When you become a new parent, your top priority is keeping your baby safe and healthy. One of the first places to start in creating a healthy environment is looking at your laundry detergent. Because of the chemicals used in traditional detergents, babies often experience rashes and itchy skin. That’s why parents should find a gentle, safe laundry detergent to switch to — even before Baby comes.

Finding a safe, effective detergent alternative takes a little research, but it’s worth the peace of mind knowing your baby won’t be itchy or have a negative reaction. Below is our guide to understanding regular vs gentle detergents, what chemicals and ingredients are in each, and how you can find the best safe laundry detergent for your child.

How regular detergents can irritate skin

Laundry detergent, like most soaps, contains a surfactant, a surface-active agent that lowers the surface tension between two types of matter. Basically, this means that surfactants in your laundry detergent separate oil and dirt particles from fabric. Though surfactants are needed to clean your clothes, harsh surfactants can, if they do not rinse out well, easily irritate babies with delicate, sensitive skin.

Surfactants aren’t the only possible cause of irritation and rashes, though. Other common ingredients in detergent include:

  • Dyes
  • Oils
  • Fragrances
  • Moisturizers
  • Fabric softeners
  • Emulsifiers
  • Solvents
  • Enzymes
  • Preservatives

It can be difficult or even impossible to figure out exactly what chemical or ingredient in your laundry detergent is causing an allergic reaction or other irritation. The easiest way to prevent (or put a stop to) irritation and rashes from laundry detergent is to find an alternative option that’s all-around gentler on the skin.

Finding a detergent alternative

Because there are so many detergent options out there, it may take a little trial-and-error to find the right one for your cleaning needs. Here are a couple of things to consider when finding your new detergent.

Hypoallergenic detergent

Look for a detergent that’s free of fragrances, dyes, and harsh chemicals. The label may say “hypoallergenic”. This label means that the detergent is free of common allergens like artificial perfumes, dyes, and other harsh chemicals. A hypoallergenic detergent should be strong enough to clean your baby’s clothes, yet gentle and safe enough to leave clothes feeling fresh and soft.

Liquid vs. powder

Is there a difference between liquid detergent and powder detergent? Though powder detergent has been around longer and can often be cheaper, liquid detergent may be the better choice for your baby’s laundry. It’s more convenient to use and works well on a variety of stains.

Have you ever used powder detergent that remained clumped together in your washing machine? Undissolved detergent can leave residue on your clothes, wasting detergent and causing skin irritation. Liquid detergents mix better with all water temperatures and rinse out more easily. Laundry detergent that is 100% soluble, like Charlie’s Soap, helps you avoid this problem altogether.

Heavy-duty washing

Another thing about baby laundry: there’s a lot of it. You want to choose a detergent that can clean well without wearing down the baby’s clothes, blankets, and other fabrics. You also want to make sure that the detergent can wash away soils, like food, bile, feces, and urine. If the detergent can’t completely wash and rinse these soils out, your baby may have a reaction to what’s left behind.

Why choose Charlie’s Soap for your baby’s laundry

A laundry detergent that’s truly safe for your baby should be hypoallergenic: free of potentially harmful ingredients and chemicals that can irritate the skin. Detergent that washes and rinses out 100% is important – you’ll want a detergent that lifts dirt and residues, which then completely rinses away in the rinse cycle. You’ll also want to choose detergent from a company committed to quality and care, and that has a track record for keeping clothes clean without compromising the softness of fabrics or the health of your washer.

That’s why Charlie’s Soap laundry products are the best choice for your family. Since 1976, Charlie’s Soap has been committed to developing safe, naturally derived, and environmentally friendly, and effective detergents and cleaners. Our pure detergents work better than other formulas, leaving fabrics feeling truly fresh and clean.