The 10 Best Laundry Detergents

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This wiki has been updated 24 times since it was first published in February of 2018. Not all laundry detergents are created equal. While all of these options are capable of removing stains and keeping your clothes smelling good, some are made from natural ingredients in order to not harm the environment, others are specifically designed for very sensitive skins, and some are particularly powerful in order to remove stubborn dirt. A few combine one or more of these features, When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Tide Pods

2. True Heavy Duty

3. Biz Stain & Odor Eliminator

Editor's Notes

March 01, 2021:

Anyone who goes to the store often knows that you don't see a lot of changes to the laundry detergents available from year to year. Sure there are periodically new products, like when Tide first released their Tide Pods, and we see more plant-based options these days, such as Biokleen Liquid, and hypoallergenic choices like Dreft HE, but it's not like these companies are releasing new versions every single year. So, it may not come as much of a surprise that, after looking at the various options available, we determined that no changes needed to be made to our recommendations we selected when we last visited this list. Of course, we will keep an eye on the market to see if anything changes and a new contender or formula is released that should usurp one of our current choices.

September 27, 2019:

Because there are so many options on the market today, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. While there are great contenders out there that are not on this list, we wanted our selection to showcase the best of the bunch, whether you're looking for an effective formula from a trusted brand (Tide Pods, Gain Flings), something that's easy on sensitive skin (True Heavy Duty, Dreft HE), a product formulated to be kind to the environment (Biokleen Liquid, J.R. Watkins Powder), or a detergent with an irresistible fragrance (Tyler High Maintenance Glamorous Wash).

We removed our previous #6 Earth Friendly Products Ecos in favor of the Biokleen brand, which we felt was more compelling both as a detergent and an eco-friendly product. As far as Dreft HE is concerned, it may be confusing for consumers now that the company provides different products for newborn and active babies. We want to clarify that the selection on our list is appropriate for babies of all ages, which we feel is more convenient than switching between formulas.

If you're using laundry detergent and still find that your clothes have a musty smell, don't chuck it out just yet. Your machine may have a buildup of mold, mildew, and other residues from previous washes and detergents, so consider using a washing machine cleaner. For the best results, always dispense the appropriate amount of detergent for the load size and water amount you're using, and consider adding a pinch more if your water is hard. Remember to keep laundry detergents and other cleaning materials well away from children and pets at all times.

Special Honors

Le Labo Rose Signature If scent is just as important to you as efficacy, then Le Labo Rose Signature by The Laundress is for you. This American-made, nontoxic detergent is highly concentrated and contains 31 ingredients blended around rose to create a luxurious fragrance that's both masculine and feminine, with warm, woodsy notes and hints of amber. It's cruelty and allergen-free and has no animal byproducts, phosphates, petroleum, artificial color, or phthalates.

Thrive Laundry Powder If you find liquids too heavy or messy to deal with, you may like Thrive Laundry Powder. It is an eco-friendly option that is free of dyes and additives, safe for septic tanks, and suitable for vegans.

4. Dreft HE

5. Biokleen Liquid

6. Gain Flings

7. Tyler High Maintenance Glamorous Wash

8. Country Save

9. J.R. Watkins Powder

10. Washeze 3-in-1

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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