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The Best Detergent for Cloth Diapers: Our Top 10 Unbiased List

Your baby deserves the best – no doubt, about that so when it comes to their cloth diapers detergent, premium quality is the way to go.  We got Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent is the best detergent for cloth diapers.

However, you may have opted to go the cloth diaper way either to contribute to environmental conservation or simply to save money. Regardless, you want to ensure the diapers are properly washed each time and for that, you will need the detergent for cloth diapers.

This review is going to cover everything you need to know before purchasing the detergent so you may want to stick around for more.

Comparison Table for the Best Detergent for Cloth Diapers

As we get ready to delve deeper into the topic, we want to first introduce you to the following comparison table. It will help you make an informed and knowledgeable choice.

Any Special Diaper Detergent Needed?

This is a common question and here’s our answer. Yes, you do need to use a detergent that is designed for cloth diapers because babies have sensitive skin that can easily react with some of the chemicals that are usually included in such products.

Most of the detergents marketed for cloth diapers are usually weak and seldom work to get cloth diapers as clean as you may want them to be.

As such, it would be wiser to pick a conventional laundry detergent designed for baby clothes off the shelf.

What You Need to Know When Shopping for Washable Diaper Detergent

The first thing you need to keep in mind while shopping for a cloth diaper detergent is that needs are different for different people based on washing conditions such as:

The Type of Washing Machine

If you are going to be using a washing machine to clean your cloth diapers, you want to consider whether it is energy efficient or high-energy. If it is a high-energy unit, you will need to get detergent for the same so that you get powerful cleaning while keeping suds at bay.

You also want to check if the detergent you intend to buy is formulated for top-loader or front-load machines.

Detergents That Are Synthetic vs. Plant-Based 

Is getting a detergent that works where you draw the line, or do you care about the environment as well? That is because these detergents can either be artificial and damaging to the environment or plant-based and eco-friendly.  Take your pick.

Your Baby’s Skin

Generally, babies have sensitive skin but if your child has a special skin condition like eczema, you want to be extra careful when picking a detergent for their cloth diapers.

It has to be fragrance-free and non-toxic so that it does not irritate their skin.

Your Budget

Your baby will be using diapers all day so you will be cleaning them at least twice a week. That means that you need to factor in the cost of the detergent you will be using.

If you’re on a limited budget, you will need to find something that is reasonably priced and works for you at the same time.

Do You Live In a “Hard Water” Area?

You want to determine whether you have hard or soft water before purchasing a detergent for your cloth diapers.

This is because some detergents will require you to use a water softener for maximum effectiveness. If you are wondering how to determine the state of your water, your local aquarium store will be more than willing to test it for you.

Unbiased Review of High-Quality Detergent for Cloth Diapers

We have rounded up some of the best-selling detergents for cloth diapers to take the guesswork out of the selection process simply because we know that the market is saturated with such products which may leave you confused and overwhelmed.

1. Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

 

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We begin with this detergent from Seventh Generation and the first thing we feel will capture your attention is that the brand is reputable. Aside from that, they make biodegradable products from plant-based ingredients, we are off to a good start, right?

Your baby needs diapers that will feel clean and cuddly against their skin and with this particular detergent, you will get just that because it features a triple-enzyme formula that eliminates even the toughest of stains without using synthetic brighteners, dyes, or fragrances.

As if that is not enough, the detergent is dermatologically tested so you can be sure it will be gentle on your baby’s skin.

The best part and probably what we loved most about this product is that it comes as a twin pack that can give you up to 106 loads of laundry. If that is not value for your money, then we don’t know what is.

2. Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder

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If you are looking for a laundry powder that will deliver deep cleaning at an affordable rate, this has to be it. You only need a scoop of the powder for a large laundry load. A single packet of the laundry powder will do about 100 loads.

Do not even get us started on the fact that every single grain of this powder penetrates the fibers of your cloth diapers to remove the toughest stains and get this – it won’t leave any residue on your fabric or washer. Moreover, it is suitable for different fabrics so you can use it on your clothes as well.

Another great thing about the detergent is that it is non-toxic and biodegradable meaning that it is safe for the environment as well as your little one’s skin. 

Oh, and it doesn’t contain any heavy fragrance that can negatively affect you or your baby. We love that about it.

3. Tide Free and Gentle 2 Pack Liquid Laundry Detergent 

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You will certainly be putting your baby’s safety first when you purchase this detergent because it is as safe as they come.

The fact that it is safe doesn’t mean that it is not powerful. The opposite is true. It is potent enough to remove any tough stains on your child’s cloth diapers and gentle enough not to irritate their sensitive skin.

It contains enough surfactants to deep clean and does not contain any fragrances or dyes making it the perfect choice for cleaning your baby’s diapers.

To put the last nail on the coffin, this detergent is dermatologist-recommended. That should tell you that you are buying the right product for your child if ever you were in doubt about it.

4. Rockin’ Green Natural Powder

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Cleaning cloth diapers involves using a lot of product depending on how soiled they are. Either way, you do not want to be constantly on the run trying to replenish your detergent because it ran out in the middle of a wash.

The thing about this detergent is that it comes in a big, bulky pack and you will only need a few tablespoons of it per laundry load. That means you get to save both time and money. How cool is that?

Anyway, it is highly concentrated as well to ensure that you get a powerful clean every time you use it. No, harmful chemicals, fragrances, dyes, or fillers. Who wouldn’t want that for their child?

You will also appreciate that this natural detergent works with soft to moderate water and is compatible with any kind of washing machine. We love that you never have to worry about nasty buildings or residue.

5. Rockin’ Green Dirty Diaper Platinum Series Laundry Detergent

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We understand that you are in the market for the best detergent for cloth diapers and you have to consider this one because it is exclusively formulated for that. It is tough on stains and gentle on your baby’s bum.

This detergent is cruelty-free and vegan-friendly and does not contain harmful chemicals or dyes so if you are the kind of person that cares for the environment, you may want to consider getting it.

You would be tempted to think that because it doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, that this detergent will not as be effective when it comes to removing stains. Nothing could be further from the truth! The detergent contains a broad-spectrum enzyme combination that removes stains and odors from fabric.

Moving away from that, the detergent is ideal for both front-load and top-load washing machines. Nevertheless, what we loved most about it is that it does not come with an unpleasant chemical smell.

It also protects the fiber of your cloth diapers and this guarantees their longevity.

6. Cadie RLR Powder Laundry Detergent

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If you are looking for a cloth diaper detergent that will work like magic, you will not regret adding this one to your laundry routine. It effortlessly removes poop and pee stains as well as other stubborn ones like grease and coffee.

The detergent is also ideal for both white and colored clothes. It will turn colored clothes brighter and white ones whiter. To add to that, it restores worn, musty clothes and eliminates the dinginess of soiled diapers.

Another great thing about this detergent is that it is highly concentrated. With just a single packet, you get to soften hard water and remove tough stains from both delicate and regular fabrics. It is septic-safe as well and will not clog your washing machine or pipes.

You’d think that that’s enough for a single detergent to offer but there is more. It is 100% safe making it the perfect cleaning agent for a baby’s delicate skin.

7. Gain Liquid Detergent

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Cleaning cloth diapers sounds like a hassle, and it usually is, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Even with soft water, this detergent will work to deep clean your cloth diapers without leaving any residue.

Moreover, it is color-safe meaning that it is ideal for all your laundry needs. That means you won’t have to spend extra money buying separate detergents for different clothes.

This liquid detergent does a great job when it comes to keeping suds away even in soft water and sud-sensitive machines. It is also excellent at removing stubborn pee and poop stains.

Therefore, if you want a detergent that will work well with soft water and leave your cloth diapers smelling fresh and clean at an affordable rate, this has to be it.

8. Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Ultra Power Plus

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This is yet another detergent from the Seventh Generation stable and just like the other one, it is plant-based meaning that it is environmentally friendly.

That does not mean that it is not potent either because this product is highly effective when it comes to cleaning dirty diapers and that is because it contains triple enzymes that effortlessly eliminate tough stains.

Another thing we noticed about the detergent is that it is free of artificial fragrances, optical brighteners, and dyes. You can, therefore, rest assured that there will be no irritation to your baby’s skin.

Now, you may have to wash your cloth diapers in hot water and use more detergent for the main wash as well as soften your water if it is hard. However, we think that is a small price to pay seeing as you will end up with clean and fresh-smelling diapers.

9. Molly’s Suds Unscented Detergent Powder

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One thing we can tell you about this washing powder from Molly’s is that it is highly-concentrated and if you don’t know what that means for you, it’s that you get to save a significant amount of money because you will not be using too much of it to achieve the results you desire.

If you are the kind of person that doesn’t do well with strong scents, you will love this detergent because it is unscented but that is just the tip of the iceberg.

This washing powder is powerful enough to eliminate stains from your diapers only that you will need to pretreat them before the main wash. The detergent is ideal for high-efficiency washing machines and deep cleans garments without producing a lot of suds.

What we found most appealing about the detergent though is that it is formulated with natural ingredients meaning that it is eco-friendly. Whether your child has eczema or any other sensitivities, this detergent will work well for them.

10. Dreft Purtouch Liquid Laundry Detergent

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Now, the thing about this detergent is that it has been tried and tested by mothers all over the world and proven powerful on fabric yet gentle on your baby’s skin.

As a brand, Dreft has a product for each childhood stage. It is hypoallergenic as well hence safe for you and your child. Is there more? Certainly! With this detergent, you do not have to worry about optical brighteners, phosphates, or dyes. That makes it ideal for the first wash and any other wash after that.

Since it is in liquid form, the detergent easily combines with water to give you a powerful clean but what we loved most about it is that it works with all washing machines whether front or top load.

How to Choose a Cloth Diaper Detergent

All detergents have the same job but what makes the best laundry detergent for cloth diapers? Well, you would have to consider several crucial factors before purchasing to ensure that you get the best deal.

Enzyme Power

You need to pick a detergent with powerful enzymes if you will be dealing with tough stains because the enzymes are the ones that break down stains and increase the cleaning power of a particular detergent.

That said; there has always been a debate about enzymes and their tendency to irritate sensitive skin. As such, you want to go through reviews to find out whether the detergent you want to buy is likely to irritate your baby’s skin.

Detergent Scent

A detergent with a strong scent may be appealing to you, but what does it do for your little one? It is likely to irritate their skin as well as their respiratory system.

To that effect, you will be better off with a detergent with a mild scent or none at all.

Surfactant Concentration

It is important to read the ingredient list of the detergent you want to buy and as you do so, you want to ensure that the one you pick features surfactants among the first ingredients.

Why? Because they are responsible for softening and releasing dirt from fabrics. Needless to say, the surfactants in your detergent need to be high in concentration if you are to adequately eliminate poop stains out of your cloth diapers.

Frequently Asked Questions on Cloth Diaper Detergents

You probably have a question or two when it comes to the best cloth diaper detergent. Not to worry, we have tackled some commonly asked questions about the same to give you a clearer insight.

Which is better for cloth diapers? Liquid or powder detergent?

We would say liquid is better because most liquid detergents contain additives that make them stay together. While powder detergent is generally cheaper and comes in eco-friendly packaging, it usually doesn’t dissolve well in water.

Can I wash cloth diapers with regular detergent?

Yes, you can but it is not advisable. Regular detergent usually contains additives that can negatively react with your baby’s skin especially if not rinsed well.

What is the best cleansing agent for cloth diapers?

Well, this doesn’t have to do much with the brand, but rather the qualities. A good detergent for cloth diapers should be powerful yet mild as well as safe for the environment and your baby’s skin.

Is it Okay to Use Homemade Laundry Detergent?

Homemade detergent is an eco-friendly and budget-friendly option but the sad news is that it is not recommendable.

How so?

You see, the problem is that it is not even a detergent but a soap that is not suitable for laundry or cloth diapers.

Such a detergent usually builds up and traps particles and bacteria in the fibers of your cloth diapers meaning they will not be adequately cleaned.

Soap residue can also cause a blockage in your washing machine and cause irreparable damage over time. If you opt for homemade detergent because you are avoiding chemicals, you will be pleased to learn that there are many eco-friendly and safe options in the market.

What to Avoid

As you embark on the journey to picking the most suitable detergent for your cloth diapers, there are some of the things you need to avoid.

Let us look at them, shall we?

Coconut-oil-based surfactants– If the ingredient list of the detergent you want to buy contains coconut oil, you want to avoid it because such a detergent is likely to accumulate on fabric and cause repelling.

Fabric softener-Any detergent that contains fabric softener will make your diapers lose absorbency ultimately leading to leakage and wicking.

Soap-based detergent: Soap in your detergent can cause residue and films on your diapers and lead to repelling in the end.

Bleach-Bleach should only be used sparingly for example for cleaning second-hand diapers. It should never be used on hard water either.

Pods– Since we are talking about kids here, it is generally safe to avoid laundry pods as the risk of accidental ingestion is higher.

Our Top Pick

After analyzing all the products on our list, we have settled on the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent as our top pick.

From the Seventh Generation stable, which we must mention is a reputable brand when it comes to producing high-quality detergents for cloth diapers, this particular detergent is made from plant-based ingredients that are not only safe for your baby’s delicate skin but the environment as well.

The detergent is quite powerful as well seeing as it comes with a triple-enzyme formula that works to remove even the toughest of stains easily.

Another thing we found appealing about it is that it is dermatologically tested to be safe and that it comes as a double-pack to give you value for money.

Final Thoughts

Picking a detergent is one thing but picking the best detergent for cloth diapers is another ball game altogether.

You have to think about your little one’s delicate skin as well as other things like how powerful the detergent is because it needs to clean the diapers properly.

We have reviewed some of the top-rated options in the market as well as provided a buying guide. With that, it shouldn’t be so hard to make the right choice, wouldn’t you agree?

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