Baby laundry is a big part of daily life with messy newborns and toddlers. Head to any grocery store aisle and you'll see laundry detergents specifically marketed for baby laundry - but which should you choose to deal with all the stains? Here are nine detergents you can count on.
Do you already have a favorite? Share your baby detergent choice with other parents.
Dreft has been around forever and claims to be the #1 choice of pediatricians. Approximately $10 for 100 oz., Dreft claims to be formulated especially for baby laundry and have the ability to remove common baby stains such as spit-up and urine. Dreft also claims to rinse away completely and leave no residue.
Available for High Efficiency washers.
Read my comprehensive review of Dreft laundry detergent.
Questions about Dreft? Read the comprehensive Dreft FAQ's.
Recommended by allergists and rated #1 by dermatologists for sensitive skin, all Free & Clear is formulated just like its sibling detergent, but free of dyes, perfumes and preservatives, making it totally safe for baby. Approximately $15 for 200 oz., it's a less expensive alternative to others on the market.
In a 2007 MMR Physician Survey, it was found that more pediatricians use all Free & Clear in their own households than any other free and clear detergent. Plus, mom's love it. In a 2007 Hamill Specially Formulated Detergent Study, 87 percent of people who used all Free & Clear for their baby laundry said they were likely to recommend it to a friend.
Also available in an HE version.
Read a review of all Free & Clear laundry detergent.
Hypoallergenic, it claims to be extra gentle for baby skin, however, it has a light fragrance. Many parents review this as a fantastic choice for households with a tight budget, some reportedly finding this for as little as $3.00 for 80 ounces. Overall, the only complaint parents seem to have is that this version of Purex is not widely available.
One of the things I love about this brand is that, Purex states on their bottle that their product will not diminish the flame retardency on baby sleepwear.
Currently not available in an HE version.
Read a review of Purex Ultra Baby Laundry Detergent.
50 oz. will run you approximately $6.99, making this one of the more expensive options in baby laundry detergent. A mixture of natural ingredients, the creators claim its non-sudsing formula is effective in getting even the toughest of stains out, regardless of water temperature. Available in both unscented and scented versions, perfumes are never used - only natural essential oils.
Available in an HE version.
Parent Tested Parent Approved Media granted this eco-friendly laundry soap their Seal of Approval for excellence in parenting products in the Green Category.
Free of dyes and fragrances, this baby laundry detergent boasts plant-derived cleaning agents, soil dispersant and non-animal derived enzymes as well as select active ingredients. Non-toxic and biodegradable, it is hypoallergenic, free of phosphates and optical brighteners, not tested on animals and kosher-certified.
Available in a 50 oz. bottle, you'll pay $6.99 on average, making it a comparable to Selestial Soap in your budget.
As for parent endorsement, one mom says that, although she was having troubles with her baby's skin prior to using Seventh Generation Baby, the problems have now completely cleared up.
Read a review of Seventh Generation Baby Laundry Detergent.
At approximately $12 for 32 oz., this is by far the most expensive on the list, but many parents believe this rice milk and mallow detergent is worth the cost. Tough on stains, it's gentle on skin.
A biodegradable, plant-based formula, it's phosphate-free, dye-free and hypo-allergenic. Method claims its detergent will not negatively effect flame retardency in baby sleepwear.
Available as an HE detergent.
Read a full review of Method Baby Laundry Detergent.
Dermatologist tested to be safe for baby, it's concentrated, effective and HE compatible.
No solvents, petroleum distillates, bleach, phosphates and a near neutral pH that makes it safe for skin contact, you'll get 64 oz. for roughly $15.
However, one thing to consider: this is a product that is rich in fragrance, even though they are natural fragrances. If you or anyone in your family is sensitive to scent, this might not be the best choice for your baby laundry.
Charlie's is relatively new to the market, but it's quickly gained a following. Personally, I use Charlie's specifically for washing our cloth diapers and think it's great.
Safe for HE washers, it is recommended by Charlie's that you use their soap for everything you wash to avoid build-up in your washer from commercial detergents.
Read my full review of Charlie's Soap.
Sold exclusively at Target, Up & Up is their re-branded store brand and it delivers big. I discovered Up & Up while I was shopping for another unscented laundry detergent, but I picked this bottle up because of the price; even if it didn't work as well as my normal brand, I wasn't going to be out much.
However, if it did work, I was going to be way ahead.