Save on laundry detergent without sacrificing cleaning power

    Consumer Reports News: July 13, 2012 10:08 AM

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    For Consumer Reports' latest laundry detergent tests, we tested more single-use packs than ever before. But even though the pods make proper dosage easier for normal loads, only Tide Pods cleaned impressively in our tests. But at 22 cents per load, you may want to opt for a less expensive powder or liquid. Our top-scoring detergents did best at removing a variety of tough stains, especially grass, blood, and ring around the collar, in our warm-water tests. Here are four ways to save and still get a clean load of laundry.

    Choose the right one. You can use a conventional or dual-use detergent in a regular top-loading washer. But using a conventional detergent in a high-efficiency machine could compromise cleaning if it produces too many suds.

    Check the dose before using.
    Many dual-use detergents use the same dose for high-efficiency and conventional washers. Fuller Brush Plus Concentrated calls for twice the amount in traditional machines, boosting its cost per load to 40 cents.

    Spend at least 10 cents per load. None of the detergents that cost less than that scored better than mediocre.

    Don't overdo it. Using too much detergent costs you more per load. Overdosing could also waste energy and water if it leads to added rinse cycles in your washer. Read the instructions carefully and measure the proper amount of detergent for your load size.

    Find more on laundry detergent, including full Ratings, in our laundry detergent buying guide.

    Daniel DiClerico

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