The Ultimate Guide to the Best Laundry Detergents

151

Updated:

Laundry detergents in supermarket aisle

What is the best laundry detergent?

Supermarket laundry aisles are all filled with laundry detergents in distinctive packaging. Most make impressive scientific claims about the cleaning power of their products. So are all laundry detergents basically the same?

Our team tested a number of liquids, powders and single-use laundry pods. The goal was to determine how well they removed common stains (food, coffee, red wine and motor oil) in both hot and cold water.

Laundry detergent testing

Rigorous detergent testing was done as research for this article

Note that in recent years, a global shift towards environmental conservation has forced rapid innovation in the laundry industry.

The end result of our tests was that all five picks are a by-product of this innovation - a new class of ultra-powerful laundry detergents. These products are the best of the best:

Gain flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, Original, 81 Count
all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent Plus Removes Tough Odors, Tub, 50 Count
ARM & HAMMER 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks, 70 Count
Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Liquid Pacs, Clean Breeze Scent, HE Compatible, 81 Count (Packaging May Vary)
Tide Purclean Plant-based Laundry Detergent, Honey Lavender Scent, 50 Fl Oz
Gain flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, Original, 81 Count
all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent Plus Removes Tough Odors, Tub, 50 Count
ARM & HAMMER 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks, 70 Count
Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Liquid Pacs, Clean Breeze Scent, HE Compatible, 81 Count (Packaging May Vary)
Tide Purclean Plant-based Laundry Detergent, Honey Lavender Scent, 50 Fl Oz
$19.99
$8.99
$8.99
$19.97
$13.57
Gain flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, Original, 81 Count
Gain flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, Original, 81 Count
$19.99
all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent Plus Removes Tough Odors, Tub, 50 Count
all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent Plus Removes Tough Odors, Tub, 50 Count
$8.99
ARM & HAMMER 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks, 70 Count
ARM & HAMMER 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks, 70 Count
$8.99
Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Liquid Pacs, Clean Breeze Scent, HE Compatible, 81 Count (Packaging May Vary)
Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Liquid Pacs, Clean Breeze Scent, HE Compatible, 81 Count (Packaging May Vary)
$19.97
Tide Purclean Plant-based Laundry Detergent, Honey Lavender Scent, 50 Fl Oz
Tide Purclean Plant-based Laundry Detergent, Honey Lavender Scent, 50 Fl Oz
$13.57

Below, we answer some common questions about laundry detergents. Then, we review our carefully tested five best laundry detergents.

This should leave you completely prepared to buy the best laundry detergent for your family's needs.

Many people think that detergents only differ in brands. In reality, there are more to consider than brand names and the scents of laundry detergents.

This section answers the most common questions about laundry detergents.

What's the difference between liquid, powder or pod detergents?

Which type of laundry detergent should I buy?

What factors should I consider before buying detergent?

Which detergent gets towels and bedding ultra white?

What is the best laundry detergent?

Reviews of the Best Laundry Detergents

We tested a number of liquid, powder and pod laundry detergents to see how well they removed tough stains (food, coffee, grass stains etc). Below, we review each of the top five detergents in-depth. 

Gain Flings Original Laundry Detergent Pacs, 81 Count

5th rated


Gain flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs

'America’s favorite laundry pacs' provide 2x the cleaning power compared to Gain Original Scent liquid laundry detergent. This powerful formula even boasts six weeks of freshness, from wash until wear. Incredible! Gain Flings Detergent Pacs are suitable for both regular and HE washers and dissolves easily in both hot and cold water.

Key features and specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 8.8 x 10.2 inches
  • Item Weight: 7 pounds
  • 50% more scent than Gain liquid detergent
  • With the power of Oxi and Febreeze to fight stains
  • Pros

  • Long-lasting scent
  • Cleans stubborn stains
  • Easy to use
  • Pre-measured pacs
  • Good for HE and non-HE washing machine
  • Dissolves quickly in hot and cold water
  • Cons

  • May need two pacs to treat stubborn dirt and stains
  • Non-hypoallergenic
  • Why You Should Buy This Product?
    If you are looking for laundry detergent to keep your clothes free from stains and dirt, Gains Flings will help you remove them in one wash. Gains Fling is powered by Oxi and Febreeze formula to effectively take out stubborn stains, dirt, and odor from your laundry without damaging the fabric. At the same time, Gains Fling will leave you with fresh and nice smelling clothes. Gains Fling is also easy to use. It will dissolve quickly in hot or cold water. It can be used in any laundry set-up and both HE and non-HE washing machines. Gains Fling is your perfect laundry partner.

    Sale
    Gain flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs
    America’s 'favorite laundry pacs' provide two times the cleaning power vs Gain Original Scent liquid laundry detergent. Expect the irresistibly fresh scent to last up to six weeks from wash until wear.

    all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent Plus Removes Tough Odors, 50 Count

    4th rated


    all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent Plus Removes Tough Odors

    The powers of all Powercore liquid and powdered detergents come together in one single pac. The all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent is tough not only on dirt and stains but also against odors. Each pac has the power to brighten the colors of your laundry load and whitens your white fabrics. The all Powercore Pacs will keep your clothes bright and leave them with long-lasting scent of freshness.

    Key features and specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 5.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Item Weight: 1 pounds
  • Whitens and brightens clothes
  • 50 concentrated laundry pacs
  • For HE washing machines
  • Pros

  • Powerful whitening
  • Brightens colored clothes
  • Removes tough odors and leave long-lasting fresh scent
  • Works well with both cold and hot water
  • Safe for HE washing machines
  • Cons

  • Pacs are hard to disintegrate and may stick to clothes
  • Non-hypoallergenic
  • Needs two pacs for heavy loads
  • Why You Should Buy This Product?
    Do you have white sheets with stains on it? The all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent is capable of washing off stubborn stains and dirt. You don’t need to measure how much detergent to use every time you load a laundry. Each pacs is capable of cleaning, brightening, and removing tough odors from your laundry. Save more time and money with 50 pacs of all Powercor Pacs Laundry Detergent Plus Removes Tough Odor.

    Sale
    all Powercore Pacs Laundry Detergent Plus
    Deliver an amazing clean with this liquid-powder combo laundry pac. These Powercore Pacs dissolve in any water temperature and deliver powerful results. Keep clothes cleaner, softer and smelling fresh longer, while eliminating even the toughest of stains.

    Arm & Hammer 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks – CleanBurst, 70 ct

    3rd rated


    ARM & HAMMER 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks

    The only laundry detergent packs with bi-layer technology, Arm & Hammer 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks can leave lightly and heavily soiled clothes clean and bright. With the combination of baking soda and OxiClean Fighters, each power pack will turn your soiled laundry into clean, bright, and fresh clothes. It is very easy to use in standard and high-efficiency washing machines as each pack dissolve quickly in all water temperatures.

    Key features and specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 4.3 x 11 inches
  • Item Weight: 8 pounds
  • Ultra concentrated
  • Powered by the unique Microcrystals Formula
  • Detergent, baking soda, and two OxiClean Stain fighters in one pac
  • Good for standard and high-efficiency washing machines
  • Pros

  • Concentrated formula
  • Good stain remover
  • Easily dissolves
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to pack
  • Fresh smell
  • Brightens color
  • Convenient
  • Cons

  • May leave hard rock-like pieces of detergent in the clothes
  • Not hypoallergenic
  • Not dye free
  • Why You Should Buy This Product?

    Avoid the messy measuring of dose using liquid or powdered detergents when you wash. With Arm & Hammer 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks, simply toss in one pack for your medium load. The pack easily dissolves in any water temperature, saving you time and effort.


    The Power Paks are equipped with unique Microcrystals Formula to clean out stubborn dirt and stains on your clothes. Like all Arm & Hammer laundry detergent, the Power Paks brightens your colored fabric and shines your white clothes. Wash your clothes in convenience and peace of mind with the powerful Arm & Hammer 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks.

    ARM & HAMMER 2-IN-1 Laundry Detergent Power Paks
    This powerful product combines the freshness of ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda with OxiClean Stain Fighters into an ultra-concentrated microcrystal formula that powers away dirt, odors and stains while leaving and a long-lasting fresh scent. No mess, no spills, no fuss.

    Tide PODS Ocean Mist HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs 81-load Tub

    2nd rated


    Tide PODS Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs

    A 3-in-1 laundry solution in one small pack, the PODS Ocean Mist HE Turbo Laundry Detergent is all you need to clean your clothes. Each Tide PODs Ocean Mist pac is a detergent, stain remover, and brightener at the same time. Simply pop one pac for your medium load or two pacs for a large load or three for an extra large laundry load. The pac is quick to dissolve in any water temperature. It is engineered to work well in both front and top load washing machines. Also, it is perfect for both standard and high-efficiency washing machines. Each pac also contains the scent of the Ocean Mist perfuming your laundry with the sweet, crisp floral and citrus smell. Tide PODS Ocean Mist is the all-around laundry detergent you have been looking for.

    Key features and specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 4.3 x 11 inches
  • Item Weight: 8 pounds
  • Works as detergent, brightener, and stain remover
  • 1 pac for medium load, 2 pacs for large load, 3 pacs for extra-large load
  • Specially formulated with HE Turbo technology for quick collapsing suds
  • Targets tough stains
  • Pros

  • Quick to dissolve in hot and cold water
  • Fresh Ocean Mist scent
  • Efficient even with less water
  • Easy to use
  • Safe for white and colors
  • Cons

  • Does not remove tough odors completely
  • May need to use more pacs for really dirty and soiled laundry
  • Why You Should Buy This Product?

    If you want 3 values in 1 small pack, Tide PODs Ocean Mist HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs is the one for you. You don’t need to buy additives to wash dirt and stains off your laundry. Tide Pods work as a laundry detergent to wash off the dirt from your clothes. It is also a stain remover and color brightener. Each pac is also infused with the crisp smell of citrus and flowers to leave you with sweet and fresh smelling clothes after washing.


    Tide PODs Ocean Mist is also very easy to use. You can save more time and effort from doing your laundry by using this single dose laundry detergent. Each pac is engineered to dissolve quickly in hot or cold water. Simply throw a pac for your medium laundry load and let the pac do the work.

    Sale
    Tide PODS Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs, Clean Breeze
    These ultra powerful detergent pacs contain a 3-in-1 assault against your laundry: super concentrated detergent, extra odor fighters and extra stain removers. This gives you 10x the cleaning power compared to discount detergent. What's more, Tide Pods will dissolve completely in both cold and warm water.

    Tide Purclean Liquid Laundry Detergent for Regular and HE Washers, Honey Lavender Scent, 75 Fluid Ounce

    #1 rated


    Tide Purclean Plant-based Laundry Detergent, Honey Lavender Scent

    Tide Purclean is the first Tide detergent to be bio-based. It contains 65 percent of natural ingredients. Tide Purclean have the cleaning power of Tide. It is superior in cleaning dirt, removing stains, color care, and whiteness. The liquid laundry detergent also helps in energy efficiency as it can be used in cold water. It is free of dyes, phosphates, optical brighteners, and chlorine to be gentle on your skin.

    Key features and specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4.8 x 11.9 inches
  • Item Weight: 9 pounds
  • The first ever bio-based detergent with Tide’s cleaning power (65% bio-based)
  • Certified by the USDA
  • Free of dyes, phosphates, optical brighteners, and chlorine
  • Can be used in cold and hot water
  • Efficient in all type of washing machines
  • Scented
  • Pros

  • 65% Bio-based
  • Energy efficient
  • Recyclable container
  • Zero waste
  • Gentle on skin
  • Tide cleaning power
  • Cons

  • Scent may be too strong
  • Why You Should Buy This Product?

    Are you looking for a liquid laundry detergent that is free from dyes, chlorine, and other harmful chemicals? Tide Purclean Liquid Laundry Detergent is the one for you. This USDA certified 65 percent bio-based liquid detergent is safe for the environment and still has the trusted cleaning power of Tide. Made from 100 percent renewable power and has zero manufacturing waste, Tide Purclean will wash off dirt, remove stains, and brighten your clothes.


    Tide Purclean is effective while using cold water to help you save energy when doing your laundry. It is safe for your entire load whether you are washing whites, colors, cotton, silk, and even baby clothes. Tide Purclean is your laundry partner to help clean your clothes and, at the same time, protects the environment.

    Tide Purclean Plant-based Laundry Detergent, Honey Lavender Scent
    Our top-rated laundry detergent is the very first bio-based detergent that exceeds the cleaning power of Tide. This USDA-certified liquid laundry detergent is made using 100% renewable wind power electricity and is free of dyes, chlorine, phosphates or optical brighteners. If the environment is your first priority and perfectly cleaned clothes is also your first priority, this product is a winner.

    Laundry detergent buying conclusion

    Laundry detergent subtly provides a key foundation for cleanliness throughout your home. Choosing the right brand will help you save money, protect the longevity of your clothes and ensure that they always smell fresh. This guide will help you to research the best options for different fabrics.  


    Once you have the right laundry detergent in place, you're all set to build out an entire housekeeping routine of the best home products stacked for total home cleaning.


    Once you've chosen the best laundry detergent for your needs, check our our top-rated fabric softeners, anti static sprays, and eco-friendly natural alternatives


    Combined, this arsenal will ensure crisp clean wrinkle-free clothes that always smell amazing.