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Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin of 2022

Updated
You can stop itching now with these detergents for sensitive skin.

Having sensitive skin is a constant struggle. Unfortunately, your laundry detergent might be making it worse, causing rashes, itchy skin, or worsening eczema.

Nobody needs to suffer these symptoms anymore. These are the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin, so you can get into bed at night and finally get a good rest!

How did we choose them? We spent hours researching real customer reviews, researching expert advice, and studying our own experiences. Each of these detergents is specially designed for sensitive skin, is effective at cleaning clothes, and deeply loved by customers.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Tide PODS Free & Gentle Laundry Detergent Soap Pods, 81 count
Best Laundry Detergent Pods for Sensitive Skin
Tide Free and Gentle Pods
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Perfume and dye-free
  • Removes stains and brightens
Product Image of the Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear, 140 Loads Liquid Laundry Detergent, 210 Fl oz
Best HE Detergent
Arm & Hammer Detergent
  • HE wash compatible
  • Perfume & dye-free
  • Dermatologist tested
Product Image of the Molly's Suds Unscented Laundry Detergent Powder | Natural Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin | Earth-Derived Ingredients, Stain Fighting | 2 Pack (240 Loads Total)
Best for Eczema
Molly's Suds Unscented Laundry Detergent
  • Standard & HE wash compatible
  • Good for soft & hard water
  • No harsh chemicals
Product Image of the All Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent, Gentle for Baby, 58 Loads, 88 Fluid Ounce
Best Smelling Laundry Detergent
All Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent
  • Stain lifter
  • Works with all types of wash
  • Works at any temperature
Product Image of the Charlie’s Soap – Fragrance Free Powdered Laundry Detergent Packets – 30 Pods (1 Pack)…
Best Laundry Powder
Charlie’s Soap Powdered Packets
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Brighteners & perfumes free
  • Dissolves quickly
Product Image of the Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent, Hypoallergenic, Enzyme-Based, Free & Clear, 24 Fl Oz (Pack of 1)
Best Natural Laundry Detergent
Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent
  • Designed by doctors
  • Plant-derived, enzyme-based
  • Free of harsh chemicals
Product Image of the Seventh Generation Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent, Stain Fighting Formula, Fresh Scent, 40 oz (53 Loads)
Best for Baby Skin
Seventh Generation Baby Detergent
  • Made for babies
  • 97% natural ingredients
  • Fragrances & dye-free


Product Reviews

The moment we’ve all been waiting for. What are the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin? Based on real customer reviews, here is a fab list we’ve gathered to pair you with an amazing detergent that will clean your clothes and be kind to your skin.

1. Tide Free and Gentle Laundry Detergent Pods

Best Laundry Detergent Pods for Sensitive Skin

This amazing product is great if you like pods in the laundry room. The Tide Free and Gentle pods are awesome for sensitive skin.

Hypoallergenic, free of dyes and perfumes, and dermatologist tested, you can rest assured that this formula will suit sensitive skin.

You won’t sacrifice super clean laundry, either. These pods are detergents, stain removers, and brighteners, too.

However, some users have complained that the boxes are difficult to open, especially if you have arthritis.

Pros

  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.
  • Free from dyes and perfumes.
  • Removes stains and brightens colors.
  • They dissolve well in cold and hot water.

Cons

  • Difficult tub to open.
  • Creates lots of suds.

Product Specs

Hypoallergenic Yes
Dermatologist Tested? Yes
Number of loads Up to 81
Type Pods
Feature Brightens clothes

2. Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent

Best HE Detergent

If you have a high-efficiency washer and sensitive skin, try out the Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent. It has a low suds formula which is designed for HE washers.

It’s also free from perfumes, dyes, and preservatives. Being dermatologist tested, this product is found to be kind to people with skin sensitivities.

In terms of cleaning, this laundry detergent tackles odors and dirt and traps soils in the water. That way, it rinses away rather than clinging to clothes.

Pros

  • Good for HE washers.
  • Free from perfumes, dyes, and preservatives.
  • Dermatologist tested.
  • Great for eliminating odors.
  • Twice the stain-fighting power than other brands.
  • Certified by SkinSAFE.

Cons

  • Poor packaging — prone to leaking.
  • It’s heavy and hard to pour.

Product Specs

Hypoallergenic Yes
Dermatologist tested? Yes
Number of loads Up to 140
Type Liquid
Feature Double stain fighting power

3. Molly's Suds Unscented Laundry Detergent

Best for Eczema

Molly’s Suds unscented laundry detergent is formulated with natural ingredients. It’s safe for you, and for the planet.

This detergent was designed to be safe, especially for kids and pregnant women.

Ironically, Molly Suds won’t suds up, but that’s not a problem here. Suds come from harmful chemicals and aren’t necessary for cleaning!

Due to the non-sudsing ingredients, this detergent is excellent for sensitive skin. So whether you have Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, eczema, dermatitis, or allergies, it might help.

Pros

  • Kind on sensitive skin.
  • Perfect for standard and HE machines.
  • Good for soft and hard water.
  • No harsh chemicals.
  • Suitable for pregnant women.
  • Multiple scent options, naturally scented.

Cons

  • Doesn’t dissolve well in water under 70 degrees.
  • Not great at tough stains, like mud.
  • Doesn’t brighten white clothes.

Product Specs

Hypoallergenic No
Dermatologist tested? No
Number of loads 240
Type Powder
Feature All-natural

4. All Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best Smelling Laundry Detergent

Not everyone wants to compromise a lovely scent for their detergent. With the All Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent, you don’t have to.

This detergent is made with a hypoallergenic, light, fresh scent that is still gentle on the skin.

Customers have described it as slightly sweet but really clean. Do you love the smell that comes with clean clothes? Then this detergent might be a good option for you!

All Baby Liquid Laundry Detergent also contains stain lifters. So it’s great for getting out dirt, food, and grass while still being kind to your skin.

Pros

  • Lightly scented with a fresh fragrance.
  • Stain lifters remove food, grass, and dirt marks.
  • Works with standard and high-efficiency washers.
  • Works at any temperature.
  • Specifically designed for babies.
  • Up to 58 loads per bottle.

Cons

  • More pricey than other brands.
  • Doesn’t soften clothes.

Product Specs

Hypoallergenic Yes
Dermatologist tested? No
Number of loads 58
Type Liquid
Feature Lightly scented

5. Charlie’s Soap – Fragrance Free Powdered Packets

Best Laundry Powder

For a hypoallergenic powdered laundry detergent, try Charlie’s Soap packets. They’ve been individually measured, so you don’t have to do the measuring.

There are no brighteners, perfumes, or fillers, so you can relax in your clean clothes. Although it’s unscented, customers have complained of a strange odor.

The packets are also biodegradable, so you don’t need to worry about plastic waste. If you’ve had a bad experience with laundry powder not dissolving, Charlie’s Soap is different. It dissolves quickly in water and rinses clean, all while keeping your HE machine clean.

Pros

  • Individually packaged.
  • Hypoallergenic formula.
  • No brighteners, perfumes, or fillers.
  • Dissolves quickly in the cycle.
  • You only need one pod per wash.
  • Prevents color fading.

Cons

  • Annoying to split packets for smaller loads.
  • Customers complain of a strange odor.

Product Specs

Hypoallergenic Yes
Dermatologist tested? No
Number of loads 30
Type Powder packets
Feature Biodegradable

6. Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best Natural Laundry Detergent

The Puracy Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent is a great choice for folks with a skin sensitivity. It’s plant-derived, enzyme-based, and free of harsh chemicals. They promise to clean clothes effectively without irritating your skin, which is the ideal scenario!

Doctors developed this great laundry detergent with you in mind. The priorities are happy families, a healthier environment, and clean clothes with no hassle.

To top it off, the pump system makes it super easy to measure out your detergent. No pouring, measuring, or opening up sticky lids anymore. Just press the pump into your washing machine dispenser.

Pros

  • Designed by doctors.
  • Plant-derived, enzyme based.
  • Free of harsh chemicals.
  • Pump dispenser makes for easy measuring.
  • 64 loads per bottle (super budget-friendly).
  • Tackles odors well.

Cons

  • Doesn’t totally remove stains.
  • The scent is too strong for many.
  • The bottle is prone to leaking.

Product Specs

Hypoallergenic Yes
Dermatologist tested? Yes
Number of loads 96
Type Liquid
Feature Plant-derived

7. Seventh Generation Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent

Best for Baby Skin

As cute as babies are, let’s not deny that they are very messy creatures. Therefore, they require a top-quality laundry detergent that takes their sensitive skin into consideration.

No need to look further than the Seventh Generation Concentrated Baby Laundry Detergent.

This is made to target tough baby stains from poop to their food. It’s made from 97 percent plant-based ingredients, free from synthetic fragrances, dyes, and artificial brighteners. This product prioritizes your baby’s delicate skin.

Pros

  • Made for baby messes and skin.
  • Great for cloth diapers.
  • 97 percent natural ingredients.
  • Free from fragrances, dyes, and artificial brighteners.
  • Available in a few different scent options.

Cons

  • Quite expensive for a small bottle.
  • The scented options aren’t strong enough.

Product Specs

Hypoallergenic No
Dermatologist tested? No
Number of loads 53
Type Liquid
Feature Made for baby stains

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Hypoallergenic Dermatologist tested? Number of loads Type Feature
Tide Free and Gentle Laundry Pods Laundry Detergent Pods for Sensitive Skin Yes Yes 81 Pods Brightens clothes
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Detergent HE Detergent Yes Yes 140 Liquid Double stain fighting power
Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent For Eczema No No 240 Powder All-natural
All Liquid Laundry Detergent Smelling Laundry Detergent Yes No 58 Liquid Lightly scented
Charlie’s Soap Powdered Packets Laundry Powder Yes No 30 Powder Biodegradable
Puracy Natural Liquid Detergent Natural Laundry Detergent Yes Yes 96 Liquid Plant-derived
Seventh Generation Baby Laundry Detergent For Baby Skin No No 53 Liquid Made for baby stains

How Does Laundry Detergent Affect Sensitive Skin?

Laundry detergent residue remains on the clothes even after you’ve gone through the rinse cycle. Many detergents aren’t hypoallergenic, so they’re not kind to folk with sensitive skin, eczema, or other skin conditions. Here are some symptoms you might have if your laundry detergent is affecting your skin:

  • Rash.
  • Blisters.
  • Bumps.
  • Dry, cracking, scaly skin.
  • Itching.
  • Burning skin.
  • Tender skin.
  • Swelling.

Many detergents contain toxic chemicals, preservatives, artificial fragrances, and dyes. All of these things can irritate your skin (1).

Can I Suddenly Become Allergic to My Laundry Detergent?

If you’ve been using the same detergent brand for years and your skin is suddenly acting up, you may have already ruled out laundry detergent as a cause. However, you can develop allergies to products you’ve been familiar with for a long time.

Allergens found in laundry detergent tend to develop slowly through repeated exposures (2). Once that allergy has developed, it doesn’t take much of the substance to trigger a reaction.

Also, brands change their formulas from time to time, which could trigger an allergic reaction.

Ingredients to Avoid in Laundry Detergent If You Have Sensitive Skin

Some common ingredients in laundry detergents can damage your health, environment, and skin. They include:

  • Fragrances: Manufacturers aren’t legally required to disclose the chemicals used to make a fragrance. They only need to state that there is a “fragrance” involved. So, if you see fragrance listed as an ingredient, it’s best to avoid it.
  • Stabilizers: Stabilizers such as ethylene oxide can result in dermatitis (3).
  • Bleach: It’s no secret that bleach is a dangerous chemical. While it has good cleaning properties, it’s definitely never necessary. Bleach is known for irritating skin.
  • 1,4 Dioxane: This carcinogen can easily be absorbed into the skin, which isn’t good for sensitive skin. It’s also known to cause cancer (4).
  • Synthetic surfactants: These cleaning agents may be satisfying to look at because they bubble up, but they are dangerous. They are also carcinogenic (5). If you have sensitive skin, avoid detergents made with synthetic surfactants (6).
  • Formaldehyde: This is a dangerous chemical often used in laundry detergent. It can be disguised under other names, such as Formalin, Methanal, Methyl aldehyde, Methylene oxide, Morbicid acid, and Oxymethylene (7). It’s known to cause skin irritation and dermatitis.

What to Look For (Buying Guide)

When it comes to sensitive skin, there are some things you should always look at when choosing your laundry detergent. You want to be as comfortable as possible in your own clothes.

Fragrance-Free

Fragrances are made up of toxic chemicals that companies don’t legally have to disclose. As long as it says “fragrance” on the ingredients, they’re good to go. But are you? Not if you have sensitive skin.

Fragrances are considered to be in the top five allergens (8).

If you want scented laundry detergent, consider one made with essential oils. You will get a pleasant scent that’s made with natural ingredients.

No Dyes

Dyes can cause rashes, like eczema. If you’ve noticed a scaly, red rash, this could be due to the dyes in your laundry detergent (9).

Dyes are unnecessary additives in laundry detergent and are usually created artificially to give your detergent an attractive color. A bit like fragrances, dyes are left on the clothes even after a rinse cycle (10). If it stays on your clothes, it can stay on your skin.

Chlorine-Free

Chlorine bleach can be found in laundry detergent, especially for white clothes. It disinfects, deodorizes, and removes colors.

But the beach is a toxic chemical that can easily irritate your skin. You might get a burning sensation.

The longer you’re in contact with bleach, the more susceptible your skin becomes. This makes it more prone to burning and tearing (11).

No Optical Brighteners

Optical brighteners have the power to change forms of light and emit them as blue, which makes them look a bit brighter. This is especially good for whites that tend to yellow over time. However, avoid optical brighteners in your detergent if you have sensitive skin.

Optical brighteners are left on the clothes, which means they come in contact with your skin.

Use Plant-Based Enzymes

When in the laundry detergent aisle at your supermarket, check for plant-based enzymes. Typically, enzymes are used in laundry detergent because of their cleaning power and ability to remove stains (12).

However, if you have a skin sensitivity, look for a detergent that includes plant-based enzymes to ensure that your detergent is as natural as possible.

Just keep in mind that plant-based enzymes won’t be as effective on tough stains.

Eco-Friendly

If a detergent is listed as eco-friendly, there’s more chance it will help your sensitive skin. Look out for this when shopping for detergent. Eco-friendly detergents leave out the hazardous, toxic, and irritating chemicals that are usually tough on your skin.


Tips for Doing Laundry With Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, follow these tips to keep your skin happy and protected:

  • Choose the best detergent. (We’ll help you with that!)
  • Do an extra rinse at the end of your cycle to remove detergent residue.
  • Wash new clothes before use.
  • Clean up spills and wash hands after handling detergent.
  • Use the right amount of detergent.
  • Wear protective gloves if necessary.

Is Tide a Good Detergent for Sensitive Skin?

Tide has been recognized as a leader in laundry for sensitive skin. Their Free and Gentle range is specially formulated to clean clothes and be gentle on skin. If you have eczema, psoriasis, sensitive skin, or limited mobility, this detergent could help you.

FAQs

Why are My Clothes Making Me Itchy?

Your clothes are making you itch because your skin is reacting with the fibers. Clothing dermatitis is more common than you think, and it can cause rashes and sores. You may also react with the washing detergent, causing itchy spots and red marks.

What Laundry Detergents Do Dermatologists Recommend?

Dermalologists recommend Tide Pods Free and Gentle as a safe laundry detergent for sensitive skin. It is hypoallergenic, free from dyes and perfume, and is dermatologically tested.

Can Too Much Fabric Softener Make You Itch?

Too much fabric softener can make you itch. Avoid getting fabric softener in your eyes and don’t let it touch your skin. Many fabric softeners contain caustic ingredients that can irritate sensitive skin.

Are Dryer Sheets Bad for Sensitive Skin?

SOme dryer sheets can be bad for sensitive skin, but the reusable ones are chemical-free, use zero synthetic fragrances, and are made from natural fabrics.

How Long Does an Allergic Reaction to Laundry Detergent Last?

Allergic reactions to laundry detergent can sometimes last between two and four weeks before the symptoms start to fade.


Care for Your Sensitive Skin

If your skin is breaking out unusually, it could be because of your current detergent. Switch to one of these best laundry detergents for sensitive skin and feel yourself relax in your own clothes.

Make sure to follow our tips — doing extra rinses, using the correct amount, and avoiding certain ingredients — for the best results.

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About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!