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People with sensitive skin often use special cleansers, lotions, and other gentle skincare items. But one product that's often overlooked is laundry detergent. When you toss your clothes and linens in the wash, you might think the soap is completely eliminated in the rinse cycle. However, you can expect trace amounts to remain on the fabric, which can irritate the skin.
Gentle detergents are formulated to avoid common skin irritants. If you or anyone else in your household requires a gentler formula, don't worry—it doesn't mean your clothes, bedding, and towels will be any less clean, fluffy, or fresh.
To help you select the right product for your household, here are the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin.
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent
Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent is formulated specifically for sensitive skin. You won't find any dyes, synthetic fragrances, harsh chemicals, or artificial brighteners on the ingredients list.
It's USDA Certified Biobased Product, meaning at least 97 percent of its plant-based ingredients are biologically renewable. The safe and effective formula is not only gentle on the skin, but it's also better for the environment.
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Laundry Detergent
Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day is a go-to for natural, gentle cleaning and household products. The brand's concentrated liquid laundry detergent contains plant-derived ingredients, including stain-fighting enzymes to effectively clean fabrics without irritating your skin.
This biodegradable laundry detergent has a light lavender scent, which comes from natural oils. Mrs. Meyer's has an entire line of lavender products if you want to carry the fresh scent throughout your home.
"We haven’t found a Mrs. Meyer’s scent we don’t like, but the honeysuckle fragrance is especially nice for summer use. It’s a good balance between fruity and floral and we particularly appreciate that the scent is derived from actual honeysuckle flower extract, orange peel oil, and ylang ylang flower oil."—Katie Begley, Product Tester
Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods
For a non-liquid option, you might consider the Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods from Grab Green. With a naturally derived ingredients list containing zero chlorine, dyes, optical brighteners, or phosphates, it's ideal for sensitive skin.
Natural scent options include Birch Branch, Oak Tree, Olive Leaf, Rose, or Rain (fragrance-free). The super-gentle formula carefully cleans and softens fabrics while minimizing the risk of a reaction. Plus, the pre-measured powdered pods make it easy to start a load of laundry.
Persil ProClean Power-Liquid Detergent Sensitive Skin
Persil ProClean Sensitive Skin is a dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic product made without any perfumes or dyes. While it's gentle on the skin, the formula is notably effective at removing tough stains and stubborn odors from clothes.
All with Stainlifters Free Clear Detergent
All Free Clear is the number-one recommended detergent for sensitive skin by dermatologists and pediatricians, and we can see why. It contains zero perfumes or dyes, which makes it gentle on the skin. Also, this laundry soap washes out 99 percent of allergens from your fabrics—including pet dander, dust, and pollen—while effectively cleaning your clothes and linens.
"My 3-year-old daughter has eczema, and we usually wash her clothes separately from the rest of the family because her skin can get easily irritated. But, with All Free Clear, we felt totally comfortable tossing her clothes in with ours, and it did not irritate her skin one bit."—Ashley Ziegler, Product Tester
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear Detergent
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear is another excellent pick. Like most of the brand's products, it contains baking soda, which is great for cleaning and removing odors from clothes but also gentle on the skin. The hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested formula doesn't have any perfumes or dyes and rinses totally clean.
Tangent GC Hypoallergenic Detergent without Perfume
Tangent GC Hypoallergenic Detergent is another great option. It contains only four ingredients, none of which are fragrances, perfumes, or dyes. With a blend of plant-derived surfactants, this natural laundry soap is ideal for sensitive skin. It's also a cruelty-free and fossil-free product.
Noodle & Boo Ultra-Safe Laundry Detergent
If you have littles at home or just want to be extra careful about the products you use, we recommend Noodle & Boo Ultra-Safe Laundry Detergent. It's made without any dyes, sulfates, phosphates, formaldehyde, or synthetic brighteners.
What you'll get is an eco-friendly, biodegradable solution filled with planted-based ingredients. This pediatrician-approved laundry soap is hypoallergenic and clinically tested for sensitive skin. And you can count on it to remove odors and stains while preserving the integrity of your clothes and linens.
Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent
Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent is another great option for those who prefer pods. You can get a box of 64, 160, or 240 pre-measured pods, which contain a gentle liquid formula. Dropps doesn't use any harsh chemicals, dyes, phosphates, or chlorine—just natural, eco-friendly, biodegradable ingredients.
We're talking earth-derived glycerin and other plant-based surfactants, which attract and pull out dirt and stains from fabrics, allowing them to be rinsed away. The EPA Safer Choice program approves the formula, and the packaging is recyclable and compostable.
Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Liquid Laundry Detergent
Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Liquid Detergent is another baby-geared option that's suitable for anyone with sensitive or delicate skin. This pediatrician-recommended, hypoallergenic laundry soap has a fresh but not overpowering scent. The natural formula includes biodegradable surfactants and enzymes for removing dirt, stains, and other messes—all of which are gentle on the skin.
Tide Purclean Plant Based Honey Lavender Detergent
When it comes to laundry soap, Tide is a household name. But the brand's Purclean Plant Based Detergent is nothing like the famous dark blue liquid. While it does have a light honey lavender scent, this product contains 65-percent plant-based ingredients and no chlorine, dyes, brightening agents, or phosphates.
Best of all, it's easy on the skin yet still just as powerful at cleaning your clothes as the original formula. Also, this detergent is made at a zero-waste manufacturing site that uses electricity from 100-percent renewable wind power.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Theresa Holland, a Portland-based toddler mom and professional writer with inherently sensitive skin and substantial experience researching, reviewing, and writing about household products. When researching product picks for this roundup, she considered affordability, scent, and effectiveness. Theresa also contributes to Byrdie and MyDomaine.