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Laundry detergents

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What's behind our laundry detergent Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 57 models in laundry detergents to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Overall score based on cool, hard-water washing performance of cotton swatches heavily soiled with blood, mud, chocolate ice cream, grass, red wine, ring around the collar, and tea. Displayed scores are rounded; products are listed in order of precise overall score.
  • Type
    Detergent type this includes: Liquid, Powder, Pods or packs, and Sheets and Devices which are detergent-less washing systems.
  • Cool water cleanability
    This is the washing performance of the detergent in cool water (75 deg F).
  • Warm water cleanability
    This is the washing performance of the detergent in warm water (90 deg. F). A score of "0" indicates that the product was not tested in warm water.
  • Grass - Very good at removing
    This indicates that the detergent is very good at removing Grass stains.
  • Blood - Very good at removing
    This indicates that the detergent is very good at removing Blood stains.
  • Dust Sebum - Very good at removing
    This indicates that the detergent is very good at removing Dust/Sebum stains that are commonly called "ring around the collar".

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Recommended laundry detergents

Recommended laundry detergents are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Ratings
Our laundry detergent tests show that some laundry detergents deal especially well with specific stains, such as ring around the collar, grass, tea, chocolate, or clay. But most people need a laundry detergent that can tackle a wide range of common stains. If you're looking for information about laundry detergents, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ laundry detergent reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our laundry detergent buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and laundry detergent reviews to help you choose the best laundry detergent for your needs.

Laundry detergent buying guide

Laundry detergent buying guide

Once you get past all the fragrance options, choosing a laundry detergent is getting a little easier. More, though not all, high-efficiency powders, liquids, and single-use packs can be used in conventional washers. That's good news because the best high-efficiency formulas cleaned better than many conventional detergents in our latest tests. Most conventional detergents can't be used in high-efficiency machines.

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