As parents, you’ve undoubtedly looked at your baby, then at that huge pile of laundry, and wondered how on earth such a tiny addition to the family generated so many dirty clothes. Well, big things do come in little packages, right?
Luckily, we now have machines that do most of the hard work for us. All you have to do is separate your whites from colors, toss them in, add detergent, and press a button for the correct cycle. But hold on; exactly how baby-friendly is that detergent you just added to the washer?
We know how frustrating it can sometimes feel, checking that virtually every product you use is baby-safe. But when it comes to your detergent, you want to be sure you are using something appropriate for your child. After all, who wants to be fighting with a contact allergy at 2 am?1Contact Dermatitis
Well, we’ll make your life a little easier by picking what we believe to be the best baby-safe detergents available today. Let’s see which brands get our thumbs up.
Baby laundry detergent’s buying guide
Before you select the first thing that says “baby-safe” on the label, let’s look at what products provide the best laundry detergents for baby clothes and diapers.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Powdered detergents sometimes leave a residue on clothing, so a liquid detergent may be a better option if your baby has sensitive skin.2Differences in Organic, Natural, and Health Foods
Buy for baby or the whole family?
When you think about it, your child is going to have as much skin-to-fabric contact with your clothes as they are with their own. Whether you are cuddling them before bed or breastfeeding, you can’t avoid fabric contact, nor should you feel it’s something to avoid. With this in mind, we suggest you wash your own clothing with the same detergent you use for baby. Thus any cross-contamination, especially if your child is prone to allergies, is best avoided. So you’ll really want to change your detergent instead of buying something separate for your baby.
Since your baby’s skin is sensitive and vulnerable, you’ll need to look for more natural soaps. You might have sworn by those popular grocery store brands in the past, but once you’ve added that tiny bundle of joy to your life, you’ll need to switch gears. Natural minerals, like sodium carbonate, plant or fruit extracts, and baking soda are examples of safe and natural ingredients to look for as you search for your new detergent.
Ingredients to avoid
Artificially added fragrances, dyes, phosphates, and chlorine are all things that can aggravate sensitive skin. It’s best to avoid them altogether, especially if your child is prone to itchy skin. Consider them the Kryptonite of laundry soap additives.
Needless to say, even if your laundry detergent is the safest, baby-friendliest product in the universe, if you’re pulling out clothing that is stained and dirty, that soap is getting its pink slip! Don’t sacrifice hygiene for your little one’s comfort. Sooner or later, you’ll be sure to find a laundry soap that works with your washing machine and water type. Don’t be afraid, or surprised, by the need for some “trial and error.”
Editor’s Note: Pretreating stains or rinsing the stained area as soon as possible can prevent the need to re-launder clothes with stubborn stains. 3Cleaning Baby Clothes
It’s worth noting how many laundry loads you are getting from your baby-safe detergent. After all, if you’re using twice the recommended amount to clean one load of laundry, you’ll be spending far too much. Be sure to choose a detergent that is compatible with your water system.
If you are a parent who uses cloth diapers, either part or full time, be sure to pick a detergent that won’t damage them. Some leave residue on the fabric, which builds up and drastically reduces its ability to absorb fluids.
With those basics out of the way, let us introduce you to some of our top picks for baby laundry detergent.
With a baby, you’ll soon, inevitably, find some pretty unwelcome stains on everyone’s clothing! Here are some products designed to combat those annoying messes.
Our pick of the best baby-safe laundry detergents
Best for stains
If you encounter lots of stubborn stains and unsavory odors, you might want to give this product a try. It’s sulfate, dioxane, and fragrance-free, relying, instead, mainly on plant-based ingredients.
This isn’t an entirely organic product; tiny amounts of borax serve as enzyme stabilizers. It is also worth noting that, while this can clean cloth diapers, it does tend to leave a build up behind.
However, for tough stains, this product certainly holds its own, with many parents extremely impressed by it.
This laundry soap is hypoallergenic, natural, contains no fragrances or dyes, and works in standard and high-efficiency washers alike. It advertises a quadruple enzyme formula for fighting tough stains while still being safe and gentle for your baby.
An eco-friendly, cruelty-free product, one common complaint is that the measuring cap is difficult to read. Otherwise, this product can be used with your cloth diapers, while scoring positive reviews for its cleaning power.
Best natural liquid detergent
Created by doctors and geared towards those with sensitive skin and allergies, this product is the #1 best seller in Amazon’s Cloth Diaper Laundry Detergent category. It is free from sulfates, phosphates, chlorine, dyes, and allergens and is a cruelty-free product.
Aside from excelling at getting those cloth diapers pristine, it also works on dark clothes, delicate garments, and microfiber towels.
You might want to place this bottle on something absorbent since some parents report the top is a bit drippy after use. Otherwise, it’s a solid product that won’t irritate your child’s skin or leave build up on your cloth diapers.
Best eco-friendly powder
Yes, this is technically a powder. If you prefer a liquid, it is available, though a bit more expensive. Either way, this product is recommended by several cloth- diaper companies as a go-to laundry soap. It removes stains without leaving a build-up behind.
Some parents have found that hard water in their homes negatively impacts this product’s cleaning power, so you might want to try an alternative if dealing with hard water issues.
Otherwise, this hypoallergenic product is safe and gentle for your baby and can be used on clothing and diapers alike.
Best for cloth diapers
Effective enough for the whole family, this detergent is fragrance, dye, enzyme, and chlorine free. It contains no harsh chemicals and is also cruelty-free.
While safe to use on cloth diapers, parents are giving this product mixed reviews regarding its effectiveness in that area.
This detergent works with standard and high-efficiency washing machines alike and is non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and safe to use on all fabrics.
This product fights stains with no phosphates, dyes, or chlorine added. Although these pods work on cloth diapers, many parents recommend doing a pretreatment before tossing them in with this detergent. If that is not a deal-breaker for you, then you’ll be pleased to know that this product is also cruelty-free and eco-friendly, cleans adult and baby clothing alike, and works in both standard and high-efficiency washers.
Editor’s Note: Although it may seem obvious, please remember to keep all laundry products out of reach of infants and toddlers to prevent accidental ingestions or eye injuries.
As we said before, don’t be surprised if you have to go through a little trial and error before finding the right detergent to suit your family. After all, though Rome wasn’t built in a day, laundry… or, in other words, that huge mound of dirty clothes, is! But don’t just settle for any old laundry soap. Who knows, you might end up finding that baby laundry detergent that becomes a permanent fixture on your shopping list.