What Is the Best Laundry Detergent to Use?

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Trying to find the best laundry detergent?

Naturally, you want your clothes to come out of the washing machine stain-free and smelling great, but there are a lot of laundry detergents to choose from. Do you need to spend more to get the results you want, or is the dollar store version just as good as top-of-the-line brands?

Here, we break down some of the best laundry detergent options:


If your top concern is getting stains out of your clothes—especially if you keep forgetting to use a pre-wash stain treatment—then you’ll probably want to stick with the Percil brand. Their stain-fighting ability gets top marks from Consumer Reports, and the odor-removing variety can get the funk out of the gym clothes your kid kept in his locker all semester. However, if you have sporty kids—and a lot of grass stains—Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release is the best at fighting grass stains.

Great Scents

Some people don’t have to worry too much about stains, but they want their clothes to smell great. If you’re in this category, The Spruce recommends Gain detergent. It offers a variety of scents, and the laundry comes out heavily scented. If you pair this detergent with a stain-fighting spray, you’ll have a winning combination.


Strong performers like Percil and Tide tend to be on the expensive side. You can get a great deal by matching up coupons with store sales, but sometimes you want a detergent that’s got an everyday affordable price. For this, look to the store brands coming out of the popular bulk stores. Consumer Reports recommends Member’s Mark Ultimate Clean (the Sam’s Club brand) as a great all-around value. They also recommend Costco’s Kirkland brand for those looking for gentle detergents for babies or people with sensitive skin.

As you think about the best laundry detergent for your family, don’t forget to look at the requirements of your washing machine. Some detergents are designed for use in only high-efficiency washers, while others should only be used in the traditional styles.

If you need help with your laundry, ask your kids to pitch in, but if you need help with the washing machine, call on Sarah’s Appliance Repair.

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