11 Best Detergents For Cloth Diapers To Stay Clean And Fresh In 2024

Baby cloth diapers need to be cleaned and sanitized regularly to ensure your baby’s hygiene isn’t compromised. If hard water makes it difficult to clean, here’s our list of the best detergents for cloth diapers to make your work easier. These tried-and-tested detergents trusted by moms and dads help clean your baby’s cloth diapers thoroughly, leaving them soft and fresh. They ensure squeaky clean cloth diapers for your baby after each wash and fight tough stains easily. Read on to choose a suitable detergent from the following detergent recommendations and make cloth diapering an easy process.

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11 Best Detergents For Cloth Diapers

1. Best Hypoallergenic: Dreft Stage 2 Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap

4.7

The baby liquid laundry detergent soap from the Dreft store has a natural, newborn-centric liquid formulation that leaves no harsh effects on the tender skin of infants using cloth diapers. Combined in a pack of two, this cloth diaper detergent can provide cleaning for up to 64 loads. Watch this review video for more information about the cloth diaper safe detergent.

Product Dimensions: 3.66 x 6.32 x 9.91 inches | Weight: 3.75 Pounds

Pros

  • Safe to use and specially formulated for active infants
  • Hypoallergenic ingredients make it safe for sensitive skin
  • Presence of sodium citrate turns hard water softer
  • Baby food stain removal by up to 99%
  • Helps remove grass stains
  • Compatible with high efficiency (HE) and standard washers

Cons

  • Not cruelty-free
  • Shifting from Stage 1 to 2 cleaning may turn out harsh for sensitive skin
  • May have an unpleasant odor

2. Best For Stubborn Stains: OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Baby Stain Soaker

The OxiClean baby stain soaker for cloth diapers, tested and trusted by parents, has a perfume-free and dye-free formulation. Packed in a 3lb weight capacity, it is available in crystal form and requires dissolution in water before using. One of the most gentle detergents for cloth diaper washing, it firmly removes stubborn stains from baby cloth diapers without being harsh and leaves them fresh, clean, and new. This video helps you know more about the inexpensive detergent.

Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 7.2 x 4.9 inches | Weight: 3.2 Pounds

Pros

  • Baby-safe, chlorine-free formulation
  • Helpful in cleaning all baby clothes, accessories, and bedding
  • Strong, fiber-deep cleaning
  • Requires six hours of soaking for effective cleaning

Cons

  • Detergent crystals may not dissolve thoroughly in hard water
  • May find difficulty cleaning mature stains

protip_icon Quick tip
When getting rid of stool from the diaper, use a handheld bidet spray to remove most of the solid parts from the diaper without touching it.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

With over 745 reviews on Amazon, it's clear that many people love this product.

3. Best Cruelty-Free: Babyganics 3X Baby Laundry Detergent

If you’re looking for efficient stain-removing detergents for cloth diapers, you can give this doctor-approved detergent a try. The fragrance-free and long-lasting concentrated detergent for cloth diapers from Babyganics is dermatologically tested and comes in a 3.75lb bottle as a liquid cleaner. Its sulfur-free formulation makes this mom-approved detergent safe for baby cloth cleaning. The absence of optical brighteners, chlorine, phosphates, and other toxins makes it soft on the cloth and your baby’s sensitive skin.

Product Dimensions: 7.25 x 5.5 x 14.75 inches | Weight: 5.15 Pounds

Pros

  • Natural plant-based formula
  • Cleans tough stains with triple-concentration
  • High HE compatibility
  • 3X stain-fighting properties
  • Non-allergenic, cruelty-free formulation
  • Dermatologically tested formula
  • Requires only ½ to ¾ cap for a normal to heavy load

Cons

  • May keep off after-wash freshness
  • Bottle does not come with a pouring spout

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

The 3,914 positive customer reviews on Amazon attest to the product’s quality.

Dreft Stage 2 Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap
Best Hypoallergenic
OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover Baby Stain Soaker
Best For Stubborn Stains
Babyganics 3X Baby Laundry Detergent
Best Cruelty-Free
Dimensions 3.66 x 6.32 x 9.91 inches 5.4 x 7.2 x 4.9 inches 7.25 x 5.5 x 14.75 inches
Weight 3.75 Pounds 3.2 Pounds 5.15 Pounds
Rating
Reviews18,6347453,914
Price$23.99$7.96$14.99

4. Best For Easy Dissolution: GroVia Mighty Bubbles Laundry Treatment For Baby Cloth Diapers

The mighty bubbles laundry treatment solution from GroVia is known for its proven performance and has deep fabric protection properties. This mom-approved detergent helps keep the cloth diaper soft and new even after wash and is safe for the sensitive skin of infants. It is available as a 10-pod set, weighs around 0.10lb, and is specially formulated with cloth diaper cleaning needs. It is among the best residue-free detergents for cloth diapers. Check out this video to know more about this product.

Item Weight: ‎4.84 pounds | Product Dimensions: ‎11 x 3.5 x 7 inches

Pros

  • Easy pod dissolution for uniform laundry treatment
  • Suits hot wash with an extra rinse
  • Keeps the cloth diapers free of any build-up
  • Free of animal cruelty and toxic ammonia, ethers, and alcohol
  • HE-compliant
  • Sourced from non-harmful natural ingredients,

Cons

  • Might lead to rash development without thorough rinsing post-treatment

protip_icon Quick tip
Instead of using the dryer, hang cloth diapers on the clothesline to air-dry or sun-dry them, as it is more eco-friendly and healthy.

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

Over 2,594 Amazon shoppers have left good reviews about this product, citing its quality features and benefits.

5. Best Multi-Use:Esembly Washing Powder

4.5
Esembly Washing Powder Image: Esembly

This powder detergent for cloth diapers by the trusted brand Esembly is carefully designed by experts to ensure the ultimate formula is tough on stains yet gentle on the baby’s sensitive skin. It is not just limited to dirty diaper cleaning but can also clean clothing like sweat-drenched gym clothes, towels, pet beds, and more. The instructions are clearly stated and easy to follow, making cleaning a breeze.

Package Dimensions: ‎ 8.7 x 8.23 x 5 inches | Weight: 3 Pounds

Pros

  • Enhances the cleaning process
  • Eco-friendly and fragrance-free
  • Help separate the fabric
  • Doubles as regular detergent
  • Free from dye, phosphates, petroleum, phthalates, fabric softeners, LAS, SLS, and SLES

Cons

  • May not work effectively in portable machines
  • Quantity may be small

6. Best Fragrance: Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder 100 Load Jar

4.6
Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder 100 Load Jar Image: Charlie’s Soap

This mom-approved laundry powder from Charlie’s Soap is made from naturally derived ingredients and has a soothing fragrance. This eco-friendly cloth diaper-washing detergent comes packed in a refillable jar and can be used for up to 100 washing loads. Its hypoallergenic properties and deep cleaning are safe for sensitive skin and effective in cleaning delicate fabric.

Product Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5 inches | Weight: 2.64 Pounds

Pros

  • Biodegradable
  • Thorough rinsing of stain and smell
  • Deep cleaning with complete fabric care
  • No artificial brighteners or fragrances
  • Requires only a tablespoon of detergent for single-load cleaning
  • Comes with EPA safety certification

Cons

  • May not eliminate stubborn stains completely

protip_icon Quick fact
Using a biodegradable detergent that is free of phosphates and refraining from using fabric softeners can be good for the environment as well as the baby (1).

7. Best Dermatologist-Tested Formula: Rockin’ Green Platinum Series Dirty Diaper Laundry Detergent Powder

4.5

The platinum series odor-neutralizing detergent for cloth diapers from Rockin’ Green is dermatologically tested. Eco-friendly and naturally sourced for cleaning, this detergent is packed in a 2.81lb bag and can serve up to 90 front loads of non-toxic cleaning. The cruelty-free, mom-approved detergent is safe for sensitive skin and cleans tough stains easily, restoring the initial fabric delicateness.

Package Dimensions: ‎ 10.05 x 5.12 x 2.84 inches | Weight: 2.7 Pounds

Pros

  • Provides deep fabric cleaning through activated enzymes
  • Helps eliminate foul odor from clothing
  • Non-allergic, dermatologist-tested detergent for cloth diapers
  • HE-compatible
  • Suits cleaning all baby clothes and other laundry
  • Toxic-free, safe detergent

Cons

  • Some may find it harsh on sensitive skin type

8. Best Eco-Friendly: Rockin’ Green Classic Rock Laundry Detergent Powder

4.6

Classic rock laundry detergent powder is a trusted product from Rockin’ Green with proven performance. Its eco-friendly formulation allows you to wash up to 90 loads of clothing. While this effective detergent is unscented, it removes foul odor from cloth diapers thoroughly through deep rinsing. It is one of the best baby-safe detergents for cloth diapers.

Product Dimensions: 0.25 x 3 x 3 inches | Weight: 0.16 Ounces

Pros

  • Eco-friendly formulation safe for children
  • Gentle and powerful
  • Can clean all baby clothing and accessories
  • HE-compatible
  • Free of toxins, such as parabens and optical brighteners
  • Cruelty-free and biodegradable detergent for cloth diapers

Cons

  • Detergent may build up in the washing machine
  • Lacks in complete dirt removal

9. Best USDA-Certified: Seventh Generation Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent

4.5
Seventh Generation Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent Image: Seventh Generation

The Seventh Generation concentrated baby laundry detergent for cloth diapers comes in two-pack, weighing 5lb with fresh fragrance and strong cleaning capacity. This baby-friendly detergent for washing cloth diapers has a natural formulation and is available in a liquid form. Its plant-based formula is safe for the extra-sensitive skin of babies.

Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 6 x 11.3 inches | Weight: 5 Pounds

Pros

  • Concentrated formula targets tough stains for thorough cleaning
  • Made of 97% plant-based ingredients
  • 95% USDA-certified bio-based detergent
  • No synthetic fragrances or toxic compounds
  • No artificial brighteners
  • Suitable for all baby clothing and other laundry

Cons

  • May irritate the eyes if brought in contact
  • Tough stains are not entirely removable

10. Best For All Washers:Molly’s Suds Baby Laundry Detergent Powder

4.5
Molly’s Suds Baby Laundry Detergent Powder Image: Molly's Suds

Made with earth and plant-derived ingredients, the mom-approved Molly’s Suds baby laundry powder is safe for babies and the planet. One of the best enzyme-based detergents for cloth diapers, it is formulated to get rid of tough stains from formula, spit, poop, and breast milk. Being unscented, it’s the perfect detergent for those triggered by strong scents. It should be used in a warm or hot wash cycle and can last for up to 120 loads. This easy-to-use hypoallergenic detergent for cloth diapers also breaks down any build-up from previous washes and is safe on the skin.

Product Dimensions: 4.72 x 2.36 x 0.5 inches | Weight: 7.05 Ounces

Pros

  • Free from dyes and fragrance
  • Hypoallergenic ingredients
  • Stain-fighting enzymes
  • Suitable for use in standard, commercial, and High-Efficiency washers

Cons

  • May require pre-treatment of stains before a wash cycle
  • May not leave a fresh scent

11. Best Fragrance-Free Formula: Nellie’s All Natural Baby Powder Laundry Detergent Tin

Nellie’s All Natural detergent for cloth diapers is formulated for the sensitive skin of infants. It comes in a refillable tin with a cleaning capacity of 80 wash loads at 2.35lb, making it one of the strongest laundry detergents with high safety. One of the best fragrance-free detergents for washing cloth diapers, it is suitable for cleaning other types of clothing too.

Product Dimensions: 0.39 x 0.39 x 0.39 inches | Weight: 2.2 Pounds

Pros

  • Suitable for sensitive skin
  • Made of fragrance-free formulation
  • Non-allergenic cleaning
  • Natural cloth brightening with oxygen brightener
  • Helps remove stubborn stains on the cloth diaper
  • Only one spoon of detergent needed for a general load cleaning

Cons

  • Tin lid is not easy to handle when pouring detergent
  • May have low stain removal capacity for some fabrics
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

How To Choose The Right Detergent For Cloth Diapers?

Here are some essential factors to consider while buying a detergent for cloth diapers.

  1. Ingredients: Ensure there are no toxic compounds for detergent formulation. Other ingredients to look for include fabric softeners, cloth brighteners, etc.
  1. Fragrance: While artificial fragrance addition improves the detergent’s odor and leaves the cloth smelling fresh, it can be harmful to an infant’s skin, leading to irritations and rashes.
  1. Detergent type: You can get these laundry detergents in liquid and powder forms. Choose between the two based on your suitability, the hardness of water, and other similar requirements. For instance, concentrated cloth diaper-safe detergents are ideal for removing stains and odors and keeping your clothes fresh and new.
  1. High-efficiency wash-compatibility: It is ideal for a cloth diaper detergent to be compatible with high efficiency and regular washes due to the need for thorough rinsing of tough cloth diaper stains.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between cloth diaper detergent and cloth diaper soap?

While detergents can be made of naturally derived ingredients, soaps contain harmful substances, such as softeners and fats. When it comes to baby cloth diaper cleaning, it is safe to go for a detergent wash rather than a soap.

2. What are the different types of laundry diaper detergents?

Laundry diaper detergents are primarily available as liquid and powder washing formulas. However, other types are based on wash compatibility, ingredient use, and other factors.

3. Is powder detergent better than liquid detergent for cloth diapers?

Unlike powder detergents, liquid detergents for cloth diapers dissolve soon in the water. But some liquid detergents have additives like softeners and fragrances that may not be ideal for a baby’s delicate skin. So, you should pick a detergent free from abrasive additives.

4. What types of detergents are not safe for cloth diapers?

Detergents infused with bleach and chlorine are not suitable for cloth diapers because these ingredients may shorten the life span of cloth diapers by breaking the fibers of the cloth diapers. It is recommended that you steer clear of detergents that contain fabric softeners as they create a shield on the cloth diaper and minimize absorbency.

5. How do I know if a detergent is cloth diaper safe?

A detergent might be safe for cloth diapers if it is free of harmful chemicals and synthetic fabric softeners that minimize the lifespan of cloth diapers.

6. How should I deep-clean cloth diapers?

To deep-clean your cloth diapers, you should pre-rinse the cloth diapers with cold water without adding any detergent to reduce the stains. Next, you may use warm to hot water to clean the cloth diapers effectively. Go for deep-cleaning detergents for cloth diapers for best results.

While cloth diapers are eco-friendly options, they require proper maintenance which may not be offered by mainstream detergents. Thus, you need the best detergents for cloth diapers to ensure that your baby wears clean and hygienic diapers every time. When choosing a detergent for cloth diapers, you should ensure that it is free of synthetic fragrances and toxic compounds and is gentle so that it does not irritate your baby’s delicate skin or cause rashes. Finally, pick one that is compatible with your washing machine.

Infographic: How To Wash Baby Clothes Properly?

Washing baby laundry requires special care and attention to ensure optimum hygiene and safety of your little one’s delicate skin and clothes. Understanding the proper techniques and using gentle, baby-friendly detergents can help keep their clothes soft, fresh, and free from irritants. Explore the infographic below to learn valuable tips for washing baby laundry effectively.

Tips For Washing Baby Clothes Properly (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get the high-quality PDF version of this infographic.

Download Infographic in PDF version


References

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Nappies: cloth nappies and disposable nappies
    https://raisingchildren.net.au/babies/health-daily-care/poos-wees-nappies/nappies

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Why Trust MomJunction?

Wedetso Chirhah specializes in products and necessities for kids. In this post on the best detergents for cloth diapers, he has created a curated list of detergents after reviewing their user feedback and product listings. After conducting extensive research, he has also prepared a buying guide to help you choose the right product. The detergents are tough enough to remove stubborn stains but gentle on the fabric.

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