For its October issue, the magazine tested 29 different laundry detergents. Tide with Bleach topped the list, followed by Tide made for cold water.
New Tide cold water detergent did very well when we tested it in cold water, says the magazines features editor Lesley Ware. But we also found that for less than half the price of Tide detergents, you can get very clothes very clean with detergents from Costco and Wal-Mart and Sears.
Ware says the results didnt favor powders or liquids, but Consumer Reports testing did find that products with enzymes tended to clean best.
You cant always tell by looking at the package whether the detergent has enzymes or not, Ware points out,but if you see enzymes on the label that should be a tip-off that the detergent will do well.
The editors say the green detergent Seventh Generation was the most expensive product tested and it rated just good overall. Trader Joes detergent rated poor and came in at the bottom of the list.
Remember: washing your clothes in cold water can save up to 10-cents a load, and theyll come out just as clean.
Consumer Reports rates the following three detergents CR Best Buys.
- Kirkland Signature Ultra HE (Costco). It will clean your clothes for just 14 cents a load (based on the large package). Even though it is for high efficiency washers, the label says it can be used in regular washers.
- Great Value Ultra Mountain Fresh (Wal-Mart). It also rated "very good" and costs just 12 cents a load.
- Ultra Plus with Fabric Softener HE (Sears). At just 9 cents a load (when you buy the large size), this is the cheapest of any of the products rated "very good." It can also be used in regular machines.
Youll find the complete ratings of all 29 detergents in the October issue of Consumer Reports.