Tide Coldwater Liquid Laundry Detergent
Tide Coldwater Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best laundry detergent overall

Washing your clothes in cold water can reduce your energy costs -- and when it comes to laundry detergents for standard top-loading washing machines, experts and users say this Tide liquid laundry soap fits the bill. Though it's a bit more expensive than its competitors, Tide Coldwater is consistently well reviewed by consumers, and in expert testing it excels in stain removal and keeping colors bright, receiving the best reviews. Plus, according to the manufacturer, it can clean just as well in both warm and hot water. Tide Coldwater is sold in two fragrances and is available in a powder or as a low-sudsing liquid for high-efficiency (HE) washing machines.
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*Est. 37 cents per load Estimated Price
Tide HE With Bleach Alternative Liquid Laundry Detergent
Tide HE With Bleach Alternative Liquid Laundry Detergent

Best HE laundry detergent

If you have a high-efficiency (HE) washer, Tide HE With Bleach Alternative Liquid Laundry Detergent is repeatedly recommended as a solid, low-sudsing detergent in reviews. According to experts, it does an exceptional job at removing a wide range of tough stains -- and its non-chlorine bleach alternative has been shown to keep colors and whites bright. Many enthusiastic consumers agree that it's unbeatable for removing stains, although some do complain about discolored spots on clothing. Another downside: While many users enjoy its clean scent, those with sensitive skin may want to steer clear, because this product isn't available in a fragrance-free version.
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Seventh Generation Natural 2X Concentrated Liquid Detergent
Seventh Generation Natural 2X Concentrated Liquid Detergent

Best green laundry detergent

Seventh Generation uses vegetable-based cleaning agents instead of petroleum-based compounds to clean clothes, which may appeal to eco-conscious consumers. This detergent, which is sold in liquid or powder forms, also works in both standard and high-efficiency washing machines (1 ounce is the recommended amount in HE washers). In comparison tests, Seventh Generation falls in the middle when it comes to cleaning, but for many, the slight loss in performance is an acceptable tradeoff for a green detergent. It's also available in two scents as well as a Free & Clear formula (which contains no dyes or fragrances) for those with sensitive skin.
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Country Save Laundry Detergent Powder
Country Save Laundry Detergent Powder

Budget green laundry detergent

Even though Country Save hasn't been included in formal comparison tests, this powder laundry soap maintains a strong fan base. Many consumers find this more economical green detergent effective at cleaning their clothes. Its mild formula is dye- and fragrance-free, and it contains no phosphates, which can harm marine life. Country Save is sold in a 5-pound or 10-pound box, which makes it very budget-friendly. Country Save's packaging is also made of recycled and recyclable materials. However, this detergent is hard to find in stores.
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