The Best Vegan and Cruelty-Free Laundry Detergents of 2022

Nobody wants to hurt animals, but they often don’t think of the impact the products they use have on our furry friends. Countless companies continue to test on animals and include obscure animal by-products in their formulas.

One such ingredient is lipase, an enzyme removed from the pancreas of pigs. In fact, if your products don’t explicitly state that their ingredients are plant based, it’s safe to assume there’s a random animal-derived ingredient hidden within. And it’s even safer to assume these products are tested on animals unless the brands have publicly committed to ending reliance on animal testing.

Since it’s easy to fall for cruelty-free and vegan claims in marketing, it’s difficult to find an option that doesn’t actually do this. It’s not impossible, however.

To find the best truly cruelty-free and vegan laundry detergent, I spent a week with laundry detergents that aren’t tested on animals and don’t use animal ingredients. In addition to their vegan and cruelty-free status, I evaluated them by cleaning power, formula, price, and eco-friendliness. 

Here’s how it went.

Earth Breeze ranks as the best vegan and cruelty-free laundry detergent thanks to a Leaping Bunny certification and dedication to only using plant-based and eco-friendly ingredients. The company is also certified by the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics for not testing on animals at any stage of its production cycle. It’s free from harsh chemicals, so it’s also a sustainable option that’s safe for people with allergies and sensitive skin.

All of that comes without affecting cleaning quality. Earth Breeze removes even the toughest stains. It won’t damage or fade your clothes and it doesn’t leave any strong or unpleasant odors behind.

It’s also one of the most affordable brands on the market, costing as little as $0.20 per load. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product, so you take no risks trying it out, even though it’s not that well known. If you want a certified cruelty-free and vegan detergent that gets rid of all the stains on your clothes without costing too much, sign up for Earth Breeze.

Second Place Medal: Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

Pros:

  • Leaping Bunny certified
  • Plant-based formula
  • Doesn’t irritate sensitive skin
  • Exceptional cleaning performance
  • Multipurpose

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Packaging contains plastic

Bronner’s Pure Castile Liquid Soap comes in second, as it’s certified as cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, giving authenticity to its claims. Its completely natural formula doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals, so it shouldn’t irritate sensitive skin, despite how well it gets rid of dirt and stains.

Since this has a highly concentrated formula, you’ll need to dilute the laundry detergent before using it, adding a bit of hassle. What sets Castile Soap apart from Earth Breeze is that it’s multipurpose and can be used to replace myriad cleaning products, such as dishwashing soap, floor cleaner, and even face soap, if you’re brave enough to try. The main reason Bronner’s couldn’t rank any higher is because of how expensive it is, coming in at $1.54 per load without any free shipping or discounts. It’s one of the most expensive options I found. Its packaging also contains plastic, so it’s not as sustainable as Earth Breeze.

If a multipurpose cleaner is what you’re looking for, check out Bronner’s website to find out more about it.

Other Vegan Laundry Detergents I Tested

Earth Breeze and Dr. Bronner’s are hands down the best vegan laundry detergents on the market, but they’re not the only ones. The following vegan and cruelty-free detergents are too expensive, are not that good at cleaning clothes, or make untrustworthy claims about being vegan, cruelty free, and otherwise sustainable.

Too Expensive

Nellie’s Vegan Laundry Detergent Soda

While Nellie’s Vegan Detergent Soda is Leaping Bunny certified, there isn’t much to recommend about the product. It’s not safe for sensitive skin and doesn’t contribute to environmental causes, so even its competitive price is not money well spent. And since it only does free shipping on orders over $75, it isn’t very economical. I only mentioned it here because of its certification.

I’d suggest choosing one of the top two three options instead.

Tru Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent

While Tru Earth is Leaping Bunny certified as cruelty free, it doesn’t have anything to suggest it’s as vegan as it claims, so I couldn’t rank it any higher on my list. This could be misleading, and it made me question whether or not it was actually vegan.

It could leave some fading, which leads me to believe the company could adjust its formula to address this. That’s despite the fact it has a relatively average cleaning performance.

It’s also one of the more expensive detergents, coming in at $0.56 per load, more than double Earth Breeze’s cost. Some of that money goes to good causes, however, because Tru Earth donates to social and environmental causes.

Despite this, there are more environmentally friendly and sustainable options that cost less and perform better.

Not that good at cleaning clothes

Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Method is the last of the brands that is genuinely certified as vegan and cruelty-free, which is why I’ve placed it above most alternatives. The sustainable ingredients are great on sensitive skin, and a small amount of the liquid is able to wash a decent-sized load. The fragranced version, however, might cause some irritation.

This affordable laundry detergent, which costs $0.28 per load, doesn’t clean as effectively as I thought it would, and it fades dark and colored clothing.

Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent Powder

Molly’s Suds is a certified vegan and cruelty-free laundry detergent, but it doesn’t give back to the environment, so I couldn’t place it any higher on my list. The all-natural formula is great for people with sensitive skin, however, and even works well on delicate fabrics.

The overall cleaning performance is relatively average. While you can find a detergent that works much worse, each of the top three perform better. It’s affordable at $0.19 per load, but with this brand, you get what you pay for.

PUR Home Laundry Detergent

PUR Home detergents are completely handmade, but its claims of being cruelty free and vegan aren’t backed up by any certifications. I don’t place it higher for multiple reasons, but particularly because of the 10- to 40-day wait time for delivery.

It also doesn’t offer the best cleaning performance, which is quite average. That’s despite the $0.30 per load price tag, more than many of its competitors. Some of this cost goes to charitable causes, but other brands manage to do this at a lower price.

Handmade or not, you’ll find more affordable and effective options elsewhere, such as Earth Breeze.

Eco-Me Laundry Detergent

The only reason Eco-Me made it onto this list is that it’s cruelty-free certified and uses food-grade ingredients. When it comes to cleaning power, it’s one of the bigger disappointments I came across.

It’s also far from eco-friendly, as it comes in plastic jugs and doesn’t contribute to environmental causes, making it the polar opposite to Earth Breeze. It is one of the more affordable options, however, coming in at $0.20 per load, but free shipping only kicks in for orders over $45.

Pick up Eco-Me if the top options aren’t available.

Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent

An all-natural detergent, Puracy is completely cruelty free, as certified by Leaping Bunny. As appealing as this is, it lacks the cleaning power to be ranked any higher. The plastic packaging also means the company isn’t as sustainable as the top two options.

Puracy costs $0.17 per load, but you’re really paying for what you get, as it isn’t effective with heavily stained clothes. Despite this, it donates to underprivileged communities, a step many brands don’t take.

Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent

It’s hard to decide which category to place this disappointing detergent in. Biokleen uses completely natural ingredients, which is why I decided to mention them. Despite this, it has some notable negatives, including not cleaning well, not giving back to the environment, and not having any certifications to back up its claims. It also includes plastic in its packaging.

Untrustworthy

ECOS Laundry Detergents

The first thing I noticed about ECOS Laundry Detergent is the large plastic jug it comes in. Not exactly a positive impression. While it’s certified by Leaping Bunny, it has some surfactants in its ingredient list, which, even if plant based, might still irritate sensitive skin.

Using the manufacturer-recommended amount of detergent costs you $0.10 per load, which is too good to be true. The fact is, you’ll have to use much more than this to actually clean your clothes. 

ECOS could do much better by changing its formula to remove the surfactants and making it more effective at actually cleaning. I couldn’t recommend ECOS above any of the top options.

Faith in Nature Laundry Liquid 

Faith In Nature Laundry Liquid is on this list because its completely natural formula is certified as cruelty free by Leaping Bunny. The formula doesn’t irritate sensitive skin, and it’s safe to use on delicate fabrics. It also offers a better cleaning performance than many of the other options on my list.

All this for an affordable price of $0.26 per load—if you live in the UK. If you don’t, you have to pay high shipping charges. But since this detergent is heavy with wasted water and is packaged in a big plastic jug, you wouldn’t want to ship this gas-guzzler far anyway.

This brand is not eco-friendly. It wastes water, comes in plastic, and doesn’t give back to the environment much, only planting a single tree with each purchase. Earth Breeze does much more than that.

Ecover’s Laundry Detergents

I listed Ecover here more as a warning than a recommendation. It claims to be eco-friendly, but the inclusion of methylisothiazolinone in its ingredients makes it toxic to the environment. The plastic jugs are also worth avoiding.

Nature Clean Laundry Detergent

While Nature Clean performs well, it irritates sensitive skin and also uses methylisothiazolinone in its ingredients. It’s another one of the so-called eco-friendly detergents worth avoiding. While it’s certified vegan, the cruelty-free claims aren’t backed up.

Seventh Generation Liquid Detergent

Seventh Generation doesn’t have any kind of certification, despite what it might claim. Sodium lauryl sulfate is also included in its ingredients, making Seventh Generation not as plant-based as it says it is. Avoid it.

Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent

I’d be willing to give Rockin’ Green a chance if it presented certification to back up its cruelty-free claims. Until then, it’s worth writing off.

Cleancult Laundry Detergent

Cleancult has proven to be relatively popular, but I can’t see why. It comes in an inconvenient milk box-shaped container, you need to buy a bottle with it, and it isn’t certified vegan. It’s not worth touching.

Kind Laundry Eco-friendly Laundry Detergent Sheets

Kind has a good performance overall, but there aren’t any certifications to authenticate its claims. It also doesn’t perform well in HE washing machines, and the company needs to work on its sustainability.

My process

To find the best vegan laundry detergent, I needed to follow a specific process, one that would let me analyze and compare the top brands that claim they don’t test on animals. I needed to go beyond simply checking if they were vegan and cruelty free.

I spent time with all of the top options, putting them through their paces with a few simple steps. Here’s the process I used.

My research

The first step in the process was naturally to find the most popular laundry detergents that say they don’t test on animals. Since “cruelty free” is a relatively vague term and not well defined in law, there are multiple loopholes for companies to jump through.

Just because they say they don’t use animal testing or animal ingredients, and are completely free, doesn’t mean they are. To test for authenticity, I looked for Leaping Bunny and Consumer Information on Cosmetics logos, which guarantee the following:

  • The companies don’t test on animals
  • No animal ingredients are used
  • No third-parties use animal testing with the products
  • Manufacturers and suppliers don’t run any tests on animals

Some of the laundry detergent brands passed this test, while others didn’t. A few even used fake logos, which is more than simply misleading consumers. It’s outright lying. Any company that didn’t pass this test was immediately dismissed.

Now that I’d narrowed things down to the top vegan and cruelty-free laundry products, it was time to see what other people thought of them. I checked online reviews to get a general idea of this.

Since these can be easy to fake or skewed to extremes, I also contacted verified customers to find out exactly what they thought, including whether the detergents affected sensitive skin and how well they cleaned.

To make things fair, I also reached out to the cruelty-free brands themselves to see what they had to say. I asked if they ran any tests on animals, if third-parties did this for them, and similar manufacturing-related questions. Some got back to me, while others didn’t.

My tests

With all of that information at hand, it was time to get to actually testing each of the cruelty-free brands. I created a load for each company, making sure these were all the same size and had the same fabrics, while soiling them as similarly as possible.

After washing the test samples, I let them dry naturally and analyzed them under UV light. During this analysis, I compared cleanliness, if there was any fading, and the overall appearance of the samples.

The top three laundry detergent brands all tested exceptionally well. They were not only able to clean clothes, but didn’t seem to cause any damage while getting rid of any odors. Others not only failed to clean the clothes, but left fading and other signs of damage.

My criteria

To make sure my testing and comparison was fair, I needed a scoring system for the laundry detergents. Each company received points based on these criteria:

  • Animal testing
  • Animal ingredients
  • Performance in HE washing machines
  • Eco-friendless
  • Sustainable production and packaging
  • Safe for sensitive skin and allergies
  • Cost per load
  • Contribution to the environment and society
  • Refund policies, delivery charges, and subscription deals

My goal with this criteria was to determine which of the vegan laundry detergents actually performed well and were able to back up their vegan, cruelty-free, and eco-friendly claims. It let me find out what the best vegan laundry detergent is.

My findings: The best vegan laundry detergent that does what it says!

I spent time with the most popular laundry detergents that claim to be cruelty free, vegan, and effective to see whether they actually held up to their claims. My research unfortunately found that many cruelty-free laundry detergents aren’t as vegan as they suggest.

Some have tested on animals themselves or paid another company to test on animals for them. Because of this practice, and misleading marketing claims, it’s vital to look beyond what the companies say, and see what they actually do. You’ll need to check their animal testing policy, as well as their ingredients.

I’ve made this a lot easier for you by analyzing the top brands claiming never to have tested on animals. I looked at whether they were actually vegan laundry detergents, how authentic their cruelty-free claims are, and how well they could clean clothes.

After spending time researching and using them, I’ve found that Earth Breeze takes the title of best vegan laundry detergent. 

  • Earth Breeze is a completely vegan and cruelty-free laundry detergent.
  • Earth Breeze is Leaping Bunny certified.
  • It partners with 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of its revenue to environmental causes.
  • Earth Breeze donates 10 sheets to homeless shelters, veteran’s organizations, or similar groups with every purchase.
  • The company uses zero-waste, lightweight packaging, which reduces carbon emissions.
  • Earth Breeze is one of the most economical options, and even offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you’re looking for vegan laundry detergent sheets, I’ve compared the eight best laundry sheets here, many of which are cruelty-free, vegan, and effective at cleaning even the toughest stains.

While Earth Breeze is one of the newest players in the laundry detergent game, it goes above and beyond in almost every way. It’s a truly vegan laundry detergent that goes the extra mile in giving to charity. It’s won countless awards because of this.

Take a look at Earth Breeze if you want a vegan, cruelty-free laundry detergent that gets rid of tough stains, is carbon neutral, and doesn’t harm the environment. Check out my ethical guide to laundry detergents for more info on laundry detergents.

Wrapping it up

I spent time with the top detergent companies that don’t do any tests on animals to find out what the best cruelty-free and vegan laundry detergent is, with Earth Breeze standing out on top.

Earth Breeze stands tall among its competitors. It only uses cruelty-free and plant-based ingredients, is Leaping Bunny certified, doesn’t irritate sensitive skin, and is free from harsh chemicals.

Affordable and easy to use, Earth Breeze is also creating a better planet through its multiple environmental and social initiatives.

It’s a relatively new addition to the market, and it’ll take time for the company to gain more customers’ trust. With the effort it’s putting in, it shouldn’t take too long before the brand takes off even more. If you want a laundry detergent that’s vegan and cruelty free, has a completely plant-based formula, and cleans effectively, pick Earth Breeze.