The Best Detergent for Hand Washing Clothes in 2023

Keep your clothes sparkling clean all year round with these some of the best detergents for hand washing clothes available on the market.

Best Detergent for Hand Washing Clothes

Some clothes require extra care, which is why they should be hand washed rather than thrown in the washing machine. This is especially true for clothing made from delicate materials such as silk or cashmere. White clothes also come out whiter when soaked and hand-washed. Therefore, you need a gentle detergent for hand-washing clothes. After examining different brands based on cleaning ability and components, we put together a list of the best detergents for hand-washing clothes.

 

 

How We Picked

  • Type of Detergent

    There are numerous detergents on the market, including liquid and powder detergents. You will require a detergent that is suitable for all types of clothing. As a result, we chose detergents that are suitable for the majority of clothing types.

  • Ingredients of Detergent

    You may not realize it, but it’s important to consider the ingredients in detergents. While tough detergents are great for stain removal, they can be harsh on the skin or fabric. If you want to clean whites, ensure it has a whitening complex.

  • Safe to Use

    Most laundry detergents are not safe to use with your bare hands, which is why hand-washing detergents exist. People with sensitive skin require more gentle detergents.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Hand-washing detergents shouldn’t be expensive. We recommend buying in bulk to avoid frequent refills and to save even further.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

All Liquid Detergent

All Liquid Detergent

With this purchase, you won’t need to buy detergent for your washing machine.

This detergent is approved by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians for use on sensitive skin. It is also endorsed by the National Eczema Association (NEA). The detergent has a concentrated formula that has strong cleaning power, sure to remove any dirt and stains. This detergent can be used for hand washing or in washing machines and it is completely free of any dyes and fragrances.

Buy Now for $17.99 ($0.16 / load)

This is the best choice for people with sensitive skin.

Our Runner-Up

Soak

Soak Detergent

Despite its small size, this detergent packs a punch

Only water-based material is used in recycled packaging and it is very gentle on the skin. This is due to the low-suds formula which doesn’t require any rinsing. You’ll be left with a delightful scent and squeaky clean clothes.

Buy Now for $25.99 ($2.17 / Fl Oz)

This is by far the best detergent for delicate fabrics and rinse-free washing.

Most Cost-Effective

Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash

Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash

You don’t need to use a lot of detergent to make sure your clothes turn out clean.

Eucalan contains two main ingredients that make it perfect for washing delicate clothing: eucalyptus and lanolin. It is a safe and non-toxic product that follows strict European regulations and guidelines. Additionally, it is delicate on the skin and it acts as a flea repellent. This product also doesn’t require any rinsing because of the low-suds formulation.

Buy Now for $15.80 ($0.93 / Ounce)

The best detergent for hand washing delicate clothing and underwear.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

All Liquid Detergent

All Liquid Detergent

With this purchase, you won’t need to buy detergent for your washing machine.

$17.99 ($0.16 / load)

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Soak

Soak Detergent

Despite its small size, this detergent packs a punch

$25.99 ($2.17 / Fl Oz)

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash

Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash

You don’t need to use a lot of detergent to make sure your clothes turn out clean.

$15.80 ($0.93 / Ounce)

Buy Now

Who This Is For

Hand-washing laundry detergents can be great for a variety of reasons. Some people don’t have washing machines and require detergents that work fast and save time. Other people care about the environment and want to reduce their water and energy consumption. And other people simply want to preserve the integrity of their clothes and keep them looking new for longer.

Is hand washing better for clothes?

In short, yes, hand washing is definitely better for your clothes than throwing them into a washing machine. Hand washing is very gentle and it helps keep your clothes looking new, even after years of wear. Hand washing is most appropriate for clothes made of delicate fabrics like underwear, formal clothes, workwear, and clothes that easily stretch.

Can you use normal detergent for hand-washing clothes?

Using a normal detergent to hand wash your clothes is definitely an option, but it isn’t recommended. The reason is that normal laundry detergents have more harsh ingredients in them designed to strip away any dirt, grime, and debris that might be on your clothes. These ingredients can irritate your skin, which makes normal laundry detergent unsuitable for hand-washing clothes. Hand washing detergent is specifically designed to come into contact with your skin without causing irritation.

Difference between powder and liquid detergent

While both powder and liquid detergents are made to effectively clean your clothes, they are different in composition and in the way they perform. Powder detergent is usually formulated with a higher pH, making it better for very dirty clothes. However, this also means that it can be harsher on your skin. Liquid detergent easily dissolves and it is better at removing oil and grease stains.

Why You Should Trust Us

We have scoured the web for reviews of the top-rated hand-washing laundry detergents on the market. We evaluated them based on a number of factors to bring you a comprehensive list of the top hand-washing laundry detergents sure to keep your clothes clean and your skin healthy.

How We Picked

Type of detergent and ingredients

First, we looked at the best type of detergent for hand washing and determined that liquid detergents are the best by far. This is because powder detergents can easily irritate your skin and leave it feeling dry, which is not ideal for hand washing. This also means that we looked at the ingredients used to make sure that our top picks are non-irritating and gentle on the skin. Therefore, the ingredients in the top hand-washing detergents on our list are non-toxic and gentle on fabrics. That said, the ingredients should still be capable of removing dirt and stains from your clothes.

Effectiveness

We made sure that all of the detergents on this list are effective at cleaning your clothes, even though they are some of the most gentle detergents available on the market. However, this can sometimes drive up the price of detergents, and we made sure that all of these were within most people’s budgets. Along with this, also comes quality. The number of washes per bottle is important, and this was an important determining factor for us. This is mostly determined by the size of the bottle, and while some picks on our list are smaller, you don’t need much to clean your clothes.

Safe to use

Lastly, we only wanted to include detergents that are safe to use. This is for obvious reasons, but laundry detergent that comes into contact with your skin should be safe to use. Not only that, but the residue left on clothes can also cause irritation, so safety is the number one priority.

 

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - All Liquid Detergent

Our Top Pick

All Liquid Detergent

All Liquid Detergent

With this purchase, you won’t need to buy detergent for your washing machine.

This detergent is approved by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians for use on sensitive skin. It is also endorsed by the National Eczema Association (NEA). The detergent has a concentrated formula that has strong cleaning power, sure to remove any dirt and stains. This detergent can be used for hand washing or in washing machines and it is completely free of any dyes and fragrances.

Buy Now for $17.99 ($0.16 / load)

Who It's For

All Liquid Detergent is for people with very sensitive skin that is prone to eczema. It is recommended by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians, as well as the National Eczema Association (NEA).

Why It's Great

This hand-washing detergent is great because it not only protects your skin, but it cleans your clothes exceptionally well. Its concentrated formula gives it twice as much cleaning power as others from the same brand. Not only that, but it removes allergens from your clothes.

Potential Flaws

There aren’t many flaws with this product other than being the most expensive option on our list. Other than that, other flaws include the bottle design, which means that it can sometimes leak and it is easy to overpour.

Other Features

The price of this detergent isn’t too bad when considering you get 110 loads out of it. The detergent is effective at removing seasonal and everyday allergens such as pet hair and pollen. It also doesn’t contain bleach, making it very gentle on clothes and skin. However, this doesn’t mean that it is less effective at cleaning clothes, and it can easily remove tough dirt and stains.

Product Specifications

Item Form: Liquid
Scent: Unscented
Material Type Free: Dye Free
Item Weight: 5.93 lb
Unit Count: 82.5 Fl Oz

Our Runner-Up - Soak Detergent

Our Runner-Up

Soak

Soak Detergent

Despite its small size, this detergent packs a punch

Only water-based material is used in recycled packaging and it is very gentle on the skin. This is due to the low-suds formula which doesn’t require any rinsing. You’ll be left with a delightful scent and squeaky clean clothes.

Buy Now for $25.99 ($2.17 / Fl Oz)

Who It's For

Soak hand washing detergent is perfect for people concerned about the environment and who might not have a lot of time to do laundry. It is extremely eco-friendly which means that it not only cares for your skin health but the environment as well.

Why It's Great

This detergent is eco-friendly inside and out with a bio-degradable formula and recycled packaging. It also provides a good hand-washing experience as it is gentle on the skin. Not only that, but Soak has a no-rinse formula, meaning that you can simply squeeze out the water and let your clothing dry.

Potential Flaws

This detergent is a bit expensive for the size of the bottle, which can sometimes leak. Although the fragrance is gentle, some people might also find some scents bothersome or irritating it.

Other Features

As we’ve stated, this detergent is a bit more expensive compared to other options on this list. However, eco-friendly products often are and this zero-waste product might be worth it to some people. No rinsing is required when you use this detergent and it is great for knitted items, quilts, and other delicates. It also doesn’t use strong fragrance, making it suitable for use by people with sensitive skin. It’s able to clean your clothes effectively and with minimal effort.

Product Specifications

Item Form: Liquid
Scent: Celebration
Material Type Free: Gluten Free
Item Weight: 0.9 Pounds
Unit Count: 12 Fl Oz

Most Cost-Effective - Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash

Most Cost-Effective

Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash

Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash

You don’t need to use a lot of detergent to make sure your clothes turn out clean.

Eucalan contains two main ingredients that make it perfect for washing delicate clothing: eucalyptus and lanolin. It is a safe and non-toxic product that follows strict European regulations and guidelines. Additionally, it is delicate on the skin and it acts as a flea repellent. This product also doesn’t require any rinsing because of the low-suds formulation.

Buy Now for $15.80 ($0.93 / Ounce)

Who It's For

The Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash is a very good hand-washing detergent for delicate clothing like underwear and fragile fabrics. The ingredients used in this detergent also mean that it is gentle on delicate skin and won’t cause any irritation or harm.

Why It's Great

This hand-washing detergent is great for washing all sorts of delicates while also ensuring they stay looking fresh, new, and squeaky clean. You can wash anything from silk, lace, or cotton underwear to harsher fabrics like denim, spandex, or nylon. It is also very safe and non-toxic, which means there’s minimal risk if kids come into contact with it.

Potential Flaws

While the detergent is generally safe and non-irritating to the skin, some people might be allergic to the ingredients used, particularly eucalyptus. This can cause allergic reactions in some people and should be considered before purchasing. The bottle is also sometimes prone to leaking, and the formula might cause the color to bleed, so make sure you separate white, black, dark, and light colors before washing your clothes.

Other Features

Like Soak, the Eucalan Fine Fabric Wash has a no-rinse formula that leaves your clothes feeling and smelling fresh. On top of that, the product is also environmentally friendly and acts as a flea repellent. Some scents can even help keep moths away! The detergent is very easy to use and you can very quickly test the fastness of colors by pressing a piece of cloth wet with the detergent against a clothing item to see if the color seeps. On top of all of these great features, the detergent is very effective, and you won’t need to wash your clothes more than once.

Product Specifications

Item Form: Liquid
Scent: Celebration
Material Type: Gluten Free
Item Weight: 0.9 Pounds
Unit Count: 12 Fl Oz

Almost Made The Cut - Tide Plus Bleach Alternative

Almost Made The Cut

Tide Plus Bleach Alternative

Tide Plus Bleach Alternative

It is extremely effective at removing tough stains from clothes while using minimal water.

This is one of the most well-known brands of laundry detergent in the country, and for good reason. This detergent might not be the best choice for sensitive skin, however, as it contains harsh ingredients that might irritate the skin. Other than that, Tide is effective with six times the cleaning power of other products. This means it only requires one wash to get your clothes clean.

Buy Now for $28.81 ($0.45 / load)

Who It's For

This hand-washing detergent is great for very dirty and grimy clothes. It is the most powerful detergent on this list because of the bleach-like properties of its formula. It will be best used by someone who works in a very dirty industry and needs something powerful to clean their clothes in one easy hand-wash.

Why It's Great

Tide’s biggest selling point is the powerful formula that almost acts like bleach in the sense that it removes stains and grime without any struggle. However, unlike bleach, it is color safe and can be used on all types of clothing, including delicate fabrics like silk or lace. This detergent is able to remove stains using less water, which makes it perfect for hand-washing.

Potential Flaws

Because Tide is such a popular brand, it comes at a higher price than most other detergents. It is three times more expensive than the average detergent, and the bottle is also prone to leakage, like all of the other picks on this list. Something that might bother some people is the scent, which is quite strong and perfumey.

Other Features

As we’ve stated, this detergent is a bit expensive compared to others on this list, so that might be something to keep in mind when you consider buying it. Some of its most prominent features include special ingredients that work by removing stains and dirt and suspending them in the water. This prevents all of that gunk from being absorbed back into the fabric. It’s also bleach-free, which means you can safely use it with colors. On top of that, it contains an ingredient that neutralizes chlorine. Like most detergents on this list, it’s very easy to use and you simply have to add it to water, soak your clothes, rub them together a bit, and rinse! The bleach-like properties of this detergent make it very effective at cleaning your clothes.

Product Specifications

Item Form: Liquid
Scent: Bleach Alternative
Item Weight: 3.45 Pounds
Unit Count: 46 Fl Oz
Specific Uses For Product: Color Safe, Extra Cleaning Power, Stain Remover

Care and Maintenance

Wear gloves when hand washing

While most of the hand-washing detergents on our list are skin-safe, it’s still a good idea to wear rubber gloves when hand-washing. You never know if you might be allergic to one of the ingredients used, so it’s better to be safe than sorry! Gloves will also help you hand-wash your clothes without damaging them.

How to hand wash clothes without damaging them

Another way to prevent damaging your clothes is to avoid scrubbing them immediately after putting them in soapy water. It’s better to let your clothes soak for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on how dirty they are, before gently massaging them to get the dirt and stains out. After that, you can simply rinse them with cold water and hand them to dry in the shade to prevent color loss from the sun.

Removing tough stains

To remove tough stains, it might be a good idea to apply some detergent straight onto the item and rub it gently before letting it sit for an hour or two. After that, wash as normal and the stain should come out very easily. Washing delicate or fragile clothes requires extra care as you should avoid rubbing or scrubbing them altogether. For these types of clothes, it’s best to simply let them soak and rinse them straight after without massaging or rubbing to avoid damaging the delicate fabric.

Rinse clothes thoroughly after detergent

You should always rinse clothes thoroughly after washing them to avoid potential skin irritation due to unknown allergies or skin sensitivity. You should avoid contact with your eyes when working with laundry detergent. If it does get in your eyes, rinse immediately with cool water and keep at it for about 20 minutes. If it is still painful or your vision is affected, go to the emergency room immediately to get medical treatment.

Do not ingest detergent

Most importantly, you should never ingest detergent. If this does happen, you should call emergency services like poison control immediately and wait for their instruction on what to do. Based on the type of detergent ingested and the ingredients it contains, poison control will recommend different things. Avoid treating the situation yourself as some treatments might make things worse in some cases.