12 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin
Got itchy skin? Your laundry detergent might to be blame.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Cris Cantón/Getty Images
Laundry detergents can have a huge impact on people with sensitive skin.
If you have sensitive skin, chances are you’re no stranger to outbreaks of dry, itchy, and inflamed patches. It can be a real pain, literally! And although some people think using gentle or hypoallergenic skincare products are enough to prevent irritation, you might be surprised to learn that that’s not always the case. Did you know that residue from your detergent can actually stay on your clothes even after the wash cycle is complete?
And if you’re sensitive to it, that lingering residue can trigger rashes, inflammation, and other reactions that will have you wanting to crawl out of your skin. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re not using too much laundry detergent, and that the detergent you are using is formulated for people with sensitive skin. They may actually be some of the safest laundry detergents you can use.
We found 12 of the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin, so you can go ahead and wash all of your clothes worry-free. Get ready to ditch the itch!
Laundry detergent for sensitive skin most recommended by doctors
ALL Free & Clear
ALL Free & Clear is touted as the number one recommended laundry detergent for sensitive skin brand by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians. It’s gentle enough for babies and children who suffer from eczema since it’s hypoallergenic and completely free of dyes and perfumes. It also promises to remove 99 percent of everyday and seasonal allergens, dog and cat dander, dust mite matter, ragweed pollen, and grass and tree pollen. Plus, it’s safe to use in all washing machines, including high efficiency (HE) washers.
Best value laundry detergent for sensitive skin
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear
Arm & Hammer is a trusted brand that gets the job done when it comes to fighting stains and odors, and it won’t break the bank. Their sensitive skin detergent has been rated 100 percent by SkinSAFE, meaning it excludes 100 percent of their most concerning skin allergens and is made for sensitive skin. The unique, lower-sudsing formula rinses cleaner and is designed to work in both standard and HE washers. The 210-ounce container costs about 17 cents a load. That’s a great value!
Best eco-friendly laundry detergent for sensitive skin
Cleancult Fragrance Free Laundry Detergent
All of Cleancult’s laundry detergents are made from non-toxic, plant-based ingredients that are free from GMOs, parabens, and phthalates. And while all of their products, including their scented versions, are made with safe and gentle ingredients, stick with their unscented detergent if you have especially sensitive skin. One more thing to feel good about: Not only is Cleancult’s detergent eco-friendly, but their packaging is as well. Start by purchasing one of their reusable, shatter-resistant glass detergent bottles. Then each time you order your detergent, simply pour it from the 100 percent recyclable paper carton into your reusable glass bottle. And don’t worry if the bottle starts to look a little messy. It’s dishwasher safe! Cleancult also made our list of the best -smelling laundry detergents.
Best plant-based laundry detergent for sensitive skin
Seventh Generation Free & Clear
Seventh Generation Free & Clear is a biodegradable laundry detergent that fights tough stains without the use of fragrances, dyes, and artificial brighteners. It’s also a USDA Certified Biobased Product, meaning that 96 percent of its ingredients are certified plant-based. You can wash your clothes knowing that you’re taking care of both your skin and the environment.
Best sensitive laundry detergent for babies
Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent
When it comes to washing those teeny tiny socks, hats, and layettes, Dreft’s Stage 1 hypoallergenic laundry detergent is the safest bet. It’s specifically formulated for newborn babies, so it won’t irritate their delicate skin. This detergent has over 20,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, with most users praising its gentleness and sweet baby scent. However, if you happen to have a more sensitive nose, it’s worth noting that several users find the scent to be a bit overpowering. That said, if you’re not overly sensitive to smells, you can’t go wrong with this tried and true brand.
Best-smelling sensitive laundry detergent for babies
Noodle & Boo Ultra Safe Laundry Detergent
If you’re trying to be extra careful about what you use for your tiniest treasures, then you may want to try Noodle & Boo’s Ultra Safe Laundry Detergent. Its plant-based formula is made without any sulfates, dyes, formaldehyde, phosphates, phthalates, optical brighteners, or 1.4-dioxane, so it’s biodegradable as well.
Aside from being one of the cleanest detergents on the market, Noodle & Boo is also known for its signature fresh baby scent. Almost every single one of its five-star reviews describes the scent as “wonderful,” “amazing,” and even “heavenly.” Still worried it may be too strong? One user promises that it’s “not too heavy of a scent” while another assures us that it only “leaves a gentle scent.” Another user admitted, “I was concerned I wouldn’t like the smell because it initially has a really strong baby powder smell, but it actually smells really good after clothes are washed.”
Best laundry detergent for sensitive skin that works on delicates
Heritage Park Laundry Essentials Luxury All-Purpose Detergent
Not sure which laundry detergent for sensitive skin to use on your high-thread-count sheets or pricey undergarments? Look no further than Heritage Park’s luxury detergent. This fragrance-free formula is certified hypoallergenic as well as dermatologist- and pediatrician-approved. It’s free from dyes, sulfates, phosphates, optical brighteners, chlorine bleach, and caustic chemicals, but is still effective when it comes to removing odors and stains. Your most delicate fabrics are sure to hold up for years to come.
Heritage Park Laundry Detergent is Leaping Bunny Certified, which means that no animal testing occurred during development or production of their detergents. It’s even gone one step further to ensure that its suppliers have made the same pledge. The fact that it’s cruelty-free and biodegradable makes this product safe for people, animals, and the environment.
Highest-rated laundry detergent for sensitive skin on Amazon
Persil ProClean Liquid Laundry Detergent Sensitive Skin Formula
Over 14,000 people have given Persil ProClean detergent a five-star rating, with a large swath of users saying they have permanently switched over to Persil after years of using other leading brands. Specially formulated for sensitive skin, this dermatologist-tested laundry detergent for sensitive skin is completely free of dyes and perfumes. And while it’s gentle on skin, it’s still tough on stains, which makes it a perfect detergent for everyday use.
Best powdered laundry detergent for sensitive skin
Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder
If you or your washing machine happen to prefer powdered detergent, then this hypoallergenic, eco-friendly detergent from Charlie’s Soap is a great choice. Made using just four plant-based biodegradable ingredients, the formula is EPA Safer Choice certified, meaning it’s safer for the environment and your septic system. Charlie’s Soap recommends using just one tablespoon of the detergent to remove everything from old residue left by your previous detergent to grease, grass, red wine, blood, and (calling all cloth diaper moms) poop. Happy washing! Just try to avoid these laundry mistakes.
Best splurge laundry detergent for sensitive skin
The Laundress Unscented Signature Detergent
If you want to give special yet gentle attention to some of the pricier pieces in your wardrobe, try this luxurious laundry detergent for sensitive skin by The Laundress. Its unscented formula is allergen-free, plant-based, and free of animal by-products and artificial coloring, so it won’t hurt your skin or your clothes. Don’t be deterred by the small bottle size. A little squirt goes a long way with this small but mighty bottle of concentrated detergent—it should last up to 32 wash loads, not to mention also look beautiful in the laundry room.
Best laundry detergent pods for sensitive skin
Grab Green Stoneworks Laundry Detergent Pods
If you like the convenience of a laundry detergent pod, you’ll love these EPA Safer Choice Certified powder pods. They’re made from naturally derived ingredients and are free of chlorine, dyes, optical brighteners, and phosphates, making them a perfect and convenient choice for sensitive skin. The pods have several natural scent options, including birch branch, oak tree, olive leaf, and rose, but if you have sensitive skin you’ll likely want to stick with rain, which is fragrance free.
Best scented laundry detergent for sensitive skin
Botanical Origin Plant-Based Laundry Detergent
Looking for a gentle, hypoallergenic laundry detergent for sensitive skin that doesn’t smell like, well, nothing? Botanical Origin’s plant-based, sensitive laundry detergent is free from dyes and brighteners, but still tough on all of your classic stains—food, coffee, wine, you name it. But what we really love is that this gentle detergent is available in two scented options: orange blossom and citrus leaves, or fresh jasmine and wild lavender. Rather than using artificial perfumes, the formula is infused with essential oils for a natural, fresh scent that won’t overstay its welcome. *Editor’s note: we can personally verify that Botanical Origin laundry detergent fills the whole laundry room with a fresh citrus scent that rivals a diffuser. Oh, and the fabric softener is also free of parabens and smells just as good.