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Best Smelling Laundry Detergents of 2022 

Updated
Today’s laundry goal: make your clothes smell good. 

There’s nothing better than taking clean clothes out of the machine and breathing in a beautiful, fresh smell. Lavender, lemon, and florals — these are all scents we love our laundry to smell like. But how do we achieve that?

To get fresh-smelling laundry, you need one of the best smelling laundry detergents on the market. With these laundry detergents, your clothes will smell super clean.

We’ve put together a comprehensive list of 10 great laundry detergent options. All of these are based on real customer reviews, expert advice, and our own experience. No matter what scented laundry detergent you favor, you’ll find a fantastic option on our list.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the ECOS® Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent, Lemongrass, 200 loads, 100oz Bottle by Earth Friendly Products (Pack of 2)
Best Smelling Liquid Detergent
Earth Friendly Liquid Detergent
  • Plant-powered surfactants
  • Naturally scented
  • Good for most fabrics
Product Image of the Laundry Detergent, plant-based, scented with Orange Essential Oil, 128 fluid oz, EcoFriendly, Biodegradable, No Hormone Disruptors, 128 loads
Best for Sensitive Skin
Rustic Strength Laundry Detergent
  • Natural ingredients
  • Hypoallergenic formula
  • Readily biodegradable
Product Image of the Molly's Suds Original Laundry Detergent Powder | Natural Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin | Earth-Derived Ingredients, Stain Fighting | 70 Loads
Best Smelling Powder Detergent
Molly's Suds Laundry Powder
  • 100 percent natural
  • Good for itchy skin
  • Works with hard water
Product Image of the Babyganics 3X Baby Laundry Detergent, Lavender,60 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) Packaging May Vary
Best F=for Babies
Babyganics Lavender Detergent
  • Designed for babies
  • Works for cloth diapers
  • Naturally scented
Product Image of the Indigo Wild Zum Clean Laundry Soap, Frankincense and Myrrh, 32 Fluid Ounce
Best for HE Washers
Indigo Wild Zum Laundry Soap
  • Natural cleanser
  • Great for HE washers
  • Maintains colors
Product Image of the Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent, 23 oz (66 Loads) Ultra Concentrated EasyDose, Fresh Lavender
Best Ultra Concentrated Detergent
Seventh Generation Detergent
  • 66 loads per bottle
  • Helps with insomnia
  • Advanced enzyme formula
Product Image of the Celadon Road Cedarwood Laundry Detergent REFILL All Natural Ingredients MADE IN USA Ultra Concentrated - Sulfate-Free and Phosphate Free - 192 HE loads 96oz
Best Natural Scent
Celadon Road All Natural
  • 100 percent natural formula
  • Hypoallergenic and kind on skin
  • Good for cloth diapers
Product Image of the Grab Green 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods, 60 Count, Vetiver Scent, Plant and Mineral Based, Superior Cleaning Power, Stain Remover, Brightens Clothes
Best Smelling Laundry Pods
Grab Green Natural 3 in 1 Pods
  • Naturally scented
  • Four scent options
  • 3-in-1 cleaning power
Product Image of the ecoegg Spring Blossom Laundry Egg Refill, 210 Loads
Best Eco Laundry Detergent
Ecoegg Spring Laundry Egg
  • No waste or mess
  • Works for 210 washes
  • Naturally scented
Product Image of the Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent – 64 HE Loads - Liquid, Concentrated, Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, Plant-Based, No Artificial Fragrance, Colors or Preservatives, Citrus Essence
Best Recyclable Laundry Detergent
Biokleen Laundry Detergent Liquid
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Eco friendly
  • Plant based ingredients


Product Reviews

We have compiled a list based on our knowledge, expert advice, and real customer reviews. We spent hours researching the scent of each detergent and whether it’s naturally or synthetically scented. It was also important to us that these detergents have good value for money.

Are you ready to meet the top 10 best smelling laundry detergents? Let’s get fresh!

1. Earth Friendly Products Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best Smelling Liquid Detergent

Liquid laundry detergent is favored by many. It typically dissolves better than powder laundry detergent, so that it might be best for your machine. For a well-scented detergent, check out Earth Friendly Products Liquid Laundry Detergent.

We love this naturally scented and eco-friendly detergent. This detergent lifts stains, brightens whites, and guards colors.

It’s extra concentrated and has a built-in fabric softener, making it a 2-in-1 deal. It’s good for any kind of washing machine, hand washing, and washing your delicates.

This detergent is naturally scented with essential oils. There is an option for lemongrass or magnolia & lily. Using essential oils is much kinder for you and the planet than synthetic fragrances. Plus, lemongrass oil is great for easing some symptoms of illness, such as nausea and diarrhea (1).

Pros

  • Plant-powered surfactants in the formula.
  • Naturally scented with essential oils.
  • Works in all water temperatures.
  • Good for most fabrics.
  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested.
  • Built-in fabric softener leaves clothes soft.

Cons

  • Bottles are prone to leaking.
  • Not the best for deep-cleaning heavy-duty stains.
  • Doesn’t tackle strong odors.

Product Specs

Scent Options Lemongrass, and magnolia & lily
Number Of Loads 200
Type Liquid
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 15 pounds

2. Rustic Strength Laundry Detergent

Best for Sensitive Skin

If you have sensitive skin, you’ll know the struggle of finding a good laundry detergent. Many detergents contain ingredients, like dyes and perfumes, that irritate the skin (2). But the Rustic Strength Laundry Detergent is safe for those with sensitive skin.

This detergent is free from parabens, perfumes, fragrances, phthalates, sulfates, dyes, brighteners, and micro-beads. It’s kind to infants, babies, kids, and people with sensitive skin. The detergent itself is safe, mild, and gentle.

Although this is a natural product, it still truly cleans clothes. The ingredients are carefully chosen and balanced to provide clean clothes without toxins.

We love the orange scent because it smells amazing. Plus, it’s good for stress and mood-lifting (3).

Pros

  • Natural plant-based ingredients.
  • The orange scent is lovely and mood-boosting.
  • Hypoallergenic formula with no dyes or perfumes.
  • Readily biodegradable within a few weeks.
  • Suitable for high-efficiency and standard machines.
  • Not toxic to aquatic life.

Cons

  • The scent might be too subtle.
  • Large bottle is hard to pour into the detergent drawer.

Product Specs

Scent Options Orange
Number Of Loads 128
Type Liquid
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 8 pounds

3. Molly's Suds Original Laundry Powder

Best Smelling Powder Detergent

Molly’s Suds Original Laundry Powder is an effective detergent, scented with peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil gives your clothes the freshest of scents. It also has fantastic benefits for itchy skin (4).

There are only five ingredients, and they are natural, too! These include sodium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, magnesium sulfate, unrefined sea salt, and peppermint essential oil.

If you have babies, sensitive skin, are immunocompromised, or have skin conditions, Molly’s Suds powder is a wonder. It works with hard water, too. We also recommend this detergent if you have an HE washer.

This powder is best for warm loads only. Molly’s Suds warns that the powder is difficult to dissolve in water under 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros

  • 100% natural with only five ingredients.
  • Peppermint has benefits for the skin.
  • Good for the whole family, including infants.
  • Multiple scent options available.
  • Deep cleans and deodorizes laundry.
  • Works well in standard and high-efficiency washers.

Cons

  • Warm or hot water only (over 70 degrees).
  • Not good at removing deodorant or mud stains.
  • It doesn’t brighten white clothes.

Product Specs

Scent Options Peppermint, citrus grove, eucalyptus, lavender, lotus & peony, peppermint and lemon, rose, and unscented
Number Of Loads 70
Type Powder
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 2.9 pounds

4. Babyganics Lavender Laundry Detergent

Best for Babies

It’s important to find the right detergent for your baby. Babies have sensitive, delicate skin, so you should find a gentle detergent for them.

We personally love the Babyganics Lavender Laundry Detergent. It’s gentle, and it smells amazing. We have used this for our little one, and it’s been amazing at removing stains.

It’s great for baby messes, like stains and cloth diapers. You can feel good about your baby’s laundry when you choose Babyganics.

What’s even better is that it’s formulated without the bad stuff. No sulfates, 1,4 dioxane, optical brighteners, chlorine, phthalates, phosphates, synthetic fragrances, or dyes.

This detergent is created to moisturize and protect baby’s skin. It allows you to relax when it comes to laundry, and be a little more adventurous when it comes to play.

Plus, it’s naturally scented. This detergent uses chamomile and lavender oil to create its lush, relaxing scent.

Pros

  • Designed for baby skin and baby clothes.
  • Works for cloth diapers and removing tough stains.
  • Naturally lavender-scented.
  • Made without harsh chemicals, like optical brighteners and dyes.
  • Works for both standard and high-efficiency washers.

Cons

  • The scent is mild.
  • Environmental Working Group (EWG) rated it an F (5).

Product Specs

Scent Options Lavender
Number Of Loads 60
Type Liquid
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 5.6 pounds

5. Indigo Wild Zum Clean Laundry Soap

Best for HE Washers

If you have a high-efficiency washer, you need a low-sudsing detergent. The Indigo Wild Zum laundry soap is perfect for HE washers — but it works in regular machines, too. However, you get more loads if you have an HE washer.

This detergent boasts a natural fragrance made only with essential oils. These naturally freshen your clothes and “aromatherapize” your laundry room, too!

This brand uses frankincense and myrrh oils to scent its soap. Plus, coconut oil can add a subtle scent to your clothes.

The Indigo Wild soap contains no parabens, phosphates, petrochemicals, or sulfates. Instead, it uses coconut oil soap to tackle stains and baking soda to remove odors. We enjoy that it maintains the brightness of your whites and the richness of your colored clothes!

Pros

  • Made with natural cleaning ingredients, like coconut oil.
  • Great for HE washers.
  • Gorgeous smell of frankincense and myrrh scent.
  • Maintains colors your clothing colors.

Cons

  • Only does 32 loads per bottle.
  • Higher price point compared to other detergents.

Product Specs

Scent Options Frankincense and myrrh
Number Of Loads Up to 32
Type Liquid
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 2.4 pounds

6. Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

Best Ultra Concentrated Detergent

The Seventh Generation laundry detergent is an excellent option if you’re looking for an ultra-concentrated formula. Why choose ultra-concentrated? You can do more loads for a smaller bottle. In fact, this small bottle does 66 loads!

Plus, it comes in a glorious lavender scent which is perfect for clothes. Lavender oil is proven to help with insomnia, so we definitely recommend this detergent for pillows and sheets (6).

This detergent has no dyes, artificial fragrances, or artificial brighteners. But it can still get you sparkling clean clothes! It is made with an advanced enzyme formula to fight those stubborn stains.

Having used Seventh Generation laundry detergent for years, we can personally recommend its power.

Pros

  • Ultra-concentrated formula does 66 loads per bottle.
  • Lavender oil helps with insomnia.
  • Advanced enzyme formula to fight stains.
  • Auto-measuring design.
  • Available in lavender, alpine falls, mango & mandarin, rose, tropical grove, and unscented.

Cons

  • The scent is quite subtle.
  • It’s easy to squeeze too much detergent out.
  • You might need extra detergent for tough stains.

Product Specs

Scent Options Lavender, alpine falls, mango & mandarin, rose, tropical grove, and unscented.
Number Of Loads 66
Type Liquid
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 1.6 pounds

7. Celadon Road Laundry Detergent All Natural

Best Natural Scent

100% natural laundry detergent? Say hello to the Celadon Road Laundry Detergent All Natural. This amazing detergent is 100 percent natural.

It includes no phosphates, sulfates, petrochemicals, animal by-products, chlorine, fragrance, perfumes, dyes, or allergens.

The Celadon Road detergent is 100 percent naturally scented with essential oils. It comes in a lovely, earthy cedarwood scent, giving your clothes a natural and refreshing smell.

If you or members of your family suffer from sensitive skin, allergies, or eczema, this is one detergent to try. It’s non-toxic and hypoallergenic, so you can rest assured it’ll be gentle on your skin.

Plus, it’s biodegradable and has never been tested on animals. Lots of reasons to love this detergent!

Pros

  • 100 percent natural formula.
  • Cedarwood scent suits men and women.
  • Hypoallergenic fomrula is kind on skin.
  • Good for cloth diapers and other baby clothes.
  • Safe for those with eczema, allergies, and sensitive skin.

Cons

  • The scent is subtle.
  • It doesn’t suds up much.

Product Specs

Scent Options Cedarwood
Number Of Loads 192
Type Powder
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 6 pounds

8. Grab Green Natural 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods

Best Smelling Laundry Pods

Sticking to pods? No problem. The Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods are amazing.

They come in lots of different scents, including Vetiver, Lavender and Vanilla, and more.

These eco-friendly pods are derived from natural plant and mineral compounds. Years of work have been spent to create a natural yet effective laundry pod.

These are wonderful for removing stains, brightening clothes, and cleaning your laundry. A total three-in-one option!

You aren’t sacrificing cleaning power when you choose this sustainable option. Plus, you can rest assured this is a great option for your family.

Pods are a great choice because you don’t have the hassle of measuring the right amount of detergent. Simply use one pod for small to medium loads, or two pods for larger loads.

Pros

  • Naturally scented and derived.
  • Four scent options.
  • 3 in 1 pod: cleans, removes stains, and brightens.
  • Never tested on animals.
  • Up to 60 loads per bag.

Cons

  • Doesn’t dissolve well in cold water.
  • The scent is too strong for some customers.
  • Might leave residue on your clothes.

Product Specs

Scent Options Gardenia, Lavender, Vanilla, Vetiver, Unscented
Number Of Loads 60
Type Pods
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 2.2 pounds

9. Ecoegg Spring Blossom Laundry Egg

Best Eco Laundry Detergent

The Ecoegg Spring Blossom Laundry Egg is the ultimate eco-friendly detergent option. Plus, it’s got a fantastic spring blossom scent created using only essential oils.

This isn’t a powder, pod, or liquid detergent. It’s a reusable laundry egg. You just put the egg in with your clothes, and the water pulls out the detergent to clean your laundry.

It works for up to 210 washes. When the egg is finished, you only need to buy the refills, so you never have any waste!

If you’re skeptical, know that we have used a laundry egg for years, and it works better than expected.

The detergent inside is unique, natural, and powerful. It’s activated by water and scientifically proven to lift away dirt and grime, leaving you with clean and freshly scented clothes.

Pros

  • No waste or mess.
  • The cheapest option in the long run.
  • Works for 210 washes.
  • Naturally spring-blossom scented.
  • Cleans light loads of laundry well.

Cons

  • Doesn’t remove stains well.
  • Doesn’t work with hard water.
  • The Tourmaline pellets aren’t included.

Product Specs

Scent Options Spring blossom
Number Of Loads 210
Type Egg
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 2.88 ounces

10. Biokleen Laundry Detergent Liquid

Best Recyclable Laundry Detergent

The Biokleen laundry detergent is an excellent option to reduce your plastic waste. The bottle is made of 100 percent recycled cardboard and newspaper. When you finish the bottle, you can rinse it clean to be recycled or even composted!

As for the scent, Biokleen has created a lush citrus scent made with only essential oils. So you can rest assured that this is totally free of harsh synthetic fragrances! It also comes in lavender or a fragrance-free option if you’d prefer.

This detergent is plant-based, but that doesn’t sacrifice its cleaning ability. With this liquid laundry soap, you’ll get stain-free clothes, free of any bad odors. The citrus and grapefruit seed extract is responsible for the stain-fighting power.

Pros

  • Made with recycled properties.
  • Eco-friendly and plant-based.
  • Good for everyday clothes and delicates.
  • Breaks up stains and tackles odors.
  • A little goes a long way.

Cons

  • Not hypoallergenic.
  • Makes clothes more static.

Product Specs

Scent Options Citrus or lavender
Number Of Loads 64
Type Liquid
Naturally Scented Yes
Weight 2.6 ounces

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Scent Options No. Of Loads Type Weight
Earth Friendly Liquid Detergent Smelling Liquid Detergent Lemongrass, lavender, & magnolia & lily 200 Liquid 15 lbs
Rustic Strength Laundry Detergent For Sensitive Skin Orange, lavender, cedarwood, cinnamon & more 128 Liquid 8 lbs
Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder Smelling Powder Detergent Peppermint 70 Powder 2.9 lbs
Babyganics Lavender Laundry Detergent For Babies Lavender 60 Liquid 5.6 lbs
Indigo Wild Zum Laundry Soap For HE Washers Frankincense & myrrh 32 Liquid 2.4 lbs
Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Ultra Concentrated Detergent Lavender, alpine falls, tropical grove, or unscented 66 Liquid 1.6 lbs
Celadon Road All Natural Natural Scent Cedarwood 192 Powder 6 lbs
Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Pods Smelling Laundry Pods Gardenia, Lavender, Vanilla, Vetiver, Unscented 60 Pods 2.2 lbs
Ecoegg Spring Blossom Laundry Egg Eco Laundry Detergent Spring blossom 210 Egg 2.88 oz
Biokleen Laundry Detergent Liquid Recyclable Laundry Detergent Citrus or lavender 64 Liquid 2.6 oz

Why Do Some of My Clothes Smell After Washing?

If your laundry loads stink even after washing, there are a few reasons why this could be.

  • You didn’t use the right amount of detergent: Too little detergent = not enough cleaning power. But too much detergent = not enough room for the water to work the dirt out from clothing. Use the correct amount of detergent for your load size.
  • You overstuffed the washer: You need space for the water and detergent to do their job. Only fill the machine up 3/4 of the way.
  • You don’t wash your clothes enough: It might simply be that you don’t wash your clothes enough. T-shirts, tank tops, tights, and underwear should be washed after every use. Jeans, pants, shorts, and pajamas can be washed after two to three wears. Bras should be washed every one to two wears.
  • You leave the clothing in the washer: We’re all guilty of looking at our washed clothes and saying, “Maybe later!” But this will only make your clothes smell worse. Leftover bacteria can start reproducing on damp clothing, leaving the whole load stinky.
  • Your washing machine isn’t clean: Did you know you have to clean your washing machine regularly? We recommend cleaning your washing machine every month to remove lingering smells. Read your washing machine’s instruction manual to know the best way to do this.

How to Choose (Buying Guide)

When choosing the best smelling laundry detergent for you, here are some things you should consider.

Scent

Of course, the scent comes first. You should definitely choose one that sounds good to you!

If you know you’re not a fan of floral scents, don’t choose one, even if the reviews praise it. To avoid disappointments, it may be best to stick to what you know you like.

Type of Detergent

Scented laundry detergents can come in all different forms, from laundry pods, to liquid, to powder and much more. If you have a preferred type of detergent, stick to that and whatever your washing machine seems to work best with.

Number of Loads

If you do lots of laundry, you might want to choose a laundry detergent that tackles a lot of loads. This saves you money and stops you from running out of detergent more often. Always check how many loads each detergent does, so you’re prepared for how long it will last!

How It’s Scented

It’s important to see whether the detergent is naturally or synthetically scented. It could have some detrimental side effects if made from chemically created fragrances.

For example, it could irritate your skin or trigger your allergies. Some even are linked to cancer (7).

You should be picky with your laundry detergent if you have sensitive skin. Even natural fragrances can lead to a bad reaction (8).

Check if the detergent is dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic. This minimizes the chance of an adverse reaction.


How Do I Make Laundry Smell Good?

If good-smelling laundry is what you’re after, you can use any of these recommended products. Always follow the product’s advice on how much to use per load. Additional tips to get laundry smelling good are:

  • Spray your dirty laundry with your favorite essential oil before washing.
  • Use scented dryer sheets.
  • Dry your clothes well. Dampness is often the cause of bad-smelling clothes.
  • Wash wet clothes right away.
  • Don’t leave your clothes in the washer for more than an hour.
  • Air your washer out after each use by leaving the door open.
  • Use a fabric spray on dry clothes to freshen them up.

FAQs

Why Can’t I Smell My Fabric Softener?

The reason why you can’t smell your fabric softener is because it is being added to the wash too soon. As the machine starts to work, it rinses the fabric softener from the clothes and it drains away.

How Can I Make My Clothes Smell Good All Day?

The way to make your clothes smell good all day is to spray them with fabric deodorizer like Febreeze. You can also use perfume, essential oils, and baking soda in the washing machine.

What Can I Put In a Dryer to Make Clothes Smell Good?

You can make your clothes smell good in a dryer by adding a few drops of essential oils to an old(but clean) sock and popping it in with your clothes. Alternatively, why not use laundry sheets like Gain Dryer Fabric Scents.

Is It Better to Use Powder or Liquid Laundry Detergent?

Liquid laundry detergent is better than powder because it doesn’t need to dissolve to work. If the powder fails to dissolve, it clogs the machine and could cause a malfunction.

Can I Spray Perfume In My Laundry?

You can spray perfume in your laundry to make it smell better. Place the damp garments in the dryer, spray a few drops of perfume on a paper towel, and pop it in with the clothes.


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Headshot of Beth McCallum

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!