Laundry Detergent Comparison
Laundry Detergent Buying Guide
You can purchase detergents in a lot of different forms including powders, liquids, and pods and pacs. The majority of detergents on the market today are concentrated which helps the environment by reducing the amount of plastic needed to make the bottles and fuel the delivery trucks. One of the first things you need to do before you start looking for a detergent for your needs is to understand the types of detergents that are available. We have listed the most common types of laundry detergents below.
- HE (High-Efficiency) Laundry Detergent – If you have a front loading washer or a high efficiency top loader, you need to purchase laundry detergent that has “HE” on the front of the label. These types of washers use a lot less water than traditional washers and require a detergent that is low-sudsing. The majority of HE detergents can be used in standard washers.
- Standard Top Loader Laundry Detergent – Nowadays dual detergents are very common so finding laundry detergent that is only for a regular top loading washing machine is harder to do. If it doesn’t have the HE symbol on it, chances are it is for a standard washing machine. HE detergents can be used in both types of washers but regular detergent should not be used in HE washers.
- Cold Water Laundry Detergent – Using cold water to wash clothes can save you money and energy but many worry that it will not get the clothes clean. There are detergents on the market that are designed for use in cold water. The cleansing enzymes are set up to work better in cold water so your clothes get just as clean.
- Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent – Many people want to use as many eco friendly products as possible but you need to be aware that some green laundry detergents may not have the same cleaning ability as the regular detergents. This could be because green laundry detergent doesn’t necessarily have the right enzymes or chemicals to fight stains and get the clothes as clean as non green laundry detergent does. Be aware that just because a detergent says natural or green doesn’t mean it is 100% chemical free. There is no standard set and no verification that is required to use the terms natural, earth friend, and green. If a detergent is labeled organic and has the USDA Organic seal you can trust that is indeed organic. Third party verification is required to get this seal stating that at least 95% of the ingredients in the detergent are organic. The 5% remaining can’t pose any risks to humans or the environment.
Features That Detergents Offer
There are many different features that laundry detergents may offer. Different brands can offer a multitude of different things. Take a look at the most common ones to see what fits your preferences and needs.
- White/Colorfast Fabrics – This formulas contain the needed enzymes to break down fat-based stains, as well as starch and protein stains. It also contains agents that are for bleaching and optical brighteners to help achieve the whitest, brightest clothing.
- Colored Fabrics – A detergent that is for colored fabrics is designed to keep colors bright and new looking. Faded clothing looks old and dingy if it is not supposed to be faded. These colorfast detergents prevent color fading.
- Sensitive Skin Detergent – Detergents that are for sensitive skin are much gentler on the skin and have no fragrance. They are less likely to cause irritation and rashes. Keep in mind however that they are not as good at removing stains.
- Stain Fighting – Powders and tablets are the best detergents for stain removal. If you choose to use a separate stain fighter, remove as much of the residue as possible and then treat the stain with stain remover and wash right away. Some of the detergents that have stain fighters in them can be used the same way a stain fighter will be used and you will put the detergent on the stain directly and then wash as usual.
- Low Temperature Washing – There are detergents that have been created that work just as well in cold water that regular detergents do in warm or hot. These cold water detergents have the ingredients to kill germs even when washing in lower temperature water.
- Bio/Non-Bio – Bio detergents have specific enzymes that clean stains very well. The enzymes work at low temperatures and also do well during the quick wash cycle which makes them popular detergents for busy moms and dads. Non-bio detergents have no enzymes which reduces the chances of irritating the skin but that comes with a cost of less stains being removed sufficiently.
There are several different forms that laundry detergent is available to choose from. We have listed the forms of laundry detergent below with the characteristics of each.
- Washing powder – Powdered laundry detergent used to be the go to detergent that people used, decades ago. It is still the favored form of many people but lost a lot of its appeal when liquids, gels and PODS came onto the scene. Powdered detergent is very good for getting strong odors out of clothing. It is best used when put inside the tank before the clothing so clumps of powder don’t get caught and stuck, leaving white pasty residue. Powdered laundry detergent comes in many different sizes, from small, single serving boxes to large boxes capable of washing over 100 loads of laundry. Powdered detergent also does well in getting grass and red sauce stains out of clothing. If you notice that powdered detergent is building up on the detergent drawers run a maintenance wash on 80 degrees to clean away buildup.
- Liquids and Gels – Liquid and gel detergent have gained a lot of popularity since they came onto the scene. They cost more per wash and stain power varies since liquid detergents don’t contain usually contain bleach. They are very good for keeping the colors of your clothing bright. Liquid and gel detergents can come in many different sizes ranging from small bottles to big ones capable of washing over 100 loads per large bottle. Beware of mold buildup in washing machines when using liquid detergents at low temperatures.
- PODs and PACs – Detergent pods and pacs are relatively new and eliminate the need to measure out detergent. Just pop the correct number of pods or pacs in relative to the size of the load and you’re all set. Pods and pacs cost the most out of all the detergent forms.
It is extremely important to keep these pods and pacs far out of the reach of children. The pods and pacs are generally very colorful and look like candy. They can be very fatal should a child ingest them so it is best that they are kept as far away from children and pets as possible.
People tend to be very brand loyal when it comes to laundry detergent. Once they find a detergent they like that has the scent choices they want, they will stick with it for a long time. With so many different choices , you can always try several different kinds until you find the one that you prefer over all over brands.
The top rated choice that we have featured are top brands in the industry and are very popular with customers. They work well to get your clothes clean and smelling great too. If none of these choices are what you are looking for, use the information in this buyer’s guide to research the available choices after determining what your needs are.
This information will help you choose the perfect laundry detergent for your needs very easily. Choosing laundry detergent is not difficult if you are aware of the laundry challenges that you want to deal with such as strong odors, heavy stains and similar challenges. The right knowledge of what type of detergent is best for certain issues will help you eliminate the detergents that won’t fit your needs so you can make an informed decision on one that will.
- Tide Pods- http://tide.com/en-us
- Gain Pacs – http://ilovegain.com/en-us
- Seventh Generation – http://www.seventhgeneration.com/