The best price is here! You will find over 45,000 healthy products, including organic food, at below retail prices, with savings of up to 50% off retail.  If you sign up for their email, they will send you frequent discounts.

 

To read about my new favorite detergent, visit here.

 

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32 Responses

  1. Melissa Thompson

    Thanks for this! Wondering if you’ve ever tried plain white vinegar to wash clothes? I find that it works great and is a lot cheaper.

    • Irina Webb

      Interesting… I have not tried it yet. Thank you for the recommendation!:)

    • Susan Bandura

      Hi! I regularly use white vinegar for washing my workout clothes, or anything else that might have a strong odor to it. It works beautifully. I’ve never used it alone in the wash, but I imagine it would work.

  2. Jessica

    Do you know if this detergent can be used on cloth diapers? I look for features like rinsing clean without residues, no fabric brighteners, no enzymes…

    • Irina Webb

      Jessica: thank you for asking this great question. Green Shield detergent is absolutely safe to use even for the most sensitive people. If you ask about its performance, you might want try Green Shield baby laundry detergent specifically designed for cloth diapers. Take a look here. Do not hesitate to let us know how you liked it. In fact, soon I will be hosting a giveaway sponsored by Green Shield Organic. Make sure you subscribe to my blog, not to miss it.

    • Sarah

      I’m all about organic, non-toxic, Eco-friendly and gentle detergents…but when it comes to washing cloth diapers, it is crucial to have a detergent that works to prevent ammonia build up and cleanses waste properly to ensure the diapers don’t cause burns to a little one’s bum. I appreciate this article and would use this detergent for my own laundry, but I’m curious if it passes the Fluff Love University tests for quality cloth diaper detergent. Most “cloth diaper gentle” detergents do not.

      • Irina Webb

        Thank you, Sarah, for raising a valid point. Yes, washing cloth diapers is a challenge especially if you have hard water. You almost need a super strong detergent, which normally means a toxic detergent, to wash cloth diapers, which infringes on the purpose of switching to cloth diapers. I experimented with cloth diaper washing when my son wore diapers and found that you can use milder detergents with them if you do pre-rinse and once in awhile I had to soak them in hot water with dishwasher liquid and vinegar to get rid of ammonia build up, which was what produces the smell. Anyway, I can talk about it forever. The long story short is that Molly’s Suds does NOT pass the Fluff Love University test. However, Molly’s Suds did an extensive research with moms groups and this is what they concluded. Let me know how it works for you if you decide to try it. And I would love to hear from other people about cloth diapering washing. ~Irina

  3. Stacey

    Do you have any experience with Molly Suds or Rockin Green? I’ve used Green Shield but didn’t feel my clothes got very clean (and I pre soak the stains). I don’t need a product that smells good, just one that is safe and does a decent job cleaning.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Stacey, thank you for your comment. I have not used Molly Suds or Rockin Green yet but will check them out when I have a chance. Thanks!

  4. Cassie

    I was just wondering if you have ever looked in the Shaklee products? I am curious as to what you think of them?

  5. Ramya

    Hi Irina,

    Can you suggest safe dish washing liquid. I do not use dishwasher. I usually wash dishes with hands.
    Im using method now but i want to switch to Seventh generation which im using from 4 yrs as even after washing the dishes still i can smell the method soap,

    Thanks

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Ramya!
      I will be coming out with a post about dishwashing liquids. Please subscribe to the blog. I have a feeling you will find a lot of good information in my newsletters. Thanks! Irina

  6. Marian

    Why aren’t soap berries, sometimes called soap nuts included in your recommendations? I have been using these for two years and they’re wonderful!
    1.) I simply put five of the nutshells in a small draw string bag throw them in my wash and that’s it. I use them about eight times. They were best in hot water, and there’s no need to take them out during the rinse cycle. They also act as a fabric softener so there’s no need to put any in your dryer. (I noticed that the lent is drastically cut down!)
    2.) I take the leftover shells and put them in a container. When I have about 20 of them I simply put them in 6 quarts of purified water and boil it down to 2 quarts, about 15-20 mins. I add a couple of quarts of water to the boiled down solution and put it into BPA free spray bottles. This solution will spray down your countertops, bathrooms etc. (You store it in the refrigerator.)
    3.) I still keep the leftover shells and dry the shells. You can grind these down in your coffee grinder and use it with baking soda or soap nut solution to scrub your tubs and toilets!
    4.) You can take a few new soap nuts, put them in a jar of purified water, shake them up and it turns into a foam that you can use for shaving or washing your hair.
    5.) The most exciting use I found just recently, was to put them to a test in my dishwasher! I simply take five soap nuts, put them in the small bag, leave them in my silverware carrier and wash up to 8 loads of dirty dishes! This is absolutely fantastic as there are no harsh chemicals left! I still don’t wash my stainless steel pots and pans in my dishwasher, but I suppose I could now. I don’t have to worry about handwashing separate dishes when people are sick.
    There are some great YouTube videos on soapberries/soap nuts and their uses.
    In researching the brands that I choose to purchase I came across warning not to use soap berries from China.
    I think more people need to talk about this product. It’s 100% biodegradable, comes in a cardboard box, no plastic!, and it’s so inexpensive when you buy several boxes at a time. After I tried it, I sent every single one of my children, my parents and siblings 100 load size boxes to try. It killed me to have to pay the individual shipping for the smaller boxes.
    When I located my favorite source “Soap Nuts”, I ordered three 300 lead boxes, and five 100 load boxes to share with friends. I paid the same shipping cost!
    The last thing I want to share, I went to a local farmers market one day and was talking to a friend about soap berries. The lady beside me was a professor’s wife who belong to the Sierra Club. She said that she had two soap berry trees in her yard! I have yet to visit her, but was tickled to know she has grown her own supply! How cool is that?

    • Irina Webb

      I agree 100%! I have been planning a post about soap nuts. I have included them in the list of products I recommend for people with eczema or for anybody who wants absolutely toxin-free products. Take a look here. Thank you so much for this great information! You rock!

  7. Jessica

    Hi! So for baby clothes would you suggest one of the above 2 detergents, but maybe do a soap berries product for cloth diapers? Or do you think a soap berries product or either one of the 2 above work for both baby clothes and cloth diapers? The soap berry product I am thinking of using is Berry Plus – Liquid Laundry Soap. What are your thoughts on Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent Packs, Free & Clear, OR Ecover ZERO Laundry Liquid Concentrate? Thanks so much!

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Jessica! Yes, soap nuts work great for cloth diapers. Please read my post about that here. At the moment my favorite is FIT Organics detergent in terms of ingredients and performance. Thanks!

  8. sally

    hi, just wondering if there is a difference between the greenshield regular vs. the baby? is there a need to purchase both? Thanks!!

  9. Cindy

    Do you recommend these detergent for use on baby laundry (just clothing not clothe diapers)? Or is there a better baby laundry detergent brand you would suggest?

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Cindy! Sorry I missed your comment. Were you able to find a good detergent for cloth diapers? Have you tried Molly’s Suds? What are you looking in a detergent besides performance? ~Irina

  10. Cindy

    Does regular detergent like Biokleen work for cleaning baby clothes? Or is it too harsh?

  11. Maya

    Hey Irina,
    Have you checked out Norwex ultra powder plus detergent?

  12. Natalia

    Contrary to what the article says, Green Shield has decent reviews on Amazon, while FIT has absolutely terrible (19 reviews, 1.5 stars). Am I looking at the wrong one?

    • Irina Webb

      Hi Natalia: this is an interesting recent development. It makes me what to speak with FIT Organics. I have updated the post to include a link to my new favorite detergent. It is better for the environment too as it is non-liquid. Please read about it here. Thank you for asking. ~Irina

  13. Tracie brown

    I am totally going to try the soap berries! I have never even heard of them, but they are now on my list! Wanted to ask if Molly’s suds or the laundress has been reviewed by you? Both have very simple and natural ingredients from what I see. Thoughts?

  14. Julia

    I found that that Molly’s suds just doesn’t work well. I even tried adding vinegar. Biokleen was a little better. Soap nuts do work better, and I want to try them with their oxy boost. Irena- have you found that Fit Organic works better than soap nuts (with or without the eco nut oxy boost)? Thanks!

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