If you tell a non-parent that you’re on the market for laundry products for your baby, you’ll likely get a blank stare. Why would baby clothing need different treatment than grown-up clothing? Once you’ve dealt with baby laundry, though, you know what makes it “special”:
- It’s smellier than grown-up laundry, with more stubborn stains
- Babies go through clothes at a much faster rate than grown-ups do (diaper explosions, spit up, splattered strained peas—need I say more?)
- Babies have more sensitive skin than their adult counterparts
So with those “special” factors in mind, here’s a guide for choosing laundry products that can tackle the mess and volume of dirty baby clothes, while still being gentle enough for delicate newborn skin.
My top picks:
Babyganics Loads of Love Laundry Detergent in Lavender—The Babyganics brand is all about tailoring organic, planet-friendly cleaning products to the needs of babies and small children. This lavender-scented detergent is free of harsh chemicals and toxins, won’t remove the flame-retardant protection coated on kids’ pajamas, yet has 3 times the power of other laundry detergents when it comes to fighting dirt and stains. Intrigued by this product but worried that your baby might need an unscented product? Babyganics Loads of Love also comes in a fragrance-free variety.
Earth Friendly Baby ECOS Disney Laundry Detergent in Lavender and Chamomile—Between the cute Winnie the Pooh character and the soothing scents of lavender and chamomile, ECOS clearly had its target customer in mind with this product—which is made from plant-based ingredients and is free of formaldehyde, petro chemicals, synthetic perfumes, dyes and optical brighteners. ECOS Disney Laundry Detergent also is certified as cruelty-free by the non-profit Leaping Bunny. This product, as well, is available with no added fragrance.
Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder—Cloth-diapering moms are ardent fans of this product, even though it’s not marketed specifically as a baby laundry product. But it’s easy to see why Charlie’s Soap is such a hit among parents who are truly dealing with the dirtiest kinds of laundry: it’s hypoallergenic and certified non-toxic, and just one tablespoon goes a very long way.
Eco Nuts Natural Laundry Soap—Another mom favorite is Eco Nuts, a reusable, eco-friendly, USDA-certified organic laundry product that cleans up to 100 loads of your baby’s dirtiest clothes. You simply insert soapberry shells into the provided wash bag and add the bag to your laundry machine. An all-natural product, you don’t have to worry about toxins or fragrances. This product also gets thumbs up from cloth-diapering moms.
Of course every situation is different—depending on what kind of laundry machine you use, you might prefer one of these options over the other. But one thing is certain: there’s nothing strange about being picky when it comes to washing your baby’s clothes. Those little socks and onesies are hard to keep clean, and they don’t grow on trees…oh, if only they did!
Jorie Mark is the Creative Director of Vitacost.com and mother to three children, ages 2 to 10.