7 Laundry Detergents That Only Wash Money Down the Drain

Photo by Tinatin / Shutterstock.com

Sometimes products fare so poorly in Consumer Reports’ testing that the nonprofit calls them out for it.

That was recently the case for a handful of laundry detergents. In an article made available to the general public — rather than just Consumer Reports subscribers — the consumer advocacy publication cites seven detergents that it advises you to simply “skip.”

Those products, along with some of Consumer Reports’ comments about them, are as follows. Note that Consumer Reports says the first two on this list “cleaned only slightly better than plain water”:

  1. Xtra ScentSations
  2. Trader Joe’s Liquid Laundry Detergent
  3. Woolite Everyday
  4. Home Solv 2X
  5. Xtra Plus OxiClean
  6. Sun Triple Clean
  7. Arm & Hammer Toss ‘N Done Ultra Power Paks — “the lowest scoring of the pods/packs we tested”

In case you’re wondering, the detergents that Consumer Reports rated most highly were Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release and Persil ProClean Power-Liquid 2in1. Both of these liquid detergents designed for high-efficiency and regular laundry machines earned scores of 82 out of 100.

Consumer Reports subscribers can view all of the publications’ ratings of laundry detergents on its website.

But while those two detergents are highest rated, they’re also costly — at least compared with do-it-yourself detergent.

DIY laundry detergent

Yes, you can make your own laundry detergent for pennies on the dollar. As we explain in “Easy, Dirt-Cheap Ways to Make Laundry Detergent“:

“Well, here’s the dirty little secret that the suds salesmen don’t want you to know: Some people get OK results with no detergent at all. Others save 90 percent of the cost of store-bought by making it themselves.”

Check out that article for a recipe that requires only a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have on hand.

DIY fabric softener

Fabric softener is even easier to make for pennies on the dollar.

As we detail in “9 Expensive Cleaning Supplies You Can Easily Make For Pennies,” adding a half-cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle will do the trick. And you can buy vinegar for a few cents an ounce.

Baking soda is another cheap and effective option. MarthaStewart.com has described it as “an effective cleaner, deodorizer, and fabric softener” that’s safe enough to use on baby clothing.

Another Martha Stewart publication, Whole Living, recommends both vinegar and baking soda as softeners:

“A quarter to one cup of white vinegar added to a final rinse (after any chlorine products have been washed away to avoid dangerous fumes) can help to fluff, deodorize, and prevent lint, and a quarter cup of baking soda added to the wash cycle can help to reduce static cling.”

White vinegar — and sometimes baking soda — is the only fabric softener I’ve used in decades. I buy both in bulk at Costco. That they are dirt-cheap is just icing on the cake for me, though.

Vinegar and baking soda are the only fabric softeners I allow in my home because I know what they are, and I know that they are nontoxic. Heck, both are used in cooking, so they’re safe enough to consume. Can you say that about your fabric softener?

Do you have any DIY laundry tips? Share them below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
10 Ways Anyone Can Earn More Income
10 Ways Anyone Can Earn More Income

Looking for additional cash? Here are a bunch of options that are accessible to anyone with internet access.

8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance
8 Ways to Slash the Cost of Homeowners Insurance

Reviewing this critical insurance policy takes a little effort, but it pays off big.

8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement
8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for — and adjust to — life in your golden years.

15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5
15 Great Amazon Finds You Can Buy for Less Than $5

These products offer big value at a small price.

It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items
It’s Worth Paying Extra for These 14 Items

Here’s where to find the sweet spot at the intersection of price and quality.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar
9 Mistakes People Make When Cleaning With Vinegar

Cleaning with vinegar can save you a lot of money, but using it like this can cost you.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

4 States Where Taxes on Social Security May Fall Soon
4 States Where Taxes on Social Security May Fall Soon

These states are considering reducing — or even eliminating — income taxes on Social Security benefits.

10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently
10 Things Successful Retirees Do Differently

These habits and characteristics can help put you on the track to success.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.