If you spend ages in the laundry aisle wondering what to go for but always end up with something a bit disappointing, you might be stuck in a rut.
With an overwhelming amount of detergents on the market, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 best laundry detergents.
Now, you’ll get clean, fresh, stain-free clothes every time. Whether you’re looking for laundry pods, something for sensitive skin, or something for your HE washer, we have a recommendation for everyone.
We concluded this list based on years of testing different detergents and hours researching real customer reviews, products, and expert advice. Get ready to meet 10 life-changing laundry detergents.
- Six-week freshness
- Removes tough stains
- Cleans pet stains
- 10x more cleaning power than leading brands
- Amazing odor remover
- Brightens colors & whites
- Free of dyes and perfumes
- Removes stains & brightens clothes
- Works in all water temperatures
- Tough on stains
- No added dyes or chlorine
- Four non-toxic ingredients
- Leaves clothes clean & soft
- Doesn’t leave a residue
- More whitening power than bleach
- Color safe
- Brightens dingy clothes
- Plant-powered ingredients
- Built-in fabric softener
- Preserves your clothes
- Eco-friendly & hypoallergenic
- Removes blood, sweat & poop stains
- Pre-treats stains
- USDA Organic Seal
- Great for sensitive skin
- Four scents to choose from
- Great for hard water
- Natural & plant-based ingredients
- Works on all clothes types
We’ve spent hours researching the best laundry detergents. Looking at customer reviews, expert advice, and studies, as well as applying our own insight, we’re here to recommend the 10 best detergents on the market.
Which one will it be? Check out our thorough reviews below!
1. Gain Laundry Detergent Liquid
Best Liquid Laundry Detergent
If you’re sticking to liquid laundry detergent, look no further than Gain. This laundry detergent removes odors and cleans clothes thoroughly. Plus, it leaves behind an original fresh scent.
This product guarantees six weeks of freshness. The detergent leaves perfume capsules into the fibers of your clothes that release during the day so that you smell good from morning to night.
What’s the scent? A blend of orange, lemon, blossoms, fruit, white floral jasmine, and woody amber. Sounds amazing!
This detergent works in any washers — HE or not — and at any temperature. Just keep in mind it contains enzymes, so it may not be kind to sensitive skin.
- Six-week lasting freshness.
- Removes tough stains.
- Great for cleaning pet stains.
- Works in all washers at any temperature.
- Made with 100 percent renewable wind power electricity.
- No phosphates in the formula.
- Not suitable for people with sensitive skin or allergies.
- Includes synthetic fragrances, which can be toxic.
|Purpose||Clean clothes and add six week’s freshness|
|Water Type||Soft water|
|Toxicity||Includes biodegradable surfactants, but synthetic fragrances|
2. Tide Pods Plus Febreze Pacs
Best Laundry Pods
Tide Pods are a top choice for travelers, people who visit a laundromat, or families who love convenience. If you have foul odors from gym clothes or your kid’s outside antics, this is Tide’s #1 odor remover.
It’s formulated to remove odors that are up to a week old. So those clothes that have been sitting in the bottom of your laundry basket? Clean them, no problem.
The freshness lasts up to three times longer than Tide Original. The scent is botanical rain, and it uses technology to release the scent as you move.
In terms of cleaning, these pods have 10x more cleaning power than leading bargain liquid detergents. You can remove odors and stains in one wash with these pods.
Finally, these pods brighten clothes, too. So if your whites look dingy and your colors look dull, why not try these pods?
- 10x more cleaning power than leading bargain liquid detergents.
- Amazing odor remover, even for week-old odors.
- Beautiful botanical rain scent.
- Brightens colors and whites.
- Convenient pod form for easy washing.
- Dissolves in all water temperatures and conditions.
- A few customers said the pods stained their clothes blue.
- Can’t be used for pre-treating stains.
|Purpose||Thoroughly cleans clothes and removes odors|
|Toxicity||Moderate concern for people with allergies (1)|
3. Tide Free and Gentle Laundry Detergent Pods
Best for Sensitive Skin
Tide Free and Gentle Pods are a solution for people with sensitive skin. They’re free of dyes and perfumes. Plus, they’re dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic, so if you have allergies or skin concerns, these pods should be gentle.
If you’re after convenience, these pods are easy to use. They are pre-measured, so all you need to do is toss them into the drum before you add your clothes!
These pods have three purposes: cleaning clothes, removing stains, and brightening fabrics. So when you pull your clothes from the machine, they’ll look cleaner and brighter than before!
Tide suggests using one pod for light loads and three for large loads — but you should try testing out one pod per load. They might have enough cleaning power for a big, soiled load, saving you money in the long run.
- Free of dyes and perfumes, hypoallergenic for sensitive skin.
- Pods are easy to use.
- Cleans, removes strains and brightens clothes.
- Works in all water temperatures.
- Protect colors from fading.
- Using too many pods makes it difficult to dissolve them.
- The pods don’t deodorize clothes.
|Purpose||Cleans, removes stains and brightens clothes|
|Water Type||Soft water|
|Toxicity||Moderate concern for people with asthma (2)|
4. Dreft Newborn Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent
Best Detergent for Babies
As a parent, it’s natural to worry about what products you use. With the Dreft Newborn Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent, you can rest easy. It’s the #1 pediatrician-recommended detergent, specially formulated for newborn babies.
It’s hypoallergenic, so it’s kind on your newborn’s sensitive skin. For over 80 years, parents have loved using this detergent on their kid’s clothes. It has zero percent added dyes, chlorine, and phosphates.
Although it’s gentle on skin, it’s still tough on stains. So you can clean spit up, accidents, cloth diapers, and much more with this laundry detergent.
- Pediatrician recommended and hypoallergenic.
- Tough on stains.
- No added dyes, chlorine, or phosphates.
- Works on adult clothes, too!
- Works for HE and standard washing machines.
- It does contain some harmful ingredients.
- The scent is really strong.
|Purpose||Cleans newborn clothes while being gentle on sensitive skin|
|Water Type||Soft water|
|Toxicity||Contains some toxic ingredients (4)|
5. Nellie's Non-Toxic Powdered Laundry Detergent
Best Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent
Nellie’s laundry detergent is an amazing solution if you want something completely free of toxins. This detergent has only four ingredients: Sodium Carbonate, Linear Alcohol Ethoxylate, Sodium Chloride, and Sodium Metasilicate.
It’s completely free from SLS, SLES, gluten, phosphates, fragrance, and chlorine. This makes it a wonderful hypoallergenic detergent, great for families!
Despite only four ingredients, this detergent cleans clothes, leaves them soft, and doesn’t leave any residue. Of course, it’s unscented, so it won’t leave a pleasant fragrance. But you can add a few drops of essential oil to the detergent drawer or the drum for a lovely scent.
This small tin of powder does 100 loads of laundry. When it’s finished, you can recycle the tin or reuse it for storage or plants.
- Four non-toxic ingredients.
- Leaves clothes clean and soft.
- Doesn’t leave a residue.
- 100 loads per tin.
- Free from phosphates, fragrance, chlorine, and more.
- Might not remove tough odors.
- Might make clothes look dingy. Doesn’t brighten them.
|Purpose||Cleans clothes using non-toxic chemicals|
|Water Type||Soft water|
6. OxiClean White Revive Stain Remover
Best Laundry Detergent for Stains
OxiClean White Revive is a fantastic alternative to bleach, especially when removing stains. Although this is formulated for white clothes, it is entirely safe to use on colors.
Keep in mind that it works best alongside a regular laundry detergent. But together, their stain-removal power is unbeatable!
You can add this to every load of laundry or just use it on heavily soiled cycles. Otherwise, you can use it as a pre-soak to treat stubborn stains.
OxiClean works for all fabrics except wool, silk, leather, and dry-clean-only fabrics. But you can use it on linens, synthetics, underwear, sportswear, and much more.
In terms of your white clothes, it has 40 percent more whitening power than chlorine bleach! So you can avoid toxic chlorine bleach while still getting astounding results.
- 40 percent more whitening power than chlorine bleach.
- Works alongside regular detergent to remove stains.
- Color-safe and won’t harm colored clothing.
- Brightens dingy clothes.
- You can use it as a pre-treatment or in every laundry load.
- It doesn’t work on cold washes.
- Strong overwhelming scent.
|Purpose||Lifts stains and brightens clothes|
|Water Type||Soft water|
|Toxicity||It does include fragrance. Some toxicity concerns (5)|
7. ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent
Best Liquid Soap
Laundry soap is a natural but effective way to clean your clothes — and the ECOS liquid soap is a popular choice.
It’s ultra-concentrated, so you get more bang for your buck. You can use less detergent per load.
In fact, one 100-ounce bottle does 100 loads of laundry! The ultra concentration also means that even a little detergent is still tough on dirt.
But because it’s an eco-detergent, it’s still kind on your skin. It’s dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic.
If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you’ll love this detergent. It’s free from dyes, optical brighteners, parabens, phosphates, or phthalates.
Lastly, it has a built-in fabric softener. Not only does this save you money, but it reduces static cling and softens your clothes.
- Plant-powered ingredients.
- Hypoallergenic — great for sensitive skin.
- Built-in fabric softener.
- Preserves your clothes.
- Two scent options: magnolia and lily, or lemongrass.
- Made in a climate-positive factory that uses 100 percent renewable energy.
- It’s not super effective on heavily soiled clothes.
- You might need to use more detergent for tough stains.
|Purpose||Clean and softens clothes|
|Toxicity||Plant powered ingredients|
8. Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder
Best Powder Laundry Detergent
There are many laundry powders on the market, but Charlie’s Soap is one of our favorites.
First, it contains green ingredients. So you’re protecting mother nature and your family when you choose this detergent. But that doesn’t reduce its effectiveness.
It’s great for a wide variety of dirt and soil on clothes. In fact, if used correctly and promptly, this powder detergent can get out sweat and blood stains. It’s also excellent for cleaning cloth diapers.
It’s a hypoallergenic green laundry detergent, so it’s terrific if you have sensitive skin or allergies. There are no perfumes, fillers, or brighteners in this powder.
Although many powders have a reputation for not dissolving entirely, Charlie’s Soap is different. You won’t find residue build up on your clothes, even if you use this in every load.
- Eco-friendly — it even helps clean sewer lines.
- Hypoallergenic and kind on sensitive skin.
- Good for removing blood, sweat, and poop stains.
- Can be used as a pre-treatment for stains.
- A little goes a long way making it budget-friendly.
- EPA Safer Choice certified formula.
- Doesn’t deodorize or have a scent. So workout clothes might still smell.
- Clothes might feel rough since it doesn’t include fabric softeners.
|Purpose||Cleans clothes and removes stains|
|Water Type||If you have hard water, it’s best with a hard water booster|
|Toxicity||Natural, eco-friendly, non-toxic ingredients|
9. Rebel Green USDA Organic HE Liquid Fresh Laundry Detergent
Best for HE Washers
Rebel Green works in all types of washing machines — and at all temperatures. They don’t suds up, so they’re best for HE washers!
Plus, they use tons of organic ingredients. In fact, they’ve met USDA standards and are known to be animal cruelty-free.
This laundry detergent contains organic soapberries. These are non-toxic and hypoallergenic, ideal for families with sensitive skin, eczema, and allergies.
The liquid detergent is not only eco-friendly but also economical. So for a fair price, you can do over 64 loads of laundry with a 64-ounce bottle.
- Made without harsh chemicals, dyes, toxins, and synthetic fragrances.
- Great for people with sensitive skin.
- Four scents to choose from, including unscented.
- Over 64 loads of laundry per bottle.
- Qualifies for the USDA Organic seal.
- The scent is very subtle.
- It’s hard to use the measuring cap.
- Bottles are prone to leaking.
|Purpose||Clean clothes using 100 percent organic ingredients|
|Water Type||Soft water is best|
|Toxicity||100 percent natural|
10. Rockin' Green Natural Laundry Detergent Powder
Best Detergent for Hard Water
Do you live in a hard water area? Then you know it can be hard to find a laundry detergent that fully dissolves and leaves clothes feeling soft. From our research, the best detergent for hard water is Rockin’ Green Natural Laundry Detergent Powder.
It claims to be the best detergent in the world for hard water. They recommend you use it for daily laundry, bedding, and cloth diapers.
The detergent uses a unique formula of gentle ingredients and water softeners to get your clothes super clean. This plant-based cleaner is great for kids, parents, folks with allergies. It can clean anything from linen bedding to delicate underwear.
Because of its strong formula, you can use less detergent than usual. Many customers found this detergent tackled 60 percent more stains!
- Great for hard water.
- Natural and plant-based ingredients.
- Works on all clothes types.
- Amazing on cloth diapers.
- Four scent options, including non-scented.
- Budget-friendly per load.
- You might need to do an extra rinse to get clothes completely clean.
- The scent is very subtle.
|Purpose||Clean clothes in hard water areas|
|Water Type||Hard water — if you have soft water, use less detergent|
|Product||Best||Purpose||Washer Type||Water Type||Hypoallergenic|
|Gain Laundry Detergent Liquid||Liquid Laundry Detergent||Clean clothes & add six week’s freshness||Any||Soft water||No|
|Tide Pods Plus Febreze Pacs||Laundry Pods||Thoroughly cleans clothes & removes odors||Any||Any||No|
|Tide Free & Gentle Laundry Pods||For Sensitive Skin||Cleans, removes stains & brightens clothes||Any||Soft water||Yes|
|Dreft Hypoallergenic Laundry Detergent||Detergent for Babies||Cleans newborn clothes while being gentle on sensitive skin||Any||Soft water||Yes|
|Nellie’s Powdered Laundry Detergent||Non-Toxic Laundry Detergent||Cleans clothes using non-toxic chemicals||Any||Soft water||Yes|
|OxiClean White Revive Stain Remover||Laundry Dertergent for Stains||Lifts stains & brightens clothes||Any||Soft water||No|
|ECOS Liquid Laundry Detergent||Liquid Soap||Clean & softens clothes||Any||Any||Yes|
|Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder||Powder Laundry Detergent||Cleans clothes & removes stains||Any||Soft water||Yes|
|Rebel Green Organic Liquid||For HE Washers||Clean clothes using 100% organic ingredients||Any||Soft water||Yes|
|Rockin’ Green Natural Detergent Powder||Detergent for Hard Water||Clean clothes in hard water areas||Any||Hard water||Yes|
Types of Laundry Detergent
Everybody has a personal preference when it comes to detergents. We’ll walk through the critical information of each type of laundry detergent.
Powder is a popular choice for many families. It’s one of the cheaper options. It also cuts down on plastic waste as it usually comes in a cardboard or tin box.
Many people prefer it because it works super well for extra-dirty laundry loads. It usually has a higher pH level, which can effectively tackle stains and odors.
- It’s more affordable than other types.
- The containers are recyclable.
- If you want oxygen bleach, many powdered detergents contain it (6).
- There are many eco-friendly options.
- Powder detergent can remove tough stains.
- If the cardboard box gets wet, it can start to leak.
- Pre-treating stains takes longer than liquid.
- Some brands leave behind a filmy residue on clothes.
- Works best in warm cycles.
Laundry soap is another term for a more natural laundry detergent. It usually comes in a liquid form, but you can also get natural bars and powders. If you’re going green, this is a suitable option.
- You can buy it or make it yourself.
- It uses natural and biodegradable ingredients.
- It’s eco-friendly.
- Usually kind on sensitive skin.
- Uses fats and oils to clean clothes (7).
- Might not be as effective on tough stains.
- More expensive.
- Many come in a plastic bottle, which adds to plastic waste.
Liquid is one of the most popular types of laundry detergent. This is largely down to the fact that there are many options.
Most brands make liquid detergent. You can find fragrant liquid detergents in various scents, purposes, and prices.
- It’s easy to pre-treat stains.
- Many options for different types of clothes, including darks, delicates, whites, etc.
- Dissolves easily in all temperatures.
- It’s very effective on grease stains.
- The bottle won’t break or leak if it gets wet.
- It comes in a range of scents.
- Liquid is more expensive than powder.
- The bottles are typically plastic.
- They don’t always come with useful measuring units.
Laundry pods are great for laundry newbies, travelers, and those who have to commute to shared laundry spaces. They’re pre-measured, so all you need to do is pop one or two in the machine. Personally, we prefer these as there is zero mess and they are easy to use.
- Pre-measured for convenience.
- Great for traveling as you can take the amount you need.
- No mess.
- Many have multiple purposes such as stain removal, color brightener, and odor removal.
- The coating is biodegradable.
- You can’t pre-treat stains with pods.
- They’re expensive.
- They’re hazardous to ingest. Many children and pets might mistake them for food or candy. Always keep them out of reach of young kids and pets.
- You can’t adjust the pod size for smaller loads.
HE Washer Detergents
If you have a high-efficiency (HE) washer, you’ll need an HE washer detergent. Since HE washers use less water, HE detergents have low-sudsing properties.
f you use regular detergent, it will create too many suds that your HE washer can’t wash away. Thankfully, most detergents on the market work in HE washers — but always double-check.
- There are many options on the market.
- They work in standard washers, too.
- They reduce mold and odor in your machine (8).
- You can use less product than regular detergents.
- They come as liquids, powders, soaps, and pods.
- You need to always check for the HE symbol.
- If the detergent doesn’t clean clothes, you shouldn’t add more. Instead, it’s best to just switch to a better quality brand.
Enzyme-based detergents, known as biological detergents, are fantastic for breaking down tough stains (9). Many biological detergents can altogether remove the stain, even if the stains are set in.
- Enzymes can remove stubborn stains.
- Works well at all temperatures.
- Great at removing blood, grass and food stains.
- Brightens whites.
- Not suitable for people with skin allergies or eczema.
- Enzymes aren’t always gentle on a baby’s skin.
- They don’t leave your clothes as soft.
- Harder on colors, so it can cause fading.
- Not suitable for delicate clothes.
How to Choose (Buying Guide)
These factors will help you find the best detergent for your home and clothes.