Whether we use them to clean clothes, our dishes or to clean toys, detergents are a very useful substance in our households but they can become irritating to the skin. People who work in catering or have sensitive skin will know detergents at certain strengths or after a long exposure can become a problem.
Detergents, in general, are sold in various products at different strengths which would be dependent on their use. When it comes to washing your baby’s clothes and even cloth diapers; the product you use would be quite important for you to consider if you are to avoid nasty chemicals.
Why Not Just Use Normal Laundry Detergents?
Laundry detergents are usually composed of a whole variety of chemicals, all are chosen to serve a particular purpose such as fragrances, dyes and anti-microbial properties which are retained by the washed fabrics.
They are great for leaving our clothes and bedding lovely, fresh and clean but most of them actually do not contribute to the actual job of cleaning the clothes and are added because they add value to the product despite sometimes being harmful.
Detergents can cause contact dermatitis as their purpose is to break down oils and fats through the addition of surfactant chemicals. This is more pronounced in dishwashing detergents but after long exposures, they can break down the oily protective layer we have naturally on our skin.
It then causes the skin to become dry, flaky and itchy which is not pleasant at all and why a lot of people choose to wear gloves when they do the dishes by hand. Studies like this have shown in detail how detergents can affect the human body by various means of exposure. This can also result when enzymes are added to the product to increase its cleaning efficiency.
Respiratory issues can also be a side effect of having inhaled added scents or residual soap particles which go on to irritate the lining of the lungs causing sneezing and coughing and can also trigger allergic reactions.
There are many other issues which detergents are claimed to cause and it is very much worth it for parents to avoid all risk and just go for a laundry detergent product designed for a baby’s sensitive skin. After choosing the right baby laundry detergent you can then sleep easy with peace of mind that your child’s clothes and bedding are drastically less likely going to cause irritation due to your choice of detergent.
What Makes the Best Baby Laundry Detergent?
There’s quite a variety of laundry detergent products designed to clean your baby’s fabrics which can range in brand and how effective they are. In order to determine which baby laundry detergents come out on top, they are going to have to meet the high standards of any loving parent by having the following characteristics.
Ultimately the product is not worth buying if it does not do the job properly, however, there is some sacrifice in cleaning efficiency with detergents which have fewer surfactant chemicals in them. Overall we would expect that the detergent can remove particularly nasty stains which you would expect to have on baby clothes and washable diapers.
The whole purpose of the product being baby friendly is to altogether avoid any irritation that could potentially be caused by products in the detergent. When the clothes have been washed and dried they should be soft and gentle on the baby’s skin so that they can play comfortably and sleep snugly.
No Unnecessary Chemicals
Ideally you will want the least chemicals used as possible but some people do have preferences and for example, may like to have the detergent fragranced. You’ll fund products do offer alternative options with extras but mostly still have the majority of harsh chemicals removed.
It’s always a benefit to parents to save that extra bit of cash that could be useful for other bills or expenses. Choosing a product which works perfectly for you may be difficult but is key to saving money. It’s a fantastic idea once you have the best detergent, to buy in bulk or higher concentrations, ensuring you get it for a good price and it lasts longer.
Avoid “Pod” Varieties
Pods are certainly a convenient invention which really gained popularity in households in recent years but there have been some negative consequences associated with them.
The main issue is that children sometimes find a way to get their hands on them and to a kid, a detergent pod may seem quite appealing but a child consuming them can have disastrous consequences so it’s just best to avoid them.
Our Top Picks
Babyganics Baby Laundry Detergent
This Babyganics baby detergent has a formula that has few chemicals when compared to standard laundry detergent products. It’s a great option for parents on a tight budget as it has three times standard concentrations making the product last longer.
It cleans clothes, sheets, blankets and other fabrics perfectly well without the overwhelming perfume that comes with the added scented chemicals. In fact, clothes come out smelling almost neutral but just so much fresher.
As well as fragrances, you will not find sulfates or 1,4-dioxane in this product either which are both chemicals that disrupt the natural balance of the skin and scalp. This detergent is also HE compatible, a brilliant feature which allows it to be used in conjunction with eco-friendly washer models where other products are not recommended.
There is an option to have this detergent with fragrance if you wish and Babyganics also offer a whole range of other childcare products which compliment this detergent and are certainly worth checking out.
Mrs. Meyer’s 64 Load Laundry Detergent
Mrs.Meyers detergent claims to be composed of ingredients of which 97% have been derived from natural sources made with love rather than a formula of factory-made chemicals. It’s a fantastic detergent because whilst being baby safe, it also leaves fabrics smelling beautiful.
What’s great is that the detergent quite concentrated so you don’t have to use too much of this product with each wash. Each bottle will last longer this way saving you money in the long run! It’s also very effective at cleaning and can remove really tough stains, which is why it’s such a highly rated choice!
It’s also an HE compatible detergent which is great for eco-friendly households and to top it off there is a really great range of vibrant but not overpowering scents to choose including baby blossom, geranium, basil, honeysuckle and more, it’s no wonder parents often use it for all the laundry!
Seventh Generation Natural Baby Laundry Detergent
You can now get even more out of your baby laundry detergent as the Seventh Generation product is four times concentrated solution. When you buy this product in bulk it can last a year without needing repeat purchases.
The detergent fights tough stains really well due to its unique formula resulting in fresh and clean clothes after a wash. This is another mostly organic detergent which leaves a pleasant scent on your fabrics that isn’t harsh or overpowering as the perfumes are sourced organically.
Additionally, there are no synthetic dyes, softeners or brighteners added to the product leaving it free from harsh chemicals that could potentially be an irritant. Its main active ingredient that does all of the cleaning work are enzymes that break down substances that stain your laundry, and they add a lot to this product which is why it is so potent.
Mama Bear Gentle Care Baby Detergent
Another great value baby detergent choice is this Mama Bear product which is great value for money, has a high concentration formula and cleans effectively. Just like the Seventh Generation detergent, this one has a really high count of enzymes which go to work at efficiently removing problematic stains.
No artificial dyes or scents are added to this product; it leaves clothes with a very light, barely noticeable and fresh scent instead of a standard detergent which has your nose fighting for fresh air after being blasted by artificial smell chemicals.
It’s quite an affordable option too for those who have less money to spend on laundry products, you are provided with two bottles per order and they last for a good amount of time reducing your need to re-order again.
Additionally, for those concerned about have an organic product that has not been animal tested; it does meet the strict requirements to be USDA certified meaning no animal testing, no GMO crop or animal sourced ingredients.
Aleva Naturals Gentle Baby Laundry
A great choice for parents who want to ensure their detergent is free from those worrisome harsh chemicals; parabens, phosphates, phthalate, sulfates and artificial fragrances or dyes are all missing from this product, and gladly so. It’s also hypo allergic by design and so should reduce the likelihood of the product exacerbating any allergies.
This formula is three times concentrated with enzymes, so not as powerful as some we have reviewed but it is highly eco-friendly. With most ingredients taken from organic, plant-based sources this product is no doubt a great option for vegan parents and also has recyclable packaging.
Tips and Tricks
There are plenty of helpful little tricks and methods that you may not have heard of that parents use to make the chore of doing laundry a bit easier and convenient:
- Baby Only Detergent? Don’t feel you only have the use these detergents on your babies laundry, if you really love them use them for the whole house and ditch the detergent chemicals altogether.
- Temperature: There’s no point in using too much heat when washing; save money and let the detergents do most of the work. Optimal clothes washing temperature range is between 85-105 degrees.
- Sock Control: Keep all of your little one’s socks together in a mesh bag and stop hunting around the house for lost socks after washing! This is a great tip that I use until this day, mesh bags for laundry can easily be acquired from Amazon.
- Multiple Hampers: Organization is a parent’s best friend, using multiple hampers, maybe per person or per category of clothing is an extremely great idea. It helps to keep clothing items from mysteriously disappearing, as they do and makes it easier for you to sort color to avoid color leaking.
- Concentrated Detergent: Detergents with higher concentrates are by far better value for money as they last longer and can be more effective at cleaning. It’s always a good option for parents who are saving up or just want to spend the money they save elsewhere.
We would love if we could build a longer list of tips for parents to use here. Maybe you can help us out? Suggest your own tips and tricks or give us your thoughts on what you think is the best baby laundry detergent in the comments below!