By Kelsey MikiUpdated Dec 12, 2017
Best forParents who want a scented baby detergent that's still gentle on sensitive skin
Top BenefitsLow cost per load, good stain-removal power, pleasant scent
ConsiderationsMeasuring cap is difficult to read, no pretreatment instructions on the bottle
Bottom linePurex Baby Soft is a pleasantly scented and effective option for parents on a budget
With its pleasant, mild scent and stain-fighting power, Purex Baby Soft Laundry Detergent combines solid performance with good value. It's also hypoallergenic, free of dyes and safe for use on cloth diapers, which makes Purex Baby Soft a solid choice for new parents looking for a scented detergent that's still gentle on sensitive skin.
To put Purex Baby Soft to the test, we stained white 100 percent cotton jersey swatches with eight common stain-makers, from frozen blueberries to mud—and, of course, spaghetti sauce. We then headed to a laundromat to see how well the detergent could combat both fresh stains and stains left to sit overnight. Without any pretreatment, Purex Baby Soft noticeably lightened grass and coffee stains (none of the detergents we tested completely removed either), and it made black washable marker disappear. When both fresh and overnight stains were pretreated (by gently rubbing a quarter teaspoon of detergent directly onto the stain before laundering) Purex Baby Soft completely cleaned away baby formula and sweet potato puree, and also faded mud, blueberry, spaghetti sauce and coffee stains. Overall, Purex Baby Soft was in the top three of all the baby detergents we tested for its stain removal score.
All of our parent testers strongly or somewhat agreed that Purex Baby Soft did a good job of cleaning their baby’s clothes. They reported that it was effective in removing breastmilk, spit-up and urine, and all but one said it did a good job removing dirt or mud. One parent tester, who said pasta dishes are a staple in her home, found that this detergent was able to tackle both new and old caked-on pasta sauce stains from her daughter’s clothes. Another of our parent testers noted she no longer felt she had to use fabric softener when using this detergent, as it made her baby’s clothes feel so soft. All of our parent testers also agreed that Purex Baby Soft did a good job of keeping whites white and bright colours bright.
Even though more than half our parent testers said they're not usually fans of scented detergents, all but one described the smell of Purex Baby Soft as very pleasant (the one tester didn’t feel strongly about the scent either way). Most also told us it left their clothes smelling clean, even after being stored in a drawer or closet for a few days.
One thing to note about this detergent is that the measuring cap could be improved. While it's clear from the instructions how much detergent should be added per load, we found that the measurements on the lid were difficult to read, as did about half of our parent testers (one tester resorted to using a flashlight to see the lines better). This makes it difficult to know exactly how much detergent you're using, which could result in less-than-clean clothes or either a soapy residue on your clothes (not to mention having to spend more money on detergent) or a longer-than-usual rinse cycle as your washer tried to rinse out the excess soap. That said, the lip on the lid helps prevent the detergent from spilling, keeping your bottle and hands clean and tidy.
The majority of our parent testers felt that Purex Baby Soft’s quality and ease of use were very good, and they were impressed with the detergent’s budget-friendly cost per load of $0.16. One tester was so happy with Purex Baby Soft that she's made it her new go-to baby detergent. While one mom still preferred her unscented detergent after testing, all of our other testers would have no problem recommending Purex Baby Soft to other parents. In light of its value, stain-fighting abilities and mild scent, it's easy to give it our Today's Parent Approved seal.