Top-rated laundry detergents revealed

Good Housekeeping

We took 74 laundry detergent formulas — 49 liquids, 19 powders, and six single-use tabs — for a spin to see how well they removed 20 common stains (oil, coffee, mascara...) from polyester and cotton. Surprise: Powders packed the most power. Unless noted, package size for powders is 48 to 56 ounces; for liquids, 50 to 64 ounces. Cost per load is based on our large, heavily soiled test load.

Courtesy of Tide

The Test's Best

Introducing our stain-busters:
GH Seal holders Ultra Tide Plus Bleach powder ($8,; 53 cents per load*) and Ultra Tide powder ($8; 42 cents per load*) — the former has a white-boosting blast of color-safe bleach, while the latter offers more scent options, including fragrance-free.

A very close second: Gain Dazzle & Shine With Bleach Alternative ($7; 49 cents per load*).

More from
Good Housekeeping:

12 Most Innovative Cleaning Products of 2012

Makeup Mistakes That Make You Look Old

Courtesy of Tide

The Test's Best (Liquid)

Prefer to pour? The liquid versions of the top powders, Tide Plus Bleach Alternative ($8,; 41 cents per load*) and Tide With Acti-Lift ($8,; 43 cents per load*), proved best in their class, too.

Also superb: 2X Ultra Era ($5,; 24 cents per load*).

Courtesy of Ecover

Plant-Based Picks

Fragrance-free Ecover Laundry Powder Zero ($11.84,; $1.52 per load*) scored up there with the top powders.

One quibble: It lacks a scooper.

Courtesy of Caldrea

Plant-Based Pick (Liquid)

Essential oil-scented Caldrea ($16,; 63 cents per load*) erased many stains as well as the best liquids did, leaving behind some wine and tea in hot water and blood, mud, and grass in cold.

Courtesy of Tide

Best in Cold

Ultra Tide Coldwater powder ($8; 52 cents per load*) removed more stains in cold water than other detergents got out in hot--great news for delicate fabrics and for your water-heating bill.

Courtesy of Gain

Best in Cold (Liquid)

As for liquids, the test-winning Tides cleaned best in cold, and Gain Original($7,; 29 cents per load*) did nearly as well — all three scored higher than liquids specifically formulated for cold-water washing.

Courtesy of Up and Up

Best Value

Target's Up & Up 2X HE liquid ($8.38 for 150 ounces), just 11 cents per load,* zapped most stains but came up short of our top performers on mascara in the hot-water wash and wine in cold.

Courtesy of Walmart

Best Value (Powder)

Walmart's Great Value Powder ($11.47 for 156 ounces), also 11 cents per load,* rated among the best powders, but missed some ketchup and mascara in hot water and oil, crayon, and grape juice in cold water.

Courtesy of Tide

No-Mess Tablets

Neater to use, lighter to tote and store. But do they work?

Yes! And the convenience won't cost much more than comparable liquids.

Two to try: Tide Pods ($16 for 62 pods,; 52 cents per load*) and Arm & Hammer Toss 'N Done Power Paks ($10 for 60 "paks",; 33 cents per load*).

More from Good Housekeeping:

The Best Washing Machines

52 Home Organizing Tips

The Best Anti-Aging Products Ever

The Five Best Haircuts of All Time


Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Tiger Woods Doesn’t Regret Cheating on Ex-Wife Elin Nordegren

      The 40-year-old professional golfer opened up to Charlie Rose on Thursday.

      Entertainment Tonight
    • Thousands of California soldiers forced to repay enlistment bonuses a decade after going to war

      Short of troops to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan a decade ago, the California National Guard enticed thousands of soldiers with bonuses of $15,000 or more to reenlist and go to war. Now the Pentagon is demanding the money back. Nearly 10,000 soldiers, many of whom served multiple combat tours, have been ordered to repay large enlistment bonuses — and slapped with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse — after audits revealed widespread overpayments by the California Guard at the height of the wars last decade. Investigations have determined that lack of oversight allowed for widespread fraud and mismanagement by California Guard officials under pressure to meet enlistment targets.

      Los Angeles Times q
    • Ivanka Trump backs her father but doesn't want to fall with him

      Ivanka, soon to turn 35, is still clearly her father's protegee. Having grown up in the spotlight from an early age, at a time when her father's extramarital affairs filled the tabloid press, Ivanka knows how to tend to her own image -- and that of the clothing line that bears her name.

    • Bermuda Triangle mystery solved? Experts say 'air bombs' sank ships and brought down planes

      The mystery of Bermuda Triangle may have been solved according to a new documentary. A documentary by the Science Channel showcases new satellite imagery from NASA over coastal Florida, revealing "a series of hexagon-shaped clouds," which meteorologists say can produce 170 mph (273kmph) wind air bombs above the Bermuda Triangle. Steve Miller, a satellite meteorologist from Colorado State University, says that the straight-edged appearance of the clouds is pretty unusual.

      International Business Times UK q
    • Jennifer Garner Carries Her Daughter’s School Project in High Heels

      Jennifer Garner is a bonafide super mom. She’s raising her two daughters, Violet and Seraphina, alongside ex-husband Ben Affleck, and she manages…

      Hello Giggles
    • Pictures of two Egyptian children engaged to be married trigger outrage — once again

      CAIRO – While celebrating his eldest son's lavish wedding, at which a number of famous singers and belly dancers performed, Nasser Hassan decided to "double the joy," he later recalled. He announced that his son Omar would marry his cousin Gharam. At the wedding, held in a province about 75 miles north of Cairo, the guests didn’t find it strange. Some would later tell Egypt’s Al Watan newspaper that there was “nothing inappropriate,” adding that it was only “an engagement, not a marriage". Omar is 12 years old. His fiancee, Gharam, is 11. Egyptian laws prohibit official registration for marriages for anyone under the age of 18. But the practice remains prevalent. According to UNICEF, 17 percent

      Washington Post q
    • Deer walks up to hunter and demands head scratches

      Hunter Jordan Maxon from New Richmond, Wisconsin, had a very odd encounter with a very friendly deer.  After setting up a deer stand in a clearing, Maxon looked around to see if any wildlife had wandered into the area before he started hunting. That's when he noticed a buck about 70 yards away.  "I figured I'd wait for him to leave the clearing, however, after five minutes of standing there, he wouldn't leave," Maxon explained on YouTube.  SEE ALSO: Deer fearlessly leaps through house window, becomes viable stuntman Instead of leaving, the buck approaches Maxon, who gently convinces the dear to come a bit closer with noises you'd use to coax a cat or dog.  The deer comes so close that Maxon is

      Mashable q
    • Khloe Kardashian And Tristan Thompson Are Reportedly Getting Married

      UPDATE: According to ESPN, the two are not engaged to be married. “Khloe and Tristan plan on spending at least $1 million on their big day,” the source tells InTouch, “and they plan to invite 400 guests.” Thankfully, that massive amount of people won’t have to travel far, as Khloe and Tristan reportedly want to hold their wedding ceremony in California.

    • The Best All-Inclusive Packages at Adults-Only Resorts (7 photos)

      Hear that? Its not the sound of a baby on an airplane , or an argument between two kids. Its the roar of waves crashing on rocks, tree frogs chirping from the canopy, and of complete, grown-up silence. You dont have to be a parent to value the absence of potentially noisychildren. Everyone can appreciate the absolute tranquility of a kids-free hotel. Thats not to say adults cant get rowdybut adults-only properties tend to foster a relaxed, laid-back vibe. Guests are typically seeking a low-key (and yes, quiet) reprieve from life; especially if that life has three kids between the ages of 1 and 7. Resorts such as these know theres only one thing more calming than an escape from the myriadday-to-day tasks ofparenthood (or a romantic getaway that isnt stifled by shrieking infants or toddlers peeing in the pool ): an all-inclusive package. Forget about nitpicking every cocktail or excursionall-inclusive packages make a resort stay a totally worry-free experience. You already know what the bill will look like when you get return home. Even your tips are included. If all this sounds like just what you need, read on for a few of our favorite all-inclusive packages at the top adults-only resorts.

    • Ask Amy: Second marriage leads back to first husband

      Dear Amy: I have been married to my second husband for five years. I hold a great deal of animosity toward him, because in the beginning of our relationship, he let his teenage children disrespect me. I became a person I did not recognize nor like. I felt like it was always three against one, and I had to stand up for myself, sometimes being a mean person. He also has medical issues because he doesn’t take care of himself. So now I live with a man who cannot be sexually intimate with me (and is okay with it). He shows me no affection but says that he loves me. I am constantly trying to create intimacy between us, but it is always in vain. I am only 49. A few months ago, my ex-husband started

      Washington Post q
    • Trump gains on Clinton, poll shows 'rigged' message resonates

      By Emily Stephenson and Amanda Becker NEWTOWN, Pa./CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gained on his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton among American voters this week, cutting her lead nearly in half, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released on Friday. The polling data showed Trump's argument that the Nov. 8 election is "rigged" against him has resonated with members of his party. "Remember folks, it's a rigged system," Trump told a Pennsylvania rally on Friday.

    • Woman Carrying Skull on Stick Leads Police to Human Remains

      Police in Sacramento say human remains were discovered after officers confronted a transient woman seen carrying a skull on a stick Wednesday.

    • Amy Schumer’s Instagram post about the debate is the most accurate thing we’ve ever seen

      If it’s one thing we can agree on, it’s that Amy Schumer is a comedic angel sent from the heavens above. Girlfriend…

      Hello Giggles
    • Makeup vs. The Natural Look: Which Do Men Really Prefer?

      To wear makeup or not to wear makeup? That is the question. From the natural look to all-out glam, find out which face the guys gravitate toward.

      The Cheat Sheet q 33 min ago
    • Whoa: Has the mystery of the Bermuda Triangle just been solved?

      Stop and take a seat because the gravity of this news will probably pull you down anyway. According to The Science Channel,…

      Hello Giggles
    • Deadly Cancers: The 5 Most Fatal Types of Cancer for 2016

      Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. Here's what you need to know about the deadliest cancers so you can keep yourself protected.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • How Google embarrassed Apple

      This week didn't look good for Apple. Google's new Pixel phone launched to positive reviews...

      Business Insider
    • Gal Gadot, aka Wonder Woman, rocked the heck out of a mini trench coat and looked like a goddess

      If there is one woman who rocked our movie-loving worlds this year, it was Gal Gadot, aka, Wonder Woman. With a supporting…

      Hello Giggles
    • Mom Sobs as Son With Autism Snuggles With New Service Dog: 'The Connection Is Life-Changing'

      For years, Shanna Niehaus had watched her son try to make friends, but to no avail. So when he finally found one, she couldn't contain her emotions.

      Inside Edition