If you or someone you love has sensitive skin, you know the difficulties of finding products that don’t cause reactions. And you also know that to prevent them, the first place you should look is your laundry detergent. There’s no shortage of harsh chemicals in laundry detergents, all of which could irritate your skin and cause allergic reactions.
So it’s crucial that you find a hypoallergenic laundry detergent with no harsh chemicals. But what about cleaning performance? There’s no point in picking up a hypoallergenic detergent if it can’t fight stains and keep your clothes clean.
I spent a week using each of the leading hypoallergenic laundry detergents to review and compare them based on cleaning efficiency, plant-based and safe formulas, and environmental contributions.
Here’s what I discovered.
Best hypoallergenic laundry detergent: Earth Breeze Eco Sheets (4.6/5)
- Certified cruelty free, vegan, and hypoallergenic
- Great cleaning performance on all fabrics
- Lightweight, plastic-free packaging
- Economical at $0.20 per load
- Contributions to environmental and charitable causes
- Not as well known as the competition
Earth Breeze takes the gold as the best hypoallergenic laundry detergent for multiple reasons. The certified formula is plant based and cruelty free, but it doesn’t compromise on stain removal. The gentle ingredients are also safe to use as a baby detergent, so you don’t need to worry about your little ones’ allergies or delicate skin.
The cleaning performance is great on all the fabrics I tested. Even cloth diapers can be cleaned effectively and without any hassle.
Earth Breeze offers both scented and unscented detergents. The scented version uses only all-natural essential oils, but for sensitive skin you may still want to go with the unscented option. Both offer the same cleaning performance, so feel free to choose either depending on your preference.
This safe and gentle detergent isn’t too dear, either. A one-time purchase works out to $0.33 per load, but that drops to $0.20 if you choose the monthly subscription.
Even at that affordable price, Earth Breeze tries hard to keep its customers happy, with free shipping and a risk-free, money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with how it works, you can get your money back.
The company itself is also involved in sustainability efforts and is a 1% for the Planet partner, donating 1% of its revenues to environmental causes. It also donates 10 detergent sheets to charity with each purchase, and you can even pick the charity!
Earth Breeze tops the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents because of its safe ingredients, excellent stain removal power, and contributions to charitable and environmental causes. For all that at an excellent price, sign up for Earth Breeze today.
Second place medal: Heritage Park Laundry Detergent (4.2/5)
- Natural and effective stain-fighting enzymes
- Certified hypoallergenic
- Efficient cleaning performance
- Gentle formula safe for sensitive skin
- Expensive at $0.55 per load
Heritage Park is a certified hypoallergenic detergent that boasts an effective cleaning performance. It’s friendly to sensitive skin and doesn’t come with many negatives.
If you have young children, the baby detergent variety is an effective choice. You won’t risk your baby breaking out in any rashes or hives with this detergent. Since the brand itself is dermatologist certified, you don’t need to worry that the claims it makes are bogus.
There are a few negatives associated with Heritage Park, though. It’s more expensive than Earth Breeze, costing $0.55 per wash. While this comes down to $0.49 per wash if you go with the monthly subscription, that’s still twice the cost of my top pick.
The environmental impact Heritage Park comes in also isn’t great. It uses recyclable plastic bottles, but that’s about all it does for the environment. If you want a safe and hypoallergenic detergent that’s also carbon neutral, you’re better off with Earth Breeze.
Other hypoallergenic laundry detergents I tested
I also went through some of the other top laundry detergents claiming to be hypoallergenic. Some were questionable—at best—while others had some potential. While Earth Breeze and Heritage Park are worth your time, 13 other laundry detergents could be contenders, but they’ll need to make a few changes before they get there.
To make these easier to sort through, I’ve categorized them into Team Expensive and Team Questionable.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap
Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile laundry soap uses natural oils and effective, plant-based ingredients, making it a reliable hypoallergenic laundry detergent. Nobody with sensitive skin should have to worry about any allergies with this formula.
The laundry soap also boasts a solid cleaning performance, and you can even use the USDA-certified biobased product in your skin care routine, according to the website. Whether or not you’re keen to wash your face with laundry detergent is up to you.
The main reason I couldn’t rank this any higher is its cost, as it comes in at $1.54 per load, a massive amount compared to alternatives. It also leaves an overwhelming scent on fabrics, which could trigger asthma and similar conditions.
Tru Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent
Tru Earth’s natural ingredients and plant-based formula make it an ultra-safe laundry detergent for sensitive skin. It also claims to be vegan, but there’s no certification to back this up.
The main reason this didn’t rank any higher is how it cleans. It simply isn’t as effective as the top options. You might need to pretreat your clothes with this before washing them. If you’re busy, this could be too much of a hassle and a decent time investment.
Tru Earth supports several eco-friendly and charitable efforts, but these are certainly lacking compared to Earth Breeze. Considering the $0.56 per-load cost, I would’ve expected a bit more on this front.
You can get better performing options at a lower price with other products.
Persil Free & Sensitive Laundry Detergent
Older Persil products are known to include toxic and harsh chemicals, but the brand’s Free & Sensitive alternative certainly is hypoallergenic. The dermatologist-tested formula backs up these claims.
The fragrance-free option also passes my tests, so it’s almost a decent option.
The main negative here is its cleaning power, which is poorer than I’d like. You’ll need to add more product for it to clean effectively. I also noticed that delicate clothes were faded after being washed.
The $0.19 per load cost seems attractive at first, but since you need to use double the product, it’s actually quite expensive. There’s no free shipping, either.
Persil isn’t as environmentally friendly as I’d like. It isn’t involved in any environmental efforts, the surfactants in its formula harm aquatic life, and it comes in a plastic jug.
While it’s a decent hypoallergenic laundry detergent, the lack of environmental awareness and charitable efforts keeps this from placing any higher.
Grab Green Laundry Detergent
Grab Green boasts using ingredients safe for sensitive skin—which checks out—but there are some issues stopping this from ranking higher. The pods don’t dissolve completely, so it’ll end up forming clumps in your washing machine. Then there’s the smell that comes with the fragranced version. To say this was off putting would be an understatement.
The fragrance-free alternative is an option, but there’s no guarantee your clothes will have a pleasant smell afterward. Compared to other fragrance-free laundry detergents—such as Earth Breeze—it underperforms and is overly expensive. The $0.50 per load isn’t worth the price, and none of this costs goes to environmental or charitable causes.
Attitude Laundry Detergent
Attitude laundry detergent is known to cause allergic reactions, so you might have a bit of an attitude after using this supposedly hypoallergenic detergent. It’s not worth picking up if you have sensitive skin.
The brand does some environmental work, but this is limited to planting a single tree with each purchase. That’s negligible compared to what the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents do. The detergent also seems to do more harm than good, as it comes in a plastic container, which harms the environment.
If you want something that actually works and positively impacts the environment, choose Earth Breeze.
Botanical Origin Plant-Based Laundry Detergent
Botanical Origin laundry detergent is specially formulated to include as many natural ingredients as possible, but a third of its ingredients comprise artificial fragrances and other toxic chemicals.
The liquid laundry soap also left a lingering scent after I tested it, so it’s not an appropriate option for anyone with a sensitive nose.
Botanical Origin is also making headway with its sustainability, but it’s taking quite a while. It only uses 25% recycled plastic, so it isn’t great for the environment. It’s attempting to shift to completely plastic-free packaging by 2024 and claim it’ll be carbon neutral by 2040. If it’s going to take that long, I’m not sure the brand will be around long enough to get there.
Earth Breeze is already carbon neutral, sustainable, and environmentally friendly, while still having excellent cleaning potential. There’s no point waiting literal decades to get something that’s already here.
Meliora Laundry Powder
Meliora stood out because it partners with 1% for the Planet and Women’s Voices for the Earth. Both organizations get 1% of the organization’s revenues each, so the brand does a large amount for charity. It couldn’t compete in terms of cleaning performance, however, so I couldn’t rank it any higher.
The ingredients list is also certified by Whole Foods Market Eco-Scale and the Environmental Working Group, making it an ultra-safe laundry detergent for sensitive skin. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t clean as effectively as the other options.
As great as it is for delicate skin, there’s no point in picking this up if it doesn’t clean clothes.
Better Life Laundry Detergent
Better Life claims to be hypoallergenic, but I realized that was a lie as soon as I took a look at the ingredient list. It contains two toxic chemicals, methylisothiazolinone and benzisothiazolinone, neither of which are good for sensitive skin.
The blatant marketing ploy is clearly designed to increase sales at all costs, even if it means directly hurting their customers.
Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent
Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent uses natural ingredients, including the controversial plant-based surfactants. It does decent in the wash, but could do much better, especially considering its price. The company could do better by addressing these, as well as using more sustainable packaging.
All Free Clear Laundry Detergent
All Free Clear laundry detergent lists isothiazolinones in its ingredients. Since this causes contact allergies, I don’t see why the company calls this option hypoallergenic. Add in the sodium lauryl sulfate, and the detergent looks (and feels) worse than the brand claims. Then there’s the plastic jug All Free Clear comes in. The world is moving on from plastic.
ECOS 2x Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent
ECOS laundry detergent liquid is an option that says it’s hypoallergenic but isn’t. Phenoxyethanol, one of the detergent’s main ingredients, causes severe allergic reactions and could lead to eczema. Methylisothiazolinone is also in the formula, possibly irritating eyes and sensitive skin. Avoid this brand.
Woolite Delicates Hypoallergenic Liquid Laundry Detergent
Woolite liquid laundry detergent isn’t hypoallergenic as the brand claims. Its formula includes benzisothiazolinone, synthetic fragrances, sodium lauryl sulfate, and methylisothiazolinone, all of which can irritate sensitive skin.
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free Liquid Laundry Detergent
I can’t recommend Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free liquid laundry detergent in any way. Mostly known for its baking soda products, Arm & Hammer has branched out to home and personal care products.
As far as its laundry detergent goes, the container leaks, so it’ll cause a mess in your laundry room, and there was residue left on my samples after the rinse cycle. Then there’s the sodium lauryl sulfate, which harms sensitive skin. Even Arm & Hammer’s fragrance-free version has a scent, a negative factor if you have a sensitive nose.
To rank the best hypoallergenic laundry detergents, I needed a defined and easy-to-follow process. I spent some time with each laundry detergent and followed a simple process to figure out what’s what with each of the detergents I tested.
Let’s go through that process.
Naturally, the first step was to start researching the detergents that claim to be good for sensitive skin. Going online before I started my in-depth analysis was a given, so I scoured reviews on Amazon, Wal-Mart, and other major retailers. Each of the above brands were included in this step, as well as a few others, which weren’t up to scratch but will likely leave you scratching yourself.
Customer reviews were a valuable asset, as they gave me a perspective about how each hypoallergenic detergent works and whether it was worth further consideration. Some of these reviews praised the hypoallergenic detergents for their lack of optical brighteners, artificial brighteners, chlorine bleach, and other harsh ingredients, but other detergents didn’t get as much positive attention.
These negative reviews noted that some of the brands’ claims weren’t exactly accurate. They not only weren’t great for sensitive skin, but customers also suggested they weren’t great with tough stains. They caused skin irritation and left peoples’ clothes feeling less than fresh.
For information collection, these reviews were a great start, but they’re not always worth taking at face value. Every brand wants to have the best laundry detergent for sensitive skin, and some options are more than willing to fake their reviews to trick people into buying them. Getting the right detergents for sensitive skin gets tricky because of that.
So I went a step further and actually talked to real customers. Each of these customers had different needs and preferences and choosing the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin was the tip of the iceberg for them. Our conversations gave me a more well-rounded picture of the top options.
I also reached out to the leading brands to see what they had to say. Some were more than happy to talk about their gentle ingredients, cleaning power, and other factors, while other brands were suspiciously quiet. Surprisingly, it was the smaller companies that were more than happy to speak with me, and I’m not even sure the larger ones paid my questions any attention.
With more and more information coming in, I started to realize which of the detergents were better for sensitive skin and which ones are worth avoiding. Some even stood out as eco-friendly and biodegradable laundry detergent products, making them look even more appealing.
Going on gut instinct isn’t enough. I needed a scoring system so I could properly rank the leading hypoallergenic laundry detergents. I had some criteria for that:
- Plant-based ingredients
- Effect on sensitive skin
- No harsh chemicals, such as optical brighteners and synthetic fragrances
- Cleaning performance on natural and synthetic clothes
- Performance in HE washing machines
- Cruelty-free production
- Carbon footprint
- Zero-waste and biodegradable packaging
- Cost per load
- Subscriptions and bundle offers
Now that I knew how I was going to compare and rank the hypoallergenic detergents, it was about time to get started on testing them. I decided to put each hypoallergenic laundry soap, sheet, and detergent through its paces with different fabrics to see how it fights tough stains. I used several kinds of fabric in each load and noted how each detergent worked against the same stains, including grass, sweat, and grease stains.
After washing, my samples were air dried, and I examined them under UV light to determine if any stains were left over. I also checked for fading and other signs of damage. Earth Breeze and Heritage Park both performed exceptionally in my tests, but most of the other so-called hypoallergenic laundry detergents fell short in some way.
Each detergent received points based on my criteria, with the best laundry detergent becoming increasingly obvious as the tests went on.
My findings: The best hypoallergenic laundry detergent that cleans stains!
Customers find it difficult to choose the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin, as brands don’t need to list all of their ingredients on the packaging. I went through an exhaustive list of detergents that claim to be hypoallergenic and considered multiple criteria during my tests.
I looked not only at whether they were hypoallergenic and how they affect sensitive skin, but also their cleaning power, affordability, use of plant-based ingredients, and other factors. Earth Breeze takes the top spot for multiple reasons.
It ticks all of the boxes for a hypoallergenic laundry detergent:
- Money-back guarantee with each purchase
- Gentle detergent that uses natural ingredients
- One of the most affordable at $0.20 per load
- 10 laundry sheets to charity with each purchase
- Partner with 1% for the Planet, donating 1% of its profits to environmental causes
- Fragrance-free option
- Hands-on approach to ocean cleanups and similar environmental efforts
- Outstanding cleaning performance
Despite being one of the newest detergents on the market, Earth Breeze is picking up a head of (environmentally friendly) steam and shows no signs of slowing down. My testing process highlights why.
Wrapping It Up
I’ve tested 15 of the top hypoallergenic laundry detergents, with Earth Breeze coming out on top in more ways than one.
I based my choice on multiple factors, including stain removal performance, effects on sensitive skin, plant-based ingredients, cruelty-free production, and more.
Earth Breeze outperforms its competitors in each of these departments, and is the best hypoallergenic laundry detergent I could find. Its zero-waste packaging is great for the environment, the plant-based formula is great at fighting tough stains, and it doesn’t use any harsh chemicals.
Add in Earth Breeze’s environmental and charitable contributions, and you and your clothes will feel great after using it.