The Best Laundry Detergent

The Best Laundry Detergent

Our pick

Tide Ultra Stain Release

Tide Ultra Stain Release

An exceptional stain remover

This liquid laundry detergent was a top performer in our stain testing, lifting more of a wider variety of stains than any other detergent we tried.

Buying Options

$12 from Target
$12 from Walmart

May be out of stock

Buy from Amazon

Although a few detergents we tried did better on specific stains, Tide Ultra Stain Release was consistently a top performer, and it removed more blood, sebum, and cocoa than any other detergent we tested. It also did a good job of getting bacon smells out in our odor testing. We like the dye- and scent-free version, as well, although its formula is not identical to that of our pick.

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Runner-up

Persil ProClean Stain Fighter

Persil ProClean Stain Fighter

A strongly scented stain lifter

Persil was one of the most effective stain removers in our testing, and it even bested our main pick on several stains. But its strong, lingering fragrance is not for everyone.

Buying Options

$8 from Amazon
$12 from Walmart

Persil ProClean Stain Fighter performed nearly as well as Tide Ultra Stain Release in our tests. And the Persil even beat the Tide detergent when it was used on browned butter, foundation makeup, and spaghetti sauce. One of Persil’s defining features is its intense fragrance, which can last for days on clothes and which some people find overwhelming.

Budget pick

Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean

Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean

Cheap and effective

This detergent, sold under Costco’s house brand, was better at removing stains than many more-expensive detergents, and it is also good at getting rid of odors.

Buying Options

$17 from Costco
(available in store)

Costco’s house-brand detergent, Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean, cleaned almost as well overall as Tide Ultra Stain Release and Persil ProClean Stain Fighter in our stain testing, and it costs about half as much. Although none of the detergents were able to remove makeup that effectively, Kirkland did a significantly better job than the rest. It was also one of the best at removing odors.

Also great

Tide Ultra Stain Release Free

Tide Ultra Stain Release Free

Excellent stain and odor removal

This dye- and scent-free detergent is one of the most effective stain and odor removers we’ve tested.

Buying Options

$12 from Target

If you prefer a detergent that doesn’t have dyes or fragrance, Tide Ultra Stain Release Free is great at getting out stains and odors without leaving a scent behind. But it’s available only at Target.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Tide Ultra Stain Release

Tide Ultra Stain Release

An exceptional stain remover

This liquid laundry detergent was a top performer in our stain testing, lifting more of a wider variety of stains than any other detergent we tried.

Buying Options

$12 from Target
$12 from Walmart

May be out of stock

Buy from Amazon

Runner-up

Persil ProClean Stain Fighter

Persil ProClean Stain Fighter

A strongly scented stain lifter

Persil was one of the most effective stain removers in our testing, and it even bested our main pick on several stains. But its strong, lingering fragrance is not for everyone.

Buying Options

$8 from Amazon
$12 from Walmart

Budget pick

Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean

Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean

Cheap and effective

This detergent, sold under Costco’s house brand, was better at removing stains than many more-expensive detergents, and it is also good at getting rid of odors.

Buying Options

$17 from Costco
(available in store)

Also great

Tide Ultra Stain Release Free

Tide Ultra Stain Release Free

Excellent stain and odor removal

This dye- and scent-free detergent is one of the most effective stain and odor removers we’ve tested.

Buying Options

$12 from Target

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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