By now, you probably know that there are various types of detergents out there, and that they all operate a little differently.
All are used to break down and remove stains and grime from clothes and fabrics, but some do it better than others. After so many not-so-white “white” t-shirts, you’re probably wondering which are the best laundry detergents out there; that’s where we come in!
The 7 Best Laundry Detergents For 2021
|Tide Coldwater Clean||Liquid||Dual perfume microcapsules, lets you use cold water, great at removing deep stains, brightens|
|Tide PODS 3-in-1||Pods||3-in-1 formula, easy to use, no mess, can be used in hot/cold water, floral scents, stain remover, 6x cleaning power in half the time|
|Mrs. Meyers||Liquid||2x concentrated, He compatible, 97% naturally-derived ingredients, biodegradable, free of phthalates, parabens, and more|
|Charlie’s Soap||Powder||Fragrance-free, thoroughly rinses, hypoallergenic, non-toxic, completely biodegradable, effective for all fabrics|
|Seventh Generation||Liquid||4x concentrated, USDA-certified bio-based product, 96% plant-based ingredients, EPA safer choice-certified, free and clear hypoallergenic, great for sensitive skin|
|Puracy Natural Laundry Detergent (Editor's Pick!)||Liquid||Whopping 192 loads per bottle, four enzyme formula eliminates any stains or grime, great for babies, created by doctors, perfect for allergy sufferers or sensitive skin, no sulfates, bleach, or toxic chemicals|
|All Mighty Pacs||Pods||Pre-measured, 100% free of perfumes and dyes, hypoallergenic, dissolves completely, safe for all washers|
Laundry detergent is an essential aspect of keeping your household clean and overall hygienic. Sure, you could use soap like many in the world do, but soap, unfortunately, is quite harsh on more delicate pieces of fabric and leaves a residue that makes clothing look and feel dingy.
Now that you’ve taken a look at the best laundry detergents on the market today, you probably want to read more about them, right? Scroll down a bit further to read in-depth about each product you have your eye on!
Tide Coldwater Clean – Best HE Compatible Product
What does that mean?
It means that washing in water not only helps prevent fading and mixing of colors but also helps you save a ton on your electric bills! Who doesn’t want that?
So, why do people insist on using hot water to wash their clothes if this is the case?
Because hot water simply removes stains better. However, with Tide Coldwater Clean, that’s no longer an issue.
The Tide Plus bleach alternative includes brighteners, which is safe for all kinds of fabrics and colors, so you can literally throw just about anything into the wash and not worry about the detergent having some kind of adverse effect on your articles of clothing, bedding, etc.
This was the best cold-water laundry detergent we’d tested, and clearly beat all of the others in terms of stain removal. While it performs well with cold water, it can also be useful in either warm or hot water, making it quite versatile.
While we personally didn’t try this as we didn’t have any babies handy, many customers rated this detergent very high with washing cloth diapers. It performed well on both fronts: removing stains and odors. We all know that’s some serious cleaning power, then!
In addition, if you happen to own an HE washing machine, you’ll love the HE TurboClean technology which P&G introduced a couple of years ago, and most importantly, is now apart of the Tide Coldwater Clean formula.
So, how exactly does that work?
Well, the detergent utilizes quick-dissolving suds that prevent HE machines from running extra rinse cycles; saving you gallons upon gallons of water, not to mention no longer wasting more time than it should! For this reason, it’s also hands-down, the best detergent for HE that we found on the market today.
Now, you may be wondering how the scent is:
The truth is, it really comes down to personal opinion. The detergent features dual perfume microcapsules for up to three times longer-lasting scent than the original formula. However, the scent can be a bit strong for some consumers.
What We Liked
- Excellent formula for use in cold water or HE washers
- Removes stains and odor well
- Works with just about any type of fabric or color
- Relatively inexpensive
What We Didn’t Like
- The scent can be a bit strong for some consumers
Tide PODS 3 in 1 – Best Pod Product
The product is probably the least-messy detergent you can buy, as the liquid inside comes tightly sealed off in a little plastic pouch, that is quite tough and resistant to most pokes and prods.
As far as ease of use goes, they’re quite user-friendly, as well. All you have to do is throw on into the laundry machine, and you’re done! Place a pack into the drum of the machine before adding clothes; it will dissolve in both hot or cold water, so it works with any cycle. Use one for small/medium loads, two for large, and three for extra-large loads.
The three-in-one laundry solution is made up of a laundry detergent, stain remover, and color protector combined into one exceptional formula. The multi-chamber design separates key ingredients until they are actually in the mix with the clothes in the wash.
The original scent is somewhat of a floral/fruity combination to keep your clothes smelling nice and new, however, whether you like or don’t like the scent is really a personal opinion.
If you’re looking for a pod alternative to the other HE detergents, this one will do the trick!
Tide PODS are specially reformulated with HE Turbo technology for a whopping 6x the cleaning power in half of the time. Much like the last product, it also features quick-collapsing suds, and targets deep stains, so you save time and a whole lot of money on your water bill!
The only “con” we had is that there were a few really intense stains that it didn’t remove completely, but definitely did make a huge difference in.
What We Liked
- Convenient, non-messy pod design
- Floral/fruity scent keeps clothes smelling fresh and clean
- 3-in-1 formula combines three different products in one
- HE-compatible to save you time and money on water bill
What We Didn’t Like
- Didn’t 100% remove all of the very deep stains
Mrs. Meyers – Best Smelling Laundry Detergent Product
One of the most modest laundry detergents on the market today, the brand lives by “keeping stuff clean is simple; you simply require the right cleanser”. Which we found to be applicable when it comes to their products.
Despite featuring an image that looks sweet and polite, it’s actually one of the hardest cleaners out there. Despite this, it’s safe and soft on more sensitive materials, as most of their ingredients are naturally-derived.
That brings us to our next point:
It’s very eco-friendly, which is a requirement for many households. Some people simply want a product they don’t have to feel guilty about using or want the peace of mind knowing it’s not contributing with negative effects into the world.
Some have sensitive skin or allergies and need a product that isn’t chock-full of weird chemicals and ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. While it doesn’t contain any alkali, chlorine, phthalates, or parabens, we have to mention that it does contain two manufactured additives which are used to speed up the cleaning process.
You only have to use one tablespoon of the liquid detergent to get things going for a standard load, which is nice. This particular product is a 64-load bottle, so it will definitely last you for at least a couple of months.
The HE-compatible product is 2x concentrated, and is also biodegradable! It comes in a variety of natural scents, which are comprised of essential oils combined with some unnatural scents. Scent options include sunflower, basil, lavender, lemon verbena, bluebell, rosemary, geranium, honeysuckle, and more.
We have to say that out of any of the detergents we reviewed, Mrs. Meyer’s products had the best-smelling scents. We personally enjoyed honeysuckle, geranium, and lemon verbena, but the most popular scent out there is probably lavender.
What We Liked
- Great for sensitive skin or those with allergies
- Comes in a wide variety of natural-smelling scents
- Gentle on delicate garments, yet still turbo-powered with stain/odor removal
What We Didn’t Like
- Still includes a couple artificial ingredients
Charlie’s Soap – Best Budget Product
Well, they’re quite messy and no one really enjoys the smell of chemically-powder that seems to rise up into the air every time you open up the bag. However, Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder is revolutionizing the game with their incredible product.
Eco-friendly powder detergents aren’t the easiest to find, but if you’re looking for one, look no further. Their formula is created using biodegradable products such as cleaners made from coconut oil, and sodium carbonate.
With zero brighteners, fragrances, dyes, and fillers, you can rest easy knowing your new detergent is hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and much safer for the environment than your run-of-the-mill laundry product. If you or someone else in your home suffers from allergies or particularly sensitive skin, this is an excellent option for you.
The concentrated, scent-free powder may seem quite gentle. While it is on the skin and the environment, it cleans thoroughly and rinses out completely, which no worries of residue afterward. Use it on wool, linen, cotton, silk, and more!
At a whopping 100 loads and costing less than 20 USD, this is also the perfect option if you’re looking for one of the best laundry detergents on a budget. We know how hard it can be to find a product of this quality at such a low rate, which is unfortunately why so many are deterred from eco-friendly products.
If that weren’t enough, it’s also HE-compatible, which will save you time and money from having to run excess loads with your regular detergents. What more could you want?
What We Liked
- Concentrated, scent-free powder is inoffensive to the senses
- Eco-friendly, made of natural ingredients
- Hypoallergenic, perfect for those with allergies and/or sensitive skin
- Very inexpensive for the level of quality it brings to the table
What We Didn’t Like
- A bit messy
Seventh Generation – Best Product for Children
From recycled packaging and biodegradable formulas to ingredient disclosure and fragrances comprised of essential oils and botanical extracts – they’ve thought of it all. They are small details that make a huge difference in the health of our planet and on those who inhabit it.
The 4x concentrated liquid laundry detergent includes a triple-enzyme formula that works to fight tough stains and odors all without using artificial fragrances, dyes, and brighteners. Instead, they’ve included plant-derived enzyme stain removers like Protease and Amylase to work away deep stains that are often caused by things like pasta sauce, chocolate, and mud.
The liquid detergent is also enjoyable for those with allergies and/or sensitive skin, as it’s hypoallergenic and fragrance-free. If that weren’t enough, it is also dermatologist-tested for good measure, and to prove to its customers how much they value them and their well-being.
So, how exactly is it eco-friendly?
Well, the detergent itself is actually USDA-Certified Biobased, meaning their products are made from renewable plant-based ingredients. This reduces the need for petroleum-based products and overall dependence on fossil fuels which are polluting our planet.
In addition, Seventh Generation makes sure their products are never tested on animals, nor do they contain animal-based products.
How does the product smell, if at all?
Sure, most detergents use synthetic fragrances. They may smell great, but they aren’t great for the planet or you. So, what is the alternative? How about utilizing essential oils and botanical extracts instead, to create all-natural, yummy-smelling detergent? Their Geranium Blossoms and Vanilla detergent smells incredible and all-natural.
What are the downsides?
We could really only find one:
The fact that it’s not as inexpensive as some of the other products we tested. However, we’d also like to mention that it’s still a good deal!
What We Liked
- Eco-friendly; no artificial dyes and fragrances
- All-natural scents made with essential oils and botanical extracts
- Hypoallergenic and perfect for those with allergies or sensitive skin
- Recyclable container
What We Didn’t Like
- Isn’t as inexpensive as some others
Puracy Natural – Editor’s Favorite
Featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, Bravo TV, ABC, and much more, you can rest assured that this product has been tested thoroughly and loved time and time again by its consumers. This 10x natural liquid laundry detergent is a safe, effective, and ultra-concentrated detergent derived from plants and natural minerals.
At first, you’ll probably notice the non-traditional design of the bottle. Usually, laundry detergent comes in some kind of jug, but this one is packed in transparent 25 fl. Oz bottles, which are attractive and unique in and of themselves. Honestly, they could pass as shampoo bottles.
However, there is a reason why they look unique:
They are comfortable to hold and are perfect for storing in tight spaces. The bottle pump is also quite unique, and the detergent liquid is pushed through a pump dispenser. Two pumps per load will do it, and should last nearly 100 loads!
Now, let’s get to the more important stuff:
The ingredients are all-natural, as we’d mentioned a bit earlier. They feature natural emulsifiers, detergents, and solubilizers all-in-one, to ensure the highest level of efficiency and safety as possible. However, what really powers the formula are the enzymes included, such as protease, amylase, mannanase, and lipase. They all work to break down large molecules, without being harsh on clothing or you.
This product is safe for vegans, for babies, for those with sensitive skin, and it’s even certified to be cruelty-free by PETA and Leaping Bunny! No phosphates, sulfates, bleach or toxic chemicals are used, and can be used on just about any type or color of fabric!
So what is there to not love?
The only possible thing we could think of was the scent; again, it’s a personal thing. The Fresh Linen scent smelled nice, natural, and definitely not overpowering. However, some people just won’t like a certain scent or prefer unscented detergents.
What We Liked
- All-natural product, safe for babies and those with sensitive skin or allergies
- Cruelty-free, vegan-safe, and Leaping Bunny-certified
- Comes in useful, trendy bottle with push pump
- Features all-natural ingredients to break down tough stains and odors
What We Didn’t Like
- Some may not like the Fresh Linen scent
All Mighty Pacs – Best Bulk Product
Don’t let this happen, with the All Mighty Pacs!
All Free Clear Mighty Pacs are conveniently pre-measured with concentrated detergent that is completely free of perfumes and dyes, while safely and powerfully lifting away stubborn dirt and stains! While they are a bit more expensive than your standard jugs of detergent, they aren’t going to drip all over the place, hence, there is no wasting the product and making a mess.
Some people are hesitant about using detergent pods, as they’re afraid they’re going to burst in the packaging, or perhaps not dissolve in both hot and cold water. We’re happy to report that the packaging is nice and solid, and don’t believe these pacs are at risk of bursting. They also dissolved quite well in various water temperatures!
All you need to do is simply toss in a detergent pac into the laundry machine and off you go! This product is probably the most efficient laundry detergent out there, which is a huge reason why it made our list.
The pacs come in two forms: the Free Clear, and the Original. The Free Clear is a gentler formula on sensitive skin, but is still just as powerful at lifting stains and odors from clothing. The hypoallergenic pacs are also unscented, which is even better for those with allergies, and those who just don’t like smelling scent on their clothing.
The detergent is safe to use in any type of washing machine, which further boosted it up to a spot on our list.
What We Liked
- Relatively inexpensive
- Hypoallergenic; perfect for sensitive skin or those with allergies
- Safe to use in any washing machine
- Ultra-convenient; won’t cause any mess
What We Didn’t Like
- Not as inexpensive as some general liquid jugs of detergent
Picking The Right Laundry Detergent For You
We know how difficult it can be to select the best laundry detergent for you and your family. There are multiple people to worry about many times, and some may have allergies or preferences that you’d like to take into consideration.
Not to worry! That’s why we’re here. Follow along with our buying guide and we ensure you’ll find the best product by the time you’re finished!
As you probably already know, there are various types of laundry detergents out there. If you went through all of them, you’d be here all week! Organic, inorganic, homemade, commercial, and many more! However, for the purpose of being efficient and helping you the best we can, we’ve classified detergents into the three most popular types: powder, liquid, and pods.
Powder detergent has been around probably the longest out of them all. The first types came in the form of a powdered, soapless detergent. They definitely help, but soapless detergents are the best. They don’t leave any residue and are more efficient.
Liquid laundry detergents are also quite popular, however, they are a relatively new product in comparison with your traditional, powdered detergent. Liquid detergents are best for those who have sensitive lungs, and you don’t have to worry about any clouds of detergent accidentally seeping into someone’s nose or throat. In addition, they generally are better at removing stains and odors without the residue that powders sometimes leave (not every brand).
Pods are technically liquid detergent, as well, but come encased in a chemical film or some kind of other easily-dissolved barriers to hold the detergent inside. These are probably the most convenient form on the market, as all you have to do is throw a pod or two in and you’re all set without worrying about spills.
However, the downside to these, is that they resemble candy, and if a child consumes them, it can be very dangerous. We don’t recommend these if you have children or pets that could access them.
HE washing machines are seemingly ever-growing in popularity.
Long story short, they use less water, spin faster, and get clothes cleaner than your traditional washing machine could. The savings in water can add up to almost a whopping 70% and up to 50% in energy costs, which will save you a ton of money, as well as make things a bit easier on the environment.
If you have one, you must also buy an HE-compatible detergent. Due to low water levels in the washing machines during the wash and rinse cycles, the detergents must operate differently. They’re created specifically to be low-suds and quick-dispersing to make sure you’re saving water and energy.
Did you know that US residents can wash up to almost 400 loads of laundry a year, on average? That’s a ton! Switching from a more expensive to a cheaper detergent can help you save around 50 USD a year, more or less. If you live in a household with more laundry, this number can increase even more.
In addition, not every detergent is made the same. You could purchase a jug the same size, and they may have different prices. However, the more expensive jug of detergent may require less product for the average load; less than the cheaper product does. So, overall, you may not even be saving money by choosing that option. Make sure to do the math.
This may or may not apply to you, but it’s always nice to have a versatile laundry detergent; one that can work just as well in cold water as It does in hot water. They’re generally available at around the same price as others, and if you can find one that works well in cold water, you’ll be saving energy from not having to heat the water!
In addition, cold water helps to prevent shrinking and fading and ensures that darker clothing doesn’t bleed its colors into the lighter ones.
Do you or someone else in your home have allergies or sensitive skin? If you do, then you probably already know the importance of purchasing hypoallergenic products. All chemicals are added to detergents for a reason, but some are better for you than others.
As a general rule, avoid chemicals that are classified as potentially dangerous for our health and the environment by the Environmental Protection Agency.
There are plenty of products out there marketed as eco-friendly, but you need to also ensure that they’re hypoallergenic, and preferably free of any artificial dyes, fragrances, phthalates, and things of that nature.
Take scents with a grain of salt, because the best scent for one person could be the worst for the other. Also keep in mind the intensity of scents, because some are faint, and some could just be downright overpowering.
In addition, it’s always best to opt for ones made up of natural ingredients like botanicals and essential oils. These are also oftentimes more gentle on the senses.
We hope you enjoyed being with us as much as we enjoyed having you here! We can say we also enjoyed each one of the products that we’ve presented to you here, today. However, there was one particular item that really stood out to us.
While it’s obvious we’ve listed multiple safe, environmentally-friendly products here, the best in our opinion, was the Puracy Natural laundry detergent.
First of all, the bottle is the only one of its kind, as far as we’re aware. It’s easy to use and hold; much more than the bulky jugs that are typical. Aside from that, you can easily distribute the product through the push pump, as well, without worrying about spilling.
In addition, it’s an all-natural product, and safe for babies, those with sensitive skin, and those with allergies. It’s also cruelty-free, and vegan, which is great for those out there who pay attention to that.
So, which of the best laundry detergents are going home with you today?