Finding the Best Laundry Detergent

by Jill Culley
(last updated April 7, 2009)

It's not easy finding the best laundry detergent for your home. After all, there are a lot of factors to consider. Price is, of course, one of the biggest factors but there are also other things to contemplate like allergies, stain removal, color guards and scents. Also, you should buy the right concentrate depending on if you have a high efficiency, or "he" machine as opposed to a top loading machine. It seems like an easy thing to shop for until you get to the wall of detergents on the cleaning aisle at the grocery store. Then it just becomes daunting. I decided to make a list of my own requirements in order to shop for the best detergent. If you need more direction when it comes to buying a detergent, this is a great way to make sure you get the best one for your household.

  • Top- or front-loading. I bought a front-loading washing machine a year ago and was surprised to learn that they typically require different detergents referred to as "he" or high efficiency. These are more concentrated liquids and can't be substituted with regular top loading machines. When you buy detergent, check the label for the "he" sticker so that you buy the correct concentration for the machine you own.
  • Skin conditions. It can be tricky to find the right detergent if you or anyone in your household suffers with any skin allergies. There are a lot of options now for this kind of thing. Most major brands carry lines that are dye and scent free, which are the typical catalysts for skin allergies. I've noticed that most of these types are in white containers.
  • Scents. One thing you have to be careful of is the scent of the detergent. If you have an aversion to powerful scents, then it's best to buy the unscented or lightly scented brands. I always unscrew the lid to make sure I like the scent before I actually buy the bottle. It's hard to live in clothes when the scent is off setting
  • Brands. The best brand by consumer reports is Tide. Tide comes in an "he" formula, allergy free and in an array of scents as well as no scent. Other brands that are great are Gain, Seven Generations, and All.
  • Price. Remember that detergents can be expensive but price shouldn't be an obstacle if you buy things on sale. Also, if you use less than what the directions call for, you are likely to save money in the end. They often advise you to use more than you really need.

Picking the right detergent isn't so daunting once you figure out exactly need for your household. Making a short list of what you need will help you find what you need at the store.

Author Bio

Jill Culley

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