5 On Your Side

Liquid detergent or pods? 5 on Your Side ranks laundry detergent by price and value

Posted October 9, 2020 5:04 p.m. EDT
Updated October 9, 2020 9:16 p.m. EDT

— The average family does about 300 loads of laundry each year.

With laundry detergents, there are so many options – and so many price points. But there's only one major goal: Clean laundry that comes out stain free and smelling fresh.

Every detergent makes that promise, but are you really getting your money's worth?

Consumer Reports recently tested dozens of laundry detergents to find which options work the best, while still offering a fair price-point.

They compared fabrics with all sorts of stains – from grass to coffee. Then, they ranked the detergents based on how much the stain faded after washing.

The tests also revealed that trendy and popular detergent pods may not be the best choice – for value, effectiveness or safety.

Ranking liquid detergents by price and value

At only 28 cents per load of laundry, Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release topped Consumer Reports' list, along with Persil Pro Clean Fighter, which came in at only 21 cents per load.

For those with sensitive skin, they recommended Persil Pro Clean Sensitive Skin.

Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Liquid from Costco was the best value, coming in at only 11 cents per load.

How do laundry detergent pods compare?

If you want the convenience of pods, Power-Pods from Tide scored best – but at 67 cents per load they cost more, and they didn't clean as well as liquid.

Plus, pods can be dangerous in households with young children or cognitively impaired adults, who might think they're candy.

Liquid detergent can also be used to pretreat stains, allowing households to get by using only one product.

The full report can be found on the Consumer Reports website.

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