Best Detergent For Cloth Diapers Of 2020

Having a baby is a life-changing experience, and it does not involve just the parenthood part. In a blink of an eye, your whole domestic life changes - even doing laundry is more complicated than before.

That is especially true if you decide to use cloth diapers. They are cheaper in the long run, and sometimes even more efficient than disposable ones.

However, cleaning cloth diapers requires you to choose the best detergent. Otherwise, you might not use them for too long before they rip apart. Let's see why it's important to pick the right one and how it will change your laundry routine forever.

What determines the effectiveness of the detergent?

Right before they become parents, men and women do not even think about detergents that much. It is not something that would attract your attention in the store - you just pick up the regular one you always use.

Still, when dealing with cloth diapers, things can get out of hand. Cloth diapers are meant to hold urine without smelling up your whole house.

While your baby is playing or sleeping, the diapers have to stay mostly dry, and when you clean them, everything must rinse out.

The effectiveness of the detergent is what makes you buy it time and time again. If you find that diapers tend to leak or that they do not feel as clean as they should, you may have a problem with your detergent.

The best detergent for cloth diapers should get rid of any smells, and they should look and feel as clean as possible. That is sometimes hard to achieve because they are multiple reasons why a detergent might not work in your household.

Hard water vs. soft water

When choosing the perfect detergent for cloth diapers, you should check whether your water is hard or soft.

Some detergents are just not able to clean the diapers properly if your water is too hard. It could cause the fabric to leak later on, or to rip quickly, making you spend extra money on new ones.

Soft water is better for doing laundry in general, but sometimes unattainable by many households.

If you have problems with the water softness, then you could try to install a water softening system. You could also add water conditioners to the load - they tie to the hard water minerals and help the detergent to clean better.

Which ingredients should you avoid?

Caring and cleaning cloth diapers requires you to read the ingredients well. You do not want anything harmful to come in contact with your baby's skin, so researching a bit will give you a peace of mind in the future.

Here are some ingredients you should avoid when looking for the best detergent:

Soap 

Contrary to some beliefs, pure soap is not great to use when cleaning cloth diapers. It can lead to buildup, similar to stuff you can find in your bathtub. Not only is it not healthy, but it can cause allergic reactions as well.

Enzymes

Although they combat organic matter and clean stains in a blink of an eye, enzymes can transfer to the baby's skin. They can lead to rashes and blisters, especially if your baby is sensitive.

Optical Brighteners 

These are ingredients that do not help clean the clothes. They leave a brightening effect on the diapers, making you think that they are squeaky clean. There is no other use for them other than that, and side effects are abundant - mostly allergic reactions.

Fabric softeners

The point of cloth diapers is to absorb urine and other liquids. However, if you wash them with a detergent that contains a fabric softener, you are bound to have leaky diapers.

They do make everything soft, but the absorbency levels go down. Luckily, you can easily exchange them for a half a cup of baking soda.

Perfumes and other fragrances. Just like with anything that has to do with babies, scents are a big no-no. They can cause allergic reactions and rashes, and they can also irritate the baby while she's wearing the diapers.

What to look for in the best detergent for cloth diapers

If you have determined how soft your water is, and know how much laundry you have to do during the week, then it is shopping time.

Before purchasing, make sure that the detergent has these qualities:

It cleans well 

Obvious enough, but hard to come by. Do some research or check which ones your friends and family use. You could also try a few of them before opting for the perfect one - it is better to be safe than sorry.

No residue buildup 

If you want the cloth diapers to stay the same quality for a few years, then make sure that the detergent does not leave any residue. That can cause leakage, and they may change color, apart from causing harm to your baby's skin.

Cost-effectiveness 

It depends on the water you have in your household. Soft water requires less product. In contrast, hard water makes you use multiple cups of detergent for each load.

However, you do not want to spend a ton of money on something that does not do the job properly. Make sure that you are not picking out the most expensive one because you will be washing the diapers daily.

Top 5 - Best Detergent for Cloth Diapers


Charlie's Soap - Fragrance-Free Laundry Powder

Charlie's Soap - Fragrance-Free Laundry Powder

Low price and quality come together to form Charlie's Soap, an old-time favorite for many parents out there.

This laundry powder prides itself on its quality and the fact that you need about just one tablespoon per load. This detergent works hard to remove odors and different stains your baby makes. It can also extract residue from other detergents as well.

It is a delicate powder, so cloth diapers will not get ruined when you use it. Moreover, it leaves them clean and soft, ready for your next use.

In addition to that, it is hypoallergenic and does not contain any toxic ingredients.

PROS

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    It does not have a particular smell - the diapers and the clothes just have a fresh and clean fragrance. There are no added scents to it.
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    Once you start using it, it will remove the residue from other detergents, making your laundry soft.
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    It also removes odors and residue from the washing machine as well.

CONS

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    It does not work in extremely hard water, so you would have to take that into consideration.
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    This detergent does not work well with hardened stains, no matter how much of it you put in the washer.

Tide Original HE Powder Laundry Detergent

Tide Original HE Powder Laundry Detergent

Tide is a well-known brand of laundry detergents that even our mothers and grandmothers know about. It has many positive reviews, and the popularity makes it a favorite for many parents.

This is a detergent that you should use with high-efficiency washers. It is a potent laundry powder that you must use just like the box says - a scoop of it is quite enough.

It will clean even stains that are about a week old, and it will do it in half a time your old detergent would. The best part about it is that it works wonderfully with both hard and soft water, so you would not have to invest in a softening system.

PROS

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    It has a clean scent, but it does not linger on the diapers once they are dry.
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    That is a good thing because babies can be quite sensitive to smells anyway.You are using just a scoop of it per load, and that equals to about 20 cents - a bargain in the laundry world.
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    The diapers stay crisp white, and the stains are not a challenge for it.

CONS

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    Sometimes it is difficult to use it in the top loading washing machines. It does not dissolve properly unless you use hot water.
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    This laundry powder may leave white marks on dark clothes if the machine does not rinse it thoroughly.

Rockin' Green Natural HE Powder Laundry Detergent

Rockin' Green Natural HE Powder Laundry Detergent

This laundry powder is one of the most popular ones on the market - and there are many reasons why.

It is a gentle detergent, yet powerful enough to wash everything - from clothes to bedding to cloth diapers.

This is also a plant-based natural laundry detergent that does not contain any harmful ingredients. It is excellent for children with sensitive skin, and it is also baby safe.

You would need only a few tablespoons per load, and just one bag of it lasts you a long time. The most important part is that there are no dyes, bleach, brighteners, parabens or phosphates in it. And, to top it all off - it is also vegan and gluten-free.

PROS

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    It is biodegradable, and the manufacturer does not test it on animals - a rarity in the detergent world.
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    There are many scents and varieties of it, so every parent can find what he's looking for.
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    It works great for cloth diapers. This detergent removes stains and odors and leaves the diapers looking and smelling fresh and clean.

CONS

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    It is an expensive powder laundry detergent. Given the fact that you would have to wash the diapers daily, it might not be the best option for parents on a budget.
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    There is no scoop inside the bag, so you would have to eyeball the amount when you are using it.

Country Save Laundry Detergent Powder

Country Save Laundry Detergent Powder

If you are looking for a detergent that you can use in any washing machine, then you will love Country Save.

This is an EPA certified detergent, so you can rest assured that it is entirely free from toxins and harmful ingredients. It is a powder that does not destroy the environment nor your cloth diapers.

It works well, no matter what type of water you have in your household. And, you only need a little water to make it work. It removes stains with ease and softens your clothes without other additives.

Furthermore, it is excellent for sensitive skin as well - there are no fragrances or dyes in it. It is an all natural choice for worried parents out there.

PROS

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    There are no scents that linger on the clothes, nor does this detergent have any smell whatsoever. That way, you know that nothing will irritate your baby's skin.
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    Removes stains and odors from cloth diapers easily, and using a small amount of water.
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    It does not build up on cloth diapers, so you will not have to strip them after using it for a while.

CONS

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    It does not come with a cup, so you would have to determine for yourself how much you should use.
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    This detergent may not dissolve properly in the water so you might get some white stains on your clothes.

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

If you want more choices, then you will love the fact that there are three options for this Seventh Generation detergent.

You can use the Baby kind, the Free & Clear, or the Geranium Blossoms & Vanilla variety. When it comes to cloth diapers, your best option is the Baby laundry detergent.

It fights even the most terrible baby stains because it is four times more concentrated than other detergents. That way, you will not have to use other ingredients, like bleach, to get rid of poop stains. It takes care of everything without damaging the diapers.

Furthermore, it is a USDA certified product, and it is 95% biobased. There are no artificial fragrances in it, nor are there any dyes or brighteners.

In addition to that, you do not have to use just for washing diapers. It works great with baby clothes, blankets and towels as well.

PROS

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    It is entirely natural, great for sensitive skin and it contains no toxic chemicals.
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    There are no lingering scents left on the diapers, although they do smell fresh once you remove them from the washing machine.
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    It removes almost every stain out there, and you do not have to use a lot of it to combat them.

CONS

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    You have to soak the stain first, and then add more detergent in the washing machine before doing your laundry. It may be a hassle for some parents.
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    This is a pricey detergent - the bottles are tiny, and you will use them up in a blink of an eye.

The verdict

Some old favorites are still popular nowadays, and it should not be a surprise. Quality beats quantity anytime, so the best detergent for cloth diapers is, without a doubt, Tide Original HE Powder Laundry Detergent.

Not only does it work in both hard and soft water, but it deals with stains and residue efficiently. Your cloth diapers will look clean and fresh every time you use this detergent - no matter how much of a mess your baby made.

It might not be the most natural detergent on the market, like Rockin' Green. However, babies handle it pretty well, and it does not cause any irritations while keeping the diapers perfectly clean. Incredible quality, great packaging, and fantastic results - Tide has it all.

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