Cloth Diaper Detergent – Detergent for Real Nappies

We’ve scoured the globe and have put together a comprehensive list of Laundry Detergents we do / don’t recommend using on Real Nappies products.  

We’ve kept the list as global, so next time you go overseas you can still find a detergent that will work for you.  
Ingredients to avoid in your washing powder.

As a general rule of thumb, we suggest you avoid the following ingredients.  The good news is that cheaper detergents are less likely to contain additives that are best avoided, meaning cheaper detergents can be better for your cloth diapers than expensive ones!  Yippee! You can save even more money!

  • Whitening enzymes (help dissolve stains but can cause skin reactions on sensitive babies)
  • Whiteners and Brighteners (tiny particles that remain on your clothes making them seem brighter after washing.  These are not necessary and may cause skin irritation)
  • Fragrances and Dyes (Unnecessary chemicals for babies’ laundry)
  • Bleach (harsh chemical against babies’ delicate skin)
  • Fabric softener (leaves a residue on your diapers and will cause them to be less absorbent)

We prefer powders as then you avoid the additives that they have to add to keep it in a liquid form.

DO NOT use too much detergent, we recommend about ¼ of the recommended amount.  

HE or High-Efficiency Washing Machines

HE Washing Machines use 1/3 - 2/3 times less water than Top-Loader machines, meaning you save on water and energy.  The problem is using less water means laundry detergents do not always dissolve as quickly and can leave a soap residue on your diapers.  

Solution: Use a low-suds laundry detergent with a front-loader


Turn your washing machine to high-water level

Table of Detergents for Cloth Diapers

Product Recommend Notes/Comments   Product Recommend Notes/Comments
Ace Powder No     Maleleuca No  
AJAX All-Purpose No     Method No  
All No     Mountain Green Baby free & clear Yes Great detergent
All Baby No     Mountain Green Free & Clear Yes Great detergent
All Free and Clear No Can cause diapers to smell and leak   Mrs Meyer’s No  
Allen’s Naturally Yes Natural Detergent, Biodegradable   Nature Clean Laundry Liquid Yes All natural
Amolin Yes     Nellie’s Laundry Soda Yes Contains coconut oil
Arm and Hammer Fabricare No Can cause diapers to smell and leak   Next Generation Yes  
Arm and Hammer Free No Can cause diapers to smell and leak   Omo No  
Bio-O-Kleen Liquid Laundry Maybe No fragrances,enzymes, brighteners   Oxi-clean No  
Bio-Zet No     Oxy-Clean Baby Maybe  
Biovert No     Oxy-Prime Powder Yes  
Charlie’s Soap Yes Biodegradable.  Note: test as some burns have been reported from this detergent   Oxyboost Yes  
Cheer No     Penguin Sport-Wash Yes Restores waterproofing for any diaper covers that have lost their protection
Claudia’s Choices Yes     Persil Low Suds No Contains oil to keep bubbles down, this can affect absorbency
Cold Power No     Persil Sensitive Yes  
Country Save (Liquid or Detergent) Yes Cost effective, additive free   Planet Ark Yes  
Down to Earth No     Planet Ultra Powder Yes  
Dr Bronner’s Soap No     President’s Choice No  
Dreft No     Purex No  
Drive No     Purity Sensitive Yes  
Dropps Baby Yes     Radiant No  
Duo No     Reflect Sensitive Yes  
Dynamo No     Rockin Green Yes  
Earth Friendly Products Baby No     SA8 Sensitive No  
Earth’s Choice Yes     Sam’s Choice (Walmart’s own brand) Yes  
Earthwise Yes     Sears No  
Ecos Free and Clear Liquid Maybe     Sensi-Clean / Sports-Wash Yes We recommend this product as a great way of stripping totton diapers every month. Note: Some babies may develop a rash if very sensitive
Ecostore Powder Yes     Sensiclean Yes Note: may cause rashes on very sensitive skin
Ecover No     Seventh Generation No Can cause diapers to smell and leak. Biodegradable.
EnviroRite No     Shaklee Liquid No  
Era No     Soap Nuts Yes  
Fab No     Sport wash Yes Note: may cause rashes on very sensitive skin
Fresh Strart No     Sun and Earth Deep Cleaning Yes  
GAIN No     Sun Oxygen Cleaner Yes  
Gain with bleach No     Sun, Sun Free No  
Green Care Yes     Sunlight Sensitive No  
Hurricane Yes     Surf No  
Hydrox Yes Use sparingly   Target Baby No  
Ivory Snow No     The laundress No  
Ivory Snow No     Tide No  
Jewel Ultra No     Trader Joe’s No  
Kirklands Signature no     Tri Nature Yes  
La Parisienne, delicate Yes     Watkin’s (Liquid) No  
Lemieux No     Watkin’s (Powder) Yes  
Lifekind Yes Contains seed and pulp extracts   Wisk No  
Lux Flakes No     Wonder Wash Yes  
Maggies Soap Nuts Yes All natural   XTRA No