The Best Detergent for Cloth Diapers

When choosing to use cloth diapers, it is vital to use the absolute best detergent.

Don’t forget, you are cleaning the cloth that is continuously on your baby’s skin.

It is critical to take good care of your baby’s bottom with only the best detergent fo cloth diapers. You may be surprised what a poorly created detergent can do to your wise investment.

When reading baby boards and talking to some moms, you may hear the term “free and clear” frequently. “Use ‘free and clear’ detergent,” they say. “It’s gentle on baby’s skin,” they attest.

If you’ve read our post Top 4 Laundry Detergents for Babies, you know that just because a detergent sticks the label “Free and Clear” on their product doesn’t actually mean it is ideal for your baby.

Washing cloth diapers using best detergent

Many cloth diapering moms have found that after they switched from most “free and clear” detergents to one listed below, their baby’s diapers stop leaking and/or smelling foul.

They had to either strip or replace the first diapers because the microbiostatic ate away at the fleece of the cloth diaper (microbiostatic control the growth and spreading of microorganisms, but microbiostatic repel the fleece in your diaper).

Buying the cheapest detergent for your cloth diapers is not the best idea, especially if you are hoping to use cloth for all of your diaper years.

The very best detergent for cloth diapers are detergents made with the intention of cleaning cloth diapers. One thing to note is your water type: too hard or too soft of water can affect how well your detergent works.

Here are our picks for best detergent for cloth diapers:

bum genius best detergent for cloth diapers

It is likely you have heard of this brand when researching cloth diapers. bumGenius not only provides diapers, but they also created a detergent geared towards cloth diapers!

Because bumGenius cares about quality and sensitive baby skin, they do not use any chemicals or additives that would damage diapers or irritate your baby’s sweet skin.

It is fragrance-free, made in the USA, and comes in liquid or powder form.

This detergent is HE compatible.

honest laundry detergent for cloth diapers

“The Honest Company is a line of natural, safe, baby products created by Jessica Alba for moms, like herself, that are cautious about chemical additives.

Like the other products that are offered by this company the laundry detergent is non-toxic, safe for all laundering needs, and rinses clean.” // Carol Johnson at (1)

A benefit of using Honest Detergent is also having access to stain remover, dryer cloths, and oxy boost. This brand focuses on remaining natural and safe. This detergent is HE compatible.

Rockin Green Laundry detergent for cloth diapers

Rockin Green is where it’s at! If you are finding that all detergents seem to be failing you, it may not be the detergents at all.

It may be your water type! Rockin Green is here to save the day: it offers formulations for hard, medium, or soft water types.

This gives you the optimal wash each load. This brand is the most well-known for cleaning cloth diapers but is not known as the very absolute best. But it is still highly recommendable!

This detergent is HE compatible.

Planet 2x Concentrated Ultra Powder laundry detergent for cloth diapers

“The unscented, hypoallergenic formula behind this detergent is certified 100% biodegradable.
It effectively gets diapers clean without discoloring them and is concentrated for longer lasting use.
It can be used with standards washers as well as HE washing machines.”(1)

This is one of the free and clear detergents that is recommendable. This detergent is HE compatible.

Seventh Generation laundry detergent for cloth diapers

Advertised as natural and gentle, this detergent still has some Surcide-p, a synthetic preservative.

Seventh Generation received one out of five stars when being reviewed specifically for cloth diapers.

It was reported that when using this detergent, leaks increased and smells were unpleasant. It is, however, biodegradable.

This detergent is HE compatible.

Charlie's Soap laundry detergent for cloth diapers

If you read our other post, The Best Laundry Detergent for Babies, you will remember that this was highly recommended for all of your clothes, especially your baby’s.

“We also greatly recommend Charlie’s Soap for your cloth diaper detergent! ”

“Ranked #1: Works for most and least expensive. Extensive studies by Clemson University have shown it leaves no residue. Biodegradable.” // Jillian’s Drawers (2)

This detergent is HE compatible.

Is using OxiClean on cloth diapers a big no-no?

Is using OxiClean on cloth diapers a big no-no

If you are really struggling to fight stains, OxiClean is where it’s at. It removes stains in a single wash.

It will shorten your cloth diapers life a bit, so be warned!

There is a recommendable alternative to OxiClean which is somewhat more natural:

. You can find them on Amazon.

What about making your own detergent?

DIY cloth diaper laundry detergent

Debating whether or not to make your own cloth diaper detergent? It will save you, even MORE, money, so why not, right? Here is a simple cloth diaper detergent recipe, found on The Eco-Friendly Family’s website.

  • 3 Boxes (55 oz each)
  • 2 Boxes (76 oz each)
  • 1 Large Tub or “Baby” (96 oz)

Purchasing these ingredients will be about $30. Find an old 5-gallon paint bucket or something similar in size to store your homemade cloth diaper detergent in.

This is so inexpensive to make, and you can either have a mass amount that will take months to run out OR you can gift some at your next baby shower, to a friend in need, to your sister, or whomever! You can use it for your clothes or for house cleaning. This recipe is universal for cleaning and is safe.

To use your newly made detergent for cloth diapers, the following method may or may not work for you depending on your machine, how many diapers you’re washing, and the hardness/softness of your water.

  • Cold Wash: 1-2 Tablespoons (depending on load size/soil level)
  • Hot Wash: 2-3 Tablespoons (depending on load size/soil level)

Amanda from The Eco Friend Family recommends,

“If you find that your diapers are not coming clean (smell dirty, strong ammonia, etc.)  Try using more detergent and or an extra wash cycle.”(3)

how to wash cloth diapers

Now that we have exasperated the list of the very best detergent for cloth diapers AND have given you a recipe to make your own, we feel confident in your diaper washing abilities and education! Go Mom (or Dad)!



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