Back to Basics: Cloth Diaper Safe Detergents

There are so many detergents available today, but did you know that many of them are not considered "cloth diaper safe"? When choosing a detergent "safe" to use with cloth diapers, you should first check with the manufacturer of your diapers and familiarize yourself with the diaper's warranty. Many manufacturers have a set list of approved detergents. It may void the warranty if you use a detergent not on that list. If you are using older diapers or used diapers, you will not need to worry about the warranty in most cases.

Typically, there are things to steer clear of when choosing a detergent.

  • Brighteners
  • Bleach
  • Enzymes
  • Dyes
  • Fabric Softeners
  • Fragrances

Many of these ingredients can cause build-up which can lead to repelling, ammonia, or diaper rash.

Free and Clear Detergents: May cause repelling in fleece due to microbiostats. If you notice leaks or smells from your clean diapers then you may need to consider a new detergent.

Remember, what works for your sister or best friend will not always work for you. Water type can play a big role in what type of detergent you should be using. Also, some babies may have sensitivities to certain detergents.

I currently use Tide on my diapers. While I have tried my "cloth diaper safe" detergents, I find that I have no issues with Tide. When using "safe" detergents, I struggled to get my diapers properly clean, leading to barnyard stink and ammonia. Tide is not generally considered cloth diaper safe and voids many warranties, but it works for us and I haven't seen any damage to my diapers yet.

Thirsties - Homemade is not always best
Pinstripes and Polka Dots - Detergent Choices
Jillian's Drawers - Detergents for Cloth Diapers
Real Diaper Association - Detergent Determinator


  1. Since I was the big winner of a twitter party and have a year supply of EcoSprout I am really hoping that it works well on my Diapers and well for us. I have used one bag on my other laundry and it got all of our sweaty funk out of them but I guess only time will tell. It is cheaper than TIDE here but since most of my stash is handed down I want to take the best care to get the longest use, I hope to pass them down or use them for more than one baby. I will buy the tide if I have to but you know the EcoSprout is cheaper than the tide here in Orlando, even with shipping! P&G they are very proud of their products... and greedy!

    1. I use EcoSprout and love it. I think sometimes it has a lot to do w your water, though. There can be a lot of trial and error for some people.

  2. I use Sunlight triple pacs free and clear. They work better than anything I've tried.

  3. Are you using Tide Original Liquid or Powder?

    1. I use the liquid, but many use the powder. I just happen to like liquid detergents (don't ask why, I have no idea)!


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