Don’t Waste Your Money: Top Laundry Detergents

378 loads! That’s how much laundry Consumer Reports’ testers did to find the best laundry detergents. The tested more than 50 liquids, powders, and pods. Also included in the tests—two laundry systems that claim to clean without detergent. They are the $300 pureWash and the $400 Wash It. Both mount on the wall above your washer and inject ozone into your wash water.

All the detergents and the laundry systems were rated on how well they eliminate a variety of stains. The detergent-less systems couldn’t handle the stains. They were only slightly better than just plain water.

And when it comes to detergents, some didn’t shine, including Tide’s lower-priced Simply Clean and Fresh. Far better and top rated, Tide’s Ultra Stain Release, a liquid, and Tide Plus Bleach Alternative, a powder. Both are for high-efficiency machines.

The tests found some other winners that are close behind and work in any type of machine. Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean from Sam’s Club and Wisk Deep Clean. They cost about half as much per load.

If you’re a Costco shopper, Consumer Reports named the Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Powder a Best Buy. It is available except in the Northeast, but it will be discontinued sometime in August. Another worth trying is Kirkland Signature’s Free and Clear. While not as quite as good a cleaner as Consumer Reports’ recommended detergents it’s still able to handle some tough stains.

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