These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

Solutions that are gentle and effective

If you have sensitive skin, you may use special cleansers, lotions, and other gentle skin care items to keep your flare-ups to a minimum. One product that’s often overlooked when auditing our homes for irritants, though, is laundry detergent. When you toss your clothes and linens in the wash, you might think the all irritants are completely eliminated in the rinse cycle. However, sometimes what’s in your detergent can upset your skin, and trace amounts can remain on the fabric, leading to itching, hot or red skin, and even blistering later on1.

The common skin irritants you can find in laundry detergents include: fragrances, dyes, surfactants, and preservatives2. Gentle detergents are formulated to avoid these common skin irritants, but it is also recommended by the National Eczema Association to make use of an extra rinse cycle, just to be sure that all irritants are washed and drained away. Now, when selecting a detergent, you’ll need to keep in mind that some formulas are made of plant-based ingredients and very eco-friendly, and others are specially designed with newborns or little ones in mind. Some come in the form of liquid, while others are pods or powder pods. Consider how you like to do laundry, as well as the members of your household, before clicking “add to cart.” In addition, know your clothes, bedding, and towels will not be any less clean, fluffy, or fresh after using most gentle formulas.

Here, the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin, backed by our testing and thorough research.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Lavender Laundry Detergent at Amazon

Best Budget: All Free Clear Detergent at Walmart

Best Eco-Friendly: Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent at Amazon

Best Pods: Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent at Amazon

Best Powder: Grab Green Stoneworks Pods at Amazon

Best Liquid: Tide Purclean Plant Based Detergent at Amazon

Best for Newborns: Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Detergent at Amazon

Best for Little Ones: Noodle & Boo Ultra-Safe Laundry Detergent at Amazon

Best for Fighting Odors: Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear at Amazon

Best for Septic Systems: Persil ProClean Sensitive Skin at Amazon

IN THIS ARTICLE

  • Our Picks
  • What to Look for
  • Why Trust The Spruce

Best Overall: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent

4.8 Stars

View On Amazon

View On Walmart

View On Target

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent Is Mildly Scented and Tough on Stains

What We Like

What We Don’t Like

  • On the expensive side

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent is our top pick for those with sensitive skin. The formula is made up of plant-derived ingredients, including stain-fighting enzymes that effectively remove spots and stains from your fabrics. It’s biodegradable, and features a light, lavender scent, courtesy of essential oils. (Other scent options are also available, like honeysuckle and rosemary, if you’d prefer something different.) When testing this product, our tester was particularly impressed with how this detergent was able to tackle grass stains that weren’t even pre-treated.

In addition, this product is safe for use with high-efficiency washing machines and septic tanks. It’s free of dyes, dermatologist-tested, and concentrated. This means a little bit of this detergent goes a long way. It’s recommended to use a half capful for regularly-sized loads of laundry. Considering this laundry detergent’s more expensive than others, that’s a real bonus.

What Our Testers Say

“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.”—Page Bugalo, Product Tester

Best Budget: All with Stainlifters Free Clear Detergent

3.5 Stars

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Walmart

View On Target

All Free Clear Liquid Laundry Detergent Review

What We Like

  • Not messy to use
  • No perfumes or dyes
  • Easy to find in stores

What We Don’t Like

  • Not good at removing stains
  • Leaves clothes feeling stiff

If you’re looking to spend less on your laundry detergent, All Free Clear contains zero perfumes or dyes, and comes at a good price. Our tester noted that it wasn’t messy to use, despite being a liquid product, and was an effective option for their daughter who has eczema. However, there are certain aspects to this detergent that might make you reach for a different one.

To start, it’s not great a fighting stains, since it doesn’t have as many stain-fighting enzymes in its formula. It also leaves clothes feeling rather stiff and smelling rather bland. If you don’t mind missing out on fluffy shirts and towels, then this pick will be suitable for you. It’s also probably best used for basic laundry loads, since it can’t fight an oil or grass stain well.What Our Testers Say

“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.”—Alicia Patel Product Tester

Best Eco-Friendly: Seventh Generation Free & Clear Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent

4.3 Stars

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Amazon

View On Walmart

View On Lowe’sS

eventh Generation Free & Clear Concentrated Laundry Detergent Review

What We Like

  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Can tackle common stains
  • Compatible with HE machines

What We Don’t Like

  • On the expensive side
  • No fresh scent

You won’t find any dyes, synthetic fragrances, harsh chemicals, or artificial brighteners on the ingredients list of this laundry detergent. Seventh Generation’s Free & Clear Laundry Detergent is a USDA Certified Biobased Product, meaning at least 97 percent of its plant-based ingredients are biologically renewable. The formula is not only gentle on the skin but is also good for the environment, as a result. In addition, it’s safe for use with a high-efficiency washing machine, so you can really double-down on your eco-friendly laundry routine.

Our tester noted that this detergent doesn’t really leave your clothes with any scent, which can be both good and bad. On one hand, it means the formula is free of fragrances. On the other, you’ll miss out on the scent of fresh laundry. However, our tester did find that the formula was effective at tackling most common stains like grass or tomato sauce.What Our Testers Say

“Our 3-year-old son suffers from eczema, and Seventh Generation proves gentle enough for his hypersensitive skin.”—Katie Benjamin, Product Tester

Best Pods: Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Amazon

View On Dropps.com

View On Earthhero.com

What We Like

  • Plant-based ingredients
  • Convenient to use
  • Recyclable packaging

What We Don’t Like

  • Box isn’t very durable at times

Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent is a 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 harsh chemicals, dyes, phosphates, or chlorine in their formula—just natural, eco-friendly, biodegradable ingredients. The list of ingredients includes 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, which helps identify products and ingredients that are safer for humans and the planet, approves the formula. Plus, the packaging is recyclable and compostable. You will also enjoy how clean it is to use these pods. You don’t have to worry about the detergent spilling on your laundry machine. It is just in your best interest to keep the box of pods in a place where they can’t get knocked or wet. It’s not as durable as a plastic container of detergent.

Best Powder: Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Amazon

View On Walmart

What We Like

  • Five natural scent options
  • Pod design
  • No optical brighteners

What We Don’t Like

  • Can leave a residue on clothes
  • Doesn’t always dissolve properly

For a non-liquid option, consider the Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods from Grab Green. With a naturally derived ingredients list containing no chlorine, dyes, optical brighteners, or phosphates, it’s ideal for anyone with sensitive skin. You can pick out the powder-filled pods in one of five natural scent options: birch branch, oak tree, olive leaf, rose, or rain. Thanks to the pod design, it’s also easy to slip the detergent into your washer and start a load.

Now, there are a few “downsides” to this product. If one of the pods breaks, the powder sprinkles everywhere in both the packaging and likely your laundry room. You may also find that the powder doesn’t always dissolve as it should, or will leave a bit of residue on your clothes.

The 11 Best Laundry Detergent Pods Available

Best Liquid: Tide Purclean Plant Based Honey Lavender Detergent

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Amazon

View On Walmart

View On Target

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • USDA Certified Biobased Product
  • Made at a zero-waste manufacturing site

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains fragrance
  • Messier than a pod

When it comes to detergent, Tide is a household name. Though, the well-known brand’s Purclean Plant Based Detergent is nothing like the dark blue liquid you may currently pour in your washer’s dispenser. It has a light, honey lavender scent, and contains plant-based ingredients. The formula has 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. So, you can feel confident that your purchase is helping you, your household, and the planet. It does have fragrance in it, so buyer beware. However, it’s another USDA Certified Biobased Product.

The Best Laundry Baskets to Keep Your Washing Organized

Best for Newborns: Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Liquid Laundry Detergent

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Amazon

View On Walmart

What We Like

  • Recommended by pediatricians
  • Pleasing scent
  • Can be used in a HE machine

What We Don’t Like

  • Not ideal for cloth diapers
  • Contains fragrance

Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Liquid Detergent is specially designed for the little one in your household. It’s not only recommended by pediatricians, but is also a hypoallergenic laundry soap with a fresh (but not overpowering) scent. The formula includes biodegradable surfactants and enzymes for removing dirt, stains, and all messes your newborn may find on a daily basis.

Now, this product does contain fragrances. It’s also not suitable for cloth diapers. However, you can use it to hand wash items in your bathroom sink, and you can load it into a regular or high-efficiency washer. It’s also free of dyes and the scent will leave your newborn’s clothes smelling very clean.

Best for Little Ones: Noodle & Boo Ultra-Safe Laundry Detergent

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Amazon

View On Noodleandboo.com

What We Like

  • Biodegradable solution
  • Tested by pediatricians
  • Concentrated formula

What We Don’t Like

  • On the expensive side

If you have kids 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 a laundry list of common irritants including like dyes, sulfates, phosphates, formaldehyde, or synthetic brighteners3. What you’ll get is a biodegradable solution with planted-based ingredients. This soap is hypoallergenic and tested by pediatricians and dermatologists, too.

You can count on it to remove odors and stains while preserving the integrity of your clothes and linens. The concentrated formula also allows you to use less with every load. This is an essential with this product, as it’s pricier than others on shelves and online.

The Best Wool Dryer Balls for Softer Clothes

Best for Fighting Odors: Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear Detergent

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Amazon

View On Walmart

What We Like

  • Other products in the line
  • Affordable
  • Rinses clean

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t always ship well

Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear is an excellent pick for those looking to fight odors and keep their skin happy. Like most of the well-known brand’s products, the detergent contains baking soda, which some also use to clean surfaces around their homes (or to bake). The hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested formula doesn’t have any perfumes or dyes, and rinses totally clean.

Notably, it’s also a very affordable option. You can purchase it in a container that’s suitable for 107 loads or for 140 loads. There are other products in the line you can also purchase that are designed for sensitive skin, like detergent pods. Your only negative review will be that the product may not have shipped well. You might want to consider buying it in stores, for that reason.

Best for Septic Systems: Persil ProClean Power-Liquid Detergent Sensitive Skin

These Are the 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

View On Amazon

View On Walmart

What We Like

  • Great at removing stubborn stains
  • Rinses clean
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • Cap design could be better

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. It’s also a safe option for septic systems. You can purchase it in multiple sizes and load it into a regular or high-efficiency washing machine.

You’ll likely pick up on the fact that this detergent rinses clean and well. It’s also another affordable option for households who want to treat their sensitive skin right and load up their laundry room with effective, reliable products. The cap may not withstand shipping and handling, but you can always find it in a store to avoid any potential leaks.Final Verdict

Our top pick for a laundry detergent if you or someone in your household has sensitive skin is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent (view at Target). A little of this product goes a long way, and its scent isn’t too overpowering. If you want to spend a little less, All Free Clear (view at Walmart) is another great option. It’s not as effective on stains, but our product tester noted that it was super gentle on their daughter’s eczema.

What to Look for in a Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin

Type

Laundry detergents come in several different forms. You can buy them as a liquid, pod, powder, or sheet. The type that’s best for you depends on personal preference; what you consider is easy and convenient for you. If you frequently make trips to the laundromat, pods may be the best option for you because they’re portable. Liquid detergent can be more tailored to your load size, but is often a messier option. Think about your laundry routine, the size of your loads and whether the size varies, and where you do your laundry before making a purchase. If you’re using a high-efficiency machine, you’ll need to find a detergent that’s compatible with that type of washer.

Ingredients

It’s essential to pay attention to the ingredient list of a laundry detergent if you or someone in your household has sensitive skin. The ingredient list will alert you to any irritants that might be in the formula. Common irritants include: fragrances (otherwise known as perfumes), surfactants, dyes, and preservatives2. The word “hypoallergenic” in a detergent’s label may mean that it contains fewer triggering ingredients. However, it’s always best to read through the ingredient list yourself. Some detergents for sensitive skin are made of purely plant-based ingredients, and disregard the chemicals that may irritate your skin easily4 all together. These formulas are also typically much better for the environment. Optical brighteners are a common detergent ingredient that help keep clothes looking fresh and new, but can contaminate aquatic life. So, if you’re looking to make your laundry room more gentle on the planet, this is also an ingredient to avoid.

Testing and Certifications

When finding the right detergent for your sensitive skin, it’s always best to see what dermatologists, pediatricians, and national organizations think of the product. Some products for sensitive skin are tested by medical professionals, and will have a label telling you so. Others may be a USDA Certified Biobased Product—so at least 97 percent of its plant-based ingredients are biologically renewable—or a part of the EPA Safer Choice program. This program helps identify products and ingredients that are safer for humans and the planet, and may be an important consideration for a household that is looking to make their laundry routine more sustainable and eco-friendly.

FAQ

  • How much laundry detergent should you use per load?The amount of detergent you need per load depends on the size of your load, the type of detergent you’re using, and the type of washer you’re using. If you are filling your machine up with towels, then you’ll need more detergent. Some detergents are concentrated, so a little goes a long way and you can add much less, even if the load is full.Typically, a standard washer with a regular amount of laundry needs between one and two tablespoons of detergent. However, always read the instructions on the label before you start a load to understand how much you should add.
  • Does laundry detergent expire?Laundry detergent can expire. It’s in your best interest to use your detergent before the date that’s marked on the label, so that it effectively cleans your clothes. After the marked date, the formula may start to break down. Once a bottle of liquid laundry detergent is opened, you typically have six months to use it. Pods should be used within six months of purchase, and also kept away from water so they don’t clump or dissolve—preferably in an air-tight container.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn

Try Bubble Laundry Service. $1.85/lb and $45 Off. Let’s get your laundry done. 

On Key

Related Posts

How to Use Laundry Detergent Pods Correctly

How to Use Laundry Detergent Pods Correctly

Single-dose detergent packs have taken the laundry detergent market by storm. Laundry pods and packs promise to be effective, convenient, and simple to use. Then why are you having problems like streaking or spotting left on loads of laundry after using the pods? 

Oxygen Bleach for Laundry and Stain Removal

How to Use Oxygen Bleach for Laundry and Stain Removal

“Oxi” or “oxy.” No matter how you spell it, oxygen bleach is a hot commodity in the laundry and household cleaning worlds. How does it work, and do you really need it around the house? What Is Oxygen Bleach? Oxygen bleach, or all-fabric bleach, is a

How to Do Laundry in 10 Easy Steps

How to Do Laundry in 10 Easy Steps

Learning how to do laundry is not difficult. Today’s fabrics, detergents, and machines take most of the mystery and mistakes out of the process. Follow these 10 basic steps for washable clothes and you’ll have clean laundry to wear and use tomorrow.

Top 10 Reasons to Use Vinegar in Laundry

Top 10 Reasons to Use Vinegar in Laundry

Using inexpensive distilled white vinegar in laundry will whiten, brighten, reduce odor, and soften clothes without harsh chemicals. Vinegar is safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers. All types of vinegar contain acetic acid that works to brighten, soften, and kill odors in your laundry.

How to Use Baking Soda in Laundry

How to Use Baking Soda in Laundry

That same box of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) that you have in your fridge is also an inexpensive way to remove odors from laundry, boost detergent and bleach performance, soften clothes, clean an iron, and control detergent suds. Safe to use

What Is HE Laundry Detergent

What Is HE Laundry Detergent and Do You Need It?

IN THIS ARTICLE Why? How Much? Can I Use It in a Standard Washer?  BACK TO TOP Walk down the laundry detergent aisle in any store, and almost every single bottle, box, and bag has a little symbol on the label:

Laundry Room Ideas

55 Laundry Room Ideas That’ll Make Doing Laundry a Joy

Laundry is an unavoidable household task that many people find boring, but your laundry room certainly doesn’t have to be. Interior designers and home decorators never miss a decorating opportunity, knowing that the key to a stylish interior is maximizing

Reasons to Use Vinegar in Laundry

Top 10 Reasons to Use Vinegar in Laundry

Using inexpensive distilled white vinegar in laundry will whiten, brighten, reduce odor, and soften clothes without harsh chemicals. Vinegar is safe to use in both standard and high-efficiency washers. All types of vinegar contain acetic acid that works to brighten, soften, and kill odors in your laundry.

The Best Top Load Washers to Make Laundry Day a Breeze

The Best Top Load Washers to Make Laundry Day a Breeze

Find the best fit for your laundry needs There’s something wonderfully familiar about a top load washer. The design is very straightforward, and these models are known for making both modern and traditional laundry rooms feel complete. The drums are also

Laundry Room Flooring Options

7 Laundry Room Flooring Options

IN THIS ARTICLE Considerations Sheet Vinyl Luxury Vinyl Flooring (LVF) Tile Concrete Laminate Engineered Wood Solid Wood The Verdict We would all like our laundry room to be comfortable to work in, attractive, and functional. Function is a factor of

How Much To Pay Someone To Do Laundry

How Much Does Laundry Service Cost?

Laundry Bubble is a quality washing service for customers around countries. Clothes Bubble partnered with home providers who generally stay in their homes, businesses, businesses, and suppliers for their customers, washing and folding laundry, so how much to pay someone

Organizational Hacks to Stay on Top of Laundry

9 Organizational Hacks to Stay on Top of Laundry

Taking care of household laundry can be overwhelming if you let it pile up. Fortunately, these days we have better equipment, more effective laundry products, and easier care fabrics to help with the task. But laundry still takes time to ensure that

How Many Dryer Sheets Should You Use Per Load?

How Many Dryer Sheets Should You Use Per Load?

Dryer sheets add fragrance, reduce static cling, and add softness to fabrics when tossed in the dryer with a load of wet laundry. The debate over how many sheets you should use per load depends on several factors. The size

Bubble is a rapidly growing start-up that delivers high-quality Wash and Fold. Our customers are often busy families, active professionals, and hardworking businesses that need a little help in getting it all done. We are looking to add amazing new Bubbles to our team.