A Simple Way to Save 30 Percent on Detergent and Get Cleaner Clothes

A new study from Consumer Reports evaluates the cleaning power of single-use laundry detergent packets.


A store-brand laundry detergent packet works better than the best name-brand competitor, Consumer Reports says.

It’s also 30 percent cheaper than that name-brand alternative, Tide Pods. It costs 14 cents per load versus Tide’s 22 cents.

The only catch is you’ll need a Costco membership ($55 a year) to snag the deal. It’s Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Pacs.

Out of the 11 single-use detergents CR tested, only Tide and Kirkland made the winner’s list. (Only Kirkland was good at removing blood stains.) But CR does have child safety concerns about the latter:

As we’ve reported over the last year, detergent pods pose a serious safety risk to children, who might mistake the colorful, bite-sized capsules for candy. […]

The grape-colored Kirkland pods are packaged in a see-through plastic tub not unlike the containers pretzels and other snacks come in. And small fingers will have no trouble removing the flimsy plastic lid.

How do these single-use packets compare in cost with traditional detergent? CR’s recent top recommendations among those cost more than the Kirkland packets: Tide Ultra plus Bleach, which they recommend for high-efficiency machines, is 23 cents per load. For standard washers, Wisk Deep Clean is 17 cents per load.

But it does have some cheaper recommendations, if you measure amounts properly. CR says Target sells Up & UP Ultra Concentrated for 10 cents per load.

Stacy Johnson

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