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The 10 Best Laundry Detergents

results are based on 1,242 reviews scanned

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Yellow first place 1 all all all Liquid Laundry Detergent, Free Clear for Sensitive
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2 Mrs. Meyers Mrs. Meyers MRS MEYERS 64 Load Laundry Detergent, Honeysuckle, 64.0
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MRS MEYERS 64 Load Laundry Detergent, Honeysuckle, 64.0 Review and Comparison
MRS MEYERS 64 Load Laundry Detergent, Honeysuckle, 64.0 Review and Comparison
3 Tide Tide Tide Free and Gentle Liquid Laundry Detergent, 100
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Orange best value 4 Gain Gain Gain Freshlock Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original Fresh, 100
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Gain Freshlock Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original Fresh, 100 Review and Comparison
Gain Freshlock Liquid Laundry Detergent, Original Fresh, 100 Review and Comparison
5 Tide Tide Tide Purclean Plant-Based Laundry Detergent, Honey Lavender Scent
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6 Gain Gain Gain Flings Laundry Detergent Pacs, Original Scent, 81
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7 Arm & Hammer Arm & Hammer Arm & Hammer 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks
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8 Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Mrs. Meyer’s Laundry Detergent, Lavender, 64 fl oz
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9 Grab Green Grab Green Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods, Lavender
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Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods, Lavender Review and Comparison
Grab Green Natural 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pods, Lavender Review and Comparison
10 Tide Tide Tide PODS 3 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry
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Tide PODS 3 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Review and Comparison
Tide PODS 3 in 1 HE Turbo Laundry Review and Comparison

Your Guide To Buying Laundry Detergent

By Yehudah Posnick

A typical American family of four will average doing laundry at least once a day over the course of a year. But now, people want to get their clothes clean in a way that’s cheap and also safe for the environment. For many years now, laundry detergent manufacturers have been trying to make their products more environmentally-friendly. They'll use biodegradable ingredients and packaging. At the same time, there’s also a trend towards going for bio-based laundry detergents. The most established brands, such as Tide or All, now make detergents with natural-based grease removers, whiteners, and fragrances. A detergent made from natural ingredients will be less irritating to the skin. There will also be less likelihood of causing an allergic reaction.

We’ve composed this buyer’s guide to help you make the right decision when selecting laundry detergent. It'll help you:

  • Choose the right type of laundry detergent,

  • See useful tips about that particular type of laundry detergent,

  • Read reviews of different laundry detergents, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of laundry detergent, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Laundry Detergents

  • Powder: High-efficiency washing machines will have a special compartment where you pour in powder laundry detergent, while some recommend pouring the powder directly in with the laundry. Powdered laundry detergent has not been seen to clean more effectively than liquid detergent. The packaging of powdered detergent is usually from cardboard, making it more biodegradable than a plastic container for liquid detergent. A powder may not dissolve as well, however, leaving some soapy residue.

  • Liquid: Liquid laundry detergents are already pre-dissolved, so it will mix better with the water in the machine. You can pour some directly onto problem stains, for an added effect. However, a liquid detergent is typically more expensive than powdered laundry detergent.

  • Pods: Many companies make laundry detergent pods. They are concentrated packages of laundry detergent that you throw into a washing machine together with your laundry. The pod is made from a special polymer that dissolves together with the detergent. A pod saves the trouble of measuring out quantities of soap powder and reduces the chance of undissolved detergent clogging your machine.

What Reviewers Say

  • Allergic reactions: Some customers have sensitivities to certain chemicals. If the traditional formulas cause dermatitis or itching, you should try going over to more natural compounds.

  • Special detergents for athletes: People who do a lot of athletic activity may need special treatment for getting out perspiration and grass stains. The Rockin’ Green Active Wear Platinum Series Laundry Detergent is specially formulated for cleaning and freshening your clothes, by breaking down biological residues without being too harsh on your clothes.

  • Check if requires additives: Getting clothes clean from perspiration and everyday dirt is not the same as removing stains. Some detergents will require special additives for stain removal. (Some liquid detergents can be poured directly on stains, for greater effectiveness.) The Mrs. Meyers Laundry Detergent doesn’t require any extra additives such as stain removers or whiteners. Some people use white vinegar as a fabric softener, however.  

Important Features

  • High Efficiency: You’ll see that there are high-efficiency (HE) washing machines, and high-efficiency laundry detergents. High-efficiency machines will take longer to wash clothes, but they will have better water and energy efficiency and will use less soap. They will also spin more quickly than standard machines, to extract more water and thus shorten the time it takes to dry clothes. If a detergent is labeled as high-efficiency, you can still use it in standard washing machines. However, an HE washing machine uses less water--so an HE detergent is made to work with less water than a typical machine. If you use HE detergent in a regular washing machine, you’ll have to use a greater quantity of detergent, since it will be diluted in a larger quantity of water.

  • Natural ingredients: Many of the top-rating detergents try to use primarily natural ingredients, both for the surfactant effect of breaking up dirt, grime, and oils, and to get your clothing whiter and softer. For example, the Grab Green laundry detergent employs sodium carbonate peroxide to remove stains and brighten and bleach the clothing, as well as sodium citrate and sodium silicate to clean and remove debris. They will also use natural-based fragrances, such as water lily, lavender, and musk, which minimize the chance of allergic reaction or irritation, if you have a chemical sensitivity.

  • Don’t overload machine: It’s advised not to overload your washing machine, by trying to clean too big of a load at once. Since the wash will not be able to rotate freely, it will cause the wash to come out wrinkled, and the soapy water will have less of an ability to clean.

Top-Rated Brands

  • Method--was founded in 2000, with the aim of making cleaning products that “clean like heck + smell like heaven”. They make hand soap, body soap, dishwashing liquid, and laundry detergent.

  • Gain--is a Proctor & Gamble product, founded in 1947, that includes dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent, deodorizers, fabric softeners, and more.

  • All--is a brand of the Sun Products Corporation, founded in 1975 by Dan Huish as Huish Detergents Inc., but is presently owned by the German company Henkel. Their headquarters is in New Providence, New Jersey. All's products include "Powercore Pacs", "Mighty Pacs", detergents for sensitive skin, stain lifters, fresh clean essentials detergents, and more.

  • Mrs. Meyer’s--is an American detergent manufacturer inspired by Thelma A. Meyer and her family. Their main goal is to produce cleaning products with a more natural scent. Their household cleaners, hand and body care products, laundry detergents and air fresheners use natural scents.

  • Tide--was founded in 1946 by chemist David Byerly. Since then, it has established itself as the leading laundry detergent in the United States. Their formula is marketed by Procter and Gamble in both liquid and powder form. One of their most recent editions is the Tide Pod--a single serving of laundry detergent.

  • Grab Green--was founded by Patricia Spencer and Michael and Joan Edell in 2006. They were looking for a laundry detergent formula with non-toxic ingredients--they subsequently developed laundry care and kitchen cleaning solutions. They make laundry detergents, bleach alternatives, dryer sheets, and more.

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