If you have eczema or sensitive skin, it’s worth investigating what washing powder is kindest for your skin. Biological washing powders, fragrances and conditioners can all irritate the skin. Non-biological washing powder or liquid is far kinder and proven to be better for eczema skin.
Even if you don’t think you are reacting directly, the more you can simplify the world around your skin, the better; from laundry powder to cleaning products. More on that in a future blog.
It can be more about the cumulative effect of your indoor air quality, and it can be impossible to pin it down to one thing. From plug-in fragrance gadgets to the off-gassing of paint, furniture, furnishings, cleaning product fragrances etc. Start making your home a skin safe place bit by bit.
12 eco and skin friendly Non-Bio washing powders
How do you choose? There are now quite a few non biological and eco washing powders available.
These are the brands I can find from my research, in no particular order. I’ll mark below which I’ve used and would recommend. I’ve not tried all of the below:
|Brand||Have I used?||Ingredients and Comments||Price|
|1||Fairy Non-Bio||Used this for years and works well. Doesn’t irritate my skin.||>30% Anionic Surfactants, 5-15% Soap, <5% Non-Ionic Surfactants, Phosphonates, Optical Brighteners, Perfumes. |
One of the best known British brands which is now owned by US company Proctor and Gamble.
|£19 for 3kg|
|2||Bio-D concentrated Non-bio.||Got clothes clean and didn’t irritate my skin but was a bit pricy.||15-30% Sodium Carbonate, 5-15% Sodium Percarbonate, Less than 5% Sodium Metasilicate Pentahydate, Anionic Surfactants, Soaping agents.|
Fragrance free, non-biological Washing Powder is accredited by Allergy UK; its hypoallergenic, concentrated formula is highly effective while gentle on even the most sensitive skin. UK based.
|£4.35 for a 1kg|
|3||Smol – Check out a Smol free trial here.||This is the product I’m using at the moment and I love it!|
I get the fragrance free option.
|Non biological liquid tabs: Mea-C10-13 Alkyl Benzenesulfonate, C12-18 Pareth-7, Mea-Cocoate, Methylpropanediol, Glycerin|
Water, Propylene Glycol, Sodium Diethylenetriamine, Pentamethylene Phosphonate, Peg, Ethanolamine,
Disodium Distyrylbiphenyl Disulfonate, Sodium Chloride, Denatonium Benzoate
|By cutting out the middleman and delivering direct you can save up to 50% on your normal brand price.|
I’m paying £4.50 every 3-4 months.
Check out a Smol free trial here.
|4||Surcare||No||I have heard good things. They get good reviews. Also approved by the British Allergy Foundation.||Approx £13.44 for 1L|
|5||Ecover Nonbiological||No||They work well at low temperatures e.g. 30 degrees. They are made only from plant based ingredients so are suitable for vegans. Never tested on animals and the packaging is made of recycled cardboard||£11 for 5L|
|6||softly Eco Washing Powder Laundry Powder specially formulated for Water Softener Owners and Soft Water Areas 750g bag – 35 Washes||No||Formulated for soft water areas and people with water softeners.|
Made from natural soap and mineral salts, Softly is formulated specifically for use in soft water. With no synthetic fragrance, optical brighteners or other unnecessary additives it’s suitable for people with sensitive skin. A big part of the formula of many conventional laundry powders are ingredients to try to overcome the effects of the water hardness minerals, but because Softly is formulated for soft or softened water (water from an ion-exchange water softener, the type that use salt) these are not needed.
|£7.16 for a 750g bag. (35 washes)|
|7||Soapnuts||Yes and loved them! Going to start using them again.||Just one ingredient! These natural little soapy nuts are not real nuts so are safe for nut allergic people. They are great on bedding, towels and normal washing but I use proper non bio for more soiled, sweaty running gear or clothes that are soaked in emollient. Put them into a sock or linen bag and use as you would use normal washing powder. I’ve used these before and they work well. I used essential lavender oil on a flannel to scent washing.|
For soiled clothing use Hemp oil soap to pretreat stains.
|£6 per bag|
|8||EcoGurus||No||All natural and eco friendly washing and cleaning products||£15.95 for 2L|
|9||Ecovibe||No||Dissolvable plastic free detergent strips||From £12.99|
|10||Supermarket Own brands||I’ve used Tesco and Aldi before and all work well.||Make sure you choose non-biological||Much cheaper than branded washing powders|
|11||Method||No||Contain fragrances but are plant based and eco friendly.||£6.99 – £9|
|12||Ecoegg||Yes||Designed to replace laundry detergent and fabric conditioner (70 washes)||£6.66 – £9.99|
|13||Violets unscented||No||Available from Allergy Best Buys. It has NO Enzymes, NO Optical Brighteners, NO Phosphates, NO Chemical Scents, NO synthetics or petrochemicals. Vegan approved. Not tested on animals.||£8.95 for 5 litres|
Avoid fabric conditioners and fragrance sprays
Fabric conditioners and fragrance sprays for clothing such a Fabreze can also be known irritants if you have sensitive skin and may not even be necessary. You can survive without, and it’s really worth trying to see if it helps to cut them out. If you really like the feel of conditioned and fragranced washing, you could add a flannel with a few drops of your favourite 100% pure essential oils to each wash. If you incorporate this with dryer balls (see below) you’ll still get conditioned, soft and fragrant clothes, without the toxic synthetic chemical fragrances.
Why do we need all these fragrances?
Think about why you need your clothes to smell a certain way. We have lost the ability to enjoy our own natural odour. Our bodies and our clothes will not smell bad if they are regularly laundered, so are these products just another way of getting our money? Save your cash and the environment! And consider those with a perfume or fragrance allergy who have trouble breathing every time they are exposed to the fragrances and perfumes worn by others who they just walk past. It can be a really debilitating condition when people seem to think they need to be fragrant all the time. Read Allergic to perfumes, fragrances and chemicals to find out more about this condition.
Dryer balls can also condition and soften fabric
Look out for dryer balls, they’re made from silicon and have bobbly edges. Pop them in with your washing and they help to dry clothes faster, and the nodules also help soften the material. Check out Dryer Balls on the LakeLand website. Wilkos also sell them and I’m sure you can find them elsewhere if you search. They should cost between £7-10.
What about when you’re staying away from home?
This can be difficult when staying away from home as you need to check what the bedding is washed in! If you can’t find out what the linen is washed in, consider taking a silk sleeping bag liner and your own safe pillowcase. If you have space and can carry an extra bag, consider taking your own mattress liner, sheets, duvet cover and pillowcase. You can even take your duvet and pillow for a guaranteed restful and allergen free sleep. I take my own SleepAngel anti allergen pillow and pillowcase when I can.
Using soapnuts to wash laundry
These natural nuts work so well and they are not actually nuts; so if you have a nut allergy you needn’t worry. I put a handful, about 5-6 into an old sock, tie the end and pop it in with the washing. It will get your clothes clean and fresh but is probably best saved for towels and everyday clothes. For bed linen that may get stained and sports and activewear I often use washing powder to ensure it gets clean.
They last pretty well and can do about 5-6 washing machine loads at 40 degrees or about 2-3 washes at 60 or higher. You can tell when they’re used up when they no longer give out a soapy substance when wet and squeezed and begin to disintegrate. They are hard and impossible to squeeze when new and soften as they are used.
I get mine from Natural Spa Supplies. They also sell hemp soap that works well on stain removal.
Why I love Smol laundry capsules
I love these little liquid capsules which I’m using at the moment. Smol say that they are the world’s most effective concentrated laundry capsules and dishwasher tablets. They come in the post, have minimal packaging and are cruelty free too.
By delivering direct they can save you up to 50% on your normal brand price. They use less chemicals than other brands (with no loss of performance) plus their packs are super compact and plastic-free.
They are currently running a free trial for new customers.
- So NO more huge detergent box in the cupboard under the sink.
- No more lugging the great box home from the shops.
- No more scraping out the last dregs and spilling powder everywhere.
- No more plastic bottles!
- What’s not to like?
Smol capsules dissolve in the water and come in a slim compact box and take up hardly any space in the cupboard.
Are you allergic to biological washing powder? Which washing powder or liquid product do you use? Iid love to hear from you all to find out what works for you. It’s all about reducing my waste, plastic use and impact on the planet whilst also being kind to my skin. And have I missed any amazing products that need to be added to this list?