12 of the Best Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Substitutes

Sharing is caring!

Home » Blog » Natural & Non-Toxic » 12 of the Best Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent Substitutes

Have you or perhaps your little child ever worn newly washed clothes only to experience their skin break out in hives or rashes? You are not alone. That’s why we want to provide you with the best non-toxic laundry detergent substitutes.

This can be a common scenario for many families that use commercial laundry detergents. Hence, many people opt for non-toxic laundry detergent substitutes.

If you ever worry about skin allergic reactions or are cautious about the toxic chemicals in most store-bought detergents, it’s time to look for natural alternatives. 

Non-toxic laundry detergent substitutes are eco-friendly and mostly made from natural ingredients that remove tough stains yet are very affordable and safe to use.

We’ve found options below that are not only organic or natural – they are eco-friendly, too!

1. Lemon

When life gives you lemons, accept them and use them to remove stains on clothes. As per Marieke van der Graaf, owner of Laundrylicious in California, lemon has an organic bleaching magic that can remove rust stains, brighten cotton undergarments, and make your clothes lemony fresh.

Just use them on white clothes only as it may bleach the colored ones. Blot the stain with lemon juice instead of rubbing it for better results.

2. Table Salt

Sure, your favorite pasta dish may not taste good without it, but did you know salt can remove grease, gravy, and blood stains? This ingredient is not only a laundry booster; you can rely on it to eliminate certain stains.

However, how to use salt on clothes depends on the type of stain. For instance, soak blood stains in salt-filled water. While salt should be left on grease stains before you scrub the stain away.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is one of the best eco-laundry detergents. It should not be absent from your home – not only because it is an excellent household cleaner but also because it is a good laundry booster.

Vinegar is a miracle laundry worker. It is safer than fabric softeners and chlorine bleach and works on any fabric.

Tip: Use only white vinegar and not apple cider vinegar. The latter will most likely stain fabrics.

4. Baking Soda

You use baking soda to freshen the fridge, so why not use it to deodorize your clothes? Baking soda is an excellent natural laundry detergent because it’s safe, non-toxic, and economical. You can use it with water to soak stained clothes in.

Put it in the washer along with your other natural laundry detergents. For example, use baking soda and vinegar to clean away tough stains. They are potent combos!

5. Essential Oil

Essential oils provide a chemical-free way to combat mold, mildew, and bacteria. Add a few drops of lavender, tea tree, or any of your favorite oils with vinegar to prevent mildew formation and create a fresh laundry scent.

6. Rubbing Alcohol

Do you have pen marks or ink stains on your child’s school uniform? You can use rubbing alcohol as a safe, non-toxic laundry detergent.

To remove these stains, allow the solution to penetrate the affected area until the stain dissolves. Then wash the clothes.

Use rubbing alcohol for stains with caution because it may ruin certain fabrics like silk, wool, or acrylic fibers.

7. Hydrogen Peroxide

Did you know you can use hydrogen peroxide as a natural, non-toxic laundry detergent substitute? It is an excellent substitute for the much harsher chlorine bleach used to whiten clothes.

Hydrogen Peroxide has oxidizing properties, making it a bleach alternative. It removes underarm yellowing color and dye from curry, nail polish, and red wine stains.

A 3% hydrogen peroxide solution is best for washing clothes.

8. Borax

Borax is a mineral composed of boron, oxygen, and sodium. It produces no toxic fumes, thus safe for the environment.

It best performs by removing stains, especially those found in cloth diapers. However, borax may irritate those who have sensitive skin.

9. Talc, Chalk, or Cornstarch

Talc, chalk, or cornstarch are wonderful non-toxic laundry detergents for oily stains. If you spill oil on your clothes, treat it immediately with these products.

Sprinkle any of these items liberally on the affected area. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes until they absorb the oil. Scrub them away and wash or dry clean the clothes following the laundry care directions.

10. Mouthwash

Are smelly gym socks one of your worries? Feel free to use mouthwash, as it’s the least toxic detergent that can let you achieve a fresher smell.

Just pour a sugar-free, alcohol-based mouthwash into the wash cycle to remove your gym-acquired bacteria and gunk.

You can also use mouthwash to keep your washing machine clean and smelling fresh.

11. Cream of Tartar

Cream of tartar is a popular cleaning staple. It’s the perfect example of a non-toxic cleaning agent.

You can use it to ward off bugs and, of course, as a laundry detergent. Mix it with warm, clean water and put it on your extra-soiled clothes or laundry items to whiten them.

12. Miracle II Soap

Miracle II Soap is a versatile organic all-purpose soap that can is also a laundry detergent and replace your regular commercial laundry detergent. It is known for its gentle and natural ingredients. So, if you have sensitive skin, look no further.

To wash your clothes with it, add about one tablespoon of Miracle II soap to a full load of laundry.


As you can see, there are a lot of household items you can use to replace the regular harsh detergents you use to clean clothes. While store-bought detergents are efficient in doing their jobs, unfortunately, they cause potential health problems.

However, natural laundry detergents can fight bacteria, foul odors, dirt, and stains without harming you or the environment.

Not to mention that they are affordable and usually available in your home. So, why hesitate to use non-toxic laundry detergent for your precious clothes?

This post contains an affiliate link. We may receive a small commission for purchases made through this banner or links (at absolutely no extra cost to you).