Updated: Oct 6, 2017

Laundry Detergent Reviews:

We all have to get our laundry done every week or so and many of use haven't the slightest clue as to which laundry detergent is actually the best. There are big name brands like Tide and Gain that are advertised on TV or in magazines, but what about all the other brands. It turns out that Proctor and Gamble has done a pretty good job of protecting its shelf space in grocery stores where most of laundry detergent is sold. It's not easy getting a new brand in the face of consumers in supermarkets today with stores like Safeway or Costco selling their own brand name items as well. Just which detergent should we buy? It turns out that Consumer Reports has done several studies on laundry detergents and Tide comes out on top with the cleanest clothes in most of them. Consumer Reports also notes that several store brands put fillers into their packages that reduce the cost and overall effectiveness of the detergent.
laundry detergent

Powders vs Liquids? Which type of laundry detergent do you prefer? Is one better than another? Consumers tend to purchase liquid laundry detergent more often than they do powdered detergent, but some studies show that powders perform better. I myself have found that sometimes the powder gets to "clumpy" on my clothes and leaves a residue even after the rinse cycle. We read countless reviews on forums and message boards that warned people to put in the laundry detergent first (liquid or powder) and then start the washer to let it lather up first before putting any clothes into the washing machine. Although not proven, if you wait until the clothes are in the machine and dump in the liquid or powdered laundry detergent last, it could become too concentrated on just a few articles of clothing and not give your clothes an even wash. Sounds reasonable to me since I used to put the clothes in first and then the detergent whereas now I do the reverse. It is true that some contents in powder laundry detergents can be more abrasive while liquid detergents aren't. We searched online and found some articles on the New York Magazine website, on Halfstigma.com, Laundry-alternative.com, and read user reviews on Yahoo and Epinions as well as a few amateur studies listed on university sites. Our finding are not scientific by any means, but chosen by educated men and women who have done laundry for years and know the difference between good and bad detergents. You can browse the top selling laundry detergents here.

Best Laundry Detergent:

The clear winner for best overall laundry detergent is Tide. Tide has several varieties they offer so choosing one is not that simple for beginners. There is Tide, Tide Liquid, Tide Powder, Tide Simple Pleasures, Tide Coldwater, Tide with Bleach, Tide HE, 2X Ultra Tide Liquid and several more. You can also get Tide in a variety of scents - clean breeze, mountain spring, tropical clean, meadows & rain, citrus & light, april fresh, glacier, etc. The Tide.com website is loaded with information on the latest scents and laundry detergents they put out and you can answer some basic questions about your laundry and laundry habits to determine which product fits your needs. Tide offers promotions and coupons on their website and you can always look in your Sunday newspaper for the latest coupon to clip out. As to why Tide is the best, it appears that in many studies (official and unofficial) Tide laundry detergents do a better job of getting clothes clean and smelling fresh. In one online study by a student, he put Tide head to head with Cheer laundry detergent to see which would work better on stains of mustard, ketchup, mud, coke, and grass. He used 100% cotton flannel material and let the stains soak in for 24 hours before attempting to wash them. Cheer was great at getting rid of the mustard stain, but Tide outperformed all others in removing the grass, mud, and ketchup from the clothes. Give Tide a try when you buy your next box of laundry detergent to see if you can tell the difference. RECOMMENDED - See all the top selling Tide liquid and powder laundry detergents online here.

High Efficiency (HE) Laundry Detergent:

With the new high efficiency washing machines that help save water(energy) and money, the one drawback is that many require a special kind of high efficiency (HE) laundry detergent. Method makes an HE detergent that is triple concentrated, phosphate free, biodegradable, and has never been tested on animals. It costs around $8 for 32 oz (1 oz per load) and can be bought at Target and other stores like Linen and Things. Other HE laundry detergent brands are Fab, Fresh Start, Tide HE, Wisk HE, and Equator. They are more expensive than traditional detergents, but you use less per load so it all ends up the same.

Budget Laundry Detergent:

We have mentioned that some store brands like the Costco Kirkland brand offer laundry detergents. While they don't rate quite as high as say Tide or Gain, they are much cheaper for virtually the same product. We came across several articles online that talked about the comparison between Kirkland and Tide with many users saying there was no visual difference from the clothes after washing. Laundry detergent is an excellent product to buy in bulk and Costco certainly offers that. Kirkland laundry detergent does a quality job for a much cheaper price than Tide or other leading brands. If you are at all concerned about planet Earth and the environment in generally, you should consider some of the more natural laundry detergents from Seventh Generation, Citra Suds, and Earth Friendly.

Baby Laundry Detergents:

Until I had kids I had never even heard of a kids laundry detergent and that's when my wife introduced me to Dreft. Dreft Laundry Detergent is recommended for babies and newborns with sensitive skin and our daughter showed signs of early eczema so we immediately switch from regular detergents to Dreft. I can't say that it helped, but it did eliminate some of the itching she had when she first put on clothes that had recently been washed. If you do have small children with skin issues, consider a detergent free of dyes and perfumes - something that is all natural if possible. Hypoallergenic laundry detergent is a little more expensive than the regular brands, but considering we sit in clothes all day long, there's no sense in irritating your kids skin anymore with an abrasive detergent.