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Babies have delicate skin that can react to the harsh chemical ingredients in some laundry detergents. Therefore, parents and caregivers should use special detergents for baby clothes.
Although some babies may not experience any symptoms of skin irritation from regular laundry detergent, choosing a baby safe detergent will limit the risk of a reaction.
This article will look at a variety of choices of laundry detergent designed especially for babies.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried or tested any of these products. All information in this article is research-based, and we do not intend to recommend certain products over others.
The following sections will look at some of the best baby detergents for newborns.
Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Liquid Detergent
The manufacturers formulated this detergent specifically for newborns. They call it “the #1 pediatrician-recommended baby detergent.” It has an average rating of 3.87 out of 5 stars on their website, a number that appears to have declined due to a recent change in the scent.
Otherwise, the reviews suggest that the detergent keeps “clothes a lot brighter and not so worn looking,” and a lot of users indicate that the detergent has been good for their baby’s sensitive skin.
The standard 100-ounce container is supposed to last for 64 full loads, and the manufacturers state that they designed it to work in both standard and high efficiency washing machines.
Other products by Dreft include their Stage 2 ‘Active Baby’ and ‘Family Friendly,’ which will eventually allow a person to do all the laundry together.
Amway Home SA8 Baby Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent with Softening Effect
The manufacturers state that this concentrated liquid laundry detergent is suitable for use from the first days of the baby’s life, provided that they are born full term.
It is effective at low temperatures (15°C, or 59°F), and the enzyme combination helps remove stubborn stains and ingrained dirt. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice program has also recognized it as compliant, meaning that it is safe for a person’s health and the environment.
For babies with particularly sensitive skin, several detergents may help prevent reactions or discomfort.
Babyganics 3x Laundry Detergent, Fragrance-Free
This laundry detergent is triple concentrated, meaning that a person can use less detergent per load. This helps one bottle last longer.
This product uses enzymes to remove specific proteins that cause stains. The claim is that these enzymes rinse completely so that nothing will remain in the clothing, making it ideal for babies with sensitive skin.
Seventh Generation Baby Laundry Detergent
This detergent contains enzymes specifically designed to break down the most common baby stains, such as milk and formula spills, spit-up, and feces.
This detergent is also an EPA Safer Choice certified product. The manufacturers formulated it to be gentle on a baby’s sensitive skin.
Babies with allergies may react to most standard detergents. It may help to choose a product that is hypoallergenic, meaning that it is suitable for anyone with allergies.
Ecos Hypoallergenic Baby Laundry Detergent, Free and Clear
The manufacturers specifically formulated this laundry detergent to be hypoallergenic. With a built-in fabric softener, it is also a good value option.
It contains plant-based ingredients and omits dyes, parabens, phosphates, and phthalates.
Honest Hypoallergenic Baby Laundry Detergent
Hypoallergenic and specially designed for sensitive skin, this laundry detergent utilizes four stain-fighting enzymes to treat tough stains.
This product has the National Eczema Association’s Seal of Acceptance, meaning that they have recognized it as having been created or intended for use by people with eczema or severe sensitive skin conditions.
Traditional detergents can contain chemicals that are harmful to health and the environment. Choosing a “green” baby detergent can reduce the environmental impact.
Ecover Zero Laundry Detergent — Fragrance-Free
This concentrated liquid laundry detergent uses no fragrance, dyes, or optical brighteners. It can also work well on a cold wash, allowing for lower energy use.
The eco-friendly detergent contains plant-based ingredients and is packaged in plastic made from sugarcane. The manufacturers follow the highest technical standards for defining biodegradability, whereby at least 70% of organic ingredients break down within 28 days.
This product is dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic. Reviews suggest that although it is fragrance-free, it still smells fresh, with one user saying that they “no longer sneeze and itch while folding” their laundry.
Friendly Organic Baby Laundry Detergent
This liquid laundry detergent is 100% water soluble and rinses out completely from the textile fibers during the wash cycle.
It comes in fragrance-free, lavender, or magnolia scents, with the fragrances derived from essential oils. The product is vegan and sports the Leaping Bunny logo, which means that it has not undergone testing in animals.
Affordable baby detergents are also available.
All Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent
At somewhere between 9.5 and 12 cents per load (depending on the pack size), this detergent is a budget option.
The lightly scented detergent is supposedly tough on stains but soft enough for babies. The manufacturers claim that the detergent has concentrated cleaning power thanks to the “Stainlifters” it contains. They formulated it without dyes that irritate sensitive skin.
This detergent is safe to use in any washing machine and at any water temperature.
With laundry pods often being brightly colored, they can be tempting for babes and children to ingest. Some manufacturers take this into account.
If a child ingests a laundry pod, seek immediate medical attention.
Dropps Baby Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent Pods, Unscented
This company manufactures a range of natural baby laundry detergent pods. These pods use a concentrated formula that is 100% dye-free, scent-free, and enzyme-free. They are non-irritating and gentle on even the most sensitive skin.
These laundry pods are designed for cloth diapers, swaddlers, burp cloths, and more. One benefit of pods is that they come predosed.
These products are on the higher end of the price scale, however, costing up to 38 cents per wash. The company also manufactures a small load version that will clean up to 10 lb per load, making it ideal if someone only wants to wash a baby’s clothes.
Descriptors such as dye-free, fragrance-free, and chemical-free are helpful when choosing a detergent for a baby, as their skin is more sensitive than that of adults.