Detergent Index

The Clean Cloth Nappies Detergent Indexes provide information on a range of detergents for Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Mainstream Detergents

Most mainstream detergents can be used with any temperature water, but warm-hot water will outperform cold. See Hot vs Cold Water for more information on water temperates. Surfactants are the chemicals in laundry detergents that actively remove soiling from fabrics. Different detergents contain different amounts of surfactants. It is important to use enough surfactants to … Continue reading Mainstream Detergents

Fragrance in Detergents

Overview Smell is subjective, some people dislike fragrance, some love fragrance. Fragrances are included in detergents to cover the smell of surfactants, which smell unpleasant. Sensitive, plant-based or eco detergents still contain fragrance (as well as fewer or weaker surfactants), just less than the mainstream versions. Safety and regulation The safety of detergents and ingredient … Continue reading Fragrance in Detergents

Fabric Softener

Liquid fabric softeners (eg Fluffy) contain cationic surfactants which are positively charged, they are attracted to the negatively charged fabric, coating the surface, causing threads to ‘stand up’ making the fabric feel softer. The conditioning component of the surfactant add lubrication. These fabric softeners can be used but infrequently, for example every third wash. A … Continue reading Fabric Softener


Enzymes help remove stains, increase whiteness, eliminate fabric pills, and prevent resoiling.

Detergents That Contain No Surfactants

Homemade detergents typically contain water softeners (washing soda), bicarb soda (sodium bicarbonate), stain removers (sodium percarbonate) and traditional soap (Sunlight Soap or Lux Flakes). Without the surfactants found in commercial detergents, soap-based detergents lead to soap scum and inhibit cleaning. A closer look at these ingredients Traditional soap Traditional soap is a saponified triglyceride. It … Continue reading Detergents That Contain No Surfactants

Liquid Or Powder?

Powder detergents have a water softener base, usually sodium carbonate. This water softener binds minerals in the water, allowing the surfactant in the detergent to work effectively. Liquid detergents generally don’t contain water softeners, because soft water doesn’t contain many minerals. As a result they are better for soft water areas. Rain water and distilled water … Continue reading Liquid Or Powder?