Is Nellie’s Laundry Soda Safe? Read Our Complete Guide

Nellie's laundry detergent

Nellie’s does make you believe that doing laundry is exciting. The brand carries an aura that is simple, honest, and charming – compelling you to fall in love with it!

Nellie’s is a Canadian brand founded by James Roberts in memory of his mother and her commitment to green cleaning. Its laundry soda is free of harsh chemicals and is well received as a skin-safe product. Read on for a more complete guide.

What is Nellie’s laundry soda?

Wondering if Nellie’s is a laundry detergent or a washing soda or a stain remover? Here are the answers.

Is it a detergent?

Nellie’s laundry soda is a water-soluble powder that washes off the dirt and grime from your fabrics – this makes it a detergent. The product is more affordable and environment-friendly than liquid detergents.

Is it the same as washing soda?

The product does contain washing soda or sodium carbonate in its formulation. The chemical compound is a cleansing agent that helps in removing tough stains from your fabrics. However, Nellies’ laundry soda is more than just washing soda. It contains surfactants, processing agents, and alkalinity builders in addition to sodium carbonate.

Is it the same as borax?

The chemical compound in borax is sodium borate – an ingredient that Nellies’s laundry soda does not contain. Borax is more commonly used in liquid detergents. It is not usually used in combination with sodium carbonate.

Nellie’s laundry soda ingredients

Nellie’s is called a laundry soda and not a detergent because its ingredients are mostly derived from salt. It has a coconut base surfactant and is made with only four ingredients! These are packed in a highly concentrated powder that dissolves quickly in both hot and cold water. The product comes in classic design tin boxes and pouches.

Sodium CarbonateSoftens the water
Assists other ingredients to remove dirt from the fabric
Linear Alcohol EthoxylateIs a surfactant
Helps in foaming, solubility, and cleaning
Sodium ChlorideAnti-caking agent
Helps in maintaining product density
Sodium MetasilicateHelps in removing oil and grease from the fabric
Ensures that the dirt suspended in water is not redeposited on the fabric

Nellie’s Laundry Soda also has a variant dedicated for babies. Known as Baby Laundry Soda, the product is a pure vegetable soap. The only chemical content is a concentration of sodium percarbonate – used for brightening your baby’s tiny clothes.

Does Nellie’s laundry soda have enzymes?

Not all variants of Nellie’s laundry soda contain enzymes. Only the POW Powder (250 loads) has a protease enzyme for efficient stain removal. The enzyme works well even in low temperatures.

Is Nellie’s laundry soda toxic?

Nellie’s laundry soda is a market leader in green cleaning. It was conceived by James Roberts using the values he had learned from his mother.

Born out of such a concept, Nellie’s laundry soda is an all-natural formulation devoid of harmful chemicals like gluten, phosphates, fragrance, solid synthetics, chlorine, optical brighteners, fragrance, SLS, and SLES. This makes it hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and eco-friendly. The product also does not leave a residue on your clothes. The bonus is – Nellie’s laundry soda is vegan and is not tested on animals – it is leaping bunny certified.

Let’s also analyze the safety qualities of the product’s four ingredients –

  • Sodium Carbonate – Is harmful only in highly concentrated or solid form. It is safe as a laundry ingredient and not known to cause any skin allergy or damage.
  • Linear Alcohol Ethoxylate – There are no reports of the compound being a skin sensitizer or carcinogenic. It can cause skin and eye irritation only in undiluted form. Thorough rinsing of your clothes will steer clear of any residue of the compound on your fabric and will be completely safe.
  • Sodium Chloride – This is not a hazardous substance. It is safe for humans as well as the environment.
  • Sodium Metasilicate – It can cause skin and eye irritation upon direct contact. Inhalation of its dust can lead to respiratory issues. However, it is safe when blended into a formulation. Rinse your clothes well to avoid any residue of it on your clothes.

We have seen that Nellie’s laundry soda is a safe product. Follow the washing instructions printed on the product and remember to rinse your fabrics well. It is common knowledge that ingestion of these ingredients can cause ulcers, stomach, and liver issues. So, keep the product out of reach of babies, children, and pets. Wash your hands well after you have used them.

Nellie’s laundry soda is perfectly safe for your babies too – the variant for babies is a pure vegetable soap. Sodium percarbonate used in the variant for brightening can however be a skin irritant – so, always rinse the clothes well. The compound can cause mouth and throat irritation, burping, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain upon ingestion – therefore, keep it out of reach of your baby.

Is Nellie’s laundry soda safe for septic systems?

The product display says that the product is safe for septic systems. The ingredients in the laundry soda are biodegradable. Further, they do not foam up – so, they are safe even if you have an aerated septic system.

Can you use Nellie’s laundry soda on wool?

For woolen fabrics, the company has Lamby Wool Dryerballs. As per its recommendation, toss four dryer balls into the dryer to soften the fabrics. Further, it is suggested that you separate natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics during the wash.

Can you use Nellie’s laundry soda in cold water?

Yes, you can. The product dissolves completely well in cold water too.

Can you use Nellie’s laundry soda in HE washer?

Yes, you can use it in high-efficiency washing machines as effectively as regular washing machines. In the case of HE machines, it is recommended to add the laundry soda to the drum along with your clothes.

Does Nellie’s laundry soda expire?

Nellie’s laundry soda does not have an expiration date. It will stay in good condition for up to one year after breaking the seal. If unopened and stored in a cool, dry place it will stay good for a longer time.

How long will Nellie’s laundry soda last?

Most variants are labeled for how many loads they will last – 50 loads, 80 loads, 500 loads, and so on. In the case of dryballs, a set of them is likely to cover about 1000 loads.


Anand Srinivasan
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