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Laundry detergent buying guide
Get your clothes squeaky clean.
There’s no shortage when it comes to laundry detergent choices. If you’re overwhelmed by your options or are looking for something for sensitive skin or other specific needs, take a look at some of our favorites to find the best fit for your laundry needs.
Compare some of the best laundry detergents
|Tide Original Scent HE Turbo Clean||$11.97||Liquid||2.95L||64||Buy now|
|Persil ProClean Liquid Laundry Detergent||$15.97||Liquid||4.43L||96||Buy now|
|All Mighty Pacs Laundry Detergent||$9.48||Pods||67 count||67||Buy now|
|Gain flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs||$9.48||Pods||67 count||67||Buy now|
|Arm & Hammer 33200-00109 Powder Laundry Detergent||$9.48||Pods||67 count||67||Buy now|
|Earth Friendly Products ECOS 2X||$9.48||Pods||67 count||67||Buy now|
Laundry detergent types
There are three main types of laundry detergent: liquid, powder and pods/tablets.
How to compare laundry detergent
The right detergent for your needs will depend on your personal preferences, how much you want to spend and what kind of dirt and stains you need to remove. Consider these key factors when making your decision:
- Phosphate-free. While phosphates help to soften water and leave less residue on your clothes, they are harmful to the environment and can cause algae blooms. Unless your water is particularly hard, opt for low-phosphate detergents. A “P” label on laundry detergent means that it has low phosphorus levels (P<7.8g/wash). “NP” means a product contains no or <0.5% phosphorus.
- Greywater safe. For those who are environmentally conscious, picking an eco-friendly detergent lets you recycle washing machine rinse water (greywater) for your garden. Check your detergent’s GreySafe rating to confirm whether it’s safe to use the rinse water on your garden.
- Sodium level. If you recycle greywater on your garden, pick low-sodium detergents to avoid harming plant life. Liquid detergent is generally lower in sodium and phosphates.
- Soiled clothing level. For lightly-soiled clothes, using a cheaper detergent with a good stain remover should work well enough. For heavily-soiled clothing, you may need a more expensive, heavy-duty option to effectively get rid of tough grease, oil, food stains and body odor.
- Hypoallergenic. For those with allergies or sensitive skin, opt for fragrance- and dye-free options.
- Environmental impact. Opt for concentrated models with more washes per pack to create less waste per package. Check out our tips on how to save energy on your laundry to cut back on your overall environmental impact.
Alternatives to laundry detergent
- Laundry balls. Made of plastic with mineral beads inside, laundry balls do not contain any added chemicals, and are cheap and recyclable. However, they are generally low-performance in tackling stains and odors.
- Soap nuts. While this natural alternative costs little and is reusable, its effectiveness is also debatable. As they do not contain surfactants, soap nuts have trouble removing tough stains effectively.
- DIY detergent recipes. While there are many DIY recipes available online, we recommend experimenting with a small batch first and trialling a variety of recipes. Frequently suggested ingredients include borax, lemon juice, grated soap, baking soda and essential oils. While DIY recipes may be cheaper and potentially more eco-friendly, they vary in terms of effectiveness.
There are lots of laundry detergents to choose from, and the best pick for you and your family will depend on your washing needs, budget and personal preferences.
How did we choose these products?
We compared some of the leading laundry detergent brands, considering factors like price, type, effectiveness and eco-friendliness to create our list of the best laundry detergents.
Frequently asked questions
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