The 6 Best Detergents for Cloth Diapers of 2019

Keep your little one's diapers fresh at all times

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Rockin' Green Platinum Series at Amazon

“Enzymes will keep your cloth soft without allowing build-up.”

Best Budget: Tide Original HE Turbo Powder Laundry Detergent at Amazon

“It’s a versatile cleaner, functioning well in both hard and soft water.”

Best Natural: Allen’s Naturally Liquid Soap Laundry Detergent at Amazon

“Free from dyes, perfumes, SLS and SLES, and whiteners.”

Best for Hard Water: Tide Ultra Stain Release at Amazon

“Strips build up while keeping cloth diapers clean and stain free.”

Best for Soft Water: Gain Ultra Powder at Amazon

“Low-sudsing formulation that gives a great clean.”

Best fro Stripping: RLR Laundry Treatment at Amazon

“Users rave that it works better than bleach to strip build up.”

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Rockin' Green Platinum Series Dirty Diaper Powdered Laundry Detergent

Rockin’ Green’s Dirty Diaper laundry detergent is formulated for maximum cleaning power while still steering clear of harsh toxins or chemicals found in many laundry detergents. That means a clean, comfortable wear for baby, which undoubtedly leads to a happy mama. Just one small scoop of Rockin’ Green can easily clean an entire load of laundry, including, of course, heavily soiled cloth diapers.

And it’s safe too, with tons of enzymes that keep your cloth soft without allowing a build-up of mineral deposits or leftover detergent. It’s a complete clean every time.

Check out more of our favorite baby laundry detergents.

Best Budget: Tide Original HE Turbo Powder Laundry Detergent

We’re not exactly sure what it is about this stuff, but Tide Original Powder detergent has tons of cloth diaper devotees swearing that it’s the best detergent out there for cleaning cloth diapers. Maybe it’s because it’s a versatile cleaner, functioning well in both hard water (water that has a high concentration of dissolved minerals) and soft water (water that has a low concentration of dissolved minerals and has been treated with sodium), and effectively prevents build-up, too.

If you want a reliable clean every time, with that iconic Tide fresh smell, Tide Original Powder is a great option for you. An added bonus: It costs several cents less per load than many of the competing brands.

Best Natural: Allen’s Naturally Liquid Soap Laundry Detergent

Let’s face it; there’s a good chance you’re using cloth diapers on your baby because you want to avoid exposure to potentially harmful toxins and chemicals. So why would you use a harsh detergent to clean those diapers? Not only could it negate your careful use of cloth, but it could cause baby’s sensitive skin to break into a rash.

If you’re in search of the best natural detergent for cloth diapers, our recommendation is Allen’s Naturally. This natural detergent is free from dyes, perfumes, SLS and SLES, brighteners, and whiteners, and it’s effective for use in both regular and HE machines.

If your little one is experiencing rashes, take a look at the best diaper rash creams available today.

Best for Hard Water: Tide Ultra Stain Release FREE Liquid Laundry Detergent

If you’ve got hard water, which most of the developed world does these days, you could face special challenges when it comes to cleaning your baby’s cloth diapers. Why? Because over time, mineral deposits build up on the fabric and create a barrier, which can lead to leaky, less-than-clean diapers. So if you’ve got hard water, you’ll need to use Tide Ultra Stain Release Free. This formula effectively strips build up while keeping cloth diapers clean and stain free, every time.

Best for Soft Water: Gain Ultra Powder

If you live just about anywhere in the US, you’ve probably got hard water in your home. But if you’re one of the few that doesn’t, or your home has a water softening system installed, you may in fact be washing clothes in soft water. That’s great news for your laundry, since your clothes will naturally come out cleaner, brighter, and with fewer mineral deposits.

But, soft water can contribute to excess suds, which can in turn cause their own problematic build-up on your clothing. The best way to avoid this is to use the right detergent. Our pick? Gain. It’s a low-sudsing formulation that gives a great clean without making tons of bubbles. Just be sure to remember that it’s important to use the HE formulation if you’ve got a high-efficiency washing machine.

Best for Stripping: RLR Laundry Treatment

When cloth diapers get heavily built up over time, they can become prone to leaks. That’s because mineral deposits and other yucky things form an invisible barrier on the fabric. When this happens, you’ll need to “strip” the diapers of this excess build up. The best detergent for stripping cloth diapers in our opinion is RLR laundry treatment. Users rave that it works better than bleach to strip build up and nasty odors.

Now that your laundry detergent game is strong, take a peek at some of the best cloth diapers you can buy.

Our Process


Our writers spent 1 hours researching the best detergents for cloth diapers on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 12 different cloth diapers to buy overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers, read 5 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 3 of the detergents themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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