Many consumers are as loyal to their laundry detergent as they are to their favorite soft drink. Some just buy what their mother used and others buy what’s on sale. According to a survey by the research firm, YouGov Analysis Institute, the stain removing ability of a detergent (52%) only slightly outranks its fragrance (48%).
With so many choices on the market, you’re sure to find a laundry detergent that fits your budget and meets your laundry cleaning needs as well as your family's preference of fragrance and environmental responsibility.
General purpose laundry detergents are available in liquid, powdered or single dose form. All forms of laundry detergent will clean clothes well. However, liquid detergents are particularly effective on greasy, oily stains and can be easily used as a pretreater for stain removal. The most common problem with liquid detergent use is using too much per load or overdosing. Detergent bottle caps are often difficult to read and consumers use too much wasting money and leaving residue in clothes.
Powdered detergents are usually less expensive to use per load. They are most effective on mud stains and ground-in dirt. Powdered detergents can be problematic if you have extremely cold water or only use cold water for washing because they may not dissolve completely. Always add powdered detergent to the washer drum before clothes and water are added.
If you experience problems with residue, mix the detergent with a quart of hot water and add that directly to the washer drum before doing a load of laundry. Powdered detergents can also cause a mess to clean up if you spill the box or bag!
Single dose packs are the most convenient and simple to use especially if you must use a community laundry room or laundromat.
Price isn't always the best indicator of detergent quality.