Everyone uses laundry detergent, but for some people, this necessary product can cause skin issues, headaches or stuffy noses due to chemical sensitivity to some ingredients.
For those with sensitive skin, some detergents break down the skin's oily, protective surface layer resulting in itchy, dry skin or Irritant contact dermatitis. The most common detergent ingredient that causes the problem is any type of dye that serves no purpose in cleaning clothes.
Chemical sensitivity can also cause respiratory issues. It is usually added fragrances in detergents that cause these problems. Since many consumers equate scents with cleanliness, manufacturers lace detergents with fragrances and even offer separate scent boosters.
If someone in your home is having skin or allergy issues or you have baby laundry to do, here, in alphabetical order, are the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents. Take time to read each review to determine which product will serve your laundry needs and give you the level of cleaning that you desire.
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all Free Clear
all Free Clear is a mid-priced laundry detergent that is readily available in the United States on laundry detergent aisles and online. Manufactured by Henkel, it is a good all-purpose laundry detergent that performs well in removing daily laundry soil; however, heavy stains will require additional stain removal treatment.
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Babyganics Fragrance Free
Babyganics offers a line of products that includes laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and cleaning products. The products are available in mass marketers in the United States and online.
The laundry detergent performs well in removing most types of stains except for oily stains. Not just for babies, it can be used for laundry for the entire household. For the most protection against allergic reactions, choose the fragrance-free version.
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Charlie's Soap, manufactured by a small family-owned company in North Carolina, is available in both powder and liquid formulas. Made with natural ingredients, it is an effective laundry detergent for the entire family, works well on oil-based stains, and can be used safely on cloth diapers.
Charlie's Soap has limited availability in stores but is available online.
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Country Save, available in liquid and powder formulas, is a hypoallergenic laundry detergent that contains no optical brighteners, fragrances or dyes. The detergent is included in military care packages due to its biologically-safe ingredients.
While available in some retail outlets in the Pacific Northwest where it is manufactured, it is readily accessible for the rest of the world online.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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Dropps was awarded the 2017 EPA Safer Choice Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for outstanding achievement in formulation and product manufacturing of both consumer and institutional/industrial products.
Dropps Laundry Detergent and the other Dropps household cleaners are only available as online purchases.
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Gain Botanicals from Procter & Gamble is Gain's first plant-based and USDA certified bio-based detergent that is free from dyes and optical brighteners. The product line does include scents like Orange Blossom Vanilla and White Tea Lavender created by essential oils
Gain Botanicals is a midrange-priced detergent and works well to remove all but the heaviest of stains.
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Honest Laundry Detergent Free Clear
Honest Laundry Detergent is available in liquid and single-dose formulas. The detergent was created by actress Jessica Alba and partners as part of a green line of diapers and cleaning products for use around children.
Honest works well on light soil but does not remove heavy stains. It is available at some retail stores and online.
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Method Free & Clear
Method Laundry Detergent is a highly concentrated laundry detergent that is offered in scented and unscented formulas (neither contains dyes). It is a very effective detergent for removing normal soil and heavy stains.
Method laundry and home care products are available in the laundry aisle of most mass markets and online.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Molly's Suds is an all-natural line of laundry products including powdered detergents, liquid sports detergent, and wool dryer balls. The products are hypoallergenic and perform well on light soil but need additional products to remove heavy stains.
Available in some health food markets in select cities, Molly's Suds can be ordered online.
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Purex Free & Clear
Purex Free & Clear is manufactured by Henkel and is one of the few unscented and dye-free laundry detergents readily available on mass marketing shelves. A mid-priced detergent, Purex Free & Clear is available in a liquid formula. Purex Baby is dye-free but does contain added scent.
The product works well on normal laundry soil but needs an additional stain removal product to tackle heavy stains.
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Seventh Generation Free and Clear
The Seventh Generation company offers a huge line of cleaning, laundry, baby, and feminine products that are all-natural and plant-based. Laundry products are offered in scented (natural essential oils) and unscented formulas. The free and clear detergents can be purchased as a liquid or in single dose packs. There are also free and clear stain remover and dryer sheets available.
Seventh Generation detergents offer excellent cleaning for all types of laundry and can be purchased at many mass market stores and online.
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Tide free & gentle
Available in both a liquid formula and as a single dose pod, Tide free & gentle is safe to use for anyone with skin sensitivity but is still tough enough to remove stains for the entire family thanks to the enzymes in the product.
Recognized by both the National Eczema Association as well as the National Psoriasis Foundation as a recommended product for anyone with sensitive skin, Tide Free and Gentle contains no harsh chemicals, perfumes or dyes.
The formulas are safe to use in all water temperatures and in both standard and high-efficiency washers and perform well in removing all stains.Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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Tide is the leading seller in laundry detergents and a staple in many homes since it hit the shelves in 1946 because of its performance as a heavy-duty detergent for removing even the toughest stains.
Now, the Tide line includes Tide purclean, a plant-based detergent with the same cleaning ability as regular Tide but with no dyes, chlorine, phosphates, or optical brighteners. It is available in an unscented formula and a Honey Lavender scent infused with essential oils.
Tide purclean is an excellent detergent and stain remover for all washable fabrics and is readily available at mass marketers and online.
Uter, Wolfgang, et al. Contact Allergy: A Review of Current Problems from a Clinical Perspective. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 15, no. 6, 2018, p. 1108., doi:10.3390/ijerph15061108
Potera, Carol. INDOOR AIR QUALITY: Scented Products Emit a Bouquet of VOCs. Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 119, no. 1, 2011, doi:10.1289/ehp.119-a16
Safer Choice Partner of the Year Award Winners 2017. Environmental Protection Agency
Development of Tide Synthetic Detergent. American Chemical Society