The 10 Best Baby Detergents

The right formula for all your laundry needs

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Our Top Picks
The #1 recommended brand from dermatologists for sensitive skin... free of perfume and dyes.
Best for Newborns:
Dreft Stage 1 at Amazon
Designed specifically for newborns with its hypoallergenic formula, Dreft has been on the market for more than 85 years.
Best for Sensitive Skin:
Honest Baby Laundry Detergent at Walmart
Free of fragrances and dyes, this hypoallergenic laundry detergent is specially designed for babies with sensitive skin.
120 loads, making it a highly affordable detergent option... organic and eco-friendly.
USDA-certified biobased... effective treatment of itchy and sensitive skin... other skin issues, allergies.
Best for High-Efficiency Washers:
Biokleen 20 Laundry Detergent Liquid at Amazon
Recyclable or compostable bottle... great for high-efficiency washers... enzyme- and fragrance-free.
Best Eco-Friendly Detergent:
Eco-me Plant Based Laundry Detergent at Amazon
Toxin-free and plant-based and works for both high efficiency and standard washing machines.
Plant-based, all-natural, vegan, and baby-safe... without leaving behind any residue or smell.
Vegan castile soap that can also be used in laundry, bath, clean dishes... and create all-purpose cleaners.
This plant-based detergent is not only environmentally friendly but it's also made with stain-fighting enzymes.

Whether you’re picking out a baby detergent for the first time or making a switch, choosing an infant laundry detergent can be tricky. Some parents and caregivers look for a detergent the whole family can use while others want something for babies with sensitive skin. From hypoallergenic to plant-based, there are tons of options on the market. 

Here are the best baby detergents based on you and your baby’s needs.

Best for Eczema: All Free Clear for Sensitive Skin Liquid Laundry Detergent

All Free Clear Liquid Laundry Detergent

If your baby is prone to eczema, or you yourself have it—looking for a formula that gets a stamp of approval from a dermatologist is key. All, a lead laundry detergent manufacturer has done extensive testing on their Free Clear formula which is the #1 recommended brand from dermatologists for sensitive skin. It's free of perfume and dyes which can irritate your little one's skin.

Of course since every baby's skin is different the reviews here vary on what has worked for their household. Some rave that this is the only product that has worked on their baby's eczema prone skin while other's say this made their reaction worse.

Best for Newborns: Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Hypoallergenic Liquid Baby Laundry Detergent

Look no further if you’re searching for a detergent designed specifically for newborn babies. This detergent is hypoallergenic, making it safe even for the little ones with sensitive skin. 

Dreft has been on the market for more than 85 years and is great for washing all your newborn’s delicates, like towels, sheets, burp cloths, and more. The detergent can be used in both high-efficiency and standard washing machines. Many parents and caregivers say it's also perfect for the whole family.

Best for Sensitive Skin: Honest Hypoallergenic Baby Laundry Detergent

Honest Hypoallergenic Baby Laundry Detergent

This hypoallergenic laundry detergent is specially made for babies with extra-sensitive skin. Its formula consists of plant-derived ingredients and four stain-fighting enzymes for those tough stains that are bound to happen. 

There are no fragrances or dyes in the detergent’s formula and it's even dermatologist tested. Reviewers say it’s a great detergent for not only their babies but their own sensitive skin, too.

Best Budget: Molly's Suds Original Laundry Detergent Powder

Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder includes 120 loads, making it a highly affordable detergent option. It’s also perfect for babies, as it’s organic and eco-friendly, with no harmful or irritating dyes, fragrances, perfumes, brighteners, filler, petrochemicals, phosphate, formaldehyde, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), or sodium Laureth sulfate (SLES). Molly’s Suds also received an “A” rating from the EWG and is cruelty-free and certified vegan.

Molly’s Suds laundry powder is perfect for high-efficiency washers and can be used on virtually any material (baby’s as well as yours). Parents love the natural, clean feeling and the peace of mind of the five organic, earth-based ingredients. They also say it helps with eczema and other sensitive skin-related issues.

Best for the Whole Family: Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent

seventh-generation-detergent

If you don't want to buy a special detergent for just your baby consider making the switch to this top-pick that will get all types of baby and adult stains out. A USDA-certified biobased product, Seventh Generation Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent is 4x concentrated for extra stain-fighting power while remaining green and gentle. It contains no artificial dyes, fragrances, or brighteners.

Parents rave about Seventh Generation’s effective treatment of itchy and sensitive skin, eczema, rashes, and other skin issues or allergies. Its plant-based formula makes it especially well-suited to babies’ clothing, towels, and bedding.

The liquid formula gets a "C" rating on EWG's list, but the powder gets an "A", so if you want purer and your water and machine can handle powder you might want to opt for the powder version.

Best for High-Efficiency Washers: Biokleen 21 Laundry Detergent Liquid

Biokleen Laundry Liquid Free and Clear is ideal for environmentally conscious parents. Packaged in a recyclable or compostable bottle made out of used cardboard and newspaper, Biokleen Free and Clear is great for high-efficiency washers, 3x concentrated, and enzyme- and fragrance-free.

Plant-based surfactants and grapefruit seed extracts do the job here, rinsing baby clothes clean with no residue or funk. Biokleen has earned an “A” rating from the EWG for its all-natural, safe, nontoxic ingredients. Parents who use hard water and high-efficiency washers often say Biokleen is their go-to detergent, even though it’s pricier than some of its competitors.

Best Eco-Friendly Detergent: Eco-me Plant Based Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Fragrance-free Eco-Me Natural Laundry Detergent is especially concentrated for a green detergent. It comes in a small bottle, but many parents are surprised that they only need 1-2 capfuls of the liquid for a small to medium load of laundry, making it a perfect choice for baby laundry in particular.

Eco-Me is toxin-free and plant-based and works for both high efficiency and standard washing machines. It’s cruelty-free (no animal byproducts and no animal testing), and free of fragrances, sulfates, phosphates, dyes, and parabens. However, you should note that for big messes or intense stains, you’ll need to pretreat your load of laundry, as with many green and organic laundry detergents.

Best for Cloth Diapers: Rockin' Green Classic Rock Laundry Detergent Powder

Rockin’ Green Natural HE Powder Laundry Detergent declares itself “perfect for cloth diapers.” Many parents agree that this plant-based, all-natural, vegan, and baby-safe detergent is a lifesaver for cloth diapers. It’s powerful enough to get the stains out without leaving behind any residue or smell, and its clean-washing formula rinses each diaper completely with just a small amount of detergent.

Some parents do find the Rockin’ Green laundry detergent scent (though it’s not artificial) a little overwhelming or strong, so be forewarned if you don’t like or can’t tolerate intense smells.

Best Organic: Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap

 If you are going for pure look no further than this organic and vegan castile soap that can not only clean your little one's laundry it can also be used in their bath, clean dishes, and even mixed with other ingredients to create all-purpose cleaners around the house. Dr. Bronner's website is very informative on the correct dilutions to use to whip up various different recipes to help you get the whole household clean in a green way. The EWG also rates this an "A" so you know it has safe ingredients for your growing family.

Reviewers rave about the many uses they can do with this, with many claiming they were impressed with how well it cleaned their laundry.

Best Plant-Based: Noodle & Boo Ultra Safe Laundry Essentials Laundry Detergent

This plant-based detergent is designed to be gentle on your baby's skin as well as the environment while being tough on pesky stains and odor. Thanks to the stain-fighting enzymes in the formula, the detergent is designed to power through any stains and odors your baby may leave behind.

Aside from being environmentally friendly, it’s also safe for baby’s skin as it’s hypoallergenic and pediatrician tested. It’s compatible with both conventional and high-efficiency washing machines, so you don’t have to question if the detergent will damage your washing machine.

If you're wanting a laundry detergent that's affordable and even eco-friendly, check out Molly's Suds Laundry Powder (view at Amazon). Parents and caregivers love the natural, clean feeling and the peace of mind of the five organic, earth-based ingredients.

For those who want a detergent for the whole family, the Seventh Generation Natural Detergent (view at Amazon) is great for babies and adults. Its plant-based formula makes it especially well-suited to babies’ clothing, towels, and bedding while still fighting out any adult stains and odors.

What to Look for in a Baby Detergent 

Hypoallergenic 

When shopping for a baby detergent, one of the best things to look for is a detergent that is made with a hypoallergenic formula. Typically, hypoallergenic detergent formulas are gentler for sensitive skin types since they’re made with fewer allergy-producing substances. 

Dye-free

Along with hypoallergenic formula, many parents and caregivers should check out dye-free detergent. Many detergents are free of dyes, meaning they’re clear or colorless and perfect for washing those sensitive items, like baby’s clothes and bedding. 

Fragrance-free

It’s important to realize fragrance-free and unscented are not the same thing. Fragrance can still be present in the detergent, but the unscented just means it’s simply hidden. For those with sensitive skin, fragranced laundry detergent can sometimes cause rashes, so to be safe, skip it altogether. 

FAQs

Do I need a separate baby detergent? 

There is a common belief that a baby’s clothes should be washed separately in a special baby detergent, but what many parents and caregivers don't realize is that it's actually not required.

While you can certainly use your regular detergent for your baby's clothing, it is important to make sure that it is suitable for their super-sensitive skin and that it won't deteriorate any flame-retardant properties in their clothing. You can still invest in a baby laundry detergent if you’d like to, though, especially if your baby has any signs of skin irritation from your current choice.

When can I stop using baby detergent? 

Since baby-specific detergent is optional in most cases, you can stop using it whenever you'd like. Many families continue to use baby detergent as their children get older since they're great for sensitive skin types. However, you can always make the switch to an "adult" detergent with the similar ingredients when you feel ready.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Katrina Cossey has been a digital content producer and news and feature writer for more than six years. She has covered topics ranging from local and national news as well as writing and researching parenting content. Katrina is a parent herself, and used Dreft Stage 1 (view at Amazon) when her child was a newborn. She loved the gentle smell and its effectiveness for little ones with sensitive skin.

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  1. Laundry room and detergent safety. HealthyChildren.org.