6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, best laundry detergent

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(ABC 6 News) – Whether you’re pro powders, prefer pods, loyal to liquids, or shopping sales Consumer Reports’ tests of dozens of laundry detergents can help.

“Our tests are extremely tough; even the best detergents can’t remove every stain completely so it’s really about getting one that works for what you are typically laundering and whether you routinely have heavily soiled clothes,” Perry Santanachote from Consumer Reports said.

CR’s testers launder fabric swatches soaked with blood, body oil, chocolate, coffee, dirt, grass, and salad dressing. The lighter the stain after washing, the better the detergent scores on cleaning performance.

Testers also checked out an alternative to typical detergents, laundry sheets, made of concentrated laundry detergent and held together by a resin and dissolvable paper. And they are also free of plastic packaging.

“The laundry sheets as a group didn’t perform as well as liquids and pods in our tests. However, if your laundry isn’t heavily soiled, and you’re looking for a more sustainable laundry routine — these could be a good option,” Santanachote said.

Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release and Persil ProClean Stain Fighter tackled dirt and body oil as well as tougher stains like grass and blood.

But if grass and blood stains aren’t a routine occurrence in your home and you’re looking for a better value, CR says consider Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Liquid from Costco.

If convenience is key, these Power Pods from Tide earned top scores among the pods however, that convenience costs more and pods have other downsides.

“Pods can be dangerous, especially in households with cognitively impaired adults or young children who might accidentally ingest them,” Santanachote said.

Another reason to stick with liquid detergents; they can also work double duty as pre-treaters for stains which means one less product you need to buy.