What is Non-Detergent Soap: A Detailed Review 

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Written By Jamila W.
non-detergent soap

This is a review of non-detergent soaps. When cleaning products, we often hear about detergents and soaps. But what about non-detergent soap? What is it, and how does it differ from regular detergents? In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of non-detergent soap. 

Before we jump into the world of non-detergent soap, let me assure you that I am a regular individual who, like you, is interested in finding cleaner and more environmentally friendly solutions. I am also known for giving reputable like the one in the Berkley Green laundry detergent reviews.  In this article, you’ll get an honest, easy-to-understand review of non-detergent soap. I will cover the following the following things:

  1. What is a non-detergent soap?
  2. Difference between non-detergent and detergent soap.
  3. Examples of non-detergent soap.
  4. How to make your own homemade laundry detergent.
  5. Popular brands making non-detergent soap

Keep reading to find out about this and much more. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there is more to the review.

What is Non-Detergent Soap?

Non-detergent soap is like regular soap but without the extra artificial or chemical additives that make many bubbles. It contains little or no synthetic surfactants. People like using non-detergent soap because it cleans things, like your hands or clothes, without making many suds. It’s suitable for particular jobs, like washing delicate fabrics or cleaning items that can’t handle too much foam. They are known for their gentleness on fabrics, surfaces, and the planet. So, it’s like soap but less bubbly.

What’s the Difference Between Detergent and Non-detergent Soaps?

The main difference between detergent and non-detergent soaps is what they use to improve their cleaning power.

  • Detergent soaps use chemicals to make lots of bubbles and clean things. These chemicals can be harsh and not be great for your skin or some fabrics. They often have artificial or chemical additives you won’t find in non-detergent soap.
  • Non-detergent soaps, on the other hand, use natural ingredients like coconut oil or olive oil. They don’t have those artificial chemicals. This makes them better for sensitive skin and cleaning delicate fabrics. Non-detergent soaps also don’t create as much soap scum, which can be a hassle to clean up.

So, in simple terms, detergent soaps use chemicals, while non-detergent soaps use natural ingredients like oils and are gentler on your skin and clothes.

Examples of Non-detergent Soap

After understanding the main differences between detergent and non-detergent soaps, you might be curious about popular products in the non-detergent category. Here’s a list of a few well-known non-detergent soap products available today:

Castile Soap

Castile soap, originating from the Castile region in Spain, used to be made from olive oil. Nowadays, it’s often created from coconut oil, which is cost-effective and easy to find. Castile soap is quite versatile; you can use it for laundry, as a body wash, shampoo, and even as a multi-purpose cleaner. It’s potent, so remember to dilute it before use. This soap is gentle on the skin, but it’s a good idea to check the label if you have allergies to ensure it won’t irritate.

Goat Milk Soap

Goat milk soap is unique because it’s made with milk from goats instead of regular water. This soap is famous for making dry or irritated skin feel better. 

Lye Soap

When people think of lye soap, they might picture a time when soap was made by mixing animal fat and lye water in a large pot over an open flame. Traditional lye soap was often harsh on the skin, but today’s lye soap usually refers to homemade versions. These soaps can be made through hot or cold processes and often contain milder ingredients like animal fat, olive oil, or coconut oil, making them gentler on the skin.

African Black Natural Soap

African black natural soap is made from plantain skins, cocoa pods, and palm oil. This soap is a natural way to clean and keep your skin moist. It’s perfect if your skin is often oily or gets acne, so it’s a secret weapon against those little skin troubles.

Aleppo Soap

Originating from Aleppo, Syria, Aleppo soap contains four basic ingredients: olive oil, laurel berry oil, lye, and water. Some versions may include added fragrances. Thanks to the moisturizing properties of olive and laurel berry oils, these bar soaps are excellent for the skin. You can use it for handwashing, as a face and body wash, shaving cream, and even shampoo.

Marseille Soap

Also known as Savon de Marseille, this soap comes from the Marseille region in France. It’s made entirely from natural ingredients and contains at least 72% vegetable oil, usually olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, or a mix. The lye water is derived from marine ash and sea salt. Savon de Marseille is often used as a facial cleanser believed to hydrate the skin and offer anti-aging benefits to its users.

These non-detergent soap options provide a variety of choices for those seeking gentler and more natural soap alternatives.

Glycerin Soaps

Glycerin soap is a type of soap that contains glycerin, which is a natural thing that helps keep your skin moist. It comes in many scents and colors, so you can choose the one you like.

Oatmeal Soap

Oatmeal soap has ground-up oats in it. These little oats are great because they help scrub away old skin and make your skin feel nice and smooth. Many people use it when their skin is dry and needs some extra love.

How Do Non-detergent Soaps Work?

Non-detergent soaps use natural ingredients like vegetable oils or animal fats, such as coconut oil, to help clean things. They don’t use the artificial or chemical additives that regular detergents have.

When you use non-detergent soap, it creates a chemical reaction that helps to remove dirt and grease from your skin or clothes. This is similar to how regular soap works, but without the synthetic chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate in laundry soaps.

Non-detergent soaps can be a good choice, especially if your skin is sensitive. They are made from natural oils and don’t contain harsh chemicals or synthetic additives. This makes them great for cleaning delicate fabrics and for people with sensitive skin. So, non-detergent soaps use natural ingredients to clean without the harmful chemicals in laundry soaps.

Benefits of Using Non-detergent Soap

There are some advantages of using liquid, non-detergent soap, as listed below:

  • Gentle on Skin: Non-detergent soaps are great if your skin is sensitive. They don’t have harsh chemicals or synthetic additives like some detergent soaps do. This means they’re less likely to irritate your skin, making them a good choice for people with sensitive skin.
  • Delicate Fabric-Friendly: If you need to clean delicate fabrics, like silk or lace, non-detergent soaps are your friends. They won’t harm these fabrics because they are made from natural oils and lack harmful chemicals that could damage them.
  • No Soap Scum: Non-detergent soaps don’t leave as much scum behind. This is the icky residue you often see in the sink or shower after using regular detergent soaps. It can be a pain to clean, but non-detergent soaps don’t create as much of it.
  • Natural Ingredients: They’re made from natural oils like coconut oil or olive. These ingredients are more eco-friendly and don’t contain synthetic additives, making non-detergent soaps a healthier choice for you and the environment.
  • Skin Nourishing: Non-detergent soaps often include shea butter and cocoa butter, which can be good for your skin. They nourish your skin and keep it feeling soft and healthy.
  • Versatile Uses: You can use non-detergent soaps for various things, like washing your hands and body, or even as a base for making homemade soaps. They have many uses beyond just cleaning clothes or dishes.
  • Environmentally Friendly: Non-detergent soap is kind to the environment. It has no synthetic or chemical stuff added to it, which means it’s safe for nature. You can even flush it down the toilet without worrying because it’s biodegradable.
  • Natural Fragrance: Non-detergent soap smells lovely, and it’s all thanks to essential oils. These oils come from plants and flowers, making the soap’s fragrance natural and fresh. You won’t find artificial perfumes here, just the goodness of natural oils that make it smell great.
  • Moisturizing: Non-detergent soap has a special ingredient called natural glycerin. It’s like a skin-friendly superhero because it helps moisturize your skin and prevents it from drying. This makes the soap a perfect choice, especially for dry or aging skin.

Applications of Liquid Non-Detergent Soap

There are many practical uses of liquid non-detergent soaps. Let us explore some of these uses and their applications:

Gentle Hand Washing

Liquid, non-detergent soap is perfect for handwashing. It’s gentle and won’t harm your skin. If you have sensitive skin, this soap can be your best friend. It’s free from harsh chemicals, so you don’t need to worry about skin irritation or dryness. Just a little bit of this soap can help you wash your hands effectively and safely.

Cleaning Delicate Fabrics

When cleaning fabrics like silk or lace, liquid, non-detergent soap is a lifesaver. These materials need special care, and this soap provides just that. It’s made from natural oils and doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. So, you can trust it to clean your fabrics without causing any damage or fading.

Cleaning with No Scum

Liquid non-detergent soap doesn’t leave soap scum behind. This means you won’t have to deal with the annoying residue often left by regular detergent soaps, which can be challenging to clean.

Homemade Soap Making

If you enjoy making your soaps, liquid, non-detergent soap can be a good base. You can mix it with other ingredients to create your unique soap. With liquid, non-detergent soap as the base, you can control what additional ingredients to include. You can add various oils, scents, colors, and textures to control your soap-making process by adding unique preferences.

General Cleaning

Liquid non-detergent soap isn’t limited to just handwashing and delicate fabric care. It can be a handy all-purpose cleaner for various tasks around your home. From cleaning kitchen items and bathroom fixtures to wiping down surfaces, this soap can tackle these cleaning tasks without relying on harsh chemicals.

The Most Popular Non-Detergent Soap Brands

If you’re interested in trying non-detergent soap but don’t know where to begin, here are some popular brands to consider. You can often find them at your local store, right alongside the traditional detergents.

Mule Team Borax

detergent booster

Borax is a traditional non-detergent option often used as a laundry booster. It’s a natural mineral compound found in dry places like the salt flats in Utah and Nevada.

When used correctly, it’s safe. Using Borax without diluting it is dangerous. Keep it out of children’s and pets’ reach. It’s like all the other soaps; handle it with care.

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pure lye soap

Grandma’s is a brand made by Remwood Products. Grandma’s Lye Soap is their biggest seller, but they also sell other handmade soaps and lip balms.

They keep their soaps simple by removing unnecessary fragrances and foaming agents. Plus, they’re a cruelty-free company.

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white zote soap

Zote is a laundry soap brand that comes from Mexico. It’s made from beef fat, coconut oil, and citronella.

Many folks use it for its stain-removal capabilities, but it can also be used as a shampoo and body wash. The high citronella content makes it an insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soaps act as natural bug repellents, safe for you and the environment.

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Dr. Bronner’s

Dr. Bronner’s is a company that provides natural and cruelty-free products. They follow traditional methods to create their soaps and have high sustainability standards.

Dr. Bronner’s is most famous for their Castile soap, but they also offer other organic products like hand sanitizer, toothpaste, sugar soap, shaving soaps, and more. Their Sal Suds all-purpose cleaner is a great eco-friendly alternative to commercial cleaners.

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Fels-Naptha laundry bar

Fels-Naptha is a laundry soap and stain remover that’s been around since 1894. It’s made from sodium palate, sodium tallowate, sodium cocoate, talc, and water.

While it’s a strong degreaser, it can be tough on the skin, so remember to wear gloves when handling it.

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Eco Nuts

Eco Nuts organic laundry detergent

Eco Nuts is a brand that provides soap nuts, a natural and non-detergent laundry solution, popular for its gentle cleaning action and sustainability. Their effectiveness is like modern beauty soaps, as the brand is gentle on your skin.

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ivory gentle bar soap

Ivory is a brand that’s known for making a classic non-detergent soap. What’s special about it is that it’s gentle on your skin, which means it won’t make it feel dry. The best part is that it doesn’t have any harsh chemicals that can sometimes be in petroleum-based detergents. So, it’s a good choice for a simple soap.

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Kirk’s Natural

kirk's gentile castile soap

Kirk’s Natural is another brand that makes non-detergent soap. They have a natural soap that’s great for easily bothered skin. This soap doesn’t have any things that usually cause allergies, and it doesn’t have any smell either. So, if you have sensitive skin and don’t want any extra additives like in traditional soaps, this one’s for you.

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Clearly Natural

glycerin soap

Clearly Natural is a brand that makes non-detergent soap from something called glycerin. These glycerin soaps are gentle and soft on your skin. It’s like a moisturizer, which means it can help your skin stay smooth and not dry out. So, if you like a soap that’s nice to your skin, this is a good pick, and the brand is known for making excellent skin-nourishing soaps.

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Tom’s of Maine

tom's fresh eucalyptus soap

Tom’s of Maine is all about naturally making things. They have a non-detergent soap that doesn’t have any fake smells, chemicals to keep it fresh, or any colors. It’s all about keeping things simple and kind to the Earth. So, if you want perfumed soaps that are natural and good for you, this one is a great choice.

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How to Make Your Own Laundry Detergent at Home

Making your laundry detergent can save you the costs of buying. Compared to industrial soap production, this process is much simpler and eco-friendly. Here is how a laundry detergent soap is made at home:


You will need the following ingredients before starting the process.

  • 1 cup washing soda
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup grated Castile soap
  • 1/2 cup Epsom salt
  • 1/4 cup citric acid


Follow these simple steps to make your detergent soap at home.

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a big bowl
  2. Keep the mixture in a container that seals tight
  3. When doing your laundry, use 1-2 tablespoons of this detergent for each load

If you want, you can make your laundry smell nice by adding a few drops of essential oils like lavender or lemon. With this guide, you can have enough detergent for around 20-30 loads of laundry, depending on how big your laundry loads are.

Alternatives to Non-detergent Soap

Now that you know the answer to the question: what is non-detergent soap? Let’s look at some alternatives you can use.

Soap Nuts

Soap nuts make an excellent alternative for laundry because they are all-natural and gentle on your clothes. They’re a good choice for people who want to avoid detergents and prefer eco-friendly options. Since they come from natural sources, they are biodegradable, reducing the impact on the environment. Plus, they can keep your laundry fresh without harsh chemicals.

Homemade Soap

Homemade soap offers a fantastic alternative to store-bought soaps because you control the ingredients. You can leave out detergents and add great ingredients to your skin. This personal touch ensures you get a soap tailored to your needs and preferences.

Organic Liquid Soaps

Organic liquid soaps are a solid alternative to both personal hygiene and cleaning products that contain synthetic additives and detergents. They are gentle on the skin and contain herbal antimicrobial agent, making it perfect for people with sensitive skin. Being made from organic ingredients means they don’t harm the environment, and they often come in natural fragrances, ensuring you can stay clean while being eco-conscious.


If you’re like many people today who want natural cleaning options for your home and body, you might be curious about “what is non-detergent soap.” Non-detergent soap differs from regular soap because it’s made from natural ingredients, not artificial ones. In recent years, it has become more popular as more people have learned about the possible health and environmental risks associated with traditional soaps.

Now that you know the answer to ‘What is non-detergent soap?” the next time you buy soap, consider switching to a more natural and eco-friendly way to clean.

You can buy non-detergent soaps from leading platforms like Amazon, and they will deliver them to your doorstep.