The Best Laundry Detergent Alternatives (That Actually Work!)

The Best Laundry Detergent Alternatives (That Actually Work!)

Are you tired of using the same old laundry detergent? Whether you’re worried about the environment (who isn’t?) or want to cut costs, using laundry detergent alternatives is the answer. Luckily, you have come to the right place. We have a guide to help you uncover the secret recipes you need.

The truth is that there is a whole range of viable options aside from traditional laundry detergents. If you want to try something new, there are plenty of options out there. In the following guide, we will look at some of the best DIY formulas and eco-friendly options you can try now. Read on to learn some amazing laundry tips and the best alternative to laundry detergent.

Why use laundry detergent alternatives?

Before we look at some of the best laundry detergent alternatives, let’s discuss why you need to bother with them. If you have always used the same brand of commercial detergent, you might not see any point in shaking things up. However, as we will look at here, there are many benefits to using alternatives to laundry detergent. Here are the benefits that you can expect to reap when you use more natural cleaning products:

1. Save yourself some money

We are officially in a recession, which means cutting back on spending has never been more important. If you are concerned about saving money, looking at your everyday costs is the way to go. Supermarket prices are soaring, and cleaning products have skyrocketed in recent years. With that in mind, one of the main reasons you should look into laundry detergent alternatives is to save money. Some of the best alternative laundry detergent options that we will look at in this guide cost less than you are paying for standard cleaners.

For more money saving tips, check out these supermarket shopping mistakes and cleaning mistakes that are costing you

2. Become more eco-friendly

Do you want to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle? You’re not alone. 74% of Brits are worried about climate change, and rightly so. One of the ways that you can ease this anxiety is by taking steps to lower your individual impact. Laundry detergents typically use a lot of chemicals — both in their ingredients and the way they are made. If you want to become more eco-friendly, looking for laundry detergent alternatives may be the way to go. Thankfully, there are plenty of natural options out there that you can use, rather than relying solely on commercial products.

Detergent aside, there are plenty more energy saving tips when it comes to doing the laundry. Find out how you can save the planet with a few small changes. 

3. Avoid allergies and skin problems

While allergic reactions to commercial laundry detergent are rare, they do happen. If you have found that your skin is too sensitive for standard laundry detergents, you might want to look into some alternatives. Often enough, this is a case of trial and error. You might have to try out a wide range of laundry detergent alternatives before you find the right one for your needs. However, the process will be well worth it. Once you have found the perfect laundry detergent alternative, you will no longer have to worry about the plague of allergies and reactions.

7 of the best laundry detergent alternatives

Now that you understand the benefits of using laundry detergent alternatives, let’s look at some options. As we have already covered, there are plenty of alternatives out there. You simply need to know where to start looking. Here are seven that you may want to consider.

1. Soap nuts

While they may sound odd, soap nuts are gaining popularity as eco-friendly laundry detergent alternatives. These are dried fruit shells with saponin in them — a 100% natural surfactant that will help you clean your clothes well. There’s a whole load to love about this type of product. They are vegan, easy to use, and good for the environment.

If you decide to use soap nuts, do your research first. There are plenty of these products on the market, and indie sellers make many. Always read the reviews and check that the product you are getting is authentic and natural. If you want to use soap nuts, you should put them in a cotton bag and then place them in the washing machine bowl with your laundry. (Note: You should not put them in the tray, as this will not work!)

2. Baking soda

We love cleaning with baking soda, so it should come as no surprise to find it on this list. The product is highly versatile and can be used in various ways in your household. Sodium bicarbonate has natural cleaning properties. When you choose to use it properly, it can help remove any nasty smells, clean your clothing correctly, and even brighten the colour of your items.

If you want to use it as a laundry detergent alternative, you should use roughly half a cup of it per load. Put it into the main section of your washing machine and let it work its magic. 

3. Washing soda

Next up, let’s talk about another soda — sodium carbonate. As the name suggests, this one is very similar to baking soda. However, it is not as well known. You can buy the stuff online as long as you do your research. The product is more alkaline than traditional baking soda. Once again, if you use this as your laundry detergent alternative, you should aim for around half a cup. Keep in mind that this is a chemical product, though, and always take care with it.

4. DIY laundry detergent

Fancy taking things one step further? If you have the time and, frankly, the patience, you can make your own laundry detergent from scratch. To do this, you should combine castile soap, washing soda, and borax. However, you need to know that the latter isn't suitable for all skin types. You might want to do a skin test or check beforehand to ensure it’s right for you.

Following a recipe is the best way to ensure you get your measurements right. One of the most popular is the Martha Stewart laundry detergent alternative recipe. You can make big batches of the laundry detergent alternative DIY solution. That way, you will have it to hand whenever you need it.

5. White vinegar

Chances are, you have encountered white vinegar before. There are so many uses for vinegar in the laundry, and it is often touted as one of the best natural home cleaning products. You can use it when you are looking for laundry detergent alternatives, too. Use half a cup of the stuff when your washing machine is on a rinse cycle. You should find that this breaks down any stains and smells.

6. Castile soap

Castile soap is a vegetable-based product that is becoming increasingly popular in the eco-friendly community. It is clear to see why. This natural laundry detergent alternative dissolves fast in warm water and works as a liquid remover. You will find that it helps clean your clothes well, eliminates any lingering smells, and is easy to use. It doesn’t end there.

You can also use this cheap alternative to laundry detergent to remove stains on your clothing. Simply massage the soap directly onto the affected area and allow it to sit for about 30 minutes. When you are ready, rinse it with warm water.

7. Eco-friendly pods

Of course, not all of us have the time to whip up a batch of laundry detergent alternatives. You might want a quick solution if you are a busy bee. Luckily, there’s a whole range of eco-friendly options on the market. You can get both pods and strips, depending on what you prefer. As always, the more research you do here, the easier it will be to choose the right ones.

Is it time to switch things up? As you can see, there is a wide range of laundry detergent alternatives that you can pick from. In this guide, we have shared everything you need to know about choosing the right one for your everyday household needs. Get started now.

Next up, find out how often you should wash your clothes and discover some ways to save time and energy doing the laundry. Before you wash anything, check out our full guide on how to do laundry and learn what washing symbols mean.


What is the best substitute for laundry detergent?

While many laundry detergent alternatives are available, some of the best include soap nuts, white vinegar, and washing soda. Consider which of these works best for your washing.

Can I wash my clothes without detergent?

Yes! However, if you wash your clothes without using any cleaning products, the machine will fail to get rid of the dirt and grime. Instead, make sure that you use some of the best laundry detergent alternatives to get the job done.

What is a good homemade laundry detergent?

You can make your own laundry detergent by combining castile soap, washing soda, and borax. However, you should make sure that your skin does not react to borax before using it. You also want to follow a trusted recipe.

What's the best laundry detergent alternative you've tried? Let us know in the comments below!

Joanne A


Expert in finding beautiful solutions for small and rented spaces. Would happily spend the rest of my life shopping for homewares and watching Disney movies - I only wish I had Cinderella's army of mice to help me clean!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *