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For being so tiny, babies seem to go through endless rounds of laundry. The idea of germs or stains anywhere near the baby is enough to send most new parents into a panic. Enter specially formulated baby detergent. The best baby laundry detergents contain cleaning power while protecting your baby’s skin.
All baby detergents make similar claims about avoiding toxic chemicals. But which is the best baby laundry detergent for you?
Let’s take a look at the top ten baby laundry detergents on the market and how to find them.
3 Things to Know When Shopping for the Best Baby Laundry Detergent
Don’t be overwhelmed by the dozens of laundry detergent options available for your child’s clothes. There are only a few major mistakes you can make. Here are a few tips to remember when shopping for a baby laundry detergents:
Baby Laundry Detergent Is Not a Marketing Ploy
Friends or relatives may debate the need for a laundry detergent made specifically for babies. Could your baby survive using a regular laundry detergent? Yes, probably so.
It is important to remember, however, that your baby’s skin is very different from your own. Less dense and prone to absorb any substance it touches, your little one has extremely delicate skin.
Watch For Reactions
This is why babies break out into rashes and experience eczema more often than older children and adults.
Washing everyone’s laundry together could save you a few dollars, but possibly at the cost of your child’s health. Investing in a baby laundry detergent helps you and your baby avoid itchy, sleepless nights.
Even after choosing baby laundry detergent, keep an eye on your baby’s skin for at least a month after using a new detergent. Not every reaction happens right away. Your child’s skin might react after a buildup of contact with an allergen.
If you suspect your child has an allergy, see a doctor and stop using the detergent right away.
Say “No” to These Chemical Add-Ons
There are chemicals on the market that should never touch a baby’s skin. Adults and older children have the benefit of a developed immune system, but babies need years to develop resistance to certain toxins and chemicals.
Here is a list of ingredients and features to avoid in a baby laundry detergent:
- Color Brightening
- Chemicals used to brighten colors in clothes can leave clothes looking newer, but linger in clothes over time. This means the baby’s skin is repeatedly exposed to unnecessary chemicals.
- Adding the synthetic smell of “Winter’s Morning” to your baby clothes does not make them cleaner.
- Look for ‘fragrance-free’ baby detergents when shopping. Unscented may mean that detergent includes fragrances, but the smell is masked.
- Fabric Softener
- Similar to color brightening, fabric softeners include chemicals that can linger. Choose the recommended laundry settings on the clothing label instead to maintain softness.
Liquid vs Powder
The choice between liquid and powder laundry detergent is mostly personal preference. Many shoppers choose liquid over powder.
This is probably because powder laundry detergent can create a mess. The scoop amid a pile of dust appears old fashioned next to a sleek bottle of plant-based goodness.
But powdered laundry soap is often much cheaper than liquid. When shopping on a budget, consider investing in a large container of powdered detergent to get more for your money.
Top Ten Baby Laundry Detergents
There is no perfect laundry detergent on the market. If you can avoid harsh chemicals and help the environment, your purchase is a win. These ten baby laundry detergents are ranked according to which ones are safest for your baby and offer the most value.
What laundry detergent is best for babies? Let’s take a closer look at your options.
The Babyganics 3X Laundry Detergent is a plant-based, triple concentrated formula. It claims to be non-allergenic and is recommended by pediatricians. This detergent is number one on our list because it is fragrance-free, environmentally friendly and still fights stains.
The sulfate-free formula is safe for cloth diapers and dermatologist tested. Since the detergent is a concentrate you can use far less for each load making the product last longer. It is easy to find in stores at a competitive price.
The only change we would make is adding a pump to the top of the bottle. The tiny cap, however, helps ensure you don’t use more than the recommended amount of product. It’s not a perfect solution, but a great way to maximize the benefit of a concentrated product.
Created by doctors, Puracy is a laundry detergent for all ages. The formula included a mineral based odor remover to gently refresh fabrics.
Puracy offers the best value at a concentration of 10 times other detergents. The heavy concentration means a smaller container for storage and less packaging waste. Tired of the sticky residue on your liquid detergent cap? The pump on the bottle eliminates messiness and waste.
If you’ve ever used cloth diapers, you understand for the need for an industrial strength detergent for babies. Charlie’s Soap is a powdered fragrance-free laundry detergent known for removing tough odors and stains.
One major benefit offered by Charlie’s is the ability to remove chemical residue left behind from other detergents. The soap also cleans the inside drum of the washing machine.
It is highly concentrated making its initial high price point worth the expense. A 43-ounce container can wash 100 full loads of clothes. The packaging is not very sturdy, but the powder can easily be transferred to a reusable container.
Whole Foods offers a store brand of all natural products called 365. The 365 Everyday Baby Detergent is a fragrance and chemical-free formula.
Because the formula is so gentle, tougher stains like pee or vomit might require pretreating. According to Whole Foods Market, this product does not include any products that present environmental or safety concerns.
The formula is plant-based and heavily concentrated. A 100-ounce bottle offers 100 loads. The only downside is the inefficient packaging. Liquid laundry containers are often heavy and the caps make a mess unless the cap is thoroughly rinsed after each use.
Mrs. Meyers cleaning products are best known for being plant-based with great scents. The brand’s baby detergent is no exception.
Mrs. Meyers uses essential oils to add fragrances to products. This means no synthetic chemicals are there to irritate skin. The product is dermatologist tested to prove this claim.
The large bottle is the only setback to Mrs. Meyers Baby. The narrow cap could be prone to product buildup over time. If this happens, toss the cap in with a load of laundry to get it cleaned without wasting product.
Baby Ecos is a plant-based, biodegradable laundry detergent. While the label does not use the specific term “fragrance-free,” the product description promises no fragrances are used.
This detergent is among the more budget-friendly options for plant-based detergents. The product is a result of a partnership between Disney and Earth Friendly.
The only disadvantage to the Baby Eco Laundry Detergent is the use of a mild fabric softener. Without this unneeded add-on, this product would be a sure win.
A pricier option on the market, Attitude Little Ones is a fragrance-free laundry detergent that avoids harsh chemicals. The formula is extra gentle, which lessens the chance of contact dermatitis or skin irritations. They make some of the best natural laundry detergent for babies- because you can find hypoallergenic and night-formula products in this line also.
The Eco-Friendly certification seems unusual given the bottle only offers 35 loads. If you can spare the expense, it makes sense to buy more than one bottle to get through more than a few weeks of washing.
Dr. Bronner’s offers a vegan, unscented soap that’s useful for both baby baths and laundry. The liquid castile soap contains both coconut and olive oils.
Use it to clean around the house, do laundry, or make your own bubble bath. One major disadvantage to this all-in-one soap is the inability to measure the soap when doing laundry.
There is no cap available which means you’ll need some trial and error when determining how much soap to use.
Dreft is a popular baby detergent and probably the easiest brand to find in stores. The brand offers Dreft in a version for newborns and crawling babies. A third plant-based option is available for environmentally conscious shoppers.
The version for active babies promises to clean 99 percent of food stains from clothes. The biggest disadvantage of using Dreft is that there isn’t a fragrance-free version available.
Woolite is a brand known for laundry formulas for delicate clothes. The product is hypoallergenic, free of harsh chemicals, enzymes, dyes, and artificial brighteners.
The product does include a light fragrance making it less than ideal for newborns.