Cloth Diaper Detergents - What to Look for in a Cloth Diaper-Friendly Detergent

Updated: February 2021

Choosing the right detergent for your diapers is important. The right detergent will keep your diapers smelling fresh and retain absorbency. Below are the five things you should watch out for when selecting a detergent.

Click here to view a full list of RECOMMENDED DETERGENTS.

Five (5) things to avoid:

  1. Powders: 85% of Americans live in places with hard water. Liquid detergents are scientifically proven to clean more effectively than powders in hard water. 
  2. Pods & Flings:  Generally speaking detergent packs (aka "pods", "drops", or "flings") don't carry enough cleaning power to get your diapers clean. Not to mention, they're extremely expensive.
  3. Cold Water Versions: Cold water detergents are designed to clean in cold water. They do not work well in hot water. And since it is not recommended that you wash your diapers in cold water, there's no need to purchase this type of detergent.
  4. Scents and Softeners: As a general rule, detergents that come scents or added softeners like Downy, are bad for your diapers. The "scent" or "softness" is literally deposited onto the fabric of the diaper to make it soft and smell fresh. This will reduce the absorbency of your diapers.
  5. "Natural" labels: Sad to say, but the word "natural" has become a marketing term used by large brands. They know that "natural" means a lot to environmentally-friendly parents and because there are no strict rules around how the word can be used, they use it liberally to get you to buy their products. Commonly used terms are "natural", "all-natural", "simply", "essentials", "free and clear", "free and pure", and "free and gentle". By any means necessary, avoid these products. Some are okay, but most aren't. And if you have some free time, feel free to check out the many class action lawsuits these companies are facing for duping consumers with these words.


Top Picks

Best Liquid Detergent - Tide on Amazon ($17.94) - 19 cents per load
- excludes Pods, Cold Water, and Downy versions

30% more cleaning power per drop - now in an eco-friendly box. No-drip tap. Created with 60% less plastic and 30% less water. Box is 100% recyclable.



Best Powdered Detergent - Country Save on Amazon ($29.97) - 19 cents per load

EPA Designed. Completely biodegradable. No coconut-derived ingredients. 100% phosphate-free. Gentle for sensitive skin. Ultra concentrated. Septic Tank Safe.

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