Well, it depends. There are a lot of variables!
Recently, I was washing blankets and quilts at a laundry mat and I overheard a conversation that got me thinking about my experience with laundry detergent. The owner of the laundry mat saw someone using Sun Detergent and told him that it only contained 20% soap and the rest of it was fillers and water. Hmmm….I knew this was a detergent found at the dollar store and very inexpensive, but it sounds like you’re getting what you pay for with this one. The owner did say that he has been using Kirklands detergent found at Costco and was a great value for what you get.
I got busy doing some research and here’s what I’ve found from several onsite reviews. These are the most common in alphabetical order. These reviews are of each detergent brand as a whole. (See what I use and my thoughts below.)
All was found to be a good value, but caused skin allergies.
Kirkland is well liked, but only comes in extra large sizes.
Purex is mostly liked and good at getting rid of stains and odors.
I’ve used a variety of detergents experimenting on what I liked best for my family. There’s several things I take into consideration:
- Do we have laundry that is very dirty with lots of stains and odors? When my kids were little we did have some pretty dirty laundry because of food spills and grass stains. I needed a really good detergent, so I did use Tide because I found it the best for our situation. I always used a coupon to get that high price down. Now, we don’t have the stains we had before, so I don’t feel like I need the most expensive.
- Are there allergies in the family? We do have some sensitivities in our family so we use a free and clear version. Every brand has one. This may take some experimenting with different brands.
- What is the cost per use? I like to compare the prices of detergents, but it’s important to remember that generic, store brands, and cheap soaps probably contain more water and, therefore, requires more to do the same job a more expensive detergent does. If so, you will get a better value buying a better rated detergent. Many detergents now come in more concentrated versions so do the math on those, as well. Also, you don’t need as much detergent as you think you do. When we bought our last washer the salesman said most people use too much detergent and it causes more wear and tear on your machine because newer machines are more efficient and don’t need as much soap to clean. He said to use half of what the manufacturer suggests.
- Powder, liquid, or pods? In my experience and in talking with others powder doesn’t dissolve as well as liquid versions do, so liquid is my favorite. I have tried the pods and while they are easy and less messy I don’t feel like they cleaned my clothes like the liquid does.
So, what do I use that I feel works best for my family? I use All Free and Clear Concentrate. It’s a medium grade detergent that doesn’t cause skin irritation for us and it cleans well for our light dirt and odors. It’s very affordable and I like it. That may change if our needs change, but for now it’s solving our needs. I do have to say that I miss having a nice long lasting scent in my clothes that Tide always gave us, but scents can cause allergies. That’s the only draw back I have.
What are your favorite detergents?