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The Pros and Cons of Laundry Detergent Fragrance

When you’re doing laundry, there are a lot of choices to make. What laundry cycle should I use? What clothing can be tossed in the washer versus washing by hand? When am I going to put away all of these freshly-folded clothes? Perhaps no question is tougher than whether or not you should use scented laundry detergent or fragrance-free laundry detergent.

Pros and Cons of Laundry Detergent Fragrance

Before you head to the grocery store to purchase your next laundry product, let’s look at the pros and cons of each:

Fragrance-Free Laundry Detergent

Fragrance-free laundry detergent has recently gained popularity among those seeking a more natural approach to cleaning. By eliminating unnecessary fragrance, fragrance-free laundry detergent offers a gentle yet effective cleaning solution that is suitable for those with sensitivities or allergies. 


  • It’s recognized as the best for those who might have allergies, sensitive skin, or a sensitivity to fragrances. 
  • It is a blank slate, so you can choose to add scents that are your favorites by using essential oils to the detergent for a more natural scented approach. 
  • There are some essential oils that are well-equipped to help with your laundry if you want to keep it natural including:
  • Lemon: antibacterial and antiviral
  • Tea-tree:antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial
  • Bergamot: antibacterial, antibiotic, and antiseptic
  • Lavender: antibacterial and anti-odor
  • Eucapyptus: antiseptic and antibacterial


  • Without scent, your laundry might not smell “clean”, even if it has gone through the wash.
  • Some items might even have the opposite effect of fragrance and end up smelling musty. 
  • Keep in mind, some “unscented” detergents actually use additives to neutralize the original scent of the formula. Always read the label of your detergent if you are worried about chemicals.

Fragrance-Added Laundry Detergent

Scented laundry detergent, on the other hand, has its own benefits. Some say that there is no better smell than that of freshly cleaned clothes. Most often, when people refer to the fresh scent of clean laundry, they’re actually referring to the scent of fragrance added to laundry detergent. 

The scent that lingers on your clothes can give you a fresh feeling and can also help mask any lingering odors, leaving your laundry smelling clean and pleasant. Scented laundry detergents often come in a variety of captivating scents, allowing you to personalize your laundry experience and indulge your senses. 

Laundry Detergent Fragrance
Close-up Of A Person’s Hand Pouring Detergent In Lid


  • If you don’t need gentle formulas, scented laundry detergent is a great option for you!
  • Scent adds a comforting and clean feeling to your laundry.
  • We all know the best part of doing laundry is smelling your still warm, fragrant clothes fresh out of the dryer. Scented laundry detergent is one of the only ways to ensure that magical feeling.


  • Usually, scented laundry detergents use harsher formulas than fragrance-free detergents.
  • Fragrances can leave overbearing scents on clothes if not washed out thoroughly.

Whether or not you choose to use fragrance-added or fragrance-free laundry detergent is up to your personal preference. Keep these facts in mind and know that just because an item smells clean, might not indicate that it’s actually clean. Whatever you do though, your laundry will smell its freshest if you move it from the washer to the dryer promptly and make sure that your washing machine is running clean.