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The Best Laundry Detergents

🕚 Updated June 2023

Washing clothes is a reality to keep our clothes looking and smelling clean and new, so investing in a quality laundry detergent is essential. Here are some of the most effective and well-liked detergents to tackle that overflowing laundry basket.

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  Best Pods Best Scented Best for Stains Most Eco-Friendly Best Detergent Sheets
Flings Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap Pacs
Glamorous Wash, Diva
Liquid Laundry Detergent, Ultra Stain Release
Mrs. Meyer's
Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent
Earth Breeze
Laundry Detergent Sheets
Our SummaryThese liquid detergent pacs make laundry easy; just fling one into the washer and go.This is a gentle, divinely scented detergent for delicate fabric.This well-known laundry detergent has more stain-defying power than ever.This two-pack of concentrated laundry detergent is effective yet gentle on clothes.These eco-friendly, hypoallergenic laundry sheets are intensely strong against dirt but have an easy breezy scent.
Pros✓ 3-in-1 contains Gain, Oxi Boost, and Febreze Freshness
✓ Fresh air scent
✓ Compact and convenient
✓ Specially formulated for delicates
✓ USA-made
✓ Phosphate-free
✓ Animal cruelty-free
✓ Rich floral, earthy cacao scent
✓ Powerful stain-fighting ingredients
✓ Removes up to 99% of most dirt
✓ Zap! Cap bristles for pre-wash
✓ Two-pack
✓ Eco-friendly, cruelty-free
✓ Plant-derived ingredients
✓ Essential oils
✓ Plastic-free
✓ Biodegradable box
✓ Hypoallergenic ingredients
✓ Liquid-free
Cons✗ Not everyone likes the strong scent✗ Unclear if product is concentrate✗ Ingredient information not provided✗ Not anti-bacterial
✗ May irritate sensitive skin
✗ Not strongly scented
✗ May not dissolve entirely
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The Best Laundry Detergents

Close-up of person pouring laundry detergent.

Buying Guide for Laundry Detergents

Laundry detergent bottles in basket.
New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Why buy laundry detergent?

People have been using some laundry detergent since ancient Babylonia, a substance that remains the most effective way to clean fabric. Today it comes in many scents and forms, from liquid detergent to pods to sheets, yet each type works well to remove stains, sweat, smells, and dirt from your clothes. Whether you need to wash a load of delicates, wash your sportswear with a detergent booster, or remove stains on your dish towels, laundry detergent can clean it all.

What should you look for in laundry detergent?

  • Format: Laundry detergent comes in various forms, such as liquids, powders, pods, and sheets. Each is effective, but one type might be better for your lifestyle or washing machine. For example, detergent pods don’t require measuring like liquids and powders, so they’re great for busy lifestyles. However, if a pod gets caught in the door seal of front-loading washing machines, it may only dissolve partially. 
  • High-Efficiency (HE): High-efficiency washing machines are a particular type, and some will require high-efficiency detergents formulated specifically for them. Know your machine, and get a detergent that works with it.
  • Scents/Hypoallergenic: Many people love the fresh smell that many detergents give their clothes. However, these artificial scents may bother those with sensitive skin. If that sounds like you, or if you need a detergent safe for infants, look for unscented or hypoallergenic options that are gentle.

Should you consider specialty laundry products?

Some laundry detergents have unique formulas for particular purposes. Combination detergents that include a fabric softener or bleach/bleach alternatives may enhance the detergent’s effectiveness. Another option is hand wash detergents for hand washing or delicate machine washes. These products are great for lightly soiled or delicate fabrics and are less potent than standard detergents.

Our Picks for the Best Laundry Detergents

Best Pods

Gain Flings Liquid Laundry Detergent Soap Pacs

These liquid detergent pacs make laundry easy; just fling one into the washer and go.

Pros: These little liquid soap pacs bring the joy and freshness of a spring garden to dirty laundry. The 3-in-1 pacs include Gain original liquid detergent, Oxi, and Febreze. That’s an army of refreshing scents and stain-busting in a concentrated square. Fling the Gain Flings into hot or cold water in any laundry machine for clean, fresh air-fragrant results.

Cons: The only drawback is that you might not like the scent, and you can only know by trying them.

Bottom Line: Gain Flings make clothes washing as simple and effective as possible. With the pleasant scent of freshly air-dried laundry, we think you’ll be pleased with these soap pacs.


Best Scented

Tyler Glamorous Wash, Diva

This is a gentle, divinely scented detergent for delicate fabrics.

Pros: Tyler detergents wash all laundry effectively, but their Glamorous Wash is specially formulated for delicate fabrics. Use it to clean lingerie, fine linens, and those fabrics you might hesitate for a second before you throw in the washing machine or sink for hand washing. Because the USA-made detergent is phosphate-free, we can trust that it’s safer for the environment than most and animal cruelty-free. Where’s the DIVA in all this? You’ll find it in the rich floral and earthy cacao scent.

Cons: It needs to be clarified if this 32-ounce bottle contains detergent concentrate or regular liquid detergent.

Bottom Line: When you want to feel more glamorous as you wash your delicates, try adding a 1/3 cup of Diva to your laundry machine or two teaspoons to a sink full of water. Treat your laundry with the luxurious wash by Tyler.


Pros: Tide Original liquid laundry detergent has been a household name for years, mainly for its cleaning and branded scent. The brand name added super powerful stain-fighting ingredients to Tide Original, and voilà—Ultra Stain Release. This detergent removes up to 99% of dirt, grease, and sweat stains, you name it. And there’s more! The detergent cap, Zap!, has scrubbing bristles that you use to pre-treat nasty stains.

Cons: There’s no information provided about the added stain-fighting ingredients.

Bottom Line: If you’ve never tried Tide, it’s time. The Ultra Stain Release formula with the bonus Zap! Cap does it all. Tide says it best: It cleans, freshens, whitens, brightens, and eliminates stains.


Most Eco-Friendly

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent

This two-pack of concentrated laundry detergent is infused with essential oils, cruelty-free, and effective yet gentle on clothes.

Pros: This two-pack of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent is eco-friendly and cruelty-free. It is made of plant-derived ingredients and features an infusion of essential oils. The liquid formula is effective yet gentle on clothes. The ingredients include biodegradable dirt and stain-fighting enzymes, and it’s even biodegradable.

Cons: This detergent doesn’t offer anti-bacterial properties. It may bother those with sensitive skin.

Bottom Line: Each detergent bottle can do 64 loads in high-efficiency (HE) and conventional washing machines. The garden-fresh scent will leave you smelling a clean floral fragrance.


Best Detergent Sheets

Earth Breeze Laundry Detergent Sheets

These eco-friendly, hypoallergenic laundry sheets are intensely strong against dirt but have an easy breezy scent.

Pros: Free yourself from those darn laundry detergent drips and spills in the cabinet, and empty detergent bottles from taking up space in the recycling bin. Earth Breeze Eco sheets contain no liquid and come in a biodegradable box. They relieve household stress and clean laundry with powerful, hypoallergenic ingredients. How do you use them? Load your washer with dirty clothes, toss in a sheet, and run your washer. Simple.

Cons: If you know you like that powerful scent of conventional detergent, you may want to steer clear of these less-intense, fresh-scented sheets. Also, some say that it only sometimes dissolves fully.

Bottom Line: If you’re looking for an eco-friendlier laundry detergent, try these detergent sheets. They dissolve in the cycle and lift the dirt without using harsh chemicals. If you’re curious, go to the Eco Sheets website to get a full list of the ingredients.

Final Thoughts

Buying a good laundry detergent makes all the difference in your clothing, bedding and linens, and kitchen towels. Whether you need to boost the scent of your clothes or need strong stain-fighting power, there are plenty of solid laundry detergent options to provide what you need. 

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »
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