best laundry detergent

Laundry day doesn’t have to be a chore, especially when you have the right detergent in hand. Whether you’re tackling tough stains, caring for delicate fabrics, or aiming for that crisp, fresh scent, there’s a best laundry detergent out there to meet your needs. Here are the top 10 picks that promise clean, soft, and vibrant clothes every time.

Best Laundry Detergent

SaleBestseller No. 1
Arm & Hammer Clean Burst, 170 Loads Liquid Laundry Detergent, 170 Fl oz
  • One 170 fl oz bottle of ARM & HAMMER Clean Burst Liquid Laundry Detergent cleans 170 medium loads when used as directed
  • Concentrated laundry detergent is formulated to get out tough dirt and odors with 2X powerful stain fighters in every load versus leading value detergent
  • Blended with ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda, this HE laundry detergent is formulated to deeply clean clothes
  • Liquid concentrated laundry detergent features a crisp, just-washed clean fragrance that infuses a fresh scent to towels, sheets, team uniforms and more
  • Clean-rinsing, low-sudsing formula won’t block HE machine sensors, making it an effective choice for both standard and HE washers
SaleBestseller No. 2
Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Odor Blasters Fresh Burst, 128 Loads Liquid Laundry Detergent, 166.5 Fl oz
  • One 166.5 fl oz bottle of ARM & HAMMER Plus OxiClean with Odor Blasters Laundry Detergent, Fresh Burst Liquid Laundry Detergent cleans 128 medium loads when used as directed
  • Triple-power HE laundry detergent fights tough odors, blasts away stains and boosts freshness so your clothes look and smell their best
  • With trusted ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda plus an odor fighter, this HE laundry detergent is formulated to deeply clean clothes and deliver lasting freshness
  • Laundry stain remover forces out stubborn stains and nasty odors using OxiClean Stain Fighters to remove stains like food, grass, grease and more
  • Odor Blasters fights tough smells like body odor, sweat and musty towels and leave clothes with a lasting Fresh Burst scent
SaleBestseller No. 3
Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear, 140 Loads Liquid Laundry Detergent, 140 Fl oz
  • One 140 fl oz bottle of ARM & HAMMER Sensitive Skin Free & Clear Liquid Laundry Detergent, Free and Clear Detergent that cleans 140 medium loads when used as directed
  • Dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic laundry detergent that's gentle on skin but tough on stains and odors, making it an ideal soap for sensitive skin
  • Dye-free, worry-free detergent with no perfumes or preservatives is certified 100% by SkinSAFE (1), (1) Certified by SkinSAFE to exclude 100% of their topmost considered skin allergens. In partnership with
  • With trusted ARM & HAMMER Baking Soda, this HE detergent is formulated to deeply clean clothes while being gentle on skin
  • HE laundry detergent is concentrated with 2X powerful stain fighters in every load versus leading value detergent, making it an effective and efficient laundry detergent
Bestseller No. 4
Gain + Aroma Boost Liquid Laundry Detergent Original Scent 107 Loads 154 oz HE Compatible
  • Smells great because it cleans great!
  • 6 weeks of freshness from wash until wear
  • Works in all washing machines even in cold water
  • Keep out of reach of children
Bestseller No. 5
Gain + Odor Defense Liquid Laundry Detergent Super Fresh Blast Scent 154 fl oz 107 Loads HE Compatible
  • Take your nose on a scent-sational adventure
  • 3-in-1 detergent: Eliminates tough odors in-wear while giving your clothes a powerful clean and lasting freshness
  • Formula made with 100% renewable wind power electricity
  • Matches perfectly with other Gain Plus Odor Defense products for one amazing scent
  • Works in all machines and water temperatures
Bestseller No. 6
Tide Laundry Detergent Liquid Soap, High Efficiency (HE), Original Scent, 64 Loads, 92 fl oz
  • America’s #1 detergent brand* (*Tide, based on sales)
  • Cleans deep and smells fresh
  • Cleans, freshens, whitens, brightens
  • Measure with cap. For medium loads, fill just below bar 1. For large loads, fill just below bar 3. For HE full loads, fill to bar 5. Add clothes, pour into dispenser, start washer
  • Infused with the Original Scent you love

1. Tide Original Liquid Laundry Detergent
Tide Original is a household name for a reason—it delivers exceptional cleaning power and a fresh, lasting scent. This liquid detergent is tough on stains yet gentle on fabrics, making it a go-to for families with active lifestyles. With its trusted formula, you can count on Tide to leave your clothes looking bright and smelling amazing.

2. Persil ProClean Power-Liquid Laundry Detergent
Hailing from Germany, Persil has gained a loyal following for its superior stain-fighting abilities. The ProClean Power-Liquid formula penetrates deep into fabrics to break down even the toughest grime. Whether it’s grass stains, wine spills, or muddy paw prints, Persil is up to the task, leaving clothes impeccably clean and fresh.

3. Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean Odor Blasters Laundry Detergent
For those battling stubborn odors, Arm & Hammer has the solution. The Plus OxiClean Odor Blasters detergent combines the power of baking soda with OxiClean to eliminate odors at their source. Ideal for gym clothes, pet bedding, or musty towels, this detergent leaves fabrics smelling clean and revitalized.

4. Gain Flings Original Laundry Detergent Pacs
Gain Flings brings convenience and freshness together in one neat package. These Original laundry detergent pacs are bursting with a delightful aroma that lingers on clothes long after they’re washed. Each pac contains the perfect amount of detergent for a single load, making laundry day a breeze.

5. Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent
If you prefer a detergent that’s gentle on sensitive skin and the environment, Seventh Generation has you covered. The Free & Clear formula is free from dyes, fragrances, and artificial brighteners, making it ideal for those with allergies or skin sensitivities. Plus, it’s made with plant-based ingredients, ensuring a clean conscience with every wash.

6. All Mighty Pacs Laundry Detergent
All Mighty Pacs offer a no-fuss approach to laundry care with their convenient, pre-measured pacs. These little powerhouses pack a punch against dirt and stains while leaving clothes soft and fresh. Whether you’re washing whites, colors, or delicates, All has a formula to suit your needs.

7. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Laundry Detergent
Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day brings a touch of aromatherapy to your laundry routine. Their Lavender scented detergent not only cleans effectively but also leaves clothes with a soothing, floral scent. Made with plant-derived ingredients and essential oils, this detergent is a treat for your senses and the environment.

8. The Laundress Signature Detergent
For those who appreciate luxury in every aspect of life, The Laundress offers their Signature Detergent. This high-end detergent is specially formulated to preserve the color and texture of your most beloved garments. The gentle yet effective formula is a favorite among fashion enthusiasts and those with a taste for the finer things.

9. Dreft Stage 1: Newborn Liquid Detergent
Welcoming a new bundle of joy into the family? Dreft Stage 1 is designed with newborns’ delicate skin in mind. This hypoallergenic detergent is gentle yet effective, ensuring that baby‘s clothes are clean, soft, and free from harsh chemicals. Parents can rest easy knowing that their little one’s laundry is in good hands.

10. Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder
Charlie’s Soap takes a minimalist approach to laundry care with their Laundry Powder. This eco-friendly detergent contains no perfumes, dyes, or phosphates, making it safe for both your clothes and the environment. Just a small amount is needed to tackle even the toughest stains, making it a budget-friendly and sustainable choice.

Factors to consider when choosing laundry detergent

When it comes to selecting the ideal laundry detergent, several key factors should guide your decision-making process. First and foremost is the detergent’s stain-fighting power, a crucial aspect for tackling the inevitable spills and messes of daily life. Look for formulations with enzymes or oxygen bleach, as they are effective in breaking down stubborn stains like grass, wine, or grease.

Next, consider the compatibility of the detergent with your fabrics. Some detergents are specially formulated for specific materials such as wool, delicate silks, or high-performance activewear. Choosing the right detergent ensures that your clothes not only come out clean but also maintain their color, shape, and texture over time.

For those with fragrance preferences or sensitivities, the scent of the detergent plays a significant role. Opt for a detergent with a scent that aligns with your preferences, whether you enjoy a fresh, floral aroma or prefer a fragrance-free option.

Another critical factor is skin sensitivity. If you or your family members have sensitive skin or allergies, selecting a hypoallergenic or dermatologist-tested detergent is essential to avoid irritation.

Lastly, in an era where sustainability is increasingly valued, eco-friendliness should not be overlooked. Look for detergents made with plant-based or biodegradable ingredients, as well as those with recyclable packaging. By considering these factors—stain-fighting power, fabric compatibility, scent preferences, skin sensitivity, and eco-friendliness—you can confidently choose a laundry detergent that meets your needs while keeping your clothes clean, fresh, and vibrant.

Liquid or powder detergent— which is better?

The debate between liquid and powder laundry detergents often boils down to personal preference and specific laundry needs. Both options have their distinct advantages, making it a matter of weighing the pros and cons to determine which is better suited for your lifestyle.

Liquid Detergents:
Liquid detergents are known for their convenience and ease of use. They are excellent for pre-treating stains, as the liquid formula can be directly applied to soiled areas before washing. Additionally, liquid detergents dissolve quickly in water, making them ideal for cold-water washing settings. This quick dissolution also means they are less likely to leave residue on clothes, particularly in high-efficiency (HE) washing machines. Liquid detergents are often favored for their ability to leave clothes smelling fresh and feeling soft.

Powder Detergents:
On the other hand, powder detergents are lauded for their effectiveness in tackling heavily soiled clothes. The powder format typically contains ingredients that excel in breaking down and removing tough stains, making them a go-to for families with active lifestyles or those dealing with greasy, muddy, or grass-stained garments. Powder detergents are also praised for their affordability and the fact that they often come in more eco-friendly packaging, as they require less plastic for containment.

Ultimately, the choice between liquid and powder detergent comes down to your laundry habits, machine type, and personal preferences. If you prioritize convenience, gentle cleaning, and fragrance options, liquid detergents might be the way to go. Conversely, if you’re focused on heavy-duty stain removal, affordability, and environmentally friendly packaging, powder detergents could be your top pick. It’s worth experimenting with both to find the one that best suits your needs for clean, fresh-smelling laundry.

How do I know if a detergent is safe for my washing machine?

Ensuring that the detergent you use is safe for your washing machine is crucial for maintaining its performance and longevity. Fortunately, most modern washing machines are compatible with a wide range of detergents, but there are a few key points to consider to be certain:

High-Efficiency (HE) Machines:
If you have a high-efficiency (HE) washing machine, it is essential to use detergents specifically labeled as HE. These detergents are formulated to produce fewer suds, which is crucial for the efficient operation of HE machines. Using a regular detergent in an HE machine can lead to excess sudsing, potential damage to the machine, and issues with proper rinsing.

Non-HE Machines:
For traditional, non-HE washing machines, you have more flexibility in the detergents you can use. These machines can typically handle both regular and HE detergents without issue. However, if you notice excessive sudsing or residue on your clothes, it might be worth switching to a low-sudsing detergent.

Check the Manufacturer’s Recommendations:
Always refer to your washing machine’s manual or manufacturer’s guidelines for specific detergent recommendations. Some machines may have restrictions on the types of detergents that can be used to maintain warranty coverage. These guidelines often include information on the type (liquid or powder) and concentration of detergent to use.

Consider Your Water Hardness:
If you live in an area with hard water, you might want to choose a detergent that is specially formulated for hard water conditions. Hard water contains mineral deposits that can affect the effectiveness of detergents, so selecting a detergent with built-in water softeners can improve cleaning performance.

Watch for Residue or Odors:
If you notice any residue left on your clothes after washing or detect a musty odor in your machine, it could be a sign that your detergent is not fully compatible. In this case, try switching to a different brand or type of detergent to see if the issue resolves.

In summary, ensuring that a detergent is safe for your washing machine involves checking for compatibility with HE or non-HE machines, following manufacturer guidelines, considering water hardness, and being mindful of any signs of residue or odors. By selecting the right detergent for your machine, you can achieve optimal cleaning performance and maintain the longevity of your appliance.

Can I use the same detergent for both regular and high-efficiency machines?

Yes, many laundry detergents are formulated to be safe and effective for use in both regular and high-efficiency (HE) washing machines. However, it is crucial to check the label on the detergent packaging to ensure it is suitable for both types of machines.

HE-Compatible Detergents:
If a detergent is labeled as “HE-compatible” or “safe for HE machines,” it means that it is designed to produce fewer suds, which is necessary for the efficient operation of HE washers. These detergents are formulated to be low-sudsing and are suitable for use in front-loading and top-loading HE machines.

Regular Detergents:
Many regular detergents can also be used in HE machines, but it’s essential to use them in the appropriate amount. Using too much regular detergent in an HE washer can lead to excessive sudsing, poor rinsing, and potential damage to the machine over time. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions on the detergent packaging for the correct dosage, especially when using regular detergents in an HE machine.

Versatile Options:
Some detergent brands specifically market their products as suitable for both regular and HE machines. These versatile options make it convenient for households with both types of washers, ensuring you can use the same detergent for all your laundry needs.

Dosage Matters:
Regardless of whether you use a detergent labeled for HE machines or a regular detergent, it’s crucial to follow the recommended dosage instructions. Using too little detergent may result in inadequate cleaning, while using too much can lead to excessive sudsing and potential issues with your machine.

Effectiveness and Compatibility:
Ultimately, the effectiveness of the detergent and its compatibility with your machine depend on the specific brand and formulation. Always check the label for compatibility information, dosage instructions, and any special considerations for your type of washing machine.

In summary, many laundry detergents are designed to be safe and effective for use in both regular and high-efficiency washing machines. Be sure to check the label for HE compatibility, follow dosage instructions carefully, and monitor your machine for any signs of residue or issues to ensure optimal cleaning performance and machine longevity.

Do I need to use fabric softener with my detergent?

Whether or not to use fabric softener alongside your detergent is a matter of personal preference and the specific needs of your laundry. Fabric softeners offer several benefits, but they are not always necessary for every load. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

Benefits of Fabric Softener:

  • Softens Clothes: Fabric softeners help to make clothes feel softer and more comfortable against the skin.
  • Reduces Static: They can also reduce static cling, particularly in synthetic fabrics like polyester.
  • Adds Fragrance: Fabric softeners often impart a pleasant scent to your laundry, leaving clothes smelling fresh and clean.
  • Eases Ironing: Softened fabrics are generally easier to iron, as they are less prone to wrinkling.

When to Use Fabric Softener:

  • For Towels and Sheets: Fabric softener can help keep towels fluffy and absorbent, as well as make bed linens feel smoother.
  • For Dryer Usage: If you use a dryer for your laundry, fabric softener sheets or dryer balls can reduce static and soften fabrics during the drying process.
  • For Certain Fabrics: Delicate fabrics like silk or cashmere may benefit from the use of a gentle fabric softener to maintain their softness and drape.


Residue Buildup: Overuse of fabric softener can lead to a buildup of residue on clothes, towels, and in your washing machine. This can decrease absorbency, trap odors, and reduce the effectiveness of your detergent.
Allergies and Sensitivities: Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to the chemicals used in fabric softeners, leading to skin irritation or respiratory issues.
Environmental Impact: Many fabric softeners contain synthetic chemicals that are not biodegradable, posing potential environmental concerns.

Alternatives to Fabric Softener:

  • Vinegar: Adding a small amount of white vinegar to the rinse cycle can act as a natural fabric softener and helps to remove detergent residue.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda can also soften fabrics, neutralize odors, and boost the cleaning power of your detergent.

In the end, whether you use fabric softener with your detergent depends on your preferences and the specific needs of your laundry. Experimenting with different methods and products can help you find the right balance of softness, freshness, and care for your clothes. If you’re unsure, starting with a small amount of fabric softener and gradually adjusting based on the results is a good approach.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re a fan of the classic clean scent of Tide, the eco-conscious approach of Seventh Generation, or the convenience of Gain Flings, there’s a laundry detergent on this list to suit every preference. Say goodbye to dingy clothes and hello to fresh, clean laundry with these top 10 picks.