When Natural Detergent Doesn’t Work (& What Finally Did!)

A bit of honesty in today’s post. Because sometimes the natural crowd paints everything as rainbows and roses and I don’t want to do that. Easy peasy. And please don’t misunderstand–I am all about doing things as naturally and sustainably as possible.

Laundry: What to do when the natural stuff doesn't work.

I have talked to you a little bit about why I have to be diligent about removing toxins from my home, and also a bit about why everyone should decrease their toxic load. I have written about 15 easy ways to go green (and save money!), and how you can create a more sustainable kitchen.  I’ve shared how we live without our microwave, and why we gave it up to begin with. I’ve written about how we are using essential oils and other natural remedies.

But in many areas, it has been a bit of a work in progress. And a lot of trial-and-error. Because in some things the natural stuff just doesn’t seem to work like it does for everyone else.

I have struggled so much with my laundry!

It’s not that our laundry is constantly overflowing, it’s actually one of the few chores I have a good system for (don’t ask me about dusting, though–still working on that one!).

Natural Detergents Weren’t Working

My laundry problem has been detergent! I grew up a Tide girl. Even when we were dirt poor, I mostly remember using Tide. And even while we took steps to have a more natural and non-toxic home in other areas, the Tide remained.

Why? Because the other stuff just didn’t work. I tried it several years ago and it didn’t seem to work so I gave up and went back to my trusty Tide.

Fast forward to now. With my MCS and chronic health problems I was forced over the past year or so to move on from that. I tried detergent after detergent (including the homemade “natural” kind which actually contains some surprisingly caustic ingredients). I tried regular chemical-filled detergents that were scent-free. I tried natural detergents with scent (big disaster!), and natural detergents that were scent free.

Nothing seemed to really work. It might seem to work for a while but as time went on, our clothes told the story. I was removing the toxic chemicals from our laundry room, but I was being left with not-so-fresh smelling clothes.

Y’all, I have 2 messy, dirty, stinky boys (and a husband who is a wildland firefighter). That is a lot of dirt, sweat, and stank. I desperately needed a laundry intervention.

There was only one thing to do. When the natural stuff doesn’t work…keep trying. 

I get it. You’re wasting time and you’re wasting money. And it’s frustrating. But eventually, you will find something that works for your family, and it’s completely worth it.

What Worked For Me

For now, I will share what finally worked for me. I have no ties to this company. They don’t even know I’m writing this post. However, I did work with Grove Collaborative to get my readers a great deal to try them out for free, so keep reading for all the details.

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I first discovered Seventh Generation products when I tried their free & clear Dish Liquid. Same situation. I had tried several natural and scent free alternatives and none of them worked like my Dawn, until I found a great deal on Seventh Generation and gave it a try–SCORE!!! That stuff is amazing, and great at cutting grease, just like my old brand.

So, I thought, if it works with dish liquid, maybe it will work with laundry detergent….and it did!!! For the past few months we have been using Seventh Generation laundry products, along with our dryer balls and essential oil blend in the dryer. And we finally have fresh, clean laundry again!

(It even costs less than my old brand! Double score!!)

I wanted to share this with you all to save you the trial-and-error that I went through and to let you know that there is a reliable, natural laundry detergent option.

Get a FREE Natural Laundry Kit


I told my friends at Grove Collaborative about my natural laundry series, and they have put together this amazing FREE Laundry kit of my favorite Seventh Generation Free & Clear Products, just for you! So, you can try them out for yourself–risk free.

This Laundry Kit Includes:

  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent (value $14.99)
  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear Stain Remover (value $5.29)
  • Seventh Generation Free & Clear Fabric Softener (value $5.99)
  • Free Shipping (value $2.99)
  • Free 60-day VIP trial

And it’s yours for FREE with just a $20 purchase. The $20 minimum is easy as Grove has great prices on the things you’d buy anyway. (Might I recommend the Seventh Generation Dish Detergent and Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap? Grove has the best prices I’ve seen on those products!)

Click here to get your free Seventh Generation laundry kit.

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For current Grove Collaborative Customers: The free laundry kit offer is only available to new customers. However, we didn’t want current customers to be left out, so you can click here to get a FREE walnut scrubber sponge added to your next shipment! How cool is that?!

What natural products have you tried that just didn’t work?

Laundry Natural

I love to hear your feedback and value your thoughts! All I ask is that we remain respectful and civil, even when we disagree. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate you!

Thank you for joining in the discussion!