How to pick a cloth diaper safe laundry detergent

Which detergent to use for cloth diapers? This is a question we get asked frequently. There are a number of brands on the market, some only available from cloth diaper retailers, some available at your local grocery store. Plus, it seems as if there are “natural and eco-friendly” brands everywhere. But are they good for cloth diapers?cloth diaper laundry detergent

When looking for a cloth diaper safe detergent, you want to make sure that the detergent you are picking does not have a number of additives. What you don’t want are:

  • natural oils (coconut oil is a common one in natural or eco-friendly detergents at the grocery store)
  • enzymes
  • brighteners
  • anti-allergens
  • fabric or soy softeners
  • soy
  • no ingredient list

Why do you not want any of this? Well, all of these additives can add a residue layer to your diapers. Once you have residue buildup from detergent on your cloth diapers, you are going to have a leakage problem. That’s right, pee is going to slide right off your diapers and not a drop will be absorbed.

When this happens, the only way to get rid of the buildup is to strip your diapers. But that’s another blog post.

So back to our original question: What detergent to use for your cloth diapers?

There are a number of resources on the internet that lists different brands of detergent. Some are only available in Canada, some in the U.S. and some in both. Bummis has a great chart listing a bunch of detergents and why some are ok to use and which ones are not good to use. To summarize the safe to use detergents, we’ve put together this list from

    • Allen’s Naturally Liquid/Powder**
    • Claudia’s Choices*
    • Country Save Powder**
    • Mountain Green Baby Free & Clear***
    • Nature Clean Regular Liquid/Powder*
    • Nellies**
    • Oxyboost: safe bleach alternative***
    • Rockin’ Green Cloth Diaper Detergent**
    • 7th Generation Delicate Care**
    • Watkins Laundry Detergent Powder**
    • Wonder Wash*

* available in Canada
** available in Canada and U.S.
*** available in the U.S. but may ship to Canada

What brand(s) do you currently use?

Julie @ Little Monkey Store


6 thoughts on “How to pick a cloth diaper safe laundry detergent

  1. We live in an area with really hard water. Are any of these laundry detergents better or worse for washing in hard water?

    • Hi Wendy — I would recommend the Rockin Green Hard Rock, it’s specifically hard water. Alternatively, you could also add a water softener such as Calgon to your wash too. Let me know how it works for you.

  2. Pingback: Getting the Stink Out by Stripped Cloth Diapers « Little Monkey Store: A Cloth Diaper Blog

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