Ever since Gwyneth Paltrow launched Goop in 2008, the age-old wellness movement took on a new realm, where a holistic approach to self-care became the crux of prosperity. The newsletter-turned-lifestyle site wasn’t the only factor in the industry’s growth—which is expected to climb 5 to 10 percent over the next year—but it helped make trends like clean beauty, plant-based diets and sustainable environments synonymous with the idea of a life well-lived.

That said, we’re creatures of habit, and while we *try* to maintain a holistic lifestyle, we’re simply not ready to give up our spicy sweet chili Doritos. So, if you’re still dipping your toes into the world of all-natural living, we recommend starting with laundry detergent. Researchers have found that the benefits of natural laundry detergents extend far beyond helping the environment, from preventing skin irritations to creating wrinkle-free clothing. “Organic laundry detergent does not contain chlorine, phosphates, and other artificial additives that are dangerous to human health,” says Dr. Edward Group of Global Healing. “They are more gentle on fabrics, healthier for our bodies, and safer for every living thing.” (It’s worth noting that the FDA doesn’t define “natural” in its rules and regulations. For our testing, we focused on ones that fell within Dr. Group’s guidelines.)

Let’s face it: Finding an all-natural product that actually works isn’t so easy. As much as we love the idea of using an eco-friendly detergent, we also need something that can remove chocolate syrup stains from our kids’ tees. That’s why we’ve done the work for you. Here are 10 of the best natural laundry detergents — tried, tested and reviewed by yours truly.

The Best Natural Laundry Detergents, At a Glance

How We Tested The Detergents

Each editor washed their clothes according to the package instructions, paying close attention to how easy the detergent was to use, its cost, how well it lived up to the brand’s claims, its scent and—arguably most importantly—its stain-fighting ability. From there, we ranked them on a 100-point scale, with detergents scoring over 70 receiving consideration for the top spots.

The Best Natural Laundry Detergents We’ve Tried:

DROPPS/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

1. Dropps Stain & Odor Laundry Detergent Pods

Best overall

  • Value: 18/20
  • Functionality: 17/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Scent: 19/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 18/20

TOTAL: 90/100

These eco-friendly detergent pods give the phrase “small but mighty” an entirely new meaning. Here’s a little background: Dropps is the original inventor of the detergent pod, and it was recognized as the EPA’s Safer Choice Partner of 2017, and it’s PETA-approved. As for our laundry, the scented little pods dissolved within seconds and left our clothes stain-free, wrinkle-free, soft, and smelling delicious (*inhales lavender eucalyptus*). Each pod is free from dyes, optical brighteners, parabens, phosphates, and phthalates—perfect for sensitive skin. On top of all this, you can purchase a monthly subscription for as little as $4. Sign. Us. Up.

BUY IT ($15)

MRS. MEYERS/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

2. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best Value

  • Value: 19 /20
  • Functionality: 17/20
  • Quality: 16/20
  • Scent: 16/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 18/20

TOTAL: 86/100

Don’t let the price tag of this one fool you—Mrs. Meyers knew what she was doing when she came up with this formula. This concentrated detergent contains plant-based enzymes that target dirt and stains while smelling fresh with a selection of non-toxic essential oils. Our laundry came out clean and mostly free of stains (chocolate lovers beware), and its honeysuckle scent hit our nostrils before the dryer cycle ended. That said, if you’re not a fan of strongly scented laundry, we recommend you go with something a little less potent.

BUY IT ($23)

Seventh Generation/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

3. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Detergent

Best for Sensitive Skin

  • Value: 18/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Dermatologist Score: 19/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 17/20

TOTAL: 91/100

This detergent worked so well, we had to go back and make sure it was actually all-natural. “As someone who suffers from A LOT of allergies, I actually had to choose my laundry detergent based on the ingredients list, and Seventh Generation Free & Clear was one of the few that was approved by my dermatologist. I love that it's hypoallergenic, made with sensitive skin in mind (so I feel comfortable using it for myself and my toddler) and comes from a brand that focuses on renewable and plant-based products,” says PureWow editor Alexia Dellner.

BUY IT ($12)

Laundress/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

4. The Laundress No.723 Detergent

Best splurge

  • Value: 13/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Scent: 18 /20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 17/20

TOTAL: 85/100

If you’re someone who appreciates the finer things in life, you will adore this detergent (and not just because its packaging reminds us of Eloise at the Plaza). Specially formulated for “dry clean only" clothes, Laundress’ No.723 detergent is the only eco-friendly option for washing delicates, wool and cashmere at home (safely). Sure, we were skeptical at first, but after warily applying this detergent to a load of delicates, we’re converts. Our favorite sweaters retained their shapes and came out dry-clean-quality soft. But we haven’t gotten to the best part: the scent. “I anticipated unscrewing the lid and being punched with an overwhelming potpourri smell, as many rose-scented products tend to skew. Not here,” raves PureWow editor Candace Davison. “It was a light floral, like what I’d expect every scene smelled like as Keira Knightley ran through the gardens in Pride and Prejudice.”

BUY IT ($20)

Grove/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

5. Grove Laundry Detergent Packs

Best Eco-Friendly

  • Value: 16/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Scent: 17/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 18/20

TOTAL: 87/100

According to Davison: “every laundry expert—and even a washing machine technician—I've talked to says we're all using too much detergent, and it's ruining our clothes and machines. That's why I like these detergent packs: Throw a pod in, and you're good to go. Big, messy load? OK, two packs. It saves me from myself, and I like that they don't contain harsh chemicals yet can still remove the chocolate ice cream stains my toddler gets in her clothes every time she orders a cone. Plus, the pods are 95 percent bio-based, and their container is recyclable.”

BUY IT ($16)

BRANCH BASICS/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

6. Branch Basics Laundry Kit

Best All-purpose:

  • Value: 16/20
  • Functionality: 17/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Versatility: 18/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 18/20

TOTAL: 88/100

If you’re looking for an all-natural cleaning solution that can be used virtually anywhere in your home, you’ve hit the jackpot. The laundry kit comes with Branch Basics’ famous cleaning concentrate, oxygen boost and a reusable plastic laundry bottle, and we can’t even tell you how many times “whoa” has left our mouths since discovering this brand. After one wash, there wasn’t a single stain to be found or odor to be smelled—it was like hitting the reset button on our wardrobes. Furthermore, its powerful concentrate is strong enough to clean a grill, pure enough to use on your skin and safe enough for even the most chemically sensitive patients, according to the manufacturer (see: Branch Basics Cleaner Review). After a few loads of laundry, we can see why celebrities like Eva Mendes and Katherine Schwarzenegger are raving.

BUY IT ($59)

METHOD/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

7. Method Laundry Detergent

Best Scent

  • Value: 19/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality: 16/20
  • Scent: 20/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 15/20

TOTAL: 88/100

If we were the type of people to describe something as “heavenly,” now would be the time. Method’s ginger mango scented detergent smelled so good, we started looking forward to laundry day. The tamed zing of ginger is offset with the tropical fruitiness of a ripe mango to create a crisp, clean scent with a touch of sweetness. Not only did our laundry come out smelling divine, but the detergent successfully removed dirt and grime, and its hypoallergenic formula was soft on our skin.

BUY IT ($13)

SAFELY/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

8. Safely Everyday Laundry Detergent

Best Stain-fighting

  • Value: 16/20
  • Functionality: 19/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Scent: 19/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 18/20

TOTAL: 91/100

“Believe it or not, natural laundry detergent *can* clean your clothes. “With its sleek packaging and celebrity backing (Kris Jenner and Chrissy Teigen are two of the founders), I worried this line would be all hype,” Davison says. “Thankfully, those concerns were mitigated the first time I ran the washer and dryer. Safely's plant-based detergent has this crisp, dewdrops-on-wildflowers scent that doesn't overpower your clothes; it just makes them smell fresh. And it walks the line between being gentle enough to prevent clothes from fading, but powerful enough to take out your run-of-the-mill stains (foundation smudge, sure; ink pen, not so much).”

BUY IT ($14)

Zum/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

9. Zum Clean Laundry Soap

Best Alternative

  • Value: 17/20
  • Functionality: 16/20
  • Quality: 17/20
  • Scent: 18/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 14/20

TOTAL: 82/100

“Technically, this is a soap, not a detergent, which differs largely in the way the two react with water. Soaps tend to work better—and avoid leaving a film—in warm water, so I've stuck to that as I use Zum. The soap is very concentrated, so one bottle tends to last me about 50 percent longer than similarly sized ones, and I like how creative the scents are, like sea salt, patchouli, and frankincense and myrrh,” says Davison.

BUY IT ($21)

GROVE/BACKGROUND: JANNIWET/GETTY IMAGES

10. Grove Laundry Detergent Sheets

Best for Travel

  • Value: 14/20
  • Functionality: 18/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Scent: 15/20
  • Stain-Fighting Ability: 18/20

TOTAL: 82/100

“I already use Grove for my spray cleaners, so I jumped at the chance to try their latest product, laundry detergent sheets. Admittedly, I'm not crazy about the lavender scent (I'm just not a lavender person), and at $13 for 32 sheets, it's a bit pricier than their detergent packs. However, if you're short on space—or are traveling and plan on doing your laundry on vacay, like at an Airbnb or something—these sheets are delightfully compact, and you don't have to worry about spills. Plus, they're pretty awesome to use: Each sheet completely dissolves in the wash, and it fights stains better than most natural detergents I've tried,” says Davison.

BUY IT ($13)

The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.


RELATED: 5 Best Hand-Wash Detergents For All Types of Delicates

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