When it comes to doing laundry, we all want a detergent that gets our clothes clean without harming their fabrics or our skin. Molly’s Suds and Nellie’s are two popular natural laundry detergent brands that promise just that.
But how do you decide which one is right for your needs?
In this article, we’ll compare Molly’s Suds and Nellie’s head-to-head, looking at factors like ingredients, cleaning power, scents, and more. We’ll also overview some key pros and cons of each detergent to help you determine the best fit for your home and family.
A Brief Comparison Table
|Plant-derived saponified oils, essential oils
|Mineral-based cleaning salts, plant oils
|Effective on most stains
|Powerful on tough stains
|Gentle on fabrics
|Tough on stains but gentle on fabrics
|Price per load
|Online, some specialty stores
|Online, major retailers
Overview of Molly’s Suds
Molly’s Suds is an eco-friendly laundry detergent brand that uses natural, plant-derived ingredients like saponified oils and essential oils.
It was founded by a mom looking for a gentler yet effective laundry solution for her family’s sensitive skin.
The main natural cleaning agents in Molly’s Suds are saponified oils derived from coconuts, olives, and other plants.
Saponified oils are essentially plant-based soaps created through saponification, a chemical process that produces gentle surfactants to lift dirt and stains.
In addition to saponified oils, Molly’s Suds contains other natural ingredients like essential oils, glycerin, and plant extracts. These provide a light, pleasant scent and additional cleaning properties. The formulas are free of harsh chemicals, dyes, optical brighteners, and synthetic fragrance.
Molly’s Suds is a solid mid-range detergent in terms of cleaning power. While not the most heavy-duty option, it effectively tackles most typical stains like food, dirt, and body oils on both regular and athletic fabrics.
The natural formula is also gentle on fabrics to help preserve the feel and integrity of your clothes over repeated washings.
Most users say Molly’s Suds works well for their everyday laundry needs. The light, natural scent leaves clothes smelling fresh and clean without being overpowering. Those with sensitive skin also report no irritation from the plant-based formula. It performs fine in all water temperatures and both HE and conventional machines.
Molly’s Suds is priced competitively for a natural laundry detergent at about $0.30 per load depending on format and quantity. It can be purchased directly from the Molly’s Suds website, and is also available at select specialty natural grocery stores.
Pros of Molly’s Suds:
- Gentle plant-based formula good for sensitive skin
- Lightly scented with natural essential oils
- Effective at lifting everyday stains but gentle on fabrics
- Mid-range cleaning power suitable for most laundry
- Competitively priced for a natural detergent
Potential Cons of Molly’s Suds:
- May need to pre-treat tougher stains
- Limited retail availability outside company website
- Slightly more expensive than conventional detergents
Overview of Nellie’s Laundry Soda
Nellie’s is a popular eco-friendly detergent brand that uses mineral salts as its main cleaning agents instead of conventional surfactants.
It was founded by a mom looking for a safer but effective laundry solution for her children.
The key ingredients in Nellie’s Laundry Soda are food-grade mineral salts like magnesium sulfate and sodium carbonate.
These mineral-based “cleaning crystals” work similarly to conventional detergent surfactants to absorb and remove dirt, oils, and other grime from fabric.
In addition to mineral salts, Nellie’s contains some coconut-based surfactants plus natural water softeners and anti-redeposition agents. The formula is free of dyes, optical brighteners, phosphates, and added fragrance. It has a light clean scent from the mineral ingredients.
Nellie’s Laundry Soda is highly rated for its stain-fighting power. The mineral salts cut through tough oils, grease, and dirt that other natural detergents may struggle with. Yet it’s still gentle on delicates and won’t damage fabrics with repeated use.
Most users say it works extremely well on food, grease, sweat, and outdoor stains.
Since it’s fragrance-free, Nellie’s is a good option for those sensitive to scents. The mineral formula also won’t irritate most sensitive skin. It can be used in all wash temperatures and machines. The scoop packaging makes it easy to customize the amount of product per load.
At around $0.20 per wash, Nellie’s Laundry Soda is very competitively priced with conventional detergents. It’s widely available at major retailers like Target and Walmart as well as online.
Pros of Nellie’s Laundry Soda:
- Powerful mineral-based formula excellent on tough stains
- Fragrance-free and non-irritating for most sensitive skin
- Budget-friendly cost per load
- Widely available at major retailers
- Gentle on fabrics despite strong cleaning action
Potential Cons of Nellie’s Laundry Soda:
- Plain scent not as “fresh” smelling as some scented detergents
- Contains some coconut-derived surfactants along with mineral salts
- May still need pre-treating for some heavy stains
Molly’s Suds Vs. Nellie’s Laundry Detergent: Which Is Better?
So when it comes down to Molly’s Suds vs. Nellie’s, which natural laundry detergent comes out on top?
For those with sensitive skin or who want a lightly scented detergent, Molly’s Suds is likely the better choice. The plant-based formula is free of any harsh ingredients that could cause irritation or allergies. And the light essential oil scent leaves laundry fresh without being overpowering.
Molly’s Suds may require pre-treating for very tough stains, but works great for general everyday laundry.
For those looking for maximum cleaning power on filthy, stained, or greasy clothes, Nellie’s Laundry Soda is the winner. The mineral-based formula is amazingly effective at powering out the toughest oil and grease stains that other natural detergents struggle with.
Just note that Nellie’s has almost no scent, so laundry will not smell “fresh” or flowery if that’s important to you.
Either brand is much gentler and safer on both your skin and fabrics than conventional laundry products made with harsh chemicals.
They effectively clean everyday messes on apparel, linens, towels, and more with natural plant and mineral ingredients.
Both detergents are reasonably priced for natural options.
Here’s a quick recap of the key differences:
- Molly’s Suds – light plant-based scent, gentle on skin, best for general stains
- Nellie’s – no scent, tough on stains, best for heavy grease/oils
No matter which eco-friendly detergent you choose, you can feel good knowing you’re avoiding the harsh chemicals found in many conventional laundry products. Both Molly’s Suds and Nellie’s offer effective, natural ways to keep your clothes fresh and clean.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Nellie’s Laundry Soda works similarly to conventional laundry detergent, but contains different main ingredients. Instead of synthetic surfactants found in most detergents, Nellie’s uses mineral salts as its cleaning agents. These minerals dissolve dirt, oils, and stains to clean clothes without harsh chemicals. So while Nellie’s isn’t a traditional detergent, it serves the same purpose without many of the downsides.
The healthiest laundry detergents are plant-based or mineral-based formulas without added fragrances, dyes, or other harsh chemicals. Both Molly’s Suds and Nellie’s fit into the category of healthy detergents. Their ingredients like saponified oils and mineral salts are much gentler on skin and generally non-irritating for those with sensitivities.
Mainstream brands like Gain, Tide, and Downy typically offer the strongest smelling laundry detergents. They contain synthetic fragrances designed to cling to fabrics and last through multiple washes. However, these added fragrances often contain chemicals that can irritate sensitive skin.
For a strongly scented natural laundry detergent, options like Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day, Aspen Clean, and Ecos contain essential oils and plant extracts to naturally scent laundry. While not as overpoweringly fragrant as mainstream brands, these provide fresher scents without synthetics.
Here are 10 of the top-rated laundry detergents:
1. Tide Original – Most popular conventional detergent, very effective cleaning
2. Persil ProClean – Great on tough stains with built-in stain remover
3. Gain Original – One of the most strongly scented detergents
4. All Free Clear – Great for sensitive skin, fragrance/dye free
5. Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin – Gentle and hypoallergenic
6. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day – Top natural scented laundry detergent
7. Seventh Generation Free & Clear – Unscented plant-based formula
8. Ecos Hypoallergenic – Natural and safe for sensitive skin
9. Nellie’s Laundry Soda – Powerful mineral-based cleaning
10. Molly’s Suds Original – Lightly scented plant-based formula
While conventional brands like Tide and Gain offer the strongest cleaning power, natural options like Mrs. Meyer’s, Nellie’s, and Molly’s provide effective cleaning without harsh chemicals. Choosing the best detergent depends on your priorities, whether that’s eco-friendly ingredients, sensitive skin safety, or maximum stain removal.
The Bottom Line
When choosing between Molly’s Suds and Nellie’s Laundry Soda, consider your own laundry needs. Molly’s light scent and gentleness makes it ideal for everyday stains on a variety of fabrics. Nellie’s mineral-based cleaning power is unmatched for conquering the toughest oil and grease stains.
Both provide an effective, natural clean without the harsh chemicals found in many conventional detergents.
Focus on finding an eco-friendly laundry detergent free of dyes, fragrances, and other irritants if you have sensitive skin. And know that you don’t have to sacrifice cleaning performance to use a safer, natural brand.
With options like Molly’s Suds and Nellie’s, you really can have it all when it comes to fresh, clean laundry.