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Last updated: 30 May 2019

The best laundry detergents will remove spills like oils, tomato, and starches from your clothes. Detergent also amounts to at least half the running cost of your washing machine so it pays to pick the right one.

Why are there two scores for each detergent?

Almost all laundry detergents claim to be suitable for use in both front and top loading washing machines, and also perform differently in both types. So we've tested them in both front and top loading washing machines and listed scores for both. Selecting the type of washing machine you have at home using the filters on the left of this page will show you the results which are most relevant to you.

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We've tested popular laundry detergents to tell you which one:

  • works best in your machine type
  • works well on 10 difficult-to-remove stains
  • is good value for money
  • is best for specific stains, and
  • is best for the environment.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which detergents claim to contain enzymes, which claim to be phosphate-free, and even how they compare to washing in plain water. Just like our washing machine reviews, our Recommended list will help you see quickly which products come out on top.

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Brand

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List of brands we tested in this review.

    Price

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    This is the price we paid for the pack size listed. The cost per wash is based on this price, so if you can find it cheaper, your cost per wash will be cheaper as well.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 0 and 21.99

    Recommended products

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    Member only

    This test score is for members only. Join now to unlock our expert results.

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    Best buy

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    There are some laundry detergents that offer great value for money, however, don't quite meet the criteria to be recommended. These products become our Best Buys. For front loaders a laundry detergent must score at least 70% overall and cost under 30 cents per wash. For top loaders a laundry detergent must score at least 60% overall and cost under 30 cents per wash.

      Washing machine type

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      Whether we tested the detergent in a top loader or front loader washing machine. If the detergent claims to be suitable for both, we test in both. You'll find the scores under the requisite machine type.

        Type of detergent

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        We test a range of liquids and powders. Occasionally we also test capsules, but they currently only make up a small part of the market. We've found powders are usually more effective.

          Included in this review

          Members-only access
          • Best buy
          • Washes per pack
          • Cost per wash
          • Recommended
          • Overall score
          • General detergency
          • Perspiration
          • Grass / Mud
          • Olive oil
          • Tomato
          • Make up
          • Chocolate ice cream
          • Baby food
          • Mineral oil
          • Blood
          • Total suspended solids
          • Safe for septics claim
          • Excludes optical brighteners and enzymes
          • Contact
          • Brand
          • Model
          • Type
          • Price
          • Machine used
          • Pack size (g or mL)
          • GreySmart rating
          • Low to no phosphorus claim
          • Has enzymes claim
          • Has optical brighteners claim
          • Origin
          • Comments

          Product selected for a detailed comparison

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