After several hours of research and the comparison of some twenty currently popular products, we have established our selection of the 5 best current detergents.
Among these, our preference goes to Etamine du Lys , based on Aleppo soap. Natural and certified by the Ecocert Greenlife label, it is suitable for all types of laundry. It respects the textile fibers for a very soft finish, and seduces with its subtle and natural fragrance of Aleppo soap.
Why trust us
The Selectors editorial team spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and comparing products in order to find those that offer the best value for money.
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How did we choose?
The market is full of different laundry products, the merits of which are obviously highly praised by manufacturers and colorful marketing campaigns. But finding the ideal detergent is of course complicated, since you still have to succeed in determining what their real effectiveness is, and whether it suits your skin and that of your family.
First of all, it seems essential to us to be able to differentiate the various types of detergents as well as their own characteristics:
- Powdered detergents: they have a great efficiency on stains and help preserve the shine of white clothes, because they contain bleaching agents, absent from liquid compositions. They are particularly suitable for high temperatures and are more effective for cotton linen, while liquid detergent is more suitable for low temperatures and delicate fabrics. Note, however, that the powder can sometimes dissolve with difficulty, leaving “packages” of product in the machine.
- Liquid detergents : being more concentrated, you should use less liquid than powder for the same amount of laundry. There are also concentrated detergents , which can be used in very small quantities but do not always guarantee a better result. Prefer liquid detergents if you want to preserve the intensity of the colors of your clothes. However, be aware that liquid formulas are likely to contain more questionable components than powdered formulas. These are however the most frequent on the market.
- The capsules : more and more present on the shelves of the stores, their format is practical and avoids you to pour too much product in your machine. This can be an advantage as well as a disadvantage, since the fixed quantity is provided for a certain capacity of laundry and a certain degree of dirt, which you cannot therefore adapt.
- Soapnuts : these nuts contain saponin, a kind of natural detergent that acts on contact with water. Enclose three to four nuts in a linen or cotton bag and then slip this bag into the drum of your machine. If you want to enhance the cleaning effect, you can add baking soda to the sachet. Note that these nuts are only effective from 30 ° C.
- And why not create your own laundry? Doing your own laundry, as Camille ( Beautyfullgreen ) and Isabelle ( UnPasPourLaPlanète ) attest , is a simple gesture that reduces the use of chemicals and polluting waste. And this for a lower cost! For Roxane ( LaBelloutre.fr ), water, Marseille soap, black soap and baking soda are enough to obtain an ecological and economical container! For a laundry that smells good without wasting too much essential oil, Cassandre ( GrainesDeNature) gives us his tip: place small ceramic pebbles in your cupboard and drawers and regularly place a few drops of essential oil on them to scent your laundry. In fact, as Elisa ( Naturelys ) points out, there is no need to add essential oils to your home laundry since these lose all their effectiveness and benefit when the temperature is over 40 °.
The clothes you wear, the type of washing machine , whether or not a fabric softener is used and your skin will also be decisive factors in choosing your detergent.
During our research, we favored hypoallergenic formulas designed for sensitive skin. We preferred liquid detergents to powders because they are less likely to leave residues, and are the most praised by consumers.
Finally, for a less harmful impact on the environment and on your skin (and more particularly if you have sensitive skin), we invite you to identify the components to avoid on the label of the products you wish to buy :
- Synthetic fragrances : preferably choose detergents that contain no synthetic fragrances or dyes. Note that the presence of perfumes classified as allergens by European regulations must be mentioned when they enter the composition at more than 100 mg / kg.
- Preservatives : some products contain synthetic preservatives such as methylisothiazolinone (MIT) and methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT). Already banned in cosmetics in leave-on products, they are highly allergenic.
- The formulas sometimes include oxidizing agents, surfactants or additives . In short, ingredients that preserve the shine of clothes, but which are not necessarily good for health (residues on washed clothes can come into contact with the skin) or the environment.
In the end, these criteria allowed us to decide between twenty products to arrive at the 5 detergents that we present in this comparison. Most are certified by recognized labels, and free from preservatives and synthetic fragrances. You will take care of your laundry, but also of your skin and the environment!
The best cheap detergents
Among the products offered at an affordable price, two liquid detergents stood out from the competition.
They are both recognized for their softness, and their economical format is very practical.
The green tree vegetable soap : the best cheap
L’Arbre Vert is a French brand that offers shampoos, shower gels, soaps and ecological cleansing sprays. It offers a range of cleaning products that respect the environment and personal hygiene without allergens.
Their products are certified by the European Eco-label, which guarantees not only a reduction in the impact on the environment at each life cycle, but also their effectiveness, which is not the case for all labels. In addition, the products are made in France and not tested on animals.
This liquid detergent with vegetable soap is ultra-concentrated and therefore economical: a small quantity is enough to properly maintain your laundry! It is effective from very gentle cycles of 20 ° C, and users note that it works very well for taking care of delicate laundry in machines at 30 ° C.
It is also suitable for all types of clothing, although the brand stresses that these should ideally be non-fragile. The laundry was therefore designed for white and colored laundry, and effectively protects the fiber of clothing while preserving colors.
The hypoallergenic formula is perfectly indicated for sensitive skin, and users confirm that they do not suffer from allergic reactions when using the product. The discreet and very little present fragrance also appeals to many.
You can also opt for a more winter scent with the winter breeze version , or for its powder version .
We also appreciate the format of refill in sachet which aims to reduce transport and household waste: it is enough to transfer each refill into the original packaging. A good point for the portfolio and the environment!
Note, however, that despite its promises, the detergent contains a polluting and potentially irritating surfactant, sodium lauryl sulfate, as well as dimethicone, which is very little biodegradable. If the effectiveness of the product is not compromised, it is a shame to find this type of ingredient in an ecological detergent.
But in the end, the Green Tree liquid detergent is appreciated for its formula and its effectiveness. Made in France and certified by the European Ecolabel, it is suitable for cleaning white and colored linen, and protects the fibers thereof. The “eco-recharge” format is a plus!
Rainett Aloe Vera : the inexpensive alternative
Rainett is a German company founded by the Werner & Mertz family. The group started its activity in 1867 with candle waxes, and subsequently, household cleaning products. The brand was launched in 1986 to meet the new eco-responsible expectations of its consumers.
This company is committed to an ecological approach in order to protect the health of users and the environment. Moreover, the group’s production site, located in Mainz, operates solely using renewable energies.
Aloe Vera liquid detergent comes in various formats, the most interesting financially of which is often the eco-refill, allowing up to 30 washes with 2 L of product, thanks to its concentrated formula.
This detergent can be used on all types of clothing, and correctly preserves colors. The result is a soft, obviously well-washed cloth. On the other hand, we must admit that it seems a little less effective on really stained white linen.
It also leaves a delicate and fresh smell very pleasant on the laundry. The fragrance remains very discreet, which many users, tired of overly involved chemical fragrances, appreciate.
Its formula is hypoallergenic, and contains no coloring or preservatives. It is therefore suitable for sensitive skin. Too bad, however, that the brand does not give access to the full list of ingredients used.
It is Ecolabel certified, this European label guaranteeing a product that meets environmental criteria while ensuring equal efficiency to the products that exist on the market. In addition, it is not tested on animals.
Rainett also offers powder detergents concentrated in plant-based surfactants and also certified by the Ecolabel. You will also find in their range a series of fabric softeners like Rainett Ecologique 0%.
In the end, this liquid detergent with Aloe Vera extracts is ecological and gentle for sensitive skin. It effectively preserves the colors of your clothes, and is offered as an economic pack!
The best mid-range detergents
In this category, we have retained only one article from a very popular brand.
This mild detergent is particularly suitable for the maintenance of baby clothes.
The Baby Cat : the best mid-range
Le Chat is a brand of detergents belonging to the German multinational Henkel which was born in 1854 around the iconic Marseille soap. In 1981, the brand launched the first Marseille soap powder, hypoallergenic and suitable for all types of textiles, before offering in 2015 a range intended for the maintenance of toddlers’ wardrobes.
She develops detergent products specially adapted to respect the sensitive skin of young children. Their preservative-free formula minimizes the risk of allergic reactions, as does the hypoallergenic fragrance (although we preferred a fragrance-free product for baby use).
The main advantage of this detergent is of course its effectiveness: it easily removes many food stains, stools etc. on your little one’s clothes.
You can use the Le Chat Bébé liquid formula for hand or machine cleaning. The 1.6 L container provides you with around thirty machines.
Le Chat also sells another product intended for the use of the whole family: Le Chat Paillette Household Soap (1 kg pack, ideal for 25 washes). Thanks to its Marseille soap formula, it takes care of delicate linens while correctly treating stains. Its composition is rather reassuring because it contains no perfume, no dye, no synthetic surfactant, no enzyme.
This will allow you to gently care for your household linen. The only drawback noted by some users is that it does not always dissolve enough.
Finally, it is a pity that the brand is not very transparent in terms of the complete composition of its products. We note, among other things, the presence of Sodium Laureth Sulfate, whose production is extremely polluting.
In the end, Le Chat is a brand whose reputation is well established. The Baby version is recommended for sensitive skin, and more particularly for baby clothes. This detergent formulated without preservative is hypoallergenic.
The best high-end detergents
For a higher price, it is normal to find products that respect the skin but also the environment.
The first product presented is also organic and certified by the Ecocert Greenlife label, while the second is designed without perfumes or dyes.
Etamine du Lys Aleppo soap : the best top of the range
Etamine du Lys offers ecological and organic household products. They design their products in Somloire in France according to their eco-responsible values which respect the environment, animals and people.
The detergent in this section is very rich in Aleppo soap (composed of 88% olive oil and 12% bay laurel oil), which gives it a good characteristic, light and natural odor.
Available in 1 L format, a bottle is suitable for use up to 33 washes thanks to its concentrated formula. In addition, you should know that this detergent is offered in bulk in most organic shops equipped, in order to satisfy users looking for alternatives to plastic.
It can be used for hand or machine washing, and on all types of textiles (at 30, 60 or 90 ° C). Rich in olive oil, it respects the fibers of the tissues and replenishes them effectively. The result is a very soft cloth!
This liquid detergent is suitable for sensitive skin and can be used to maintain baby linen. It is formulated without added dyes or perfumes. On the other hand, we deplore the presence of sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, a potentially irritating preservative, in its composition.
You can opt for other scents or other formats such as laundry for delicate machine , the hypoallergenic laundry or even washing powder .
In the end, this ecological and efficient detergent fully deserves its place in our selection. Rich in Aleppo soap, it delicately perfumes the laundry, and is suitable for sensitive skin! It can be used with all types of textiles, and is certified by Ecocert Greenlife.
Ecover Zero Liquide : the high-end alternative
Ecover is a Belgian company founded in 1980 by Frans Bogaerts, which specializes in the manufacture of ecological household products. She creates effective products with the most gentle and ecological composition possible.
Ecover Zero is a detergent without perfume, dye or optical brightener. It has been dermatologically tested and is suitable for sensitive skin, without the risk of causing allergic reactions. Some users add a few drops of essential oils (to use knowingly!) To their laundry, to create a delicate and pleasant fragrance.
Designed from ingredients of mineral origin, this solution is biodegradable. The packaging is very simple, as refined as the quality of the products that make up this liquid. Note, however, that it contains SLS, which is potentially drying and irritating.
If you are looking for a scented detergent, the brand offers 5 L cans such as Lavender concentrated liquid detergent which is suitable for cleaning baby clothes and bed linen thanks to its formula based on plants, or even a product with the scent of Apple & Freesia Flowers.
It can be used for cold cleaning. With its concentrated formula, you can already do some laundry before having to buy a new pack! In fact, 1.5 L of product will be enough to make around thirty machines.
You will also find in its range of products offered powder, liquid, concentrated detergents, specially adapted for delicate laundry, as well as softeners.
In conclusion, Ecover is a Belgian brand that we particularly recommend. Zero detergent will be suitable for people who have allergies to perfumes and who wish to ban chemicals from their detergents.
Natural detergent: less known to the general public, this natural ecological detergent is formulated from purified water and 100% organic soap shavings. It is guaranteed without superfluous products harmful to health and the environment. You can use it to wash your white and colored clothes by hand or in the machine. In addition, it is suitable for the maintenance of delicate linen and baby’s wardrobe! Fragrance-free, it is hypoallergenic and made in France. To discover !
Ecodoo hypoallergenic : this Marseille soap detergent certified Ecocert is ideal for sensitive skin, since it was designed to minimize the risk of allergy. It can also be used without worries for baby linen. It is effective on all types of textiles, and can be used on cycles from 30 to 90 ° C. The ingredients that compose it are also mostly of natural and organic origin!
Ecoegg : here is an original, very ecological and economical alternative, which comes in the form of an egg filled with small natural mineral pellets. These foam naturally and effectively wash your laundry! Just place everything in the machine drum, and you’re good to go. You can use it as is for about 210 machines! Be careful not to overload it, otherwise the egg will have trouble moving around. Some users are nevertheless skeptical about its effectiveness on really dirty laundry (sports, work, etc.). It is suitable for more sensitive skin.
Soap nut ecoids : these are soap nuts . Rhita nuts come from the soap tree, which is particularly popular in India and Nepal. Simply place a few nuts in a small resealable bag, and place it in the drum of your machine. You can use them up to twice, then just compost them! Users are really satisfied with the results on all types of laundry. It is a 100% natural, ecological and economical option to discover without further delay!
In conclusion, which detergent to choose?
In the end, we particularly recommend washing with Aleppo soap from Etamine du Lys . Although offered at a less affordable price, it is certified by the Ecocert Greenlife label and offers great efficiency. It is suitable for the maintenance of all types of laundry, and takes care of textile fibers. Its subtle smell of Aleppo soap is pleasant, and its formula is suitable for sensitive skin.
For a less substantial budget, The Green Tree Plant Soap is an interesting alternative. Certified by the European Ecolabel, this ultra-concentrated liquid detergent effectively protects fibers and colors. Particularly indicated for the maintenance of non-fragile linen, it is hypoallergenic. Its refill format is also very practical.
The Baby Cat is an ideal product for washing toddlers, since it easily detaches laundry soiled by food or droppings. It naturally respects sensitive skin, and impregnates the linen with a sweet and pleasant odor.