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isherwood777

Going "natural?"

Pat z5/6
May 15, 2019

I avoid sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate like the plague because they irritate my skin.


I bot 2 new liquid laundry detergents yesterday in an attempt to go "green," following a medical episode my husband had this weekend, where one ER doctor mentioned eliminating as many chemicals as possible from our home.

So, now I have a question: Do you know why Seventh Generation Free & Clear, and Method Fresh Air have sodium lauryl sulfate at the top of their ingredient lists if they are "green" laundry detergents?



Comments (19)

  • Larisa Batchelor

    Not sure why they have them in there, a lot of them do. Puracy detergent don’t have sls and has a good amount of enzymes to clean. It’s a good one. You can get it on amazon and now at target. They have a free and clear and fresh linen scent one. Also target has a new natural line of detergents with an impressive 7 enzymes. Not sure if it has sls in it but may be worth checking into. They do make a free and clear version too.

    Pat z5/6 thanked Larisa Batchelor
  • Pat z5/6 thanked Olychick
  • Larisa Batchelor

    Ecos contains a built in fabric softener and I’ve notice over time the dirt and gunk get stuck into the fabric fibers and starts to stink. Also most versions of Ecos don’t contain enzymes (some versions do and specifically says on the front of the package) to clean real well. I would be careful with that one. Many have had issues with that detergent.

    Pat z5/6 thanked Larisa Batchelor
  • luna123456

    SLS can be sourced from plants and often is. Tide PurClean is one. It is used as a surfactant that helps remove greasy and oily stains.


    If your having reactions from detergent that doesn’t have fragrance or fabric softener then your washer is not rinsing well. Switching to a different detergent may help, but if rinses are not complete then your just playing chemical roulette.


    Chemicals are are not always bad. Everything we use is a chemical of some sort. Try rinsing some of his clothes in the tub with clean water after washing with tide and see if the issue goes away. If it does, then you have proof that your washer does not rinse well.

    Pat z5/6 thanked luna123456
  • Pat z5/6

    luna, do you recommend the Tide PurClean?

  • Cavimum

    Pat, have you tried Charlie's Soap? People either love it or hate it. It is the ~only~ detergent I can use on my lingerie without developing itching & rashes. No enzymes, no OBAs, no fragrance. Truly "free & Clear." It's not perfect, but it's perfect for moi.

    ewg.org gives it an A rating. Link to ewg.org Charlie's Soap powder

    Pat z5/6 thanked Cavimum
  • luna123456

    We have been using Tide PurClean unscented for a while now. No issues other than is sudsy due to a lack of suds reducing agent. So use less. Buy a small five load sample/travel bottle to see how you like it.


    Almost all irritation from detergent is due to poor rinsing.

    Pat z5/6 thanked luna123456
  • Pat z5/6

    We are in our late 70s and more than my issue with the SLSs, my goal is to reduce chemicals in our home for my spouse (and me too) because of his health issues. So I am first looking at "natural" or "green" detergents for his undershirts and bedding and then all the other unhealthy chemicals that float around us. The SLS showing up in the top green detergents just threw me for a loop, but EWG doesn't call it a skin irritant, so I'll try to get over it. Maybe EWG is the wrong place to look. Maybe I should just continue to wash his stuff in my All Free Clear liquid. Maybe I should just use a Tide Free liquid and call it a day. Maybe I should just stop worrying about "chemicals" at this stage in our lives.

  • hisown

    I have dry, ultra sensitive skin. The only thing I can tolerate is Charlie's Soap. I add in some STPP with the Charlie's, and put some citric acid powder in where fabric softener is supposed to go. This works well for me.

    Pat z5/6 thanked hisown
  • beaglenc

    Pat I just ordered Grab Green Free and Clear pods. All the ingredients are listed on the package, no SLS. It has a bleach activator. Fingers crossed it does good enough to ditch Tide with bleach powder.

    Pat z5/6 thanked beaglenc
  • hcbm

    Pat, I am very sorry you are dealing with this issue. I react mostly to the "safe natural" products. Just because something is natural does not mean it is safe. Poison ivy is natural but I don't want to touch it. We often talk about chemicals forgetting that many chemicals are natural.

    I would try eliminating everything that has chlorine. That is a huge trigger for most sensitive people. In addition, anything that says scent free. Fragrance free is often ok for some, but scent free is usually full of manufactured chemicals that mask the scent. I wonder if the doctor is suggesting less chemicals in the air or against your husbands skin or both? I switched to cleaning with water and vinegar. For tougher things I will use Simple Green or Dawn, both don't bother my asthma but can not touch my skin for even a second. Good luck and try not to stress. I know famous last words.

    Pat z5/6 thanked hcbm
  • Pat z5/6

    beagle, I have some Grab Green that I will use tonight or tomorrow morning on our stained (we're old, we leak) underpants. Yes, I do soak our underpants first. Please let us know on this Forum if you do or do not find you like Grab Green as well as TWB powder, okay beaglemomma?

  • littlegreeny

    Have you tried Seventh Generation or Biokleen powder? Both are SLS free. I haven't used the Seventh Generation powder in years but used it exclusively for a long time. Biokleen Premium Plus cleans really well and has a wonderful light natural citrus scent. It leaves no lingering scent on finished laundry.

    Pat z5/6 thanked littlegreeny
  • SEA SEA

    Pat, I think this is the detergent from Target Larisa mentions above: Everpring laundry detergent

    I've not used it myself, but I am intrigued as it claims to be free of many possible irritants, while having 7, count 'em, 7 enzymes. I'm not sure we've ever had a 7 enzyme American laundry detergent before.

    The most 'natural' detergent I use at this time is Ecover Zero https://www.vitacost.com/ecover-zero-2x-laundry-detergent-fragrance-free. I like it. Has 4 enzymes and does a pretty good job, but we don't suffer with extra sensitive skin like you and hubs do, so I can't say how it does with the sensitive skin issues. I use it mostly for the smelly cat blankets as it has no optical brighteners and gets kitty's blankets fresh and clean. Who said cats were clean? lol I also use it for bed sheets sometimes and I do find the sheets are very soft and fresh when I use Ecover liquid. I don't use fabric softener.

    Sadly, they both list SLS type ingredients on their labels...

    Hope your hubs is doing better soon.

    Pat z5/6 thanked SEA SEA
  • melchap
    I use Biokleen powder and always do an extra rinse for good measure.
    Pat z5/6 thanked melchap
  • Pat z5/6

    At the moment, I'm in love with Grab Green Free & Something. Stains are GONE. Thank you, Beagle and Roc.

  • beaglenc

    Pat finally use the Grab Green Free today. It performed good. I used two pods in the speed queen top load. No suds in the wash but suds in the rinse that dissipated. They did have a scent, smelled like Rosalee's, which I did not like. But I'll only use them a couple of loads so maybe it won't be so bad. Did yours have a scent?


  • CJ-Ellis



    This is the best chemical free laundry detergent I have ever used. It's so concentrated that it doesn't take a lot to clean. You can mistakenly leave your clothes in the washer for hours without them smelling sour. Even the gold bar soap cleans amazingly and can get makeup and other stains out of anything. This company has quality biodegradable household cleaning and skin products. They're truly amazing.




    Pat z5/6 thanked CJ-Ellis
  • Pat z5/6

    Beagle, my GGs did not have a scent.

    I just did a load of whites with 1/2 cap All Free Clear liquid and one GG pod and just a few drops of Downey Free. Old top load Whirlpool (which I love). Very nice. Just the best because neither has SLSs nor EWG's cancer concern. i like the lack of suds but slippery water and the rinsing is just fine after an extra rinse, which I always do anyway.

    What I don't understand is why the only shower/bath soap that doesn't irritate me is the old Dial "White" bar. Even with the triclosan removed, it should still be killing me, but nothing else leaves me itch-free and clean-feeling. Go figure!

    I plan to continue with the All Free liquid and Grab Green 3-in-1 Frees for a long time. Hope I don't change my mind again!

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