Staff tested: Laundry detergents

We did a lot of laundry so you don’t have to. Here are the top detergents we tested

1 / 4
tide

Tide

Tide Pods are individually wrapped detergent capsules that fit into the palm of your hand. Each one contains a detergent, stain remover and brightener. Tide Pods dissolve in any temperature of water, and can be used in standard and HE machines. Available in three scents: Spring Meadow, Ocean Mist and Mystic Forest. ($10, 35 pods)

With liquid detergent I often don't measure, and end up using more than necessary. These individual capsules helped me save money because I was using the correct amount for each load. I tried the Spring Meadow scent, and all of my clothes came out smelling fresh and clean. The capsules also dissolved well in cold-water loads. -Melissa Greer, Content Producer

2 / 4
oxy clean

Arm & Hammer

Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Crystal Burst Power Paks are single-use packs that combine OxiClean with Arm & Hammer baking soda. The "cakes" of detergent are individual packs, so no measuring is needed. They can be used in all machines, including HE (high efficiency), and in hot, warm or cold water cycles. ($10, 50-pack; $6, 24-pack)

These scored high with me due mainly to the convenience. I love that the little packs fit neatly in my pocket, since I have to haul my laundry across the street to wash it. I also like that these will dissolve at any temperature. They cleaned my laundry well, without leaving any noticeable scent or perfume on my clothes, which I prefer. -Jennifer Masseau, Associate Editor

3 / 4
nature clean

Nature Clean

Nature Clean liquid laundry detergent uses plant-based ingredients as an alternative to petroleum-based ingredients. The formula is hypoallergenic and derma­tologist tested, and contains no sulfates, dyes or perfumes. It's safe for all machines, and is available in unscented or lavender-scented. ($13, 3 L [unscented only]; $8, 1.8 L)

I tried out the unscented version on a load of multi-coloured laundry washed in warm water. While there were no particularly tough stains on the clothes, they came out nice and clean. I found the scentless thing odd; I'm used to that "fresh" smell you get with regular detergents. But knowing it's easier on the environment made up for that. -Bonnie Munday, Editor-in-Chief

4 / 4
Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation

Seventh Generation 4X Laundry Detergent comes in a bottle with a compostable shell made of 100 percent recycled fibre. The detergent is hypo­allergenic and bio­degradable, and is designed for both standard and HE machines. A 1.47-litre bottle does 66 loads. It's available in Free & Clear, and Geran­ium Blossoms & Vanilla. ($20, 1.47 L)

I usually don't stray from my favourite detergent, but I'm glad I gave this one a shot. I love its recycled packaging, and my gently worn items came out clean using one capful. Loads that needed heavy-duty washing (e.g., dish­cloths, workout socks) required two capfuls. I liked the scent, too; I tried Free & Clear.-Katharine Watts, Associate Web Editor

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