Best dye-free laundry detergents

Laundering & Fabric Care

The first washing machine in the U.S. was produced during the 1940s, but the widespread use of detergents didn’t happen until the 1950s and 1960s.

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Which dye-free laundry detergent is best? 

Adding chemical-based dye to laundry detergents is common, but people are beginning to take notice and purchase more natural dye-free detergent. Whether you have sensitive skin or are looking for a non-toxic detergent, dye-free laundry detergent is a step in the best direction. When purchasing dye-free detergent, it is essential to consider color safety, scent, style and more. A top choice, the Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear Unscented is a favorite due to its hypoallergenic formula and plant-based stain-fighting enzymes.

What to know before you buy dye-free laundry detergent

Color safe 

The last thing that you want to happen when doing laundry is for colors to bleed and mix. Many detergents contain oxy-fighting stain removing power as well as color-boosters. This technology will keep clothes from fading and bleeding onto other garments. If a brand is color-safe, it will say this on the packaging. If you are washing a load of colored clothes, consider using a cold water wash to preserve the color.  

Liquid vs. pod  

Liquid detergent: This type of detergent often doubles as a stain remover and is a less expensive alternative to pods. You do not have to worry about plastic pod remnants when putting clothes into the dryer. However, it is easy to use too much or too little when pouring this product. This type of product uses the least eco-friendly packaging unless a biodegradable alternative is noted.  

Pod Detergent: Laundry detergent pods are a time saver compared to liquid detergent. They are easy to use, and you never have to measure out a certain amount. Some plastic pods contain toxins that are not suitable for sensitive skin and are the most expensive style of laundry detergent.  

Number of Loads 

When purchasing dye-free laundry detergent, pay attention to the number of wash loads listed on the bottle or package. The higher the number of loads per ounce of substance, the longer the detergent will last. This statistic is important to consider if the user wants to get their money’s worth compared to detergents with more ounces and fewer wash loads. For example, if two brands claim to be able to wash 54 loads per bottle and one bottle is 6 ounces and the other is 8 ounces, the 6-ounce bottle is more cost-effective. 

Dye-free laundry detergent features 

Scent

Solid dye-free laundry detergents derive their scent from essential oils rather than added chemicals to make a fragrance. Even essential oils can irritate those with sensitive skin. If you are concerned about skin allergies or irritation and have a history of this, consider going scent-free with your dye-free detergent. 

Hypoallergenic

A good dye-free laundry detergent will contain all-natural ingredients and be hypoallergenic. Looking for this on the packaging will ensure that the product does not irritate the skin. This is an important feature to consider if you have sensitive skin. If the detergent company sources its ingredients naturally, then a product is more likely to be hypoallergenic. 

Enzymes

In the world of laundry detergent, enzymes are potent substances used to fight stains. These enzymes will hydrolyze bonds in the material, breaking up dirt attached to microfiber and lifting the stain off of the clothing. In natural dye-free laundry detergent, these enzymes use plants and are safe for sensitive skin. 

Dye-free laundry detergent cost 

Dye-free detergents are available in a variety of price ranges. For shoppers on a budget, buyers will find cheaply produced dye-free detergent between $7-$9. Mid-range detergent in the $10-$14 price range provides customers with color-safe, stain-fighting technology. Premium dye-free detergent that includes all of the best features and naturally sourced ingredients are between $15-$18. 

Dye-free laundry detergent FAQ 

What can I use as a natural replacement for bleach? 

A. Many natural ingredients can replace bleach found within every household. Vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, lemon and castle soap are just a few examples that work well to remove stains and are safe on skin and good for the environment. 

How do I know if a detergent is really ‘natural’? 

A. To know if a detergent is 100% natural, check the list of ingredients on the side of the package and research each one individually. Commonly used ingredients to avoid include phosphates, sulfates and chlorine. 

Which dye-free laundry detergent should I get? 

Top dye-free laundry detergent

Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear Unscented

Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear Unscented

Our take: This detergent contains a powerful triple-enzyme formula to fight tough stains. It is a hypoallergenic laundry detergent made for sensitive skin. 

What we like: This is an EPA Safer Choice Certified Product. The formula is concentrated and washes loads with high efficiency.  It is a USDA Certified Biobased Product 96% made with plant-based ingredients.

What to consider: Some users have experienced itching and irritation with this product.  

Where to buy: Amazon

Top dye-free laundry detergent for the money

Mrs. Meyers Basil Laundry Detergent Packs

Mrs. Meyers Basil Laundry Detergent Packs

Our take: This detergent is a convenient, pre-measured laundry pod that loads easily into the washing machine for a quick and powerful clean with a fresh scent. 

What we like: It contains plant-derived ingredients with dirt and stain-fighting enzymes. The laundry detergent pod formula is gentle on clothes and is biodegradable.

What to consider: The pod does not always dissolve in cold water, and clothes need to be re-cleaned.  

Where to buy: Amazon

Worth checking out

Method Beach Sage Laundry Detergent

Method Beach Sage Laundry Detergent

Our take: This laundry detergent is praised for its plant-based stain lifting power.

What we like: It keeps colors bright and whites white. The bottle is biodegradable, and the formula fights tough dirt and stains. This product is cruelty-free. 

What to consider: The formula is very thin and has too strong of a scent for some users. 

Where to buy:  Amazon

 

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Logan DeLoye writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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