Among laundry detergents, Tide is far and away the biggest-selling brand. Consumer Reports tested several types of Tide, along with more than 50 other detergents.
Each detergent is judged on how well it removes tough stains. Testers use swatches that are saturated with common stains such as blood, wine, dust sebum—commonly called ring around the collar—chocolate ice cream, and grass.
Among the detergents tested were Wisk, OxiClean, several Tides, and ones from Sam’s Club and Costco. And for the first time, Consumer Reports tested three from Persil. The brand is popular in Europe, but it’s new to the U.S. The company launched the detergents in Walmart and plans to expand to other retailers later in the year. The Persil ProClean Two-In-One turned out to be the best laundry detergent Consumer Reports has ever tested. It surpassed Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release and Tide HE Plus Bleach Alternative, the other two detergents Consumer Reports recommends.
All three do a very good job on grass and chocolate, tea stains, and ring around the collar. But Persil is the only one that was excellent on blood. Like the recommended Tides, Persil ProClean costs about 25 cents per load.
Other good options for far less—Sam’s Club Members Mark Ultimate Clean and Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Free and Clear. They don’t perform as well as the Tide or Persil, but they still do a very good job and cost half as much.
Be sure to measure your detergent carefully. Consumer Reports says using too much will not get your clothes cleaner. Instead, it will cause buildup in your machine and leave residue on your clothes.