8 Best Laundry Detergents for Baby Clothes

Avoid Fragrances and Dyes on Baby's Sensitive Skin

Babies may be small but they produce a lot of dirty laundry. Many new parents are surprised at how it becomes a big part of daily life with messy newborns and toddlers. Head to any grocery store aisle and you'll see laundry detergents specifically marketed for baby laundry. Which should you choose to deal with all the stains?

A baby's skin is much more sensitive than an adult's, which is why it's important to look for a gentle detergent. Ideally, you want something that is fragrance- and dye-free and one that doesn't contain brighteners. Any of these chemicals can cause irritation or allergies in your little one. An all-natural detergent is a perfect choice.

Let's look at eight detergents you can count on for clean baby clothes that offer stain-fighting power but are gentle at the same time.

Free of dyes and fragrances, this concentrated baby formula comes from one of the top brands focused on all-natural cleaning products. Seventh Generation was one of the leaders in this movement and their products work great and are easy to find.

Seventh Generation boasts plant-derived cleaning agents, soil dispersant, and non-animal derived enzymes. It is both non-toxic and biodegradable, as well as hypoallergenic. You'll also enjoy the fact that it's free of phosphates and optical brighteners, not tested on animals, and is kosher-certified.

As for parent endorsements, this is one of the best. Many who have found other detergents irritating baby's skin say that everything cleared up once they made the switch.

Charlie's Soap gained a quick following after its initial release on the market and it may soon become your favorite. It is actually one of the top-rated detergents for washing cloth diapers and it really will take on any stain with full force.

This powdered detergent is also safe for HE washers. The company recommends that you use their soap for everything you wash in order to avoid build-up in your washer from commercial detergents. Many consumers also say that it leaves clothes super clean and helps them last longer. 

If fragrance is an issue in your house, don't be alarmed by the smell of Charlie's at first. People who use it say that the smell doesn't follow through, so your clean laundry will be fragrance-free.

A number of new parents have found Molly's Suds to be a perfect choice for their family. It's an eco-friendly product that is formulated specifically for sensitive skin, so it's a good choice for baby and everyone else. 

Molly's is available in powder and liquid detergents. If you have hard water, going with the powder is possibly the best choice you can make in the laundry room.

The fragrance is from an organic peppermint essential oil that washes out. The formula contains only five ingredients, none of which are those harsh chemicals we worry so much about. It is also safe for HE machines as well as septic systems.

If you prefer the peace of mind that comes with a USDA Certified Organic product, GreenShield is an excellent choice. The baby formula is fragrance-free, contains no dyes, and is hypoallergenic.

This is another detergent that is highly recommended for cloth diapers and it's reportedly really good at removing stains and grease. The ingredient list is simple and completely organic. It will work in any washing machine and, overall, it's a great product for your home and the environment.

This brand of detergent has been around forever and claims to be the #1 choice of pediatricians. Among busy moms and dads in the real world, it's also a top pick that is able to handle any baby mess.

Dreft claims to be formulated especially for baby laundry, with the ability to remove common stains such as spit-up and urine. The company also claims that it rinses away completely and leaves no residue.

Dreft offers a number of detergent formulas, two of which are for specific baby stages. It is not entirely plant-based but is generally considered a good buy that is safe for babies and it's relatively easy to find.

Dermatologist tested to be safe for baby, it's concentrated, effective and HE compatible.

No solvents, petroleum distillates, bleach, phosphates and a near neutral pH that makes it safe for skin contact, you'll get 64 oz. for roughly $15.

However, one thing to consider: this is a product that is rich in fragrance, even though they are natural fragrances. If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to scent, this might not be the best choice for your baby laundry.

All Free & Clear is a good detergent that can take care of your entire family's laundry and it's safe for babies. It is recommended by allergists and dermatologists for sensitive skin and is formulated just like its sibling detergent, but free of dyes, perfumes, and preservatives.

This is a less expensive alternative to many others on the market. It's also readily available at many stores, so you shouldn't have any problems keeping it in stock. If you're looking for peace of mind at an affordable price that doesn't have you driving around town, it's an excellent choice.

Purex is another big name in the laundry detergent business and they offer a formula specifically for babies. It is hypoallergenic and claims to be extra gentle for a baby's skin.

While it does have a light fragrance, a number of families with sensitive skin say that it's one of the best and they use it well beyond the baby years. Parents can also feel a little better because Purex states that their product will not diminish the flame retardancy on baby sleepwear.

Many parents review this as a fantastic choice for households with a tight budget. The only complaint parents seem to have is that this version of Purex is not widely available.