As exciting as having a baby is, sometimes it can be overwhelming especially for new moms. The baby literally depends on you for everything. You cannot afford a slip. This means that you have to approach everything with caution as long as it concerns the baby. You have to ensure that their clothes and bedding are clean and don’t cause them skin irritations. You also have to use detergents that are friendly to your skins when doing the laundry. Burdened by the extra load of laundry, few moms put very little consideration into the type of detergent they use on the baby’s laundry.
What they don’t realize is that a baby’s skin is softer and more sensitive than theirs and therefore more exposed to skin allergies, rashes and irritation. Damaging ingredients easily get absorbed into their skin. Baby detergents, unlike other normal detergents, contain fewer chemicals and are unlikely to leave irritating residues on the baby laundry. Most babies react harshly to detergents that contain fragrance and dyes so it is important to keep away from such. The reaction may be immediate or after some time, even weeks after the irritants have build up on their skin. You want a formulation that will be effective in cleaning without putting the health of your little one on the line. Here’s a look at the top picks:
Best Laundry Detergent For Babies
There are three types of baby detergents- powder, liquid and pods. Liquid detergents are the most common as they are easy to use and can take out tough stains though their plastic containers are not environment-friendly. Packs need to be kept away from children as they can easily swallow them and suffer poisoning. Here are the top 8 laundry detergent for babies;
1. Puracy Natural liquid detergent
Puracy Natural doesn’t contain any harmful additives such as sulfates, brighteners and chlorine and is therefore suitable for sensitive skin. It is made from plants, biodegradable and ultra-concentrated. It lasts long as a small measuring can wash a big load of laundry. Puracy Natural is developed by doctors which adds to its credibility and reliability. You will however have to carefully dispose of its plastic container once it is used up. If you can recycle or reuse, the better for the environment.
2. Molly’s Suds laundry powder
If you use hard water to do your laundry, then it is advisable to use Molly’s Suds detergent. Powdered detergents are usually more suitable for hard water. Molly’s Suds is tough on stains and gentle on the baby’s laundry. The essential oil from organic peppermint in the detergent also leaves a pleasant scent on the fabrics. The detergent can be used in both cold and hot water, and works well with all kinds of washing machines. The only downside to this detergent is that the peppermint oil could be irritating to sensitive skin.
3. Dreft liquid detergent
Dreft Stage 1 detergent is hypoallergenic and doesn’t contain any dyes. It has undergone clinical tests and is recommended by experienced pediatricians. 73% of reviewers on Amazon have given the detergent a 5-star rating. The detergent can also be used on cotton or polyester cloth diapers. There are two formulations of the detergent- Dreft Stage 1 for newborns and Dreft Purtouch for older babies. It is however scented and can be irritating to some babies. The reviews complain about the scent being too strong.
4. ECOS liquid detergent
ECOS liquid detergent is purely made from natural ingredients and doesn’t contain anything synthetic. It also contains a fabric softener so you don’t have to spend extra on one. The packaging is environment-friendly as it is made from green energy and can recycled. ECOS liquid detergent can be used on any kind of washing machine. The fabric softener however makes the detergent unsuitable for cloth diapers. Some moms also find the fragrance irritating.
5. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day liquid detergent
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day liquid detergent is made up of 97% natural ingredients. Its fragrance is unlikely to be irritating as it is from essential oils and not synthetic fragrances. It is also very mild. Dermatologists have done tests on the detergent and proved that it is gentle on the skin. Mrs. Meyer’s detergent is highly concentrated so you won’t need to use a lot on the laundry. Out of 417 reviews by customers, 72% of them have given Mrs. Meyers detergent a 5-star rating on Amazon. The detergent should not be used on fire-resistant garments as it can reduce the flame resistance. Most people have complained about the scent, with only one user complaining about an allergic reaction to the detergent.
6. Rockin’ Green Classic Rock powder detergent
This is your go-to detergent if your baby uses cloth-diapers. Rockin’ Green Classic Rock detergent breaks down the enzymes found in the baby’s waste and completely rinses them out. It also doesn’t contain a softener. This ensures that the fibers in the diapers that absorb moisture are not clogged. One of the benefits of Rockin’ Green Classic Rock powder detergent is that it doesn’t contain any ingredient that is likely to cause an irritation. They are natural ingredients and the detergent is biodegradable. The only disadvantage of this detergent is that it only works with soft water and is ineffective in hard water.
7. Grab Green natural detergent
Besides being cheap, Grab Green detergent is made from plant and mineral ingredients and therefore doesn’t contain any irritants. It is very effective for cleaning baby laundry. It is also hypoallergenic. The detergent can be used in any washing machine and goes with either cold or hot water. Its strong fragrance however seems to be its downside.
8. Purex liquid detergent
Are you looking for a detergent that is scented yet won’t cause any irritations to your baby? Then Purex Liquid For Baby is your answer. The detergent is hypoallergenic and it is therefore unlikely that the scented additive will have any harsh reaction on the baby’s skin. It doesn’t contain any dyes. Dermatologists have given it the thumbs up. The detergent is also very cheap. It is important to note that it has surfactants which can be irritating on very sensitive skin.
What to consider when looking for a detergent
The list above is not exhaustive of the best laundry detergent for babies. There are numerous detergents available in the market that would work well on your baby. If the above detergents are not available in your store, here are factors to consider before settling on an alternative;
1. Type of washing machine you use
Many people may not be aware of this, but it is important to get a detergent that is gentle on your baby’s skin and the washing machine. It is recommended that you only use appropriate detergents on the washing machine to avoid damages and to avoid creating suds. If you use a high-efficiency washing machine, then look for a detergent with a “HE” indication on the package.
2. Keep off dyes, fragrance and brighteners
Dyes and fragrance serve no purpose in laundry detergents apart from adding color and scents. If it’s possible to avoid them, then you are better off. Not all of them cause irritation to the skin, but some may contain irritants that won’t go well with your baby’s skin. Brighteners are basically chemicals and chemical exposure may not go down well with the soft and sensitive skin like a baby’s.
These serve no purpose besides aesthetics so it is advisable to keep off them if you can.
3. Go for plant-based detergents
Nature is good for the baby. Though some detergents with natural ingredients still cause skin irritations, they are low risk as compared to those with synthetic ingredients. Take your chances with plant-based products.
4. Avoid pack detergents
Liquid or powder detergents are always preferred as babies can’t easily get through the packaging to ingest the contents. Packs are a safety risk, especially if you have children who crawl around the house putting everything they come across into their mouth. Powder detergents are good with either hard or soft water while liquid detergents are ultra-concentrated and long lasting. The choice is yours. Just keep off pack detergents. If it is your preference, make sure they are kept out of reach of the children.
It is impossible to pinpoint specific ingredients that are harmful to the baby’s laundry for a number of reasons. First, rarely do manufacturers list all the ingredients used on the detergent’s package. Some ingredients are also only harmful when they come into interaction with other ingredients. Besides, a single ingredient could go by different names. You should be on the lookout to see if you baby is reacting harshly to any detergent so that you can make a change. Consult the baby’s doctor so that they can advise appropriately. Laundry time shouldn’t be stressful.
Another important tip that can be useful in protecting your baby’s skin is to separate the baby’s laundry from the rest of the family’s. The temptation to pile it all up and do it all at once is very strong. Honestly, it is much easier that way. Fight the temptation, and do each set of laundry separately.