A Guide to Cruelty-Free Laundry

Fight stains—and animal testing—with these planet-friendly products.

If you’re new to cruelty-free shopping, you may be a little hesitant to give up your tried-and-true laundry detergents. After all, can something all-natural or nearly 100 percent plant-based really stand up to kids, pets, and red wine stains?

I’ve been a strict cruelty-free consumer since 2012, and I’m here to give you a resounding “Yes!” In addition to saving countless lab animals like bunnies, guinea pigs, and beagles, buying cruelty-free reduces your impact on the environment—and can be easier on your wallet. Though some (but not all) products may have a slightly higher price tag, most are super-concentrated—meaning you get twice as many loads than a traditional brand, all from a smaller bottle that reduces packaging waste.

And if that’s not enough to sell you, cruelty-free laundry products are overwhelmingly all-natural, meaning you aren’t exposing your skin—or your family’s—to harsh chemicals.

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Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation offers just about everything you could want for your home—from environmentally-friendly paper towels to wood cleaner, to garbage bags and dishwasher pods—and they’ve got your laundry needs covered, too. Their biodegradable detergent is a great alternative for people with sensitive skin, as their Free & Clear formula is free from all perfumes and dyes. It’s also 97 percent plant-based and meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Product Standard. Read more about their mission to “inspire a consumer revolution that nurtures the health of the next seven generations,” here.



Like Seventh Generation, Biokleen does more than just laundry. In addition to their compostable bottles made from 100 percent recycled materials, their formulas are triple-concentrated to reduce packaging waste (think 64 loads per bottle versus the traditional 32). They offer cold water and sports formulas, as well as a powerful natural stain remover that works on clothes and around the house. Living in a home with three pets and a husband who has spilled coffee on the white rug more than once, I can personally attest to its effectiveness.



Love aromatherapy? Try Caldrea’s line of detergent made with essential oils. Their products come in nine luxurious scents, including Rosewater Driftwood and Basil Blue Sage. In addition to standard products like fabric softener and dryer sheets, Caldrea makes linen spray and a delicate wash formula perfect for soft sweaters and your lacy underthings. And if you love their laundry line, check out their great-smelling, environmentally-friendly products for the rest of your home, too.


Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day

I first discovered Mrs. Meyer’s for my kitchen, and was thrilled when I learned they also made laundry products. For years, popular scented detergent brands left me covered in hives—or worse. But because their formulas are made from naturally-derived ingredients and essential oils, the concentrated 64-loads per bottle not only goes a long way, but is very gentle on my skin. Their detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets come in several scents, (all inspired by a Midwestern backyard garden), and include Baby Blossom, made especially for baby’s delicate skin.



An easy-to-find brand at retailers like Target, Method cleans more than just laundry. Their line of laundry products includes essentials like stain remover, dryer sheets, and fabric softener, but I especially love their 4x Concentrated Laundry Detergent in Beach Sage. Even better, they make an 8x concentrated formula that is tough on dirt and stains for just a quarter of the amount of a traditional brand. Fifty loads of laundry from a tiny 20 fluid ounce bottle is not just good for the environment, but your budget, too.

This is just a small selection of some of my favorite cruelty-free laundry brands. For the full list of Leaping Bunny-approved companies, go to their shopping guide, click the “Filter By” tab and choose “Laundry.” For cruelty-free shopping on the go, download their free app for your Apple or Android device.



Photo Credit: Vasilyev Alexandr/Shutterstock



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