You have made the choice to cloth diaper (you're going to love it!),  you have selected your diapers, and now you are beginning your cloth diapering journey! You deserve to have success while cloth diapering your baby. Here at Pinstripes and Polkadots, we pride ourselves on being your best resource and premier store for cloth diapering and laundry care.  I know first hand how overwhelming it can be to find the right detergent for your needs and establish a solid wash routine. Our founders understood this, too, which is why they created the below detergent resource that I continue to maintain- it was one of the very first to be shared online! By choosing a detergent suitable for cloth diapers, you can often avoid unnecessary problems including diaper odor and leakage.

What to look for in a Detergent?
At best, a detergent to be used on your baby's diapers would NOT contain enzymes, dyes, perfumes, optical brighteners or any other component designed to be left on your diapers after washing. 

Specialty detergents with fabric softeners or wrinkle guards will not be suitable; however, a detergent with non-chlorine bleach or oxygen bleaching capabilities may be fine. Finally - just to be clear, soaps are not detergents and soaps are generally not recommended for cloth diapering.

Top Detergent Picks

Rating Detergent Brand Enzymes Dyes Scents Brighteners
Ingredient Absent Ingredient Present

All Free and Clear - Military Version

Allen's Naturally Liquid Standard and HE compatible
BumGenius Diaper DetergentStandard and HE compatible
Country Save Powder Standard and HE compatible
Mountain Green Free and Clear Standard and HE
Mountain Green Free and Clear BabyStandard and HE HE
Nature Clean Standard and HE compatible
Nellie's All Natural Laundry SodaStandard and HE
Planet Ultra Powder Standard and HE compatible
Planet 2X Ultra Standard and HE HE
Rockin' Green Standard and HE compatible
Seventh Generation Delicate CareStandard and HE
Lulu's Glamour Wash  
Tiny Bubbles Standard and HE compatible
Vaska Scent Free Standard and HE compatible
Wonderwash Standard and HE compatible

The evaluation included in the above chart is made with the current (June 2010) knowledge available in regards to detergents and cloth diapering. Detergent makers are free to change their formulations without notifying the public. Realize that washing conditions, diaper collections, and personal sensitivities vary. Use this chart as an aid to find the detergent that will work best with your own conditions.

Detergent Tips:

  1. Powdered Detergents are best dissolved completely before adding to washing machine.
  2. HE compatible generally refers to a low sudsing detergent. A detergent rated HEhas been certified for use in a High Efficiency washing machine.
  3. Detergents are now highly concentrated. It is important to accurately measure your detergent amount and not just "eye-ball" it.

Complete Detergent Chart for Traditional Washing Machines:
Complete Detergent Chart for HE Washing Machines: