Best Detergent For Cloth Diapers


What is the most important factor when choosing the best detergent for your baby’s cloth diapers?

Is it more important to prioritize your baby’s skin or the cleanliness of the diaper?

Are there other factors to consider too?

If possible, it’s best to choose detergents that are safe for your baby as well as good at getting cloth diapers clean. You may also want to look for detergents that can fight stains and fading in cloth diapers as well.

In this article, we’ll show you nine of the top detergents for cloth diapers on the market.

Read on to find the best laundry detergents for cloth diapers.

Our Choice Recommendation: Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent

Tide Free And Gentle Eco-Box Laundry Detergent Liquid Soap, Ultra...
  • Same great Tide Free & Gentle, Smarter Package
  • Recognized by NEA & NPF
  • Packaging made with 60% less plastic per oz vs. 3 x 46oz bottles

Tide Free & Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent  comes in an eco-friendly box instead of a bottle and can wash up to 96 loads of laundry. This offer is recognized by the National Eczema Association as a product that reduces the risk of eczema breakouts and can help soothe symptoms as well.


  • This choice’s packaging contains less plastic than previous versions of the same product.
  • This liquid detergent is easy to measure out and use.


  • Some customers feel this offer does not remove stains or brighten fabrics very well.
  • This option may cause laundry to smell musty if left for very long in the washing machine.

Option #2. Mama Bear Gentle Baby Laundry Detergent

Amazon Brand - Mama Bear Gentle Baby Laundry Detergent, 95%...
  • Two 40-fluid ounce bottles of gentle baby laundry detergent
  • Our 4x concentrated formula is a smart product choice at just $0.22 per load
  • Specially formulated for baby laundry with powerful stain-fighting enzymes to help fight stains

This Mama Bear Gentle Baby Laundry Detergent  comes in two fragrance options including completely fragrance-free and Bearly Blossom, which is a light and mild floral smell. Both versions are available in a two-pack, which includes a total of 80 ounces of detergent. This choice is designed to be gentle enough for newborn babies and those with very sensitive skin needs, but powerful enough to fight stains and odors in cloth diapers too.


  • This option is a cruelty-free detergent that does not include any animal testing.
  • This offer includes 95% USDA certified bio-based ingredients.


  • The measuring cup on the lid of this detergent may be too flimsy and can break easily.
  • This choice may be drying to some skin.

Option #3. Babyganics Baby Laundry Detergent

Babyganics 3X Baby Laundry Detergent, HE compatible,...
  • Made without optical brighteners, chlorine, phthalates, sulfates, fragrances or dyes
  • Made with plant-derived and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients
  • Safe for cloth diapers

This Babyganics Baby Laundry Detergent  is designed for safe use by babies with sensitive skin as well as newborns. This option comes in a container that includes enough detergent for up to 60 loads of laundry, and it is completely fragrance-free. This offer contains plant-derived ingredients for a safer and more effective detergent.


  • This choice does not contain chlorine, phosphates, sulfates, or dyes.
  • This option works to reduce stains on cloth diapers.


  • Some customers report this offer breaking out babies in rare instances.
  • Some containers may not be completely filled on arrival, although this is not very common.

Option #4. RLR Natural Laundry Detergent

RLR Natural Laundry Detergent Powder – Whitens, Brightens,...
  • WORKS LIKE MAGIC: Introduce RLR baby laundry detergent to your laundry treatment routine and prepared to be wowed...
  • TREATS BOTH COLORED AND WHITES: RLR turns white clothes whiter, and colored clothes brighter; it restores old,...
  • CONCENTRATED FORMULA: Use just one packet to soften hard water and to remove stains, dinginess, and funk from both...

RLR Natural Laundry Detergent  is a laundry treatment that is designed to be used along with regular detergent. When added to your presoak or regular washing routine, it can reduce the appearance of tough stains from your baby’s bodily functions. This offer can be used on both colored and white clothes with no trouble.


  • This choice is safe enough to add to the wash when doing laundry for any baby.
  • This option comes in a 10-pack to keep you supplied for a while.


  • Some customers note that this choice does not brighten white clothing very much.
  • Some customers report this option causing a strange odor.

Option #5. Nellie’s All Natural Baby Laundry Detergent

Nellie's All Natural Baby Powder Laundry Detergent Tin (80 Loads)...
  • Safeguarding Your Little Joy: Nellie's Baby Soda, the pinnacle of infant laundry detergents, becomes your ultimate...
  • Gentle Power, Natural Brightness: In the realm of infant laundry detergents, Nellie's Baby Laundry Soda stands as...
  • Stain Fighter for Baby's World: With the strength of nature harnessed within, Nellie's Baby Soda triumphs as the...

Nellie’s All Natural Baby Laundry Detergent  is an unscented laundry detergent that comes in a large tin and makes it easy to measure out the right amount for each load of laundry. This offer is certified as cruelty-free.


  • This detergent can be used in high-efficiency washers, although it can also be used in traditional washers with adjustments.
  • There is enough detergent in each tin to wash up to 80 loads.


  • This choice may be too harsh for some babies with sensitive skin or newborns.
  • The detergent may not be very good at removing stains in comparison to some others listed here.

Option #6. Grab Green Newborn Baby Laundry Detergent

Grab Green Newborn Baby Laundry Detergent Pods, 60 Count, Calming...
  • GENTLE LAUNDRY PODS FOR BABIES - Naturally clean clothes, soften fabric, eliminate odors, and target stains from...
  • NATURAL LAUNDRY SUPPLIES FOR SENSITIVE SKIN - Our naturally-derived, plant-based formula is made without...
  • BEST LAUNDRY DETERGENT POWDER PODS FOR PARENTS - Grab Green Newborn Laundry Pods are essential laundry supplies...

This Grab Green Newborn Baby Laundry Detergent  is a pod-style powder detergent that comes in a 30-count package. This option is available in chamomile scent, rosewood scent, or unscented, so you can easily find the perfect fit for your needs as well as your baby’s. This detergent is free from chemicals, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and phosphates.


  • These pods are coated in Bitrex to prevent them from being eaten by children or pets.
  • This offer is made with responsibly and sustainably sourced materials and is a certified cruelty-free laundry detergent.


  • The scented versions of this detergent may cause rashes.
  • This choice may not dissolve fully in the wash and may need to be held under the running water for a few seconds at the start of each load of laundry.

Option #7. Rockin’ Green Dirty Diaper Laundry Detergent

Rockin' Green Laundry Detergent, Plant based, All Natural Laundry...
  • Tough on Stains, Gentle on Baby's Skin - Rockin Green Cloth Diaper Detergent for Baby Clothes is specially designed...
  • Plant-Powered Ingredients - Dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic, this baby powder laundry detergent is made...
  • Designed For Cloth Baby Diapers - Rockin' Green Baby Detergent Powder is perfect for parents who use cloth diapers...

This Rockin’ Green Dirty Diaper Laundry Detergent  does not contain any harsh chemicals, dyes, or concerning substances. This option is a vegan detergent that works to remove and reduce stains from urine and feces, making it ideal for use on cloth diapers. This offer does not have a strong or noticeable smell, so it is baby-safe and ready for use.


  • This laundry detergent is compatible with high-efficiency washing machines.
  • The detergent comes in a package large enough to wash up to 90 loads of laundry.


  • Some customers feel this choice leaves a mildew smell in fabric.
  • This choice may be too irritating to newborn babies’ very sensitive skin.

Option #8. Mrs. Meyer’s Laundry Detergent

MRS. MEYER'S CLEAN DAY Baby Laundry Detergent Liquid, Infused...
  • Concentrated detergent formula is effective yet gentle on clothes
  • Contains plant-derived cleaning agents with dirt, stain-fighting enzymes, and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients
  • 64 loads of laundry per Bottle

Mrs. Meyer’s Laundry Detergent  comes in a two-pack of 64-ounce bottles. This option features a gentle floral scent that doesn’t aggravate most babies’ skin and helps keep cloth diapers smelling fresher for longer. This offer is designed specifically for use in high-efficiency washing machines, but it can be used in other types as well with adjustments.


  • This choice is a biodegradable laundry detergent that is better for the environment than some others.
  • This option includes plant-based ingredients.


  • Some customers dislike the smell of this option.
  • The bottles that contain this detergent may be prone to leaks and are known to break during transit in some instances.

Option #9. Bambino Mio Natural Laundry Treatment

Bambino Mio, Natural Laundry Treatment, 11 oz, 6 Pack
  • Natural laundry treatment which is designed to be kinder to your baby’s delicate skin and the environment too....
  • Designed to clean, freshen and deodorize cloth diapers and other garments at low temperatures. Ideal for all white...
  • 100% gentle – free from nasties such as enzymes, synthetic perfumes or optical brighteners found in conventional...

This Bambino Mio Natural Laundry Treatment  comes in an 11-ounce or a 26-ounce container. It’s built for eco-friendliness and is safe to use for most babies with sensitive skin, too. This offer can be used on white and colored laundry both.


  • This choice does not contain brighteners or fragrances.
  • This option is designed for use by newborns with very sensitive new skin.


  • This offer may cause frequent fading in fabrics.
  • This choice may not remove stains as well as some others.

Why Should I Consider Detergents Like These?

The top cloth diaper detergent products on the market contain surfactants and enzymes to thoroughly clean dirty diapers. To avoid build-up or absorption concerns in cloth diapers, you should always be looking for detergents that are devoid of optical brighteners, fabric softeners, and smell. For a baby’s delicate skin, gentler formulations without scent or colors are suggested.

It’s also important to note that detergent build-up forms a coating over the fibers of a cotton diaper over time. When the diaper is soiled, this might cause a unique odor and irritate sensitive newborn skin. Making sure that your detergent is appropriate for the task at hand.

Powdered detergent is usually less expensive and comes in a more environmentally friendly container. Liquid detergents are becoming more popular, but they make it easier to overuse detergent.

Will Regular Commercial Detergent Also Work?

Commercial detergents are effective on cloth diapers; practically any commercial detergent that does not contain fabric softeners will work. Depending on your washing machine, water hardness, and cloth diaper material, some operate better than others.

Surprisingly, many detergents intended for use with cloth diapers can be ineffective at cleaning them well. If not adequately washed, some can potentially cause irritation on your baby’s skin. So if your cloth diaper detergent isn’t cutting it, commercial detergent can work too.

Additional Useful Information For Readers

Using the right detergent is essential to keeping your baby’s skin healthy and free from irritation. The best detergents are those that are specifically designed for cloth diapers, as they are formulated to be gentle on delicate skin while still providing effective cleaning power. When choosing a detergent, look for one that is free of fragrances, dyes, and enzymes, as these can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some babies. Additionally, it’s important to avoid using fabric softeners or bleach when washing cloth diapers, as these can also irritate sensitive skin. Finally, make sure you use enough detergent—too little won’t get the job done! With the right detergent and proper care, you can keep your baby’s cloth diapers clean and comfortable while protecting their delicate skin.

Ideas for Use: What Are They Effective for?

These detergents can be used in three main ways: First, they are designed to be gentle on a baby’s skin and free of harsh chemicals that can cause irritation. This makes them perfect for cleaning cloth diapers without causing any harm to your little one. Second, these detergents are also formulated to be highly effective at removing tough stains and odors from the fabric. This is important as it helps keep your diapers looking and smelling fresh even after multiple washes. Finally, these detergents are also designed to be low-sudsing so that they don’t leave behind any residue on the fabric, which can cause skin irritation or discomfort. With all these features combined, these detergents make an excellent choice for anyone looking for a safe and effective way to clean their cloth diapers.

The Downsides: What to Expect

Despite the many benefits of using detergent, there are a few drawbacks to consider. Firstly, detergents can be harsh on delicate fabrics and cause them to wear out faster than usual. This is especially true if the detergent contains bleach or other strong chemicals that can damage the fibers in the fabric. Additionally, some detergents may contain fragrances that can irritate sensitive skin or cause allergic reactions.

To avoid these issues, it’s important to use a milder detergent specifically designed for cloth diapers. These products are usually free from harsh chemicals and fragrances and are gentle enough for your little one. Additionally, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when washing cloth diapers and use only as much detergent as recommended. Doing so will help ensure your diapers last longer and remain soft against your baby’s skin.

How Can You Assess These Products Against Similar Offers On The Market?

When evaluating detergent, the top quantitative measurements to consider are its ability to remove stains, its gentleness on delicate fabrics, its biodegradability, and its cost-effectiveness. Stain removal is important to ensure that diapers remain clean and hygienic; gentleness is necessary to protect the fabric from damage; biodegradability ensures that they won’t harm the environment; and cost-effectiveness helps determine whether they’re a good value for money. Of course, the effect it will have on your baby’s skin is by far the most important factor to consider. All of these factors should be taken into account when assessing a detergent’s performance against competitors.

General User Experience: What to Know

When washing cloth diapers, it can be helpful to use a small amount of detergent—about half the recommended amount on the bottle—as too much may leave residue in the diaper, which can lead to leaks. Additionally, make sure you are using hot water when washing your diapers, as this helps remove any bacteria or odors more effectively than cold water. If you have hard water, it may be beneficial to add a water softener to help with cleaning power.

Finally, when drying your cloth diapers, it’s best not to use fabric softener sheets in the dryer, as these will coat the fibers of your diaper and reduce their absorbency over time. Instead, opt for air drying outside if possible or tumble drying on low heat with no additional products added. Following these tips will ensure that your cloth diapers stay clean and fresh while also protecting your baby’s delicate skin!

In general, here are the steps for using detergent specifically designed for cloth diapers: First, make sure to read the instructions on the detergent package before use. Different brands may have different instructions. Second, add the recommended amount of detergent to your washing machine and fill it with water. Third, add your cloth diapers and any other items you need to wash. Fourth, select a gentle cycle and start the machine. Fifth, once the cycle is complete, transfer your items to the dryer or hang them up to air dry. Finally, check that all of your items are clean and free of residue before storing them away. Following these steps will ensure that you get the best results when cleaning cloth diapers with detergent specifically designed for this purpose. 


Here are a few tips to make sure your cloth diapers are always clean, soft, and ready for your baby:

  • Use a spray to remove feces from the diaper first.
  • Wash about a dozen diapers at a time for best results.
  • Try to wash daily.

By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be more prepared than ever to use cloth diapers!

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Catrina A. Labounty
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About The Author

Catrina A. Labounty is the head writer behind DiaperPailDepot and specializes in writing about parenting, child development, and caring for infants. She has previously worked for a number of websites as an editing assistant, independent researcher, and other editorial roles with a main focus on child development content. Catrina enjoys using her free time to browse the web for fantastic diaper cake designs and baby shower gifts. She routinely posts her work here on DiaperPailDepot as well as on various of her own writing blogs online.

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