The 15 Best Laundry Detergents for Skin Sensitivity and Allergies

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    Best Laundry Detergents For Skin Sensitivity And Allergies

    Laundry detergent
    Jamie Grill / Getty Images

    Everyone uses laundry detergent; but for some this necessary product can cause skin problems like contact dermatitis and chemical sensitivity symptoms like headaches and stuffy noses due to fragrances and ingredients. 

    Irritant contact dermatitis can be caused by laundry detergents that irritate the skin by wearing down the skin's oily, protective layer on skin surface resulting in itchy, dry skin. The most common detergent ingredient that causes the problem are dyes. These chemical dyes...MORE serve no purpose in cleaning clothes.

    Chemical sensitivity can result in skin and respiratory issues. The most common detergent ingredients that cause these problems are added fragrances. Since many consumers equate scents with cleanliness, manufacturers lace detergents with fragrances and even offer scent boosters.

    If someone in your home is having skin or allergy issues or you have baby laundry to do, here are the best laundry detergents (in alphabetical order) that contain no dyes or fragrances or limited fragrances. 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 Detergent

    all Free Clear is a mid-priced laundry detergent that is readily available in the United States on most laundry detergent aisles. Manufactured by Henkle, it is a good all-purpose laundry detergent that performs well in removing laundry soil; but heavy stains will require additional stain removal treatment.

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    Babyganics Fragrance Free

    Babyganics detergent

    Babyganics is a line of products that includes laundry detergent, dryer sheets, and cleaning products. The products are available in mass marketers that specialize in children's products and online. 

    The laundry detergent performs well in removing most stains except oily stains. It can be used for the entire household, not just babies. For the most protection against allergy issues, choose the fragrance-free version.

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    Charlie's Soap

    Charlie's Soap Detergent

    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 and can safely be used on cloth diapers. 

    Charlie's Soap has limited availability in stores but is available online.

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    Country Save

    Country Save detergent

    Country Save is a hypoallergenic laundry detergent that contains no optical brighteners, fragrances, or dyes. It is available in liquid and powder formulas. The detergent is actually included in military care packages due to its 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.

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    Dropps Scent + Dye Free

    Dropps free

    Dropps Laundry Detergent is offered in single-dose packets in several formulas. The Dropps Scent + Dye Free and Dropps Baby (the formulas are the same) are best for anyone with skin and allergy issues. Both perform well on most stains and everyday laundry.

    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.

    Dr...MOREopps has limited distribution nationwide but is readily accessible for online purchases.

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    Ecos Free Clear

    Ecos detergent

    Ecos laundry products are available in liquid and single dose formulas, including a  baby laundry stain remover. The entire line contains natural ingredients and is available nationwide in most mass merchandisers. While the scented varieties contain natural fragrances and no dyes, opt for the unscented versions for the most protection.

    Ecos is a very good stain remover and is an excellent choice for the entire household's laundry.

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    Gain Botanicals

    Gain Botanicals
    Courtesy of Gain

    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 scent created by essential oils in Orange Blossom Vanilla and White Tea Lavender.

    Gain Botanicals are a midrange priced detergent and works well to remove all but the heaviest of stains.

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    Grab Green Laundry Pods Fragrance Free

    Grab green laundry detergent

    Grab Green laundry products offer two formulas that are scent free; one for delicate laundry and one for everyday loads. All Grab Green products including household cleaners are ammonia, chlorine, formaldehyde, phosphate, solvent and dye-free. The company follows   EPA (United States Environmental Protective Agency) Green Chemistry standards.

    The products have limited availability in stores nationwide but can be found in most natural and health-food stores and always online.

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    Honest Laundry Detergent Free Clear

    Honest laundry

    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 Target stores and online.

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    Method Free & Clear

    Method laundry detergent

    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 in removing normal soil and heavy stains.

    Method is available in the laundry aisle of most mass markets and online.

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    Molly's Suds

    Molly's suds detergent

    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 select health food markets in select cities, Molly's Suds can be ordered online.

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    Puretergent Fresh


    Puretergent is an all-natural laundry detergent that is available in several formulas. While not scented, there is a distinct odor of herbs to the product. These disperse after washing. 

    Puretergent works quite well at removing the usual laundry soil and heavy stains. Most of the retail sales are in limited stores on the West Coast, however, Puretergent is easily ordered online.

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    Purex Free & Clear

    Purex Free and 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 liquid and single dose pack formulas.

    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

    Seventh Generation laundry detergent

    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 powder, liquid or single dose packs.

    Seventh Generation detergents offer excellent cleaning for lightly and heavily soiled laundry loads. They can be purchased at most mass market stores and online.

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    Tide purclean

    Tide Purclean
    Courtesy of Tide

    Tide is the lead seller in laundry detergents and a staple in many homes since it hit the shelves in 1946. One of the reasons Tide has remained a leader is its ability as a heavy duty detergent to remove 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...MORE oils.

    Tide purclean is an excellent detergent and stain remover for all washable fabrics and is readily available at mass marketers and online.