The Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergents of 2022

Steer clear of common irritants and get dirty clothes and linens clean and fresh with the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents.

By Jasmine Harding | Updated Apr 11, 2022 8:56 AM

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The Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Option

Photo: depositphoto.com

Those with sensitive skin often have trouble finding laundry detergent that doesn’t cause irritation. But the trade-off for clean clothes, sheets, and towels needn’t be rashes and other allergic reactions. The best hypoallergenic laundry detergents do a solid job of banishing dirt, stains, and odor while omitting a variety of potential irritants and common allergens. These products tend to have much simpler ingredient lists, which can mean fewer problems for sensitive skin. Read on to learn about ingredients to steer clear of, as well as those to look for, plus other features to be found in the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents. You’re likely to discover a product here that suits your style and your skin.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Tide Free and Gentle Eco-Box Liquid Laundry Detergent
  2. RUNNER UP: Percil Free and Sensitive Laundry Detergent
  3. BEST POWDER: Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent
  4. BEST PODS: Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Packs
  5. BEST SCENTED: ECOS 2X Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent
  6. BEST ECO-FRIENDLY: Tru Earth Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Sheets
  7. BEST FOR BABIES: Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Baby Laundry Detergent
  8. BEST FOR ODORS: Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free Laundry Detergent
The Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Option

Photo: depositphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent

People with sensitive skin or such conditions as eczema may wish to put serious thought into what comes in contact with their skin. Household cleaning products, including soaps and laundry detergents, may seem innocuous, but the trace residue they leave behind can be irritating. When shopping for the best hypoallergenic laundry detergent, keep the products’ ingredients, performance, eco-friendliness, and scent in mind.

Ingredients

Hypoallergenic laundry detergents are designed and formulated to spare those with sensitive skin from itchy, unattractive distress. While there is no official standard for hypoallergenic detergents, many of these products omit common irritants, including dyes, chlorine, fragrance, preservatives, and optical brighteners. These ingredients are among the common additives that can cause sensitivities, allergies, and skin condition flare-ups. Fortunately, a hypoallergenic detergent without these ingredients will clean and freshen laundry just as well as regular products, typically relying on enzymes and plant-based surfactants.

Most labels will advertise their omitted ingredients, so you can make an informed choice according to your skin’s needs and any known allergies. For those with more severe allergies or skin conditions, it may take some trial and error as well as consulting with a doctor to find the right laundry detergent.

Form

Hypoallergenic detergents come in a variety of forms to fit any personal preference and many types help to conserve soap.

  • Liquid and powder detergents are a popular and cost-friendly pick. When it comes to sensitive skin, liquid and powder detergents can be best because they enable you to use less potentially irritating soap. Simply measure the amount of detergent required with the cap or scoop provided with the product and begin the wash cycle. While these formulas can contain eco-friendly ingredients, the products are heavy and take a lot of energy to ship.
  • Laundry detergent pods are very easy to use and effective. These detergents come in a pre-measured, dissolvable form that can be dropped into a load of laundry and won’t leave a residue behind. Since these detergents are completely dissolvable and pre-measured, they conserve soap while they clean.
  • Laundry detergent strips and sheets are convenient as well as among the most eco-friendly options. These easy-to-transport products come in lightweight, pre-measured sheets that you simply separate and toss in the wash.

Eco-Friendly Formula

Why not do right by the planet while also taking care of your skin? Since hypoallergenic detergents omit many harsh chemical ingredients, they are often more eco-friendly and natural than standard detergents that cause irritation.

Today’s detergent types include pods, liquids, powders, and strips. Pods are the most convenient since there’s no measuring necessary. They pack an ultra-concentrated formula into a tiny package that may be more eco-friendly to package and ship. However, pods often come at a premium price. Always look for ultra-concentrated formulas or cardboard packaging for an eco-friendly boost.

Scented vs. Unscented

For those with very sensitive skin or medical skin conditions, fragrance-free detergents are often the best pick. Many laundry detergent fragrances can contain a slurry of chemicals, which is why they are a common irritant. Tip: When reading package information, look for a fragrance-free hypoallergenic detergent rather than an unscented one; unscented detergents can still contain fragrance ingredients to produce their neutral quality.

Some folks, however, can tolerate certain scents and so may opt for a scented hypoallergenic detergent. These detergents may eliminate various other irritating ingredients while adding fragrance for a more pleasant consumer experience. Instead of chemical fragrances, consider natural fragrances, which are often made with essential oils.

Our Top Picks

With the right hypoallergenic laundry detergent, you can keep your skin healthy and irritation-free. The best hypoallergenic laundry detergents do away with common sensitizing ingredients without sacrificing cleaning power. The following laundry detergents are nonirritating and pack a cleaning punch to get your clothes fresh and clean without the skin-related side effects.

Best Overall

The Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Option: Tide Free and Gentle Eco-Box Liquid Laundry Detergent
Photo: amazon.com

Tide’s formula is a wise choice for those with sensitive skin and a variety of skin conditions. Recognized by the National Eczema Association and National Psoriasis Foundation, this detergent has a dye- and perfume-free ingredients list ideal for reactive skin. The powerful formula removes dirt, food, and stains without harsh additives.

This Eco-Box version puts the ultra-concentrated formula in an eco-friendly cardboard box that does away with large plastic containers. This smart packaging uses 60 percent less plastic and 30 percent less water than the company’s standard packaging.

Product Specs

  • Form: Liquid
  • Quantity: 3.1 liters
  • Scented: No

Pros

  • Removes dirt, food, and stains
  • Dye- and perfume-free ingredients
  • Recognized by the National Eczema Association and National Psoriasis Foundation
  • Eco-friendly packaging

Cons

  • Heavier than comparable options

Get the Tide Free and Gentle detergent at Amazon, Walmart, and The Home Depot.

Runner Up

best hypoallergenic laundry detergent options persil proclean
Photo: walmart.com

Dye-, phosphate-, and perfume-free, the Percil Free and Sensitive Laundry Detergent is dermatologist-tested and gentle on sensitive skin. This liquid detergent is unscented and has Deep Clean technology for tough stains and odors on everyday clothing, activewear, linens, and more. Plus, feel free to use this detergent with warm or cold washing cycles.

100 fluid ounces of liquid laundry detergent guarantees over 64 loads of laundry and is safe for all septic systems and washing machines, including High Efficiency models.

Product Specs

  • Form: Liquid
  • Quantity: 100 fluid ounces
  • Scented: No

Pros

  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Dye-, phosphate-, and perfume-free
  • Affordable price point

Cons

  • Some users have reported a new, ineffective formula
  • Cap may spill or pour poorly

Get the Persil Free and Sensitive detergent at Walmart.

Best Powder

The Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Option: Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent
Photo: amazon.com

Biokleen’s product features a Bio Active formula that aims to harness the power of natural ingredients, including plants, minerals, microbes, and enzymes, to rid laundry of dirt and odor without harsh chemicals. The simple powder is free of dyes, fragrances, phosphates, chlorine, ammonia, alcohol, and brighteners to give consumers a nonirritating experience.

Instead of harsh cleaners, plant-based surfactants and grapefruit seed extracts help to clean tough stains and odors. The formula rinses clean and leaves no smells or residue behind, washing away completely for an effective clean, even in hard water.

Product Specs

  • Form: Powder
  • Quantity: 10 pounds
  • Scented: No

Pros

  • Bio Active formula
  • All-natural, plant-based surfactants
  • Free of harsh chemicals and ingredients
  • Suitable for soft and hard water

Cons

  • Heavier than comparable options

Get the Biokleen laundry detergent at Walmart.

Best Pods

The Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Option: Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Packs
Photo: amazon.com

Seventh Generation offers the convenience of pods with a nonirritating formula. These packs are made for sensitive skin and contain no dyes, fragrances, or artificial brighteners. Instead, an enzymatic formula powers away everyday stains, like spaghetti sauce, chocolate, and coffee. Whitening and anti-graying enzymes also help to keep clothes white and bright.

The cleaning formula is both EPA Safer Choice certified and USDA Biobased certified, containing 94 percent biological products. The plant-based ingredients list does not include any animal-derived ingredients, and the detergent is not tested on animals, providing a truly gentle and cruelty-free product.

Product Specs

  • Form: Pods
  • Quantity: 45 pods per pack (90 total)
  • Scented: No

Pros

  • No dyes, fragrances, or artificial brighteners
  • Enzymatic formula
  • Plant-based ingredients
  • EPA Safer Choice and USDA Biobased certified
  • Cruelty-free

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar options
  • Some users report limited dissolving while washing

Get the Seventh Generation detergent packs at Amazon, Target, and Walmart.

Best Scented

The Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Option: ECOS® 2X Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent
Photo: amazon.com

This scented hypoallergenic detergent from ECOS offers a pared-down ingredients list, without skipping on a pleasant fragrance. The detergent contains a plant-powered concentrated formula, built-in fabric softener, and a lovely magnolia and lily scent.

Although this laundry liquid detergent has many of the traditional perks of standard detergents, it still boasts a hypoallergenic ingredients listThe detergent is free of common irritants, including dyes, optical brighteners, parabens, phosphates, and phthalates. The delicate scent is derived from magnolia and lily essential oils rather than chemical blends. As proof of its kinder formulation, the product is EPA Safer Choice certified, gray water and septic safe, vegan, and cruelty-free.

Product Specs

  • Form: Liquid
  • Quantity: 100 ounces per bottle
  • Scented: Yes

Pros

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Built-in fabric softener
  • Magnolia and lily scent
  • EPA Safer Choice certified
  • Greywater and septic safe

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar options

Get the ECOS Hypoallergenic detergent at Amazon, The Home Depot, and Walmart.

Eco Pick

The Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Option: Tru Earth Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent Sheets
Photo: amazon.com

Tru Earth’s Hypoallergenic Laundry Sheets combine convenience and eco-friendliness. Instead of pods, which can have additives to contain their shape, or liquids and powders, which are heavy and bulky to transport, these compact laundry strips are lightweight and ultra-compact. They come in plastic-free and compostable packaging.

Simply place a strip in the washing machine drum, no measuring required. The gentle formula is free of chlorine bleach, added dyes, parabens, and phosphates. This detergent is not suitable for those sensitive to fragrance, however, as it does include a Clean Linen scent to leave clothes smelling fresh.

Product Specs

  • Form: Sheets
  • Quantity: 1 strip
  • Scented: Yes

Pros

  • Cruelty-free and eco-friendly
  • Lightweight and compact; easy to store
  • Plastic-free, compostable packaging
  • Bleach-, dye-, paraben-, and phosphate-free
  • Clean linen scent

Cons

  • May not provide a deep clean
  • Lasts for fewer loads than comparable options

Get the Tru Earth detergent sheets on Amazon and at Walmart.

Best for Babies

best hypoallergenic laundry detergent options dreft stage
Photo: amazon.com

If you need a hypoallergenic formula for your new little one, the Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Baby Laundry Detergent could be just the ticket. Specially formulated for newborns, babies, and infants, this dye-free detergent is recommended by pediatricians as well as Pampers and is dermatologist-tested to be safe on baby skin.

Made with biodegradable surfactants and enzymes, this detergent is great for removing dirt, stains, and food messes. With enough quantity provided for 32 loads per bottle, this detergent is suitable to use with HE (High-Efficiency) as well as regular washing machines or hand-washing for onesies, socks, booties, bibs, and other baby clothing. Plus, this scented laundry detergent leaves behind a baby fresh scent.

Product Specs

  • Form: Liquid
  • Quantity: 50 ounces per bottle
  • Scented: Yes

Pros

  • Suitable for newborns, babies, and infants
  • Recommended by pediatricians and Pampers
  • Biodegradable surfactants and enzymes
  • Baby fresh scent

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar options
  • Not suitable for cloth diapers
  • Lasts for fewer loads than comparable options

Get the Dreft Stage 1 detergent at Amazon, Walmart, and Target.

Best For Odors

best hypoallergenic laundry detergent options armHammer
Photo: amazon.com

Dye- and perfume-free, the Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free Laundry Detergent offers ample cleaning power with baking soda for tough stains and odors. This concentrated liquid detergent is dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic with no dyes or perfumes included in its formula. Specially formulated for sensitive skin, this detergent lasts for over 107 loads with its 150-ounce capacity.

This fragrance-free laundry detergent works with regular and HE (High-Efficiency) washing machines and is certified by SkinSAFE, meaning it excludes many commonly-known skin-irritating allergens. This option rinses clean leaving clothing, linens, and athletic wear fresh.

Product Specs

  • Form: Liquid
  • Quantity: 150 ounces
  • Scented: No

Pros

  • Concentrated formula
  • Dermatologist-tested
  • Dye- and perfume-free
  • SkinSAFE certified

Cons

  • Some users report poor or leaky packaging
  • Not recognized by the FDA

Get the Arm & Hammer laundry detergent on Amazon and at Target.

Our Verdict

For a hypoallergenic laundry detergent that won’t irritate your skin and cleans your clothes effectively, we recommend the unscented Tide Free and Gentle detergent which has enough quantity to last for 96 loads and is made with dye- and perfume-free ingredients. Alternatively, for a budget-friendly option, the all Liquid laundry detergent has 99 percent bio-based ingredients, lasts for over 100 loads, and cleans with a multi-enzyme formula.

How We Chose the Best Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergents

We researched the most sought-after hypoallergenic detergents in their respective categories and discovered that the best formulas are determined by their form, ingredients, quantity, certifications, and other special features included by the top detergent brands.

To satisfy a range of preferences, we included liquid, powder, pod, and sheet-style laundry detergents that are made with dye-free formulas to avoid irritating skin. Several top picks are made without the use of perfumes, phthalates, chlorine bleach, and parabens making them safe for skin and septic systems. While most of the hypoallergenic detergents on our list are made with some chemicals, select options are 100 percent natural or made with biodegradable surfactants and enzymes.

As for quantity, these detergents last between 32 to 150 loads and have been recognized by dermatologists, USDA Biobased, SkinSAFE, EPA Safer Choice, and pediatricians. They can also be used in high-efficiency and regular washing machines or used for hand-washing. The majority of the above picks are fragrance-free laundry detergents. But, some options include light, fresh scents for great-smelling clothes, linens, and more.

FAQs

When it comes to sensitive skin and laundry detergents, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. What may be irritating to one person might not be for the next, so trial and error can be a part of the selection process. If you’re still wondering about the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents for your needs, consider the frequently asked questions and answers below.

Q: What laundry detergent do dermatologists recommend?

Dermatologists often recommend dye-free, fragrance-free laundry detergents to those with sensitive skin.

Q: Can I use a hypoallergenic laundry detergent if I suffer from asthma?

Yes, because asthma can be triggered by allergies, harsh chemicals, and high concentrations of fragrances, including those in laundry detergents. A fragrance-free hypoallergenic laundry detergent may be a suitable pick for those with asthma.

Q: How much hypoallergenic laundry detergent should I use?

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for the appropriate amount of detergent to use. Don’t think that hypoallergenic means you must use more product to get a high level of cleaning.

Q: What are the symptoms of being allergic to laundry detergent?

Look for signs of irritated skin, such as itching, hives, burning, peeling, excessive dryness, swelling, and redness, which are all signs of a possible allergy or sensitivity.