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Best Dye-Free Laundry Detergents

Updated October 2022
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Best of the Best
Tide PODS Free & Gentle
PODS Free & Gentle
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Protects Skin & Cleans
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Tide has offered its superior cleaning product in an allergy friendly pod.


Gets your clothing very clean. Gentle and still effective. Pre-measured pods make it easy and less messy. Works well on all clothing for the family, not just baby clothes. More convenient. Tide can often get clothing clean without spot treatment. Also comes in a regular non-pod liquid.


The cost on these pods is much more expensive than comparable pod-based detergents.

Best Bang for the Buck
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin
Arm & Hammer
Sensitive Skin
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Trusted Brand
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Great for sensitive skin, this option utilizes baking soda to remove stains and clean clothes.


Free from dyes, perfumes, and fragrances. The hypoallergenic formula has been dermatologist-tested for use on sensitive skin. Comes in a 144.5 fluid-ounce bottle that can be used for up to 107 loads. It helps eliminates stains. Utilizes only a few ingredients.


A few customers experienced leaking from the bottle cap.

Molly's Suds Natural Laundry Soap for Sensitive Skin
Molly's Suds
Natural Laundry Soap for Sensitive Skin
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Limited Ingredients
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Molly's Suds is a powder detergent that does not have any unnatural chemicals at all.


Seems to work well for those with eczema. Made with 5 ingredients including peppermint essential oil. Can also be used in a paste as a pre-treatment for stains. Clothes feel softer after use and have a long-lasting scent that is noticeable.


Since this is a powder form, it cannot be used in a high-efficiency washer soap dispenser.

Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear Unscented
Seventh Generation
Concentrated Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear Unscented
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Product gets out stains and doesn't leave a residue.


Very concentrated. Does not require much detergent to work well. Leaves clothes soft. Many people found this product helped to clear up their skin irritations from other detergents. Less expensive than diaper cleaning brands, but works just as well.


This product doesn't seem to clean as well as some of the other best choices.

Swash by Whirpool Free & Clear
Swash by Whirpool
Free & Clear
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Customer Favorite
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Prevent wasted products with this detergent that pre-measures the needed dose.


Can get up to 83 loads with the 30-ounce bottle of concentrated detergent. The high-efficiency formula allows for more use of each dose. Cleans the clothes and addresses odors without perfumes or dyes. Has a flip cap, and the smaller-sized bottle saves on space.


The precision cap can be difficult to figure out.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best dye-free laundry detergents

It’s common for manufacturers to add dye to detergents. In some formulas, the dye is used to offset discoloration in garments; in others, it’s there for aesthetic reasons. Regardless, some people simply can’t tolerate the chemicals. Dye-free laundry detergent is formulated to be friendlier to sensitive skin. Depending on the formula, the detergent can be clear or colorless.

Not only does the lack of dye keep skin irritations at bay, it’s also an ideal choice for those with more serious dermatological concerns like eczema or acne. Many parents choose dye-free laundry detergents for their families because it’s common for these formulas to also be free of other harsh chemicals, such as soap, sulfates, or bleach. For that reason, dye-free laundry detergents are a popular choice for washing baby garments and bedding. Some people even say dye-free laundry detergents are a decent option for spot cleaning outerwear, car seat covers, and stuffed animals.

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Just because a detergent is dye-free doesn’t mean it can’t target stains or clean effectively. In fact, these detergents often deep clean clothing without discoloring it, which can happen with bleach-based detergents.

Key considerations


There are three choices when it comes to dye-free laundry detergent: liquid, powder, and pod. While all types are capable of cleaning, it’s important to understand how each performs in the washing machine.

Liquid: The best-selling type of dye-free laundry detergent is liquid. Many of these detergents are clear. Liquid detergents are already dissolved, which means they don’t require water to activate. And a little goes a long way with liquid detergents, so they offer a lot of bang for the buck.

One drawback of liquid detergents is they tend to be expensive, especially dye-free varieties. They also have the least eco-friendly packaging of most formulas.

Powder: Many consumers prefer classic powder detergents, which are usually white. Powder remains the most affordable option among laundry detergents. They’re an ideal pick for homes with hard water. It’s also common for the powder to come in recyclable packaging typically made of cardboard.

Powder detergent needs to be dissolved in warm water to work. Also these detergents are often packaged in large, heavy boxes that weigh a few pounds, which makes them difficult for some people to carry.

Pod: Also called packs, pods are small, pre-measured pouches of liquid detergent. They have risen in popularity in recent years because pods are as convenient as it gets when it comes to detergent. Not only are pods mess-free, their design takes the guesswork out of measuring the right amount of detergent for a load. They’re also highly portable, making them a favorite with anyone who uses a laundromat.

Pods are the most expensive option, and dye-free formulas cost even more than regular pods. They’ve also received criticism in recent years for the hazard they pose to pets and children who are attracted to the candy- or toy-like look of the pods.

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It’s recommended that you wash your hands thoroughly after handling dye-free laundry detergent. Direct contact with the concentrated formula can cause skin or eye irritation.


Special varieties

In the past, there weren’t too many dye-free laundry detergents, so consumers were stuck with few options. There are now countless varieties of dye-free laundry detergent to choose from.

Hypoallergenic varieties are common. In addition to being free of artificial dyes, they also leave out harsh ingredients, including phthalates, parabens, and formaldehyde. Sensitive skin varieties of dye-free detergent are typically free of artificial fragrances and brighteners.

Natural dye-free laundry detergents stick to plant-based, organic, or vegan ingredients. Many of these varieties are ethically sourced and often have eco-conscious packaging. It’s important to know that “natural” isn’t an official term, and more than anything it indicates that there are some natural ingredients; however, not all ingredients are necessarily naturally derived.

HE laundry detergent is another important subcategory of special varieties. These include dye-free laundry detergents that are safe for high-efficiency washers or septic systems. If your home falls into either of these categories, this narrows your options when it comes to dye-free detergents.

Expert tip
Remember to close up containers when you’re no longer using them. This prevents spills and dust or debris from getting into your detergent.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert


Some dye-free laundry detergents have eco-friendly packaging that can be recycled. For many consumers, this attribute plays a major role in their decision to purchase a product, and detergents are no exception.

Certain liquid detergents are packaged in recyclable bottles, some of which are made of recycled materials. It’s common for powder detergents to be packaged in cardboard and repurposed cardboard. Other powder detergents are packaged in recyclable bags or reusable buckets.


Dye-free fabric softener: Downy Ultra Free & Gentle Liquid Fabric Conditioner
This gentle dye-free fabric softener gives clothes and sheets long-lasting freshness and softness. It’s also compatible with high-efficiency machines.

Dye-free fabric softener sheets:  Bounce Free & Gentle Fabric Softener Sheets
Maintain your dye-free washing routine with these dye-free fabric softener sheets. They’re effective at fighting static and reducing wrinkles. The sheets are also made with biodegradable ingredients.

Dye-free stain treatment: Dreft Laundry Stain Remover
This dye-free stain remover is hypoallergenic and ideal for infants’ and kids’ bedding and clothing. It’s also a USDA-certified biobased product that is made with plant-based ingredients.

dye-free laundry detergents3
If a dye-free laundry detergent doesn’t explicitly say it’s safe for high-efficiency (HE) washers, err on the side of caution to avoid permanently damaging your machine. Contact the manufacturer directly for a definitive answer.

Dye-free laundry detergent prices

It’s recommended that you compare your options by the cost per load. For the most part, dye-free laundry detergent costs from $0.10 to $0.40 per load.

Powder formulas of dye-free laundry detergent cost from $0.10 to $0.18 per load, though certain specialty formulas can cost as much as $0.25 per load.

Liquid formulas of dye-free laundry detergent range from $0.16 to $0.26 per load. Those made by premium brands can cost closer to $0.30 per load.

Pod or pack formulas of dye-free laundry detergent cost $0.30 per load and more. Pods made by leading brands are sometimes available for bulk purchase, in some cases dropping the cost per load to around $0.22.

dye-free laundry detergents4
Always keep detergent out of the reach of kids and pets. Even the gentlest formulas can be harmful if ingested. That’s why it’s a good idea to store detergent on a high shelf or in a locking cabinet.


  • Try more than one variety. If you don’t find success with one variety of dye-free laundry detergent, it’s a good idea to try another one, or several. Fortunately, there are countless options on the market, so there’s a good chance you’ll find one that you like.
  • Research the ingredients. While many manufacturers now list ingredients in plain language, unfortunately, some still stick with the chemical names. If you’re in the market for dye-free laundry detergents, it’s a good idea to research any ingredients you’re unfamiliar with.
  • Prepare individual portions. If you use a laundromat, consider preparing individual bags or containers of your detergent to save space and weight.
  • Clean your washing machine. Before you switch to a dye-free laundry detergent, give your washer a deep cleaning to get rid of any residue from any detergent you used that contained dye. A natural way to do this is to fill the machine with warm water and 4 to 6 cups of white vinegar. Let it sit for an hour and then rinse it out.
  • Sign up for automatic delivery. To make sure you never run out of your favorite dye-free laundry detergent, subscribe to have it automatically delivered every few months.
expert tip
A quality dye-free laundry detergent is often the best choice for those with sensitive skin.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert
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Some dye-free laundry detergents are mildly scented with an essential oil, such as peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, or orange.


Q. Will I see a major difference in my skin when using dye-free laundry detergent?

A. Results are highly subjective, and it could take some time or a few loads to notice a major difference. Some individuals don’t report a major difference in their skin; however, they may experience fewer irritations and breakouts than before.

Q. Why can’t I buy many dye-free laundry detergents in bulk?

A. Only certain manufacturers make these detergents available for bulk purchase, mostly because they remain less popular than mainstream varieties. It’s not very common to see lesser-known dye-free detergents for bulk purchase either. In the event they are, consumers often need to place special orders directly with the manufacturer.

Expert tip
When using a dye-free detergent, I recommend using pre-treatments to remove stains.
BestReviews Cleaning Expert 

Q. Can dye-free laundry detergents be used to pretreat stains?

A. Only liquid dye-free laundry detergents can be used to pretreat stains. Powder formulas aren’t an option because they require warm water to dissolve and activate. Pods shouldn’t be used for pretreating at all. Not only would it be wasteful to open a pod to pretreat a single item, but the concentrated detergent could damage the fabric.