Does your baby need their own laundry detergent?My answer may surprise you: No… But you probably need to change the detergent that you use. Unless you are allergic to your baby (seriously, it’s happened before) then chances are that your baby will spend much of his time sitting against your clothes. Whether riding around in his baby carrier or just getting some good ol’ cuddle time on the couch, your baby is going to come into contact with your clothes. And often. This is why when parents tell me they do two separate loads of washing with different detergents (one for their baby’s clothes and one for their own) it makes absolutely no sense to me. Your baby is going to come into contact with the detergent you use whether you like it or not. And if the detergent you are using on your clothes contains harmful ingredients then your baby is going to experience it as if he is wearing it. While I agree that you should separate whites from colors, there is no real need to do an “adult wash” and a “baby wash”. I mean, as a parent with a baby in the house do you really need more work to do? I mean… you could train your baby to do their own washing… Nah, that would never work. Looks like it’s all on you!
What makes a good laundry detergent for babies?For the majority of parents, for a laundry detergent to be right for their baby it has to tick the following three boxes:
1. Gentle on your babies skinThere is nothing worse than triggering your babies skin allergies, resulting in your little one looking like he has been been in a naked paintball fight – painful red splotches. Everywhere. It is surprisingly common for infants to suffer from skin allergies, eczma or just have super sensitive skin. If you are nodding along to this then you will no doubt be aware that using the wrong laundry detergent can see your babyI’ve been there and it sucked. My baby used to break out in hives (ugly red sores). Simply swapping over to Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder was all it took to prevent the outbreak from ever happening again. Generally speaking, the more natural your laundry detergent, the less chance of triggering your babies allergies.
2. Natural and safeSo while shopping for baby detergent you come across the following on the label of a bottle:
3. Remove stainsOkay, this may seem like an obvious one but after testing a whole bunch of different detergents and powders it surprised me just how horrible some brands were at removing stains. I mean seriously, laundry detergent? You have one job to do. Please do it properly. Whether you like it or not, your babies clothes are going to get covered in spaghetti sauce, formula, dribble. That’s before you go into the gross stuff like diaper leaks and poop explosions. These stains are tough, stubborn and would likely beat you up in a dark ally. While there will be occasions when you need to pre-soak when your baby does a surprise slob attack on his clothes but for the most part a good detergent will reduce the amount that you need to spot treat clothes. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if your detergent is the most natural, skin friendly detergent on the planet. If it doesn’t clean, it’s useless.So it turns out that a good laundry detergent for babies is also a good laundry detergent for adults. No more excuses, wash those clothes together! If you use disposable diapers you can skip the next point. And finally, one more thing your laundry detergent needs to be before you can officially call it perfect for your baby.
4. Cloth diaper safeThe whole purpose of cloth diapers is to absorb whatever your baby’s undercarriage throws at it. Unfortunately some laundry detergents actually build up on cloth diapers, which makes your cloth diapers about as absorbent as tinfoil. Avoiding detergents with oils will go a long way in preventing this problem from ever occurring. Fortunately, all my detergent recommendations below are perfectly safe and effective choices for cleaning cloth diapers.
The best laundry detergents for babies (and you)Here are the best detergents for babies and families that I have found to have no harmful chemicals and really get the job done when it comes to getting stains and smells out of your clothes.
Charlies Soap Laundry Powder
- ECO-FRIENDLY CLEANING POWER: Concentrated Laundry Powder works on all your laundry, from high-tech fabrics to delicates,...
- HYPOALLERGENIC: Non-toxic washing soda and powerful, natural ingredients work together to ring on your clothes (when...
- CLOTH DIAPER FRIENDLY: This detergent is safe to use on baby fabrics, effectively deep cleaning cloth diapers and other...
Charlie’s soap laundry power ingredientsNATURAL MINERAL INGREDIENTS: Sodium carbonate, sodium metasilicate (rinse aid formed by heating a mixture of sand and sodium carbonate). BIODEGRADABLE INGREDIENTS: “C12-15, Pareth-2” (vegetable and mineral sourced surfactants)
Biokleen Laundry Liquid Free & Clear
- Cleans tough stains and odors and leaves no residue or harsh scent
- 64 ounce bottle is truly 3x concentrated and equal to 128 HE Loads/64 Standard Loads
- Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, Plant-Based, No Artificial Fragrance, Colors or Preservatives
Biokleen laundry liquid ingredientsWater (filtered), Laureth 7 (plant based surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (plant based surfactant), Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (plant based surfactant), Lauramine Oxide (plant based surfactant), Glycerin (vegetable), Sodium Chloride, Sodium Carboxymethyl Inulin (plant based chelant), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Seed Extract, C10-16 Alcohols (plant based)
Planet 2X Ultra Laundry Detergent
- Works in both standard and high-efficiency (HE) washers
- Hypoallergenic - suitable for people with chemical sensitivities and babies
- Free & Clear formula - no added fragrances, dyes or synthetic preservatives
Planet 2x ultra laundry ingredientsWater (carrier). Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauramine Oxide (plant-based cleaning agents). Sodium Chloride (mineral viscosity adjuster). Sodium Bicarbonate (mineral alkalinity adjuster). C10-16 Pareth-1, Sodium Sulfate (incidental ingredients).
Eco-Me Laundry Detergent
- 2 X CONCENTRATED: This powerful natural conentrated formula is tough on stains and dirt. 64 Loads per bottle made for...
- PERFECT FOR SENSITIVE SKIN: Made Fragrance Free to be gentle on sensitive skin and noses. Ideal for sheets, everyday...
- CLEAN, SAFE & EFFECTIVE FORMULA: This Eco-Friendly formula is made from plant extracts and natural botanicals. All of...
Eco-me laundry ingredientsWater, coco glucoside (vegetable-derived soap), decyl glucoside (coconut-derived soap), caprylyl capryl glucoside (plant-derived solubilizer), xanthan gum, natural plant essential oils, potassium sorbate (food-grade preservative), leuconostoc (radish root antimicrobial), glyceryl caprylate caprate (vegetable-derived thickener.
Zum Clean Laundry Soap
- Not a Laundry Detergent: Plant-based liquid laundry soap to freshen your clothes, sheets, towels, and more
- Sweet Orange: Sweet orange zest and citrus to brighten up your day
- Simple Ingredients: Made with essential oils, coconut oil, baking soda, and vegetable glycerin
Zum clean laundry soap ingredientsSodium cocoate (saponifed 100% coconut oil), sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), essential oils and glycerin (vegetable).
Method Concentrated Laundry Detergent – Free & Clear
- Contains (4) 53.5 ounce bottles of concentrated, high efficiency laundry detergent
- Naturally derived, concentrated laundry soap.
- Keeps colors bright and whites white.
Method 8x laundry detergent ingredientsCoco/Soy Methyl Ester + Sulfonate/Ethoxylate (Plant or Mineral Origin), Lauryl + Oleoyl Alcohol Ethoxylates (Plant or Mineral Origin), Glycerin (Plant or Mineral Origin), Sodium Alkane Sulfonate, PEG 300 Monooctyl Ether (Plant or Mineral Origin), Decyl Glucoside (Plant or Mineral Origin), Ethyl Levulinate Glycerol Ketal (Plant or Mineral Origin), Carboxymethylinulin (Plant or Mineral Origin), Mipa-Lactate (Plant or Mineral Origin), Bio-1,3-Propanediol (Plant or Mineral Origin), Cellulase (Plant or Mineral Origin), Protease (Plant or Mineral Origin), Amylase (Plant or Mineral Origin), Mannanase (Plant or Mineral Origin), Lipase (Plant or Mineral Origin), Ethanol, Purified Water, Carboxylate Polymer, Distyrylbiphenolsulfonate.
Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods
- Contains 1 - 60-load pouch of Grab Green Natural 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods, Fragrance Free, Free & Clear of ALL...
- CONVENIENT, EASY TO USE VELCRO CLOSURE: No more hassling with frustrating zip closures.
- 3 in 1 SAVES YOU TIME & MONEY— WITHOUT harsh chemicals: A superior detergent, remarkable stain remover & beautiful...
Grab green detergent pod ingredientsSodium carbonate, sodium carbonate peroxide, sodium citrate, sodium silicate, c10-16 alkyl benzenesulfonic acid sodium salt, hydrated silica, c9-11 pareth – 6, c10-16 pareth-1, subtilsin enzyme blend, amylase enzyme blend, sodium sulfate, polyvinyl alcohol, diamyl sodium sulfosuccinate.
What about Dreft and other baby detergents?Now you may have noticed that this top 7 list does not include many of the big named “baby safe” brands that are commonly advertised. I tried to keep the list as natural as possible and these products are simply not up to scratch. Let’s take a closer look at the more popular of these baby laundry detergents and find out exactly why they didn’t make the cut.
Dreft Baby Liquid DetergentPossibly the worst on this list. Not only is it expensive but for the price you don’t get a whole lot of stain removing power While it claims to be gentle on babies, the only thing it is gentle on is stains (it sucks on diapers). It’s heavily perfumed, it commonly triggers baby allergies. And then there is those questionable ingredients.
Babyganics 3X Baby Laundry Detergent
- Formulated without: Optical brighteners, 1,4 dioxane, chlorine, phthalates, phosphates, sulfates, fragrances or dyes
- Formulated with: Plant derived ingredients
- Triple concentrated detergent, HE compatible
Seventh Generation Baby
- Concentrated baby laundry detergent made to target tough baby stains.
- Provides a powerful clean with 97% plant-based ingredients
- USDA Certified Biobased Product 95%