Updated: Detergents …. Your Eco or Mainstream Options

Ok so firstly, if your washing routine is working for you & you have clean nappies with no smells, then DO NOT CHANGE A THING! … We get asked so often ‘what detergent is safe to use on cloth nappies’¬†& if you ask different brands you will probably get different answers. We have complied an updated list of both mainstream & eco friendly detergents to satisfy both camps. There is no judgement what ever camp your’e in … Our aim is to increase awareness & get bums in cloth so making the washing accessible and easy for everyone has made us re-think our recommendations over the last few months and we have looked at plenty of research, talked to lots of customers & other industry manufacturers to ensure we are really giving you the best information possible. ¬†So whether you are on the eco journey or prefer mainstream detergents, this article isn’t intended to sway you one way or another simply to give you some good options to choose from if you are starting out or need to tweak your routine. Personally for my cloth nappies, I always preferred the eco option of Rockin Green & still use it to this day for my general clothes washing too.


Recommended: Eco/Plant based Detergents

My all time favourite plant based detergent would have to be Rockin Green Classic Rock. I have used this on my nappies over 2 babies, with a either a 40 or 60 degree long, intensive wash every time & have clean white inner nappies still so I highly recommend this detergent. These recommended eco-detergents come from our personal & customer experiences using them. They are ranked in no particular order, and you can find some tips to get the best out of your eco-detergents down below. These are in our opinion the best of the Eco/plant based options and by all means there are other options available, but this is a good starting point. None of these contain optical brighteners or nasties, some contain enzymes as mentioned. 

  • Rockin Green Classic Rock (Powder, Vegan)
  • Rockin Green Hard Rock (¬†Formulated for Hard Water, Vegan)
  • Rockin Green Liquid Detergent (Vegan, contains Enzymes)
  • Abode Powder & Liquid (contains Enzymes)
  • Bositios
  • Eco Store Powders
  • Gumnut Clean Liquid Detergent
  • Amway SA8 (contains Enzymes)


To get the best results out of your eco/plant based detergents we recommend washing on warm/hot (max 60 degrees) every time. Start with the recommended amount of detergent on the packaging, and you may need to increase the dosage if you find it does not leave you with clean smelling nappies after each wash. Eco/plant based detergents are a fantastic way to go, you may just need to tweak the temperature or dosage amount to get it working perfectly for you.


Recommended: Main stream detergents 

Traditionally we have not recommended using main stream detergents due to the majority of them containing optical brighteners, enzymes and other chemicals however¬†our aim is to keep it simple for new parents entering the world of cloth nappies. Some parents prefer a eco/plant based option, some prefer main stream detergents … its really up to you. As long as what ever you choose works for you & results in clean nappies then job done. Don’t over think it. Just do it. Below you will find our recommended main stream detergents available easily from supermarkets. Again, use the recommended dose on the packing, warm, long cycle.

  • OMO (All Types)
  • Radiant (Powder & Liquid)
  • Trimat Advanced
  • Biozet Attack (Powder)
  • Surf 2 in 1
  • Dynamo Professional
  • Duo Sensitive
  • Norwex Ultra Power
  • Modere


** On a side note, previously we have recommended using detergents that don’t contain enzymes or optical brighteners as some indications were that enzymes could break down natural fibres quicker and OB could be the cause of skin sensitivities. We have looked long & hard over a 12 month period at our detergent recommendations, plenty of¬†research & we are confident in recommending main stream detergents that contain both enzymes & OBs.¬†Enzymes are designed to help remove stains, eliminate fabric piling & increase whiteness & OBs are designed to make things whiter & brighter. … Hence you will see some options in the above eco/plant based list containing enzymes. In the eco/plant based list these are typically plant based enzymes. The majority of main stream detergents will contain enzymes & OBs, however they are 100% safe to use on your babies garments. Enzymes are designed to help remove stains, eliminate fabric piling & increase whiteness. Again, if the product you are using is working for you then¬†don’t change a thing!¬†


Key things to avoid in detergents: Home-made detergents, Fabric Softener & Chlorine Based Bleach product. Don’t. Go. There. Fabric¬†softener can build up quickly on your nappy fabrics making¬†absorption difficult &¬†chlorine based bleach products can do serious damage to your PUL fabrics & elastics. We are always happy to¬†assist with any trouble shooting so don’t¬†hesitate to get in touch with HQ [email protected]


If you are ever in doubt about washing/nappy trouble shooting, then please get in touch with us before you take things into your own hands. We are always happy to help!










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Comments (4)

  1. Anna

    Hi. I hesitated for a long time switching to cloth as my washing machine isn’t connected to hot water. After more research it seems it’s possible to work around on a cold wash. Can you pls advise what you would tweak if washing in cold water?

    • l Tubby q

      Hi Anna,
      Yes you can work around cold water – best way to hand rinse night nappies/inserts in hot water first after removing any solids (especially night nappies), then to spot treat stains with stain soap or stain spray before your prewash. A good detergent with enzymes is really important. If you find you get stains/smells down the track, then you can sanitisise them to refresh from scratch.

  2. Kate

    Hi, Most of the Biozet 3D Clean Actions are recommended on this list. I am about to start Cloth Nappies and usually buy Biozet 3D Clean Action Plus Quick Wash. I was wondering whether you knew if this would be as effective as the the other 3D range, or more like Biozet Rapid Liquid (not recommended)?

    • AZSXDC@123

      HI Kate, After a quick look at the ingredients I think it is ok although I haven’t tested it myself. As always, make sure your doing a 60 degree, long wash and ideally a pre-rinse first.

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