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While there are many types of detergent, only a handful will adequately clean fabrics or clothes, so finding the best liquid laundry detergent can be challenging. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, the Best Laundry Detergent list narrows even more as certain types might make you itchy or break out in a rash. The trick is finding a detergent that not only works and smells good but won’t cause your body irritation. We spent over 12 hours researching the best liquid laundry detergent options, and we’re confident we’ve selected the best of the best. Planning to replace your old washing machine? Find suitable alternatives in our best washing machine guide.
Our top pick is the Gain Liquid Plus Aroma Boost liquid laundry detergent because it’s priced competitively, offering up to 48 loads per 75-ounce bottle, and it comes with two. It also works with both standard and high-efficiency washers and offers an incredible scent, keeping fabrics and clothes fresh. Of course, it’s not the only detergent we chose. Almost everything else uses natural ingredients, offers a high load count and works with all washer types. Keep reading to learn more about our top picks.
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: As one of the most competitively priced detergents on the list, this liquid detergent works in all washing machines, including HE, and can be used with both cold and hot water. Also, it cleans great and smells great, leaving clothes with a fresh scent. Both bottles offer up to 96 loads total or 48 per bottle.
Gain’s Liquid Plus Aroma Boost Detergent is relatively cheap, comes in some pretty sizable containers — two 75 ounce bottles — and it smells great. All of those things combined have earned it our top pick. Unfortunately, it’s not made with natural or eco-friendly ingredients like some of the other options on the list.
The detergent is a little more watery than some of the other options, which means you’ll need to use a bit more per load than recommended. That said, you get multiple bottles, plenty big enough to last for a while. The pleasant scent the detergent gives off leaves your clothes smelling fresh and clean, without being too overbearing. This detergent is the best all-around solution, making it great for anyone. It is the best laundry detergent on our list.
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: If you want something completely natural and eco-friendly, this pick should be your go-to. It is biodegradable so it’s safe to flush, and just as safe for use with your clothes and, by proxy, your body. It’s low sudsing, which makes it suitable for use in standard and high-efficiency washers, but effective enough that it can clean soiled laundry and fabrics adequately.
Unique to Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena laundry detergent is the fact that it’s biodegradable and completely eco-friendly. That also means it’s safe for your body and should be suitable for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies. A single 64-ounce bottle offers up to 60 loads per, which isn’t nearly as much as some of the bigger bottles on the list but still plenty to make it worthwhile. Furthermore, it works with both standard and high-efficiency washers and doesn’t create too many suds.
Mrs. Meyers will clean soiled laundry quite well, but it’s not antibacterial. It’s great for anyone that doesn’t need a disinfectant solution for their clothes and prefer all-natural ingredients with a low environmental footprint. It works great with the best front load washing machine
Award: Best Value
WHY WE LIKE IT: Puracy’s Natural Fresh Linen liquid laundry detergent offers the most bang for your buck as it comes with two bottles for a total of 192 loads. The detergent is hypoallergenic and made with natural plant-based ingredients, great for anyone with sensitive skin.
Puracy’s Natural Liquid Laundry Detergent stands out because it comes in a relatively small bottle yet offers a lot of loads per. With a 24-ounce bottle in a two-pack, you might be surprised to know the bundle offers 192 loads total or 96 loads per bottle. That’s because you don’t have to use much in each load to clean the clothes and fabrics. Plus, it’s designed for those with sensitive skin and allergies, devoid of sulfates, bleach and other toxic chemicals. That makes it a great recommendation for just about anyone but it also makes it one of the best laundry detergents if you suffer from rashes or itchiness caused by standard detergent brands.
It’s purportedly “created by Doctors” and uses natural, plant-based ingredients that are suitable for use with all forms of clothing, including delicates. It comes in either fresh linen or free and clear scents, both of which leave clothes smelling great without being so potent it turns you off. If you prefer pods, you will want to read about the best detergent pods.
Award: Best Quality
WHY WE LIKE IT: Biokleen’s liquid detergent is plant-based, eco-friendly and non-toxic. That makes it an excellent option for anyone with sensitive skin or allergies. This particular mix — which includes citrus extracts — works well to clean stains and produce odor-free loads.
Biokleen’s Natural Scent-Free Liquid Laundry Detergent is made in the USA and includes plant-based, eco-friendly and non-toxic ingredients. Made with extracts of citrus and grapefruit seeds, it offers a relatively strong cleaning for stainless, odor-free clothes and fabrics. Each bottle is quite large too, containing 150-ounces of the mixture. That should be good enough for about 300 HE washer loads, or 150 standard loads. The natural composition also means it’s ideal for people with bad allergies or sensitive skin.
All of that is also available at a decent price, about average compared to the other liquid detergents on the list. Furthermore, it can be used with any water temperature be it cold or hot. One concern to note, however, is that no expiration date is provided, so there’s no way to know the shelf-life after the bottle has been opened. With natural ingredients — like citrus extract — that’s a little more important to consider.
Award: Best Clean
WHY WE LIKE IT: Arm & Hammer’s Liquid HE detergent is one of the best and most powerful cleaning solutions on the list. Thanks to the lovely scent and the inclusion of baking soda, the detergent can eliminate strong odors and tough nasties from your laundry.
While Arm & Hammer’s Liquid HE Clean Burst laundry detergent is not made with all-natural materials, it does employ the cleaning power of baking soda. Unfortunately, that also means it might be an irritant for those with sensitive skin and allergies. It comes in an extra-large 210-ounce bottle, which should offer around 200 loads. The detergent is suitable for use with standard and high-efficiency washers and is low sudsing meaning it won’t leave residue or soap on your fabrics and clothes.
It has a pleasant scent even in the standard version, but there are other scents available like Tropical Paradise and Sun Kissed Flowers. The wonderful scent, coupled with the strong cleaning makes this the ideal detergent for anyone that wants to rid their laundry of grime and strong odors.
Award: Best Odor Eliminator
WHY WE LIKE IT: While Persil’s ProClean Liquid Laundry Detergent does have a lower load count, it’s available in larger bundles, so it’s easy to personalize amounts based on what you need. If you genuinely want to clean out weird smells in the washer drum, clothes or anything else inside, this is the detergent to go with.
The Persil ProClean Liquid Laundry Detergent comes in a single 82.5-ounce bottle, which should last for about 110 loads. While that is on the low side compared to some of the other bottles on the list you can buy Persil’s detergent in bulk sets, up to a total of four. It does not include natural ingredients and there’s no mention of them, so if you prefer to have a healthy, eco-friendly detergent this is not it. It does use a concentrated “formula” which is excellent for cleaning soiled laundry. The fresh scent is rather strong, too, so it can help remove bad odors.
You can use Persil’s ProClean detergent in standard and high-efficiency washers, which makes it great for just about anyone. Again, those with sensitive skin or allergies may want to go with one of the more natural options.
Award: Custom Award
WHY WE LIKE IT: It’s hypoallergenic, ph-balanced so it’s not too harsh and made with all-natural plant-based ingredients. It comes scented with lavender essential oils, which is strong enough to eliminate odors and clean clothes yet not overbearing.
Earth Friendly Products’ ECOS 2X liquid laundry detergent is hypoallergenic and ph-balanced, which means it should be great for anyone with sensitive skin or detergent-related allergies. The mixture includes natural plant-based ingredients and lavender essential oil. While the detergent does have the “made in USA” label, the ingredients are globally sourced, so there’s no way to tell where they are from. The detergent is free of dyes, optical brighteners, parabens, phosphates and phthalates — all toxic in one form or another.
The detergent is good for use with any temperature, hot or cold, and should work well on stains too. It doesn’t matter whether your washer is HE or old school either, the detergent works in both. One 100 ounce bottle will get you about 100 loads, and it comes bundled in a pair so you get up to 200 loads total. The price is relatively cheap too, especially when compared to some of the other detergents on the list.
Because there are so many different types of washing machines out there, both standard and high-efficiency, it was important that all selected detergents are universal. Indeed, everything on this list is suitable for use in either type of washer, most of which use fewer suds which means they won’t leave any residue or clog the tub.
It’s difficult to select an entire list of the best overall all-natural solutions, especially since some of the more concentrated formulas are known to clean soiled laundry a lot better — like Arm & Hammer’s Liquid HE detergent. However, out of the detergents we tested, we chose a healthy mix of both types, natural and manufactured.
Finally, every bottle on this list — big and small — offers a reasonable amount of detergent within, with the smallest bottle offering around 50 loads. Many of the options on the list offer more than 100 loads per bottle, which is what we tried to adhere to most.
While nothing is stopping you from using standard or regular detergents in a high-efficiency washer, it’s not good for your clothes or the machine. Because they are designed to use less water, you’re likely to end up with soap residue all over. The residue will remain on clothes and fabrics, and it will also line the inside of the washer drum. Just to clean the drum alone it would probably take about four or five rinse cycles. There is a solution, however. Just use a smaller amount of detergent in your machine. A quarter to a half of what’s recommended for non-HE machines should suffice.
Most people prefer natural, non-toxic ingredients in their detergent and for good reason. We’ve done our best to find suitably healthy and safe detergents. The problem, however, is that there are so many different types of chemicals and everyone has their own opinion on what’s safe and what isn’t. It would be impossible to vet every detergent on this list for every particular chemical. The best way to approach choosing a detergent for you and your family is to consider the ingredients carefully. If the detergent in question does not list the ingredients, then avoid it altogether.
Yes, most of the detergents on this list are safe for use in both cold and hot water. Any exceptions are explicitly mentioned.
The liquid versus powder debate is mainly subjective. Some people prefer one or the other and that’s okay. Everything on this list is liquid-based. In most cases, powder tends to leave more residue, especially when dumped directly into the bin with clothes. That said, the liquid can leave some residue, as well, especially in HE machines. It’s always best to follow the recommended amounts on a case-by-case basis. If you notice more soapy residue in your washer or on your clothes then decrease the amount of detergent you’re using until you find an acceptable solution.
Provided the listed ingredients are accurate, natural detergents use eco-friendly and more organically-sourced chemicals. They also tend to have more visibility in terms of what’s included. You can see a full list of the ingredients with, hopefully, no deceptive descriptions. As with all things, it just depends on the brand as to whether or not the ingredients are truly natural, safe and eco-friendly.
Both can clean your clothes effectively, but liquid detergents have the added benefit of doubling stain removers and, as such, are better suited to removing stains. Meanwhile, detergent pods offer more convenience since all you'll have to do is drop them in your laundry. Detergent packs like Tide PODS contain measured amounts of soap, while liquid detergents need to be measured manually before pouring.
There are several DIY home tricks for getting out accidental wine spills from carpet and clothes. For more detailed instructions and how to tackle wine stains on a number of surfaces, make sure you search online by typing in 'red wine stain removal.' For clothes, a mixture of Dawn Dishwashing Detergent and hydrogen peroxide is recommended.
Free Clear usually refers to being free from artificial dyes and fragrance. It some cases, it can also mean being completely free of fabric softeners and optical brighteners. One of the best laundry detergents for sensitive skin is Seventh Generation Free and Clear Unscented. Seventh Generation is 96% plant-based with no synthetic fragrances, dyes, or optical brighteners. Its soft scent comes from natural extracts of bergamot, vanilla, and geranium.