The Best Detergent For Cloth Diapers That Fight Even The Stinkiest Baby Laundry

by Nichole Talbot

As the pandemic continues to cause shortages and price hikes for disposable diapers, many families are turning to cloth diapers as an alternative. While the initial cost of entry is higher in order to purchase a large supply of diapers and other necessities, going the cloth diaper route can save families hundreds of dollars over time. Fabric diapers are usually gentler on a baby’s sensitive skin, plus all those bright colors and fun patterns are super cute. They’re also better for the environment because that means fewer disposable diapers filling up landfills. (Did you know it takes 500 years for a single-use diaper to decompose? Yikes.) Of course, to make cloth diapers work for you, you need one of the best detergents for cloth diapers in your arsenal.

How often do you wash cloth diapers?

Cloth diapering isn’t all wine and roses, especially the reeking smell of a load of soiled diapers ready for the laundry. You don’t want to go more than two days, three days tops, between laundering to avoid stains setting and ammonia buildup. And the fabric in cloth diapers isn’t as moisture-wicking as disposables, so expect more frequent diaper changes, at least during a baby’s first few months of life.

How to choose the best cloth diaper?

A good cloth diaper detergent has to be strong enough to fight the worst diaper explosions while gentle enough for a baby’s sensitive skin. “If a detergent works well for your clothing and does not contain fabric softeners, it will likely work for your diapers,” says Maria Mitchell, cloth diapering mom and founder of the blog, “Treat them like you would a heavily soiled load of laundry.”

There are a few things to watch out for when shopping for a cloth diaper detergent. Steer clear of brighteners or fabric softeners that reduce a diaper’s ability to absorb moisture. It’s also best to avoid detergents with ingredients that are potentially harmful like parabens, phosphates, and formaldehyde.

Here are some of the best detergents for cloth diapers, including natural detergents and the top detergents for hard water, that will make doing laundry and cleaning up after your baby a little easier.

Best Detergents for Cloth Diapers

Best Natural Detergent for Cloth Diapers

Best Detergent for Cloth Diapers in Hard Water