Baby clothes and detergent

Best Laundry Detergents for Babies (2024 UK)

Babies are known for having particularly sensitive, delicate skin. That’s why extra care needs to be taken when it comes to washing their clothes.

Finding the right laundry detergent is essential, as it can help your baby to feel more comfortable throughout the day and cause them less irritation from their clothes.

With that in mind, check out our advice, along with our top five washing powders below, and see which one sounds like the right fit for you!


Best Laundry Detergents for Babies in the UK

1. Ecogurus Eco Laundry Detergent

Ecogurus Eco Laundry Detergent - Baby Laundry Detergent 2L - Liquid Detergent for Sensitive Skin - Non Bio Washing Liquid - Effective Stain Remover

Type: Liquid
Scent: Unscented

This non-bio liquid laundry detergent from Ecogurus is free from fragrances, phthalates, dyes and whiteners, helping make it a gentle formula suitable for baby clothes and those with sensitive skin.

Since it’s fragrance free, it’s unlikely to trigger allergic flare-ups and rashes, and also doesn’t contain the harmful chemicals used in some fragrances.

Most users find it cleans well and is a great choice for everyday washing, though it may not be strong enough to remove tough stains.

It’s quite expensive compared to supermarket own-brand options, but the large two-litre bottle should last a long time.

One downside is that this product doesn’t come with a measuring cup. You can use the lid, but it doesn’t have measurements on it so you’ll be guessing as to how much to use.

Overall, this is an excellent detergent for cleaning baby clothes since it’s gentle yet effective. It has received hundreds of very positive reviews from parents, so Ecogurus must be on to something!


2. Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder

Molly's Suds Original Laundry Detergent Powder - Natural Washing Powder, Earth Derived Powder Detergent, Non-Liquid Organic Washing Detergent, Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent - 120 Loads, Peppermint

Type: Powder

Being able to pre-treat stains can make washing powder work even more effectively, and this product from Molly’s Suds works great for doing just that.

Simply wet the stained area from the inside out using cold water, then make a paste of this laundry powder and apply over the top. Once set, rinse and wash as usual, and witness the impressive results for yourself.

This super concentrated formula is excellent for use on babies’ clothing, as it is developed especially for those with sensitive skin and allergies.

It works well on all kinds of fabrics, including blends, synthetic, and natural fibres, leaving no room for potential fading.

It produces minimal suds while working, so it won’t damage your washing machine in the process. It doesn’t contain any chemical-based sudsing ingredients, so you’ll get a natural and effective clean every time.

As a cruelty free and certified vegan product, you’ll be saving the planet when you choose Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder.

One potential downside is that some users find the peppermint scent to be overpowering.


3. Rockin’ Green Hard Rock Natural Laundry Detergent Powder

Rockin' Green | Hard Rock Natural Laundry Detergent Powder | Unscented | 45oz / 90 Loads - Perfect for Baby Clothes

Type: Powder

Rockin’ Green won’t let you down with this gentle yet high-performing washing powder.

This product uses a highly concentrated formula, containing no fillers or dyes, and you’ll only need to use a few tablespoons per cycle.

It’s made with plant-based ingredients, and is ideal for baby clothes, as well as delicate garments.

You can expect a clean and gentle wash, as the formula is free from phosphates, dyes, bleach, fragrances, and optical brighteners.

You’ll also be happy to know that this product is vegan, gluten free and biodegradable, and is never tested on animals.


4. Nimble Non-Bio Laundry Washing Liquid Detergent

Nimble Non-Bio Laundry Washing Liquid Detergent, Concentrated 5L | Plant-based washing liquid | Vegan Friendly, Allergen Free laundry detergent made for sensitive skin | 225 WASHES

Type: Liquid
Scent: Floral

This laundry liquid from UK brand Nimble comes in a large five-litre bottle, offering great value for money and helping you reduce your plastic waste.

It’s free from phosphates, enzymes, dyes, parabens and animal products, so it’s friendly to sensitive skin and a good choice for those who suffer from eczema.

Like most laundry liquids, it works well at low temperatures, helping you save money on energy bills.

Despite being gentle, it’s still tough enough to deal with the kind of stains and mishaps baby clothes are frequently subjected to!

Many baby detergents are unscented, but this laundry liquid from Nimble has a lovely floral smell that makes clothes smell fresh.


3. Bio D Concentrated Washing Powder

Bio D Concentrated Washing Powder (2kg)

Type: Powder
Fragrance free

Babies’ clothing needs to be treated with gentle care, and Bio D make sure their washing powder offers just that, while working effectively to remove stains.

Bio D are an independent, family-owned company, with environmentally friendly ethics at the forefront of their products’ design.

This washing powder is perfume free, and doesn’t contain any toxic chemical ingredients such as optical brighteners, phosphates, or chlorine bleaches.

That means it is safe to use on your baby’s clothing, and the risk of potential irritation is reduced.

In addition to its eco-friendly ingredients, the packaging is also great for planet, as it is made from paper and LDPE plastic.

One potential issue is that some users find that this powder can clump in the machine and doesn’t always dissolve fully.


How to Choose Laundry Detergent for Baby Clothes

Types of detergent

There are several types of detergent available that you can use on your baby’s clothes.


Powder is a commonly used type of detergent. It is often found in a cardboard box, and you scoop the powder out from there. One of the benefits of washing powder is its long-lasting properties.

Generally, powder will be in a large box, so it can get many washes out of it.

It is usually a budget-friendly option, yet still works really well to get rid of ground-in stains. However, be aware that washing powder can be messy, so the right care will need to be taken when using it.



As one of the most popular types of detergent, liquid detergent is used to tackle a variety of stains and fabrics.

It will generally come in a bottle, and you can use a plastic cup to measure out the correct amount of liquid for your cycle. Liquid is great for greasy stains, but it can also be messy to use.

However, it does work particularly well for pre-treating stains, so it is worth considering when looking to clean your baby’s clothing.



The third and final type of detergent you’ll find are known as laundry pods, or washing pods). These pods contain pre-measured amounts of detergent, which can be placed directly into the washing machine prior to putting your clothes inside.

While these are handy to use and mean less chance of overfilling your machine with detergent, they can be dangerous to use around children.

Their small and colourful designs can be attractive to young children, so if you are going to use them, we recommend that you store them far out of reach from children and babies.


Preventing skin irritation

When choosing the best washing powder for babies, you’ll need to be aware of various skin reactions that can occur as a result of different detergents.

If you find that your baby has a red rash, or if your young child is itching while wearing their freshly washed clothing, this could be due to an irritation from the washing powder.

However, by removing the clothing and changing them into items that haven’t been washed with the same powder, the child’s rash should go away.

Another, more serious reaction is known as allergic contact dermatitis. This will present similar symptoms to a skin irritation, such as a red and itchy rash, but it can take longer to appear. As exposure to the irritant increases over time, the allergy will develop.

If you notice this happening, do not continue to use the washing powder, and contact an ambulance as soon as possible if severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, occur.

baby clothes and washing machine


Eco-friendly products

It is important to consider the impact on the environment when choosing a washing powder.

Many washing powders that are designed for babies are also designed with natural, plant-based ingredients.

Although these ingredients may still cause irritation or bad reactions, this is less likely to happen than when using a product with synthetic ingredients.

Look out for vegan friendly and cruelty free products where possible too, as these products are more ethically sound and won’t be tested on animals.

You should also try to be aware of the washing powder’s packaging. Generally, plastic packaging is less eco-friendly than paper or cardboard, but LDPE and recyclable plastic is commonly found and is an environmentally conscious option.


Avoid fragrances and dyes

One of the best ways to avoid the product irritating your baby is to look for powders that are fragrance and dye-free.

These ingredients are not essential for cleaning clothes, and instead only create a nice smell or enhance the colour.

It is better to limit the potential risk of irritation as much as possible, and you can still get fully clean clothes without these ingredients being included.

Woman doing laundry with baby


FAQs on Laundry Detergent for Babies

Do you really need a special detergent for baby clothes?

It’s generally considered a good idea to use a non-biological detergent for baby clothes. This is because babies have very sensitive and delicate skin, and enzymes used in biological washing powder for getting rid of stains might irritate the skin.

However, this has become a controversial issue recently, as some suggest the idea that biological detergents irritate the skin is actually a myth. At the time of writing, the NHS website states that “There’s no evidence that using washing powders with enzymes (bio powders) or fabric conditioners will irritate your baby’s skin”.


At what age can you stop using baby laundry detergent?

When you stop using baby laundry detergent should depend on how sensitive your baby’s skin is. You can usually change the washing powder between one and two years of age. However, pay close attention to your baby’s skin after the change.

If you notice any irritation at all, switch back to the detergent you used before for a few more months. In most cases, though, a baby’s skin is no longer affected by things like washing powder after around two years of age.


Can you wash baby clothes with fabric softener?

You can use fabric softener to wash your baby’s clothes, but you need to exercise caution if you do. While fabric softeners can offer snuggly, lovely clothes for your baby, some can cause irritation to their skin too.

So, always check the fabric softener bottle to see if it says whether it’s safe for babies before use. Also, keep an eye on their skin. If you do notice any irritation, stop using the fabric softener.

You’ll also want to look at the label on the clothes too. Many baby clothes have a flame-resistant coating on them. This can be damaged by fabric softener, and so the clothing will usually state if you can use it safely or not.



Washing baby clothes can seem daunting, as the prospect of potentially causing irritation to your baby can be scary. However, all of the products included in this review are formulated to be as gentle as possible.

If we had to pick just one laundry detergent for babies to recommend, it would be Ecogurus’ Eco Laundry Detergent. It uses a gentle, fragrance-free formula that’s free from any nasty chemicals. It has picked up hundreds of glowing reviews from parents, so it should be a safe bet for your baby’s clothes.

Thanks for reading, and by choosing one of these high-quality products, your baby’s clothes will be sparkling clean and soft to the touch in no time!