Summary List Placement
Bringing a new baby home is both an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time. The little one is relying on you for everything including clean clothes and bedding that will not irritate delicate skin.
According to Cleveland Clinic pediatric dermatologist Joan Tamburro, DO; “A child who has skin problems may be more prone to laundry detergent reactions. A family history of atopic dermatitis (eczema) also may put your infant at higher risk.”
As a laundry and housekeeping professional, I’ve been testing products for companies, agencies, and publications for many years. So with the birth of my first grandchild, I was delighted to be able to lessen one anxiety by recommending the best laundry detergent for both the baby and his parents.
The main culprits in commercial laundry detergent that causes skin irritation and allergic reactions are dye and fragrance. By choosing a product that is dye and scent-free, the detergent can be used for not only baby’s clothes but all household laundry.
Here are the best baby laundry detergents:
- Best baby laundry detergent overall: all free clear liquid laundry detergent
- Best baby laundry detergent for the environment: Seventh Generation Baby Detergent
- Best baby laundry detergent for tough stains: Babyganics Baby Laundry Detergent
- Best baby laundry detergent for diapers: Rockin’ Green Classic Rock Natural Laundry Detergent Powder
The best baby laundry detergent overall
If you are looking for a reasonably-priced, effective laundry detergent that is safe for your baby’s delicate skin and can be used for the rest of the family’s laundry, All’s free clear liquid detergent is your best bet.
What we like: Performs well for both baby and family laundry, mid-priced, readily available in mass-market stores and online, free of dyes and perfumes
As I was testing and selecting a laundry detergent for our precious new one, I took into consideration the product’s ingredients, cleaning ability, cost per load, and ease of use. As a new parent, the last thing you need is a product that makes the laundry routine any more complicated.
The final verdict after testing more than 10 products was that All free clear liquid will give a baby the protection he needs from irritation, remove all but the worst stains, not break the budget, and can be used to wash clothes for the entire family. It is also the most highly recommended detergent brand for sensitive skin by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians.
It seems others agree with me as well. On Walgreens, all free clear has a rating of 4.8 out of five stars. One reader states, “I’m so sensitive, allergic to everything! This is the only detergent that I can use that doesn’t cause a reaction. Even other “Free” products cause me to react.”
All free clear comes in liquid, powder, and single dose packs. I would recommend the liquid formula, costing about 20 cents per load, because it can also be used to pretreat stains. Just work in a tiny amount of the liquid into the stained area with your fingers or a soft-bristled brush and wait about 15 minutes before washing.
The best baby laundry detergent for the environment
Environmentally-friendly Seventh Generation Baby Concentrated Laundry Detergent also protects your baby’s sensitive skin from harsh chemicals.
What we like: Plant and mineral-based ingredients are environmentally-friendly, detergent works well on baby stains and can be used for laundry for the entire family
Protecting a new baby is always a top priority, but we should never forget that protecting the Earth is also important. After all, our actions today will affect the world that a child faces in the future.
Seventh Generation products adhere to that philosophy and use only plant or mineral-based ingredients. Seventh Generation Baby Laundry Detergent received a 97% rating as a USDA Certified Biobased Product and is never tested on animals.
One member of the What to Expect community, Lakewood Chick, says “We use Seventh Generation Free & Clear for everyone’s clothes, not just baby. I think it works great and it makes me feel much better knowing harmful chemicals aren’t in it.”
After giving it a try on our baby’s laundry, I was delighted with the results. The plant-based enzymes removed tough formula and diaper stains with ease. Over on Amazon, 61% of buyers rated it as a five-star product. The cost at around 25 cents per load is higher but the results are worth it.
The best baby laundry detergent for tough stains
Just as babies grow bigger, so do their stains. Babyganics 3X Baby Laundry Detergent contains the enzymes you need to treat those stains.
What we like: Contains enzymes to tackle tough stains, available in unscented and scented formulas, concentrated formula with an easy-to-handle bottle
Newborns need to be swaddled with soft, irritant-free fabrics from the moment they are born. Fortunately, other than some diaper accidents, they don’t create too many difficult stains. But as they age and are introduced to commercial formulas that contain iron and then those first solid foods, the stains can be a challenge especially if they sit around for several days before being washed.
That’s why I was so pleased to discover that Babyganics contains the enzymes protease to break down protein stains (diaper stains) and amylase to tackle starches and carbohydrates stains. What also makes Babyganics a good choice is that the formula is plant and mineral-based and carries the USDA Certified Biobased label.
Babyganics Baby Laundry Detergent has a five-star rating by 61% of buyers on Amazon. One reviewer is particularly pleased with the 3X concentration since “you don’t have to buy it as often as others compared to its size nor need to hold up a bulky container every time you have to do the laundry (pretty important for tired moms).”
Developed to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers at a cost of around 23 cents per load, I use Babyganics liquid detergent as a stain pre-treater before tossing those dirty bibs into the washer. If you like a bit of scent, it also comes in a lavender scent created with natural essential oils.
The best baby laundry detergent for diapers
Cloth diapers present a laundry challenge to new parents, but Rockin’ Green Classic Rock Natural Laundry Detergent can make it all easier.
What we like: Mineral-based and contains no petroleum-based products, produced in the United States, removes diaper stains and odor
Every parent must make the decision on whether to use cloth or disposable diapers with each having its own merits. If cloth diapers are the final choice, learning how to clean and disinfect them properly is a must. Even if you use a diaper service, there will be times when you need to wash a load of diapers at home.
Rockin’ Green is a small company based in Texas that tackles the challenge of diaper laundry with a mineral-based powdered detergent that removes tough stains but leaves the fabric feeling soft to the touch. Free of dyes and perfumes, the company also offers a Hard Rock formula if you live in an area with hard water that can leave fabrics stiff and scratchy.
On What to Expect, one community member, Smallsteps, reports that ” I no longer have to add tons of other stuff to get my diapers clean and stink free!”
Some 70% of buyers on Amazon give the product a five-star rating. I found that if you follow the proper routine of rinsing and pre-soaking soiled diapers and wash them regularly, for less than 20 cents per load your little one will have clean, odor-free diapers every day.