Best Smelling Laundry Detergents of 2020 

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, florals — these are all scents we love our laundry to smell like.

When our laundry smells fresh, it gives the impression that the clothes are super clean. But even better, the smells can also help relax us.

If you’re like us and love a pretty scent for your clean clothes, don’t go anywhere. We have put together a comprehensive list of the best smelling laundry detergents on the market.


Why Do Some of My Clothes Smell After Washing?

If you do a load of laundry only to find it stinks afterwards, then it’s all been for nothing. But why exactly do the clothes smell after being washed? 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: It’s easier to do big loads of laundry, as it speeds up the process. But when the clothes come out stinking? You have to redo it. So it’s better to not overstuff the washer in the first place. You need space for the water and detergent to do their job.
  • 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. This is because the 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? It doesn’t get a good clean along with your clothes, believe it or not! We recommend cleaning your washing machine every month. Read your washing machine’s instruction manual to know the best way to do this.

How to Choose the Best Smelling Laundry Detergent

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

Scent

Of course, 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 if the detergent is naturally scented or synthetically scented? If it’s made from chemically created fragrances, it could have some detrimental side effects. For example, it could irritate your skin or trigger your allergies. Some even are linked to cancer (1).

If you have sensitive skin, you should be very picky with your laundry detergent. Even natural fragrances can lead to a bad reaction (2).

However, naturally fragranced laundry detergent is always better than chemically fragranced.


The Best Smelling Laundry Detergents of 2020

This list will help you find the perfect scented laundry detergent for your homes and needs. We have put together a list based on our knowledge and real customer reviews, so you can trust that these are well-received products.

1. Earth Friendly Products Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best Smelling Liquid Laundry Detergent

Earth Friendly Products ECOS 2X Liquid Laundry Detergent with Built in Softener, Lemongrass, 200 Loads, 2 x 100 oz Bottles
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Liquid laundry detergent is favored by many. It typically dissolves better than powder laundry detergent, so we get it if you want to stick with that. 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 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.

Let’s talk about scent. This detergent is naturally scented with essential oils. There is an option for lemongrass, magnolia & lily, or lavender. Using essential oils is much kinder on you and the planet than synthetic fragrances. Plus, the lavender oil is great for bedding since lavender can help you sleep better (3).

PROS:
  • Plant powered.
  • Naturally scented.
  • Works in all water temperatures.
  • Good for most fabrics.
CONS:
  • Bottles are prone to leaking.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsLemongrass, lavender, and magnolia & lily
Number Of Loads200
TypeLiquid
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight15 pounds

2. Rustic Strength Laundry Detergent

Best Smelling Laundry Detergent For Sensitive Skin

Laundry Detergent scented with 100% Pure Orange Essential Oils 128 fluid oz Readily biodegradable No hormone disruptors 128 loads
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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 skin (4). 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 celebrates being 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 get you clean clothes without the toxins.

In terms of scents, there are a lot of options to choose from. Lavender, orange, cedarwood, cinnamon, peppermint, and lemon are just some of the options. We love the orange scent because it smells amazing. Plus, it’s good for stress and mood-lifting (5).

PROS:
  • Natural.
  • Plenty scent options.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Readily biodegradable.
CONS:
  • Some scent options are subtle.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsOrange, lavender, cedarwood, cinnamon and more
Number Of Loads128
TypeLiquid
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight8 pounds

3. Molly's Suds Original Laundry Powder

Best Smelling Powder Laundry Detergent

Molly's Suds Original Laundry Powder 70 Loads, Natural Laundry Soap for Sensitive Skin, 47 Ounce (Pack of 1)
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This is our favorite scented powder laundry detergent to recommend. Molly’s Suds Original Laundry Powder is an effective detergent, scented by peppermint oil.

Peppermint oil gives your clothes the freshest of scents. It also has amazing benefits for itchy skin (6). If you suffer from chronic itching, we suggest you check out this detergent.

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, since they work best without suds.

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.
  • Peppermint has benefits for skin.
  • Good for the whole family.
  • Great for hard water.
CONS:
  • Warm or hot water only.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsPeppermint
Number Of Loads70
TypePowder
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight2.9 pounds

4. Babyganics Lavender Laundry Detergent

Best Smelling Laundry Detergent for Babies

Babyganics 3X Baby Laundry Detergent, Lavender, 60oz, Packaging May Vary
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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 love the Babyganics Lavender Laundry Detergent. It’s gentle and it smells amazing.

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.

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

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 babies.
  • Great for sensitive skin.
  • Works for cloth diapers.
  • Naturally scented.
CONS:
  • The cap is small.
  • Mild scent.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsLavender
Number Of Loads60
TypeLiquid
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight5.6 pounds

5. Indigo Wild Zum Clean Laundry Soap

Best Smelling Laundry Detergent for HE Washers

Indigo Wild Zum Clean Laundry Soap, Frankincense and Myrrh, 32 Fluid Ounce
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If you have a high-efficiency washer, it’s good to find 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 is a natural detergent. It is highly concentrated and low sudsing. Plus, it has 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 their soap. Plus, it’s made with coconut oil, which 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. Plus, it maintains the brightness of your whites and the richness of your colored clothes!

PROS:
  • Natural cleanser.
  • Great for HE washers.
  • Gorgeous smell.
  • Maintains colors.
CONS:
  • Doesn’t do many loads.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsFrankincense and myrrh
Number Of LoadsUp to 32
TypeLiquid
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight2.4 pounds

6. Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent

Best Smelling Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent

Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent, Ultra Concentrated EasyDose, Fresh Lavender, 23 oz, 66 Loads (Packaging May Vary)
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The Seventh Generation laundry detergent is a great 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 (7).

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.

PROS:
  • Ultra-concentrated.
  • Helps with insomnia.
  • Advanced enzyme formula to fight stains.
  • Auto-measuring design.
CONS:
  • The scent is quite subtle.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsLavender, alpine falls, tropical grove, or unscented
Number Of Loads66
TypeLiquid
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight1.6 pounds

7. Celadon Road Laundry Detergent All Natural

Best Smelling Natural Laundry Detergent

Celadon Road Cedarwood Laundry Detergent REFILL All Natural Ingredients MADE IN USA Ultra Concentrated - Sulfate-Free and Phosphate Free - 192 HE loads 96oz
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100% natural laundry detergent? Say hello to the Celadon Road Laundry Detergent All Natural. This amazing detergent is 100% natural. It includes no phosphates, sulfates, petrochemicals, animal by-products, chlorine, fragrance, perfumes, dyes, or allergens.

The Celadon Road detergent is 100% naturally scented with essential oils. It comes in a lovely, earthy cedarwood scent which will give 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 never tested on animals. Lots of reasons to love this detergent!

PROS:
  • 100% natural.
  • Cedarwood scent.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Good for cloth diapers.
CONS:
  • The scent is subtle.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsCedarwood
Number Of Loads192
TypePowder
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight6 pounds

8. Grab Green Natural 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods

Best Smelling Laundry Detergent Pods

Grab Green Natural 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods, Vetiver-With Essential Oils, 60 Loads, Organic Enzyme-Powered, Plant & Mineral-Based, 34 Ounce
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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. You can surely find the one that suits your preferences.

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 pods are wonderful for removing stains, brightening clothes and cleaning your laundry. A total 3 in 1 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 out 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.
  • Lots of scent options.
  • 3 in 1 pod.
CONS:
  • Doesn’t dissolve well in cold water.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsGardenia, Lavender, Vanilla, Vetiver, Unscented
Number Of Loads60
TypePods
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight2.2 pounds

9. Ecoegg Spring Blossom Laundry Egg

Best Smelling Eco Laundry Detergent

ecoegg Spring Blossom Laundry Egg Refill, 210 Loads
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The Ecoegg Spring Blossom Laundry Egg is the ultimate eco-friendly detergent option. Plus, it’s got an amazing 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!

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

No mess, no fuss, no waste. Plus, it has no harsh chemicals and is dermatologically tested. It’s safe for those with sensitive skin and allergies.

PROS:
  • No waste.
  • No fuss, no mess.
  • Works for 210 washes.
  • Naturally scented.
CONS:
  • Doesn’t remove stains.
  • Doesn’t work with hard water.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsSpring blossom
Number Of Loads210
TypeEgg
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight2.88 ounces

10. Biokleen Laundry Detergent Liquid

Best Smelling Recyclable Laundry Detergent

Biokleen Laundry Detergent Liquid, Concentrated, Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, Plant-Based, No Artificial Fragrance, Colors or Preservatives, Citrus Essence, 32 Fl Oz (Pack of 1) - 64 HE Loads/32 Loads
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The Biokleen laundry detergent is a great option if you want 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.
CONS:
  • Not hypoallergenic.
  • Makes clothes more static.

Additional Specs

Scent OptionsCitrus or lavender
Number Of Loads64
TypeLiquid
Naturally ScentedYes
Weight2.6 ounces

Scented Laundry Detergent Comparison Chart

ProductBestScent OptionsNo. Of LoadsTypeWeight
Earth Friendly Liquid DetergentLiquidLemongrass, lavender, & magnolia & lily200Liquid15 lbs
Rustic Strength Laundry DetergentSensitive SkinOrange, lavender, cedarwood, cinnamon & more128Liquid8 lbs
Molly’s Suds Laundry PowderPowderPeppermint70Powder2.9 lbs
Babyganics Lavender Laundry DetergentBabiesLavender60Liquid5.6 lbs
Indigo Wild Zum Laundry SoapHE WashersFrankincense & myrrh32Liquid2.4 lbs
Seventh Generation Laundry DetergentUltra ConcentratedLavender, alpine falls, tropical grove, or unscented66Liquid1.6 lbs
Celadon Road All NaturalNaturalCedarwood192Powder6 lbs
Grab Green Natural 3 in 1 PodsDetergent PodsGardenia, Lavender, Vanilla, Vetiver, Unscented60Pods2.2 lbs
Ecoegg Spring Blossom Laundry EggEco-friendlySpring blossom210Egg2.88 oz
Biokleen Laundry Detergent LiquidRecyclableCitrus or lavender64Liquid2.6 oz
Jump to the Full Scented Laundry Detergent Reviews

How Do I Make Laundry Smell Good?

If good smelling laundry is what you’re after, you can use any of these recommended products to get it. Make sure to 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.

And Breathe

With these best smelling laundry detergent options, you can breathe easy. First, because they smell great! And second, because they’re all naturally scented. You can relax knowing that there are no harsh fragrances in any of these products.

Remember to consider the different options when choosing a scented detergent. Love pods? Stick to the Grab Green pods. If you have sensitive skin, you can’t go wrong with the Rustic Strength options. If you have young children, the Babyganics detergent is one to try!

Make sure you wash your clothes with the right amount of detergent. More importantly? Keep your washing machine clean to ensure your clothes smell good after every wash.

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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!
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