Natural laundry detergent is detergent made using natural and typically sustainable ingredients that are never synthetic. It is important to note that no regulations are able to enforce products claiming to be natural, so consumers seeking fully natural laundry detergent must monitor the labels of the product to determine what is in it.
While most of the ingredients in natural laundry detergent are considered sustainable, some natural detergents use petroleum. Though petroleum is natural because it comes from the ground, it is not considered sustainable. Consumers should also be wary of claims companies make regarding natural dyes or perfumes because these are very rarely natural, especially if the dye is blue or purple.
There is also an important distinction between a product being labeled "green" and being labeled "natural." Green products are made using ingredients that do not harm the environment. However, such ingredients may be natural or synthetic, and synthetic materials are never natural. Natural laundry detergent materials typically include natural and renewable resources, such as plants and minerals that occur in nature.
Individuals can make their own natural laundry detergent by gathering 6 cups of washing soda and three bars of soap. The soap must be cut into chunks and blended in a food processor along with the washing soda and then poured into a clean container.