Those with sensitive skin need a laundry detergent that does an excellent job without causing irritation. These days, the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents do a solid job of banishing dirt, stains, and odor without using a variety of potential irritants and common allergens.
Hypoallergenic products tend to have much simpler ingredient lists, which can mean fewer problems for sensitive skin. Read on to learn about ingredients to avoid, as well as those to look for, plus other features found in some of the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents.
- BEST OVERALL: Tide Free and Gentle Eco-Box Liquid Laundry Detergent
- RUNNER-UP: Persil ProClean Free and Sensitive Laundry Detergent
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: All Free Clear Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin
- BEST POWDER: Biokleen Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent
- BEST PODS: Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Packs
- BEST SCENTED: Ecos 2X Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent
- BEST ECO-FRIENDLY: Tru Earth Eco-Strips Platinum Laundry Detergent
- BEST FOR BABIES: Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Liquid Detergent
- BEST FOR ODORS: Arm & Hammer Free & Clear Sensitive Skin Detergent
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 models are determined by their form, ingredients, quantity, certifications, and other special features included by top brands.
To satisfy a range of preferences, we included liquid, powder, pod, and sheet-style laundry detergent for sensitive skin made with dye-free formulas to avoid irritating skin. Several top picks are made without the use of perfumes, phthalates, chlorine bleach, and parabens, so they are 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, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Biobased, SkinSAFE, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Safer Choice, and pediatricians. They can also be used in high-efficiency and regular washing machines or used during hand-washing. The majority of the top picks are fragrance-free laundry detergents. But, some options include light, fresh scents for great-smelling clothes, linens, and more.
Our Top Picks
With the right hypoallergenic laundry detergent for sensitive skin, 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 clothes fresh and clean without negative skin-related side effects.
Our pick for the best laundry detergent among hypoallergenic options, Tide’s Free and Gentle liquid laundry detergent 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 unscented detergent has a dye- and perfume-free ingredient list ideal for reactive skin. The powerful formula removes dirt, food, and stains without harsh additives throughout 96 loads.
This Eco-Box version puts the ultraconcentrated formula in an eco-friendly cardboard box that does away with large plastic containers. Plus, Tide Free and Gentle has a built-in No-Drip tap for easy pouring. This smart packaging uses 60 percent less plastic and 30 percent less water than the company’s standard packaging.
- Form: Liquid
- Quantity: 105 fluid ounces
- Scented: No
- Removes dirt, food, and stains from clothing, bedding, and other linens
- Dye- and perfume-free ingredients won’t cause irritation or skin issues
- Recognized by the National Eczema Association and National Psoriasis Foundation
- Eco-friendly packaging; comes in an Eco-Box made with 60 percent less plastic
- Heavier than comparable options; may be tricky to use with some laundry machines
Get the Tide hypoallergenic laundry detergent at Amazon or The Home Depot.
Dye-, phosphate-, and perfume-free, the Persil ProClean 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, you can use this detergent with warm or cold washing cycles.
The 82.5 fluid ounces of liquid detergent can clean up to 110 loads of laundry and is safe for all septic systems and washing machines, including high-efficiency models.
- Form: Liquid
- Quantity: 82.5 fluid ounces
- Scented: No
- Dermatologist tested; will not cause any skin irritation or rashes
- Dye-, phosphate-, and perfume-free for the allergy-conscious user
- Comes with a large enough quantity for 110 loads of laundry
- Some users have reported a new, ineffective formula in place
- Cap may spill or pour poorly; may not be ideal for some users
Get the Persil hypoallergenic laundry detergent at Amazon.
All Free Clear laundry detergent comes highly recommended by dermatologists and allergists for its pared-down formula. The Free Clear line takes it a step further, creating a hypoallergenic laundry detergent for sensitive skin that’s made from 99 percent bio-based ingredients. Like most effective hypoallergenic detergents, this laundry liquid is free of perfumes, dyes, and phosphates. It uses a multienzyme formula to clean clothes while being gentle on sensitive skin.
The bio-based formula is USDA certified, which means it has been third-party tested to contain a majority of ingredients from renewable biological sources. This fragrance-free laundry detergent’s bio-based ingredients list also earns an EPA Safer Choice certification, proof that it contains ingredients that are safer for humans and the environment. All of these perks are included in a concentrated liquid formula at a reasonable price per load.
- Form: Liquid
- Quantity: 50 fluid ounces
- Scented: No
- USDA-certified 99 percent bio-based ingredients for the eco-conscious consumer
- Fragrance-free laundry detergent; perfume-, dye-, and phosphate-free to prevent any skin irritation
- Multienzyme formula provides a highly efficient cleaning formula
- USDA and EPA Safer Choice certified; the packaging is made with 100 percent recycled materials
- Some users have reported that this option is not good for heavy-duty stain removal
Get the All hypoallergenic laundry detergent at Amazon.
Biokleen’s Free & Clear natural laundry detergent 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.
- Form: Powder
- Quantity: 10 pounds
- Scented: No
- Bio Active formula uses plants, minerals, microbes, and enzymes for cleaning power
- All-natural plant-based surfactants are perfect for the eco-conscious consumer
- Suitable for use in homes with both soft and hard water
- Heavier and more cumbersome to use than other options
Get the Biokleen hypoallergenic laundry detergent at Amazon.
Seventh Generation laundry detergent packs offer the convenience of pods with a nonirritating formula. The 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 formula is both EPA Safer Choice certified and USDA Biobased certified, containing 94 percent plant-based 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.
- Form: Pods
- Quantity: 45 pods per pack (90 total)
- Scented: No
- Plant-based ingredients; no dyes, fragrances, or artificial brighteners included
- Enzymatic formula provides excellent cleaning power on clothing and other linens
- Cruelty-free formula; EPA Safer Choice and USDA Biobased certified for reliability and effectiveness
- Some users report limited dissolving while washing; may leave some suds behind
Get the Seventh Generation hypoallergenic laundry detergent at Amazon (2-pack) or Target (1-pack).
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 list. The 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, this liquid laundry detergent is EPA Safer Choice certified, gray-water- and septic-safe, vegan, and cruelty-free.
- Form: Liquid
- Quantity: 100 fluid ounces per bottle
- Scented: Yes
- EPA Safer Choice certified; vegan and cruelty-free formula for the animal- and eco-conscious consumer
- Built-in fabric softener leaves clothes feeling soft and saves money on softener
- Leaves a pleasant magnolia and lily scent behind; locks in freshness for longer
- Gray-water- and septic-safe for added convenience and user-friendliness
- Packaging may not be as durable as some other laundry detergents
Get the Ecos hypoallergenic liquid laundry detergent at Amazon or The Home Depot (1-pack).
Tru Earth’s Eco-Strips 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 ultracompact. 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 Fresh Linen scent to leave clothes smelling fresh.
- Form: Sheets
- Quantity: 32 strips
- Scented: Yes
- Cruelty-free and eco-friendly formula for the animal- and eco-conscious consumer
- Lightweight and compact construction; easy to store and use
- Plastic-free compostable packaging provides additional eco-friendliness
- Bleach-, dye-, paraben-, and phosphate-free for sensitive skin varieties
- Fresh linen scent left behind to lock in freshness for the long term
- May not provide a deep clean; additional cleaning fluids or powders may be required
- Cleans fewer loads than comparable options; may need to be purchased more frequently
Get the Tru Earth hypoallergenic laundry detergent at Amazon.
If you need a hypoallergenic formula for your new little one, the Dreft Stage 1: Newborn liquid 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 liquid laundry detergent is great for removing dirt, stains, and food messes. With the ability to clean 32 loads per bottle, this detergent is also suitable to use with high-efficiency (HE) and regular washing machines. It’s also used for hand-washing onesies, socks, booties, bibs, and other baby clothing. Plus, this scented laundry detergent leaves behind a baby-fresh scent.
- Form: Liquid
- Quantity: 46 fluid ounces per bottle
- Scented: Yes
- Recommended by pediatricians and Pampers; suitable for newborns, babies, and infants
- Biodegradable surfactants and enzymes provide a deep clean while being gentle on sensitive skin
- Baby-fresh scent left behind for long-term freshness and comfort
- Not suitable for use on cloth diapers; may not be ideal for some users
- Lasts for fewer loads than comparable options; multiple units may need to be purchased
Get the Dreft hypoallergenic laundry detergent at Amazon or Target (1-pack).
Dye- and perfume-free, the Arm & Hammer Free & Clear 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 cleans up to 107 loads with its 144.5-ounce capacity.
This fragrance-free laundry detergent works with regular and HE 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.
- Form: Liquid
- Quantity: 144.5 fluid ounces
- Scented: No
- Concentrated formula provides a deep clean for tough stains and odors
- Fragrance-free laundry detergent; dermatologist-tested and dye- and perfume-free formula will not cause any skin irritation
- SkinSAFE certified for reliability on clothing, bedspreads, and other linens
- Some consumers report poor or leaky packaging; may not be ideal for some users
- Not recognized by the FDA
Get the Arm & Hammer hypoallergenic laundry detergent at Amazon or Target.
Or, DIY Your Own Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent
A homemade solution is often thrifty, natural, and low waste. Not to mention, it’s very Bob Vila! This section covers how to make a comparable hypoallergenic laundry detergent that likely won’t irritate the skin. Simply combine 3 cups of washing soda (sodium carbonate), 3 cups of baking soda, 3 cups of grated castile soap, and 3 cups of borax for the perfect fragrance-free laundry detergent. But, for an additional touch, you can use skin-friendly essential oils to add a fresh, favorite scent to clean clothes and linens.
There are other common laundry detergent options including Persil ProClean Liquid Detergent and Arm & Hammer Liquid Laundry Detergent with OxiClean. Though these detergents are extremely effective at removing stains and odors, they do not meet our sustainability guidelines and are not recommended in our top picks due to their commercial-strength ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin.
What to Consider When Choosing a Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent
People with sensitive skin or such conditions as eczema may need to put serious thought into what comes into 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.
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 consumers can make an informed choice according to their 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.
Hypoallergenic detergents come in a variety of forms to fit any personal preference, and many types help to conserve the amount of soap used in each load.
- 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. Concentrated versions reduce this environmental impact.
- Laundry detergent pods are very easy to use and effective. These detergents come in a premeasured 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 premeasured, 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 premeasured sheets that you simply separate and toss in the wash.
Why not do right by the planet while also taking care of skin? Since hypoallergenic detergents omit many harsh chemical ingredients, they are often more eco-friendly and natural than standard detergents that may cause irritation.
Today’s detergent formulas are made as pods, liquids, powders, and strips. Pods are the most convenient since there’s no measuring necessary. They pack an ultraconcentrated 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 ultraconcentrated 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.
When reading package information, look for a fragrance-free hypoallergenic detergent rather than an unscented one; unscented laundry 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 detergents that include natural fragrances, which are often made with essential oils.
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. 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.
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