The Great Non-Detergent Soap Debate!

Cleaning and laundry are essential parts of daily life. But what are the best solutions to keep items looking fresh and clean without all the harsh chemicals? 

Believe it or not, non-detergent soaps such as castile soap, Marseille soap, and Fels Naptha may be your answer! 

These natural cleansers are made from vegetable oils for a gentle clean that removes dirt and won’t strip fabrics of their natural oils. 

Plus, they’re free from harsh ingredients that can bother sensitive skin. So if you’re looking for a safe and gentle way to clean clothes around the house, try one of these natural non-detergent soaps today!

What Is Non Detergent Soap

What Is Non Detergent Soap

A cleaning product known as a non-detergent soap is created by reacting alkalis with natural fats, such as vegetable, animal, or even marine oils. These alkalis, or lyes (sodium hydroxide), through saponification, combine with lipids to produce glycerol and fatty acids, sometimes referred to as “soap.”

Examples of non-detergent soap:

  • Made with olive and Laurel oils, Aleppo soap
  • Castile soap is composed of olive oil and hails from Spain.
  • Water, talc, sodium cocoat, sodium palmate, and sodium tallowate are all ingredients in Fels-Naptha.

Difference between soap and detergent:

The primary distinction between detergent and soap is that the former is created using synthetic materials or chemicals, while the latter is created using natural elements (well, most are).

Another distinction is that, unlike soap, detergent won’t leave behind soap scum. This is because, in hard water, they both behave differently (water with a lot of minerals).

Using soap to clean clothing presents its biggest challenge in hard water, which is high in natural minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and manganese.

Unlike detergent, soap makes the fabric stiff and difficult to rinse off, leaving a noticeable residue on the outfit.

History of soap:

If you didn’t know, lye is created from wood ashes, and soap is manufactured from the fat from oil and lye.

Thousands of years ago, they combined oils, ashes from plants or wood, and animal fats to make soap.

It wasn’t until the Arabs produced soap using oils and were the first to employ the sodium lye formula, or NaOH, that soap could be produced.

Typically, the essential components of soap are lye, water, and oil derived from plants or animals.

Saponification is the name of the chemical reaction that occurs when these substances are combined to generate soap. The response is what creates soap in the end!

How soap is made:

However, the process for making soaps today is essentially unchanged. Either a cold method or a hot process is used to create soap.

The saponification process occurs when ingredients are swiftly blended and heated from the outside, creating hot process soap.

Cold process soap is created entirely from scratch by heating or melting the components inside out, resulting in a gradual saponification process.

Environment impacts of non-detergent soap:

When discussing environmental issues, detergents can have a detrimental effect on the environment.

These aspects, including detergent chemicals, packing, and transportation, impact the environment, particularly when they are swept into waterways and sewage systems and endanger aquatic life.

According to studies, phosphates, a frequent detergent component, accumulate in streams and cause eutrophication or large algal blooms that can deprive fish and other aquatic life of oxygen.

According to a study, a sodium silicate solution is one of the most harmful ingredients in detergents.

There are several justifications for why planting earth can be harmful. You can better grasp how the ecosystem is influenced if you are aware of some concerns.

Brands For Non-Detergent Soap

What Is Non Detergent Soap

These natural alternatives are the perfect solution for those looking for something less harsh on their skin, clothing, and the environment. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular non-detergent brands out there, as well as their pros and cons. 


Borax is not a deterrent but rather a soap made of disodium tetraborate. This natural soap is usually used to clean delicate fabrics but can also be used in place of laundry detergents. 

While Borax is effective in cleaning, its hazardous effects on the body make it an unsuitable choice for many people. Unfortunately, this means Borax isn’t considered a “green” product either. 


Woolite is a detergent designed to wash delicate fabrics such as silk and wool. It has minimal side effects on the skin, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin or allergies to traditional detergents and soaps. 

However, because of its mild nature, Woolite may not be able to tackle tough stains as other products can. 


Dove synthetic detergents are not soap but contain degreasing properties similar to traditional laundry detergents. 

Dove products are generally milder than traditional detergents due to their synthetic ingredients and lack of harsh chemicals; however, they still contain chemicals that could potentially irritate some people’s skin.


Dawn dish soap is one of the mildest detergents available today; however, it still contains some chemical ingredients that could potentially irritate sensitive skin or lead to dryness over time if used too frequently or in large amounts.  

Zote Brand, Arm & Hammer, Dr Bronner’s Soaps              

Note brand has been around since 1951 and offers one of the most effective yet gentle formulas available today, featuring both natural ingredients and stain-fighting power without using any phosphates or dyes in its products. 

Arm & Hammer offers several gentle options, including their Free & Clear line, which does not use dyes or fragrances, making it perfect for those with allergies or sensitivities to fragrances found in most laundry products today! 

Lastly, Dr Bronner’s soaps are incredibly versatile, offering multiple uses from laundry to bathing while being entirely plant-based, making them naturally biodegradable! 


Finding a suitable detergent can be a tricky business. With so many brands and varieties, it’s hard to know which is best for your clothes and skin. But did you know that there are non-detergent brands out there? 

As you can see, several great non-detergent options are available today that offer both gentle cleaning power and environmental friendliness without sacrificing effectiveness when removing dirt and grime from your clothes! 

Whether you’re looking for a product free from harsh chemicals or something more eco-friendly than traditional products, give these non-detergent options a try – you won’t regret it!

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