Washing up powder

Best Non-Bio Washing Powders (UK)

Choosing the right non-bio washing powder can make a huge difference to your laundry. Not using the right non-bio washing powder can leave your clothes dirty, faded, or just leave you uncomfortable during the day.

None of which are particularly pleasant!

There are a huge variety of non-bio washing powders available today, both online and in stores, and knowing what to choose can be difficult.

Here are our top five picks for non-bio washing powders available in the UK.


The Best Non-Bio Washing Powders in the UK

1. Fairy Non-Bio Powder

Fairy Non-Bio Powder Kind to Sensitive Skin Laundry, 140 Washes

Scent: Fresh

Fairy has been a household name for years. Their non-bio washing powder has been specially formulated to tackle tough stains, whilst keeping clothing soft and gentle on sensitive skin.

Fairy’s claim that their non-bio detergent is great on sensitive skin has been backed up by dermatological testing. It has even been awarded the Skin Health Alliance seal of approval.

This non-bio washing powder leaves clothes both fresh and soft, perfect for small kids and those with sensitive skin.

The detergent presents good value for money, and the gentle scent is great for fragrance sensitivities.

Reviewers love that this non-bio washing powder is gentle enough for those with eczema, and is ideal for use on baby’s clothing.

If you have the space, you can even buy this non-bio washing powder in extra-large (and extra-value) boxes that will last for more than 100 washes.


2. Ecover Zero Non-Bio Washing Powder

Ecover Zero Non Bio Washing Powder Sensitive Skin 25 Wash (1.8kg)

Scent: Fragrance free

The Ecover Zero non-bio washing powder has a formula that is completely free of fragrances, enzymes, and colourings to minimise the risk of reactions in people with allergies.

As a result of this unique formula, the Ecover Zero range is allergy approved and carries the Allergy UK Seal of Approval from the British Allergy Foundation. This detergent has also been dermatologically tested and is GHI Approved.

All the ingredients used are ideal for sensitive skin and 100% plant-based. The formula provides great results on typical family stains, even at 30C. It’s even suitable for use with septic tank systems!

Users love that this detergent doesn’t cause irritations, is plastic-free, and uses ingredients that are plant-based rather than petroleum-based.

This all helps to limit the amount of nasty chemicals in your home, and reduce your impact on the environment.


3. Ecover Non-Bio Washing Powder

Ecover Non-Bio Washing Powder, 40 Washes, 3 kg, (Pack of 1)

Scent: Lavender & Eucalyptus

Ecover’s non-bio washing powder uses most of the same ingredients as the Ecover Zero powder above, however it has a delicate, fresh lavender and eucalyptus scent.

Like Ecover Zero, the formula in this non-bio washing powder works at low temperatures on both whites and colours. The new formula uses even less powder per wash too, which will save you money in the long run.

From an eco-friendly perspective, this washing powder is made using only plant-based and natural ingredients that are safe for use with septic tanks. It also offers the minimum impact on aquatic life.

Reviewers love the recyclable packaging, and the fact that this washing powder can be bought in bulk for even better value for money.

The detergent does have a subtle integrated laundry bleach; however, some people find that they do need to add extra for really bright whites.

Whilst this washing powder is great on sensitive skin, if you have a have a fragrance intolerance you would be better off with Ecover Zero.


4. Bio D Concentrated Washing Powder

Bio D Concentrated Washing Powder 12.5 Kg

Bio D’s non-bio washing powder is a versatile detergent ideal for washing by hand and in machines. This detergent is manufactured at home in the UK, and uses only sustainable, natural materials.

This detergent is hypoallergenic and endorsed by Allergy UK and the Vegan Society.

In addition to being kind on your skin, the Bio D washing powder is readily biodegradable which makes it suitable for use with septic tanks or cesspits.

Users love that Bio D are working towards only using recycled plastic, and that this detergent minimises the risk to aquatic life and the wider environment.

However, some people find that this detergent doesn’t dissolve as well in the detergent drawer as some alternatives, and it can leave white marks behind on darker clothes. It is also more expensive than others on this list.


5. Persil Non-Bio Colour Washing Powder

Persil Non Bio Colour Washing Powder, Clean And Fresh Fragranced Laundry Detergent For Clothes, Large Family Pack (8.4 kg)

Scent: Fresh

Like Fairy, Persil has been a household name for years.

This non-bio laundry powder is ideal for use on both colours and whites, and has been specially formulated to work well on both short and cold washing machine cycles.

This non-bio washing powder is recognised by the British Skin Foundation, and offers a thorough clean whilst still being gentle on even the most sensitive skin.

Reviewers love that this Persil non-bio washing powder offers good value for money and is available in large boxes offering 100+ washes per box.

This detergent does a great job on tackling stains, and leaves clothes soft too.

However, some people have found that this washing powder does not always dissolve very well in the detergent drawer, and it can leave behind white marks on clothing at low temperatures.


What Is the Difference Between Non-Bio and Bio Washing Powder?

The key difference between bio and non-bio washing powder is how they remove stains. 

A crucial ingredient in bio detergent is the enzymes. These break down the proteins that make up dirt and stains in clothing.

Non-bio detergent, on the other hand, does not contain these enzymes and so is often kinder on skin.

Woman putting washing powder in washing machine


Benefits of Non-Bio Washing Powder

Today, you can choose between a huge variety of laundry detergents, both bio and non-bio. This wealth of choice is great if you know what you are looking for.

1. Gentle on sensitive skin

A crucial benefit of non-bio washing powder when compared to biological alternatives is that it is much gentler on sensitive skin.

The enzymes in biological detergent might tackle stains easily, but they can irritate aging, sensitive or delicate skin.

2. Gentle on coloured clothes

The aim when washing brightly coloured clothing is always to help them keep their colour. Biological detergents can fade colours, since the enzymes they contain can break down the proteins in clothes dyes.

Non-bio, on the other hand, is much less likely to break down the proteins in the coloured dye in your clothing, so it’s kinder to coloured clothes.

3. Gentle on delicate materials

In the same way, biological detergent is rarely suitable for use on delicate materials, such as lace or silk.

The enzymes that give biological detergent its stain-busting power can damage the delicate fibres. If you are likely to be washing a lot of delicate clothing, opt for non-bio.


How to Choose Your Detergent

When it comes to choosing laundry detergents, there are a variety of factors that you should consider. Think about what types of laundry you regularly wash, how you wash them, and if your family has any allergies you need to consider.

Is it eco-friendly?

Being eco-friendly is becoming more and important with every passing year. In the past, households usually just bought whichever laundry detergent was the cheapest at that moment in time.

Today, however, it is possible to make an eco-conscious choice with laundry detergent.

Eco-friendly can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, however, it generally means that the products are biodegradable, use recycled plastic, are free from harmful ingredients, and some might even be approved by various environmental bodies.

What ingredients does it contain?

Most non-bio laundry powders contain similar ingredients; however, some contain fewer harsh chemicals than others.

In addition to checking for irritants, consider whether you want a non-bio washing powder that is vegan certified, fully biodegradable, or isn’t tested on animals.

What types of garments do you wash?

Consider what an average load of washing looks like to you. If you find you wash a lot of delicate clothing, make sure that you pick a non-bio detergent that is suitable for use on these fabrics.

What temperature do you wash on?

Most laundry powders today are suitable for use on lower temperatures as it saves all the energy that would have been used heating water.

If you always wash on low or even cold temperatures, make sure you check the label for your chosen detergent to make sure it still produces great results at these temperatures.

Is it safe for septic tanks?

Most non-bio laundry detergents are suitable for use with septic tanks, however there are still some that aren’t.

If you have a septic tank system and use a detergent that isn’t suitable for use with a septic tank, it will upset the chemical balance, leading to all sorts of potential problems. Always check for suitability.


Laundry detergent in dosing cup

Non-Bio Washing Powder FAQs

What ingredients are in non-bio detergent?

The exact ingredients will depend on the manufacturer of your laundry detergent. However, the Fairy Non-Bio Washing Powder uses anionic surfactants and oxygen-based bleaching agents.

Does non-bio get stains out?

Of course! The lack of enzymes in non-bio detergent means it might not always have quite the same stain removal power as biological detergents, however it will still tackle stains and will be much kinder on the skin.

Is non-bio good for sensitive skin?

Yes! Non-bio laundry detergents don’t contain enzymes. This makes for a much gentler clean that is much less likely to irritate the skin.

Should you wash baby clothes in non-bio?

Whilst bio laundry detergents contain enzymes that can break down stains easily, these same enzymes can irritate delicate skin.

Non-bio detergents, on the other hand, can still tackle stains, but will be much gentler on baby’s skin. Therefore, non-bio detergents are better for washing baby clothes.

Does non-bio washing powder contain bleach?

Non-bio detergents don’t contain bleach or enzymes. This is what makes non-bio detergent the laundry detergent of choice for small children’s clothing, people with sensitive skin, aging skin, or skin conditions.

Should I use non-bio for colours?

Absolutely! The enzymes and bleaches in some biological detergents can break down the proteins in some coloured dyes, which can cause the colours to fade. When in doubt, use non-bio.

Should I wash towels in bio or non-bio?

Either! Some people recommend using bio detergents where possible, but you can achieve just as good results with non-bio detergents.

Can I use non-bio on wool?

This depends on your detergent. Some non-bio detergents are great on wool clothing, whereas others are not recommended. Check the label of the detergent and the care label of your garments if you are unsure.



If we were to recommend just one product on this list, it would be the Fairy Non-Bio Washing Powder. This laundry detergent is great value for money, and does a good job on stains whilst still being gentle on skin.

If you want a non-bio detergent that is free from fragrances and uses only plant-based ingredients, we recommend the Ecover Zero Non-Bio Washing Powder.