Best Baby Laundry Detergents Reviewed in 2018

A baby changes everything and suddenly, you view life in a completely different way. You go from using normal, everyday items to wondering what’s actually safe to have around your baby, and slowly you’ll begin making changes to make your house just a little more baby-proof. One of the things many parents consider is their laundry detergent; we know that it’s perfectly fine and safe for adults, but what about your newborn’s clothing? The last thing you want to do as a parent is to expose them to any types of harsh chemicals or smells that can be irritating to them. You also never want to take a chance of exposing them to something that might cause a reaction, since many common detergents aren’t hypoallergenic. So what do you do?

The good news is, baby detergents actually do exist! Making the change from an all-purpose detergent to one that’s intended to be completely safe for babies and toddlers is simple to do, and it’s one that’s worth it. These types of cleaning products have zero harsh chemicals, still clean clothing thoroughly but do it in a way that’s gentle and non-toxic. Many of them are all-natural and hypoallergenic, which are the two magic words you should be looking for when finding the right detergent for your family. The laundry soaps we’ve found exceed all of these categories and will really leave you feeling like you’ve made the right choice for your baby. Continue on to find out what you’ve been missing and allow the world of all-natural detergents to change your life!

10 Best Baby Laundry Detergents Reviewed

1. Molly's Suds Original 70 Loads

If you're looking for the ultimate in long-lasting detergents, Molly's Suds Original Laundry Powder is definitely up there as far as how many loads of laundry you'll get out of one purchase.
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The smallest amount you'll get out of their standard-sized bag is 70, which means if you do two loads a week, that's 35 weeks - Roughly eight months of laundry that you'll get out of one bag. You have the option to get bigger bags as well if you end up really loving this detergent, and we're about to tell you why you might. The soap itself is eco-friendly and "people safe", meaning it's been tested efficiently in being helpful for anyone suffering from eczema or sensitive skin. That's good news for babies since their skin is already sensitive and since this formula contains only five all-natural ingredients, it's a super safe bet. In addition, it's free of fragrances and dyes that could further cause irritation both via texture as well as scent.

Benefits
Molly's Suds works fantastic with high-efficiency washers which are what most people have in their homes nowadays. It's hard to believe that only five ingredients work so well to get your clothing clean, but combined with the power of an HE-certified washing machine, this formula is unstoppable.

What We Like About It
There's nothing artificial about Molly's and it's a great bargain for the amount of detergent powder that you're getting. When you have a new baby at home and are taking care of a family, the last thing you want to do is worry about when you need to restock on laundry soap... Buying in bulk matters!
Pros

Created with only five ingredients

All-natural and safe for every sensitive skin condition

Great for use with high-efficiency washers

It'll last an extremely long time

Good price

Cons

If you're not partial to powder then this might not be for you

2. Puracy Natural Liquid 192 Loads

The word "hypoallergenic" is really key when it comes to looking for a laundry soap that won't irritate the skin. This detergent is plant-based which means it just about as natural as can be, leaving no room for harmful or harsh chemicals that could potentially irritate the skin.
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What's interesting is the formula of this soap; it contains enzymes that, when activated, do their due diligence in eliminating odors and clean clothes as gently as possible. You may have heard of these same enzymes in all-natural cleaners that are designed for use on pain stains and odors. The enzymes work together to bond to the odor and dirt molecules to neutralize them... Pretty neat stuff if you ask us. This scientific explanation is why you can count on a brand like Puracy to get your clothes as clean as possible without the use of more general, harsher detergents. This one, in particular, has been mentioned on several major news stations as well, so you know it's pretty legitimate.

Benefits
It's been created and tested by doctors to thoroughly clean clothing without causing any reactions. That's something that many brands of laundry soap can hold claim to, but when it comes to your baby, you should only use the best.

What We Like About It
This detergent just keeps getting better and we almost feel bad calling it a laundry soap, because it's so much more than that. We love that it hasn't been tested on animals and is cruelty-free as well!
Pros

Cleans via the use of enzymes

Doctor-designed and tested

Safe for all levels of sensitive skin

Plant-based formula

Cruelty-free and not tested on animals

Cons

It has a difficult time removing tough stains

3. Seventh Generation Baby Concentrated

Similar to Puracy, Seventh Generation Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent uses the same enzyme-based odor and dirt fighting formula to make their soap so successful. It's designed specifically for babies and also designed to take care of all the potential stains that might come with them.
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For parents who are seeking a laundry soap that stands up to tough stains without being harmful or wrecking havoc on their baby's sensitive skin, this might be a great option for you. There are absolutely no fragrances, artificial dyes, or even brighteners in this detergent and any fragrance comes naturally from essential oils that have been added during the creation process. Seventh Generation has a reputable history for providing families with cleaning products they can trust, and we were pretty happy to see this could make our list because of its excellent results.

Benefits
The USDA has certified this detergent so even if you don't fully take our recommendation, you can trust that it's been evaluated by the health board to pass nationwide standards. They've also certified it 95% biobased, which means the enzymes and oils do most of the work.

What We Like About It
When you think of a plant-based or all-natural laundry soap, you don't often think of a detergent that's worthy of cleaning tough stains and tackling harsh odors. Seventh Generation is truly changing the game and finding the best way to take care of both, one enzyme at a time.
Pros

95% plant-based

The natural fragrance comes from essential oils

Trusted and well-known brand

You can get up to 106 loads out of it

Tough on stains

Cons

Sodium lauryl sulfate is present in the form of coconut or palm oil which might cause an allergy if allergic to either

4. Rockin' Green Platinum Series

This laundry soap is so stunning as far as its features go that we were pretty shocked we didn't find it sooner. The Active Wear Powdered Laundry Detergent by Rockin' Green Platinum Series has everything you could ask for as far as cleaning goes for your entire family.
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It's designed to be used for active wear which means no matter what your family throws at your washing machine, this soap is built to tackle it head-on with no issues whatsoever. It's all-natural and safe for use with babies and younger children due to its gentle formula, which was created in mind for sensitive skin. The formula makes use of one main ingredient that we haven't yet talked about: Tea tree oil. You might have heard of this being used as a cure-all for all types of skin conditions and now, you can find it in your detergent as well. The conception of this was pretty brilliant; between natural plant enzymes and the antibacterial properties of tea tree oil, your clothes will never feel this clean and fresh. It's also biodegradable which just adds to the long list of reasons for why it's on this list.

Benefits
If you have a large family and your kids are heavy into sports, this laundry soap is a must-have for you. You have the option to soak with this detergent as well (it's just that gentle!) in order to remove tough stains and odors as efficiently as possible.

What We Like About It
This detergent is also cruelty-free which means it hasn't been tested on animals. We love that it's safe for you, your family, and your baby, but it also saves animals, too.
Pros

Great for big families

Cruelty-free

Formulated with tea tree oil

It holds up to an active family lifestyle

Biodegradable and gentle

Cons

Soaking can be a hassle with powder detergent

5. Dreft Stage 2 Active Hypoallergenic

Dreft is a brand that's been around for quite some time and is well-known in the baby world as being a reputable detergent that's gentle enough for use with infants. Their laundry soaps come in various stages depending on how old your baby is, and each soap comes with its own features specific to what you'll likely need at the time.
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This one, Stage 2, is gentle enough for newborns which means it's hypoallergenic and non-reactive. In particular, this soap was designed to tackle baby food stains which, anyone who has an infant knows this, you'll inevitably be dealing with a lot. You'll be able to add more of this to each load depending on the stain level of the clothes in it which adds a level of flexibility to this detergent as well.

Benefits
This brand has been recommended by Pampers which is obviously another very well-known brand that creates some of the best baby products out there. Between their recommendation and ours, we're sure you'll be satisfied if you decide to try this one out in your home.

What We Like About It
This is great if you're not looking to make a full-on transition to 100% plant-based products. Sometimes you just want something that's a little bit safer and actually designed for your baby, and that's okay.
Pros

Recommended by Pampers

Well-known brand

Hypoallergenic

Safe for infant and newborn clothing

Tackles tough baby food stains

Cons

It's safe for newborns but is intended for use in babies age one and up

6. Mrs. Meyer’s Baby Blossom 64 fl oz

We are big fans of Meyer's cleaning products because they produce a line that's all-natural and safe for use in large family homes. This soap will not disappoint if you're also a fan of Meyer's product line!
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It's developed with the same enzyme formula that most all-natural detergents use but with the added bonus of a pleasant and comforting smell. It's concentrated so you won't need to use a lot of it which is great news for those who love a long-lasting detergent. It's gentle on all types of clothing, which makes it perfectly safe for you to use for your entire family -- Baby clothes included! The scent of it is also subtle but calming, with notes of honeysuckle, lavender, lemon verbena, and basil. All of these things will help to provide your baby with a soothing feeling that won't overwhelm them, and it will let you know that your laundry has been cleaned and is ready to go.

Benefits
This formula is completely plant-based which means it's as gentle as they come, but it's also biodegradable. Environmentally-Friendly families who love to have eco-friendly habits, give this one a try.

What We Like About It
That smell is positively delightful. Anyone who has ever had a garden or walked through one knows how amazing it can be to smell all of those scents, and this will make you feel like you're in the middle of an herb garden every day.
Pros

Gentle and soothing scent

All-natural and biodegradable formula

Plant-based

It uses enzymes to clean and sanitize

Meyer's is a reputable brand

Cons

It's pricey for a detergent

7. Mama Bear Gentle Baby 95% Biobased

This Mama Bear Gentle Baby detergent has a surprising feature about it -- With only one capful of this soap, you're getting twice the cleaning power of an average detergent. That's makes it super efficient while you're using less product, thus saving you some significant money as the end result.
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Not to mention, this formula is free of 1.4 dioxanes, contains no phthalates, and no artificial dyes whatsoever. Anything that's potentially harmful has been eliminated in the creation of this laundry soap, making it safe for your baby as well as your entire family, no matter how sensitive they might be. It's been approved by the EPA as a safer choice than most other ingredients which really sets it apart, as well as being 95% biobased.

Benefits
If you have a high-efficiency washing machine, this detergent is a great go-to. It performs superbly with modern washers and has the same cleaning power no matter what the water temperature, so you don't have to worry over setting everything according to your detergent brand.

What We Like About It
This is what we like to call a no-stress laundry soap. It's super versatile, doesn't take much to figure out, and works in just about any type of washing machine, within any temperature zone.
Pros

No-fuss formula

Powered by enzymes

Contains no artificial products

Gentle on sensitive skin

EPA-certified safe

Cons

Doesn't do well on stubborn stains

8. Low Country Home & Kitchen Reusable

We always try to include products for every family and to get in the widest variety of those products that we possibly can. If you're not crazy about detergents in general, whether they be in powder or liquid form, laundry balls might be a better option for you.
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It seems like an insane concept to stick a laundry ball in your dirty clothing and expect the little beads inside of it to get everything clean, but it's really not so far-fetched. In order to understand the chemistry behind it, you must first understand that the process of removing dirt and odors falls directly on how certain molecules interact in order to cause that separation. The inside of each of these balls is filled with ceramic beads and what these do is cause a reaction with negative ions. By reducing them, the laundry balls are able to pull apart dirt and stains from clothing and leave them clean again -- It's the simple molecular laws that will have you making the switch from detergent to soap-free.

Benefits
There's no need for laundry detergent if you're using these Green Clean Eco-Washer Laundry Balls. Not only are you eliminating the need for any type of soap, but you're helping the environment and getting clothing clean in the most gentle, baby-friendly way possible.

What We Like About It
This option is designed to last up to 1,000 loads of laundry. That's absolutely underheard of for any detergent on the market, whether it's designed for sensitive skin or not.
Pros

No laundry soap required

It's a 100% safe way to wash clothes

Designed to last up 1,000 washes

Safe for any type of washing machine

Will save you money

Cons

There's speculation about whether it works on all types of stains

The balls can sound loud when cycling around the machine

9. Dreft Stage 1 Newborn Hypoallergenic

Babies come with a lot of little messes and figuring out exactly what will get everything the cleanest isn't something you want to spend time stressing over. Dreft knows the struggle that comes with having to wash all your baby's things, from clothes to burp towels and everything in between.
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That's why their Stage 1 laundry detergent has been formulated specifically in mind to get rid of those hard to eliminate stains as well as potential odors. It's gentle enough to use on clothing while still being tough enough to knock out entire loads of stained laundry. No one has time to mess around and rewash things that just won't get clean, and we're putting our trust in Dreft to handle all your newborn's laundry.

Benefits
This soap is hypoallergenic meaning it's gentle on clothing and won't irritate your baby's skin at all. It can be used for your entire family as well and can be increased in amount to handle tougher laundry loads.

What We Like About It
We love that Dreft has been recommended not only by families but by big brands such as Pampers as well. It says a lot in the way of their quality but also the work they put into creating a baby-friendly product.
Pros

Recommended by Pampers

Hypoallergenic

Does well with tough stains

Designed to clean more than just clothing

It's a trusted brand with a long-standing reputation

Cons

Clothes smell similar to baby powder which some find too strong

10. Mineral Methods Sensitive Skin

Chances are, you've probably never heard of the Rain Laundry Cleaner by Mineral Methods. They're revolutionizing the way we view washing clothing by bringing back all-natural ingredients and creating a formula that's so in-tune with being eco-friendly, that we haven't figured out why we're all not making the switch.
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Rather than using enzymes like most detergents, Mineral Methods uses natural extracts, pressed fruit essence, and an organic electrolyte to power through the tough build-up and leave clothes literally feeling clean. Their main goal is to leave clothing clean, feeling fresh, and without the typical detergent residue that most soaps leave on clothing... This is what ends up irritating sensitive skin, therefore, by eliminating the problem, you're giving sensitive skin a chance to breathe and heal. It's true when they claim their product is detergent-free, which is really incredible considering how well it works when compared to other brands such as Tide and Resolve.

Benefits
You're getting a purest all-natural cleaner for your laundry that you can here and it's one that won't leave irritating, often itch-inducing, residue on clothing. It's also completely environmentally friendly, therefore every time you do your laundry, you're aiding in eco-friendly efforts.

What We Like About It
The transparency that Mineral Methods has about their product is really what caught our attention. Rather than just explaining how all-natural and safe it is, they've included in-depth explanations on how it works, conducted various tests, and have also explained what the problem is in comparison to other, less safe laundry soaps.
Pros

Contains no detergent whatsoever

Eco-friendly and safe for the environment

Leaves no residue on clothing

Electrolytes are designed to clean clothes and tackle odor

Safe for the entire family to use

Cons

It's not designed to get stains out of clothing and must be used with spot treatment

Criteria Used in Evaluation of the Best Baby Laundry Detergents in 2018

It’s not an uncommon fact that newborns have extremely sensitive skin. Within their first few months outside of the womb, their skin is still getting used to the outside world and all of the irritants that come with it. This means your baby might be more sensitive to a specific chemical, dye, or fragrance — And anyone who does laundry with a general brand knows how strong those scents can be. It’s not just skin irritation that can be cause for concern, it’s also the overwhelming smell that can come from soaps as well as dryer sheets. Our research revolved around what we could find that we’d be comfortable using, and a child’s safety came as number one in what we considered to be the most important factor. This isn’t to scare you out of using regular laundry detergents, though — Most of the time they’re completely fine unless your baby has very sensitive skin. It’s just something to consider, and possibly something you want to avoid at least for the first six months of your baby’s life in order to reduce irritation as much as possible.

Additional Factors to Consider

Hypoallergenic vs. All-Natural vs. Organic

You’ll hear a lot of terms being thrown around when it comes to products that claim to be safer for babies, and three of them are hypoallergenic, all-natural, and organic. While they’re often used in conjunction with each other, they’re not all created equal. Hypoallergenic means that’s it’s not likely to cause any type of reaction or cause irritation, and this is usually due to the fact that it is either all-natural or organic. The difference comes when the latter two descriptions are being used. All-natural means a product has been created with ingredients and a formula that excludes any type of harsh or man-made materials. Since there are so many things in regular detergent that aren’t all-natural, this is a super important term to look out for. On the other hand, organic is descriptive in where an ingredient is derived from and whether or not it has been altered. So while they are very similar, they are fairly different. Each has a place and, of course, it’s best to find a product that uses all three terms. We like to refer to this as the “holy grail” of baby trinities!

What Exactly Is Dangerous in Regular Detergent?

This is a great thing to inquire about because while we make it seem like regular detergents are a lesser quality than an all-natural baby-friendly product, they’re really not. There are plenty of detergents out there that have a great reputation for a reason and this article isn’t to say that you can’t use them, it’s just a way to offer you an alternative that might be a little more gentle for your baby. There are some things to watch out for in your laundry soap, though, that might be the cause for rashes, mild irritations, discomfort, etc. The important things to look out for are any type of sulfates, mainly sodium lauryl (SLS for short), phosphates, dioxane, and nonylphenol ethoxylate. These four can definitely cause some discomfort if you find them in your detergent, and you’d be surprised to know that some can even show up in your shampoos and body wash. The general rule of thumb is if you find anything that you can’t really pronounce easily, chances are it’s not great for you or your kids.

Protecting the Environment

You might not think of it immediately, but swapping out a general detergent for an all-natural one can do wonders as far as improving your impact on the environment. You’re probably wondering how this correlates to your baby’s safety and the answer is simple: By reducing your share of pollution and contaminants now, your child will have a better chance at growing up in a world that’s preserved and isn’t degrading nearly as quickly as it is now. With so much pollution that already exists, chemicals such as the ones we’ve previously listed only damage our waterways and soil, even more, preventing natural detoxification. This can weigh heavily on your child’s shoulders when they become an adult because it’ll be up to their generation to eventually find a way to fix it. You’ll also be teaching your child how to be mindful of the world they live in by making a switch like this as well! All it takes is one simple decision to prevent a lifetime of negative impacts, and your child will already be one step ahead when it comes to protecting the world we live in and ensuring a positive environment for generations to come.

Why Does Detergent Occasionally Irritate the Skin?

The culprit of itchy, red, or rash-covered skin is usually due to residue left on clothing after it’s been washed. It’s this residue, along with the chemicals in it, that isn’t recommended safe for babies and children. It can cause mild reactions such as irritated skin, especially if you’re already sensitive to things such as that. The trick to avoiding this is find something that has been created in an all-natural way with ingredients that won’t cling to clothing and leave that residue we’re all too familiar with. Options for these include enzymes, plant-based products, and electrolytes. It’s a good idea, in general, to make the switch if anyone in your family has sensitive skin because heavy, chemical-based detergents will only make the problem worse. The good news is that it’s really not as complicated as it seems and during our research, we’ve managed to find products that truly do suit a variety of families and their individual needs. Whether you’re partial to powdered or liquid detergents or even prefer to find a method that uses no soap whatsoever, we’ve got it covered. Doing your laundry doesn’t need to be a scary thing and there are products out there made by companies that care just as much about your baby’s comfort as you do.  

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How severe can a reaction be to laundry detergent if I choose not to switch?

A: There’s no law saying that baby detergent is necessary and in all likelihood, your baby will probably be fine having their clothes washed with the rest of your family. Making the switch to something that’s baby-friendly is more for their sake and to prevent any potential irritation, as well as avoiding exposing them to chemicals that might be in your soap already. If your baby is sensitive, reactions can include rashes, mild skin irritation, hives, or general discomfort over strong smells.

Q: Is this strong enough to wash adult clothing as well so that I can use it for my whole family?

A: Most of these soaps can be used for any type of laundry, yes. Occasionally, you’ll get a brand that can’t handle tough stands in which case a spot stain remover is a huge help. Roughly half of the soaps on this list are designed for heavily stained or soiled laundry, while the other half is designed to clean, but not so much remove tough stains.

Q: How can these actually clean clothes when there is no actual cleaning chemicals in them?

A: Soaps such as these use all-natural alternatives that have been proven just as effective when it comes to cleaning.

Q: How many loads of laundry would I be able to do with one bottle?

A: That depends solely on the type of detergent you’re using and how big each load of laundry is. They vary but each should be stated clearly under the product information.

Q: Does it depend on what type of washer/dryer I have (high efficiency, etc.)?

A: Not at all! You’d use these just like you would a normal detergent, just be sure to follow the instructions based on the side of your laundry load.

Q: Where would I find the ingredient list?

A: It’s usually always on the back of the bottle and should also be listed under the “product info” section. We’ve also tried to include a pretty thorough list of each soap’s ingredients in the “Summary” section of each product, where we’ve summed up what it does, how it’s created, and how it works.

Sources

  1. Dr. Mercola , The Worst Ingredients in Laundry Detergent, Online Article, May 13, 2012
  2. Unknown Author, Do I Need Baby Laundry Detergent?, Online Article,
  3. Unknown Author, Baby Basics: Laundering Your Baby's Clothes, Online Article,
  4. Unknown Author, Should I use baby laundry detergent?, Forum,