This content was originally published on OldHouseOnline.com and has been republished here as part of a merger between our two businesses. All copy is presented here as it originally appeared there.

Do you dread washing your clothes, fearing they won’t come out as clean as they should? Then it’s time to get yourself the right laundry detergent powder. For many of us, laundry detergent powder is the go-to option for achieving stain-free and fragrance-filled clothes. While we all want our clothes to come out of the wash looking and smelling great, finding the right laundry detergent for the job can be hard. It can be even more challenging when you want to use a more natural and eco-friendly option.

Below, we will discuss the top-rated laundry detergent powders, and provide you with some tips on choosing the best one.

Laundry Detergent Powder: Buying Guide

When it comes to purchasing laundry detergent powders, there are many factors to consider before making the final decision. It is important to thoroughly research each product feature in order to make an informed choice. The following guide includes detailed information about the top product features to consider when choosing a laundry detergent powder.

Cleaning Power

The cleaning power of a laundry detergent powder refers to its ability to remove dirt and stains from your clothing. When researching a detergent powder, look for customer reviews and information from the manufacturer that details the specific cleaning power of the product. Some detergents tout specific stain-fighting capabilities or are formulated for different soil levels or fabric types.

Scent

The scent of laundry detergent powder can be an important factor, as many consumers prefer their clothing to smell clean and fresh after washing. Detergent powders come in a variety of scents that range from unscented to various floral and fruity fragrances. Be sure to read reviews before making a purchase to see what other users say about each product’s scent.

Ingredients

When choosing a laundry detergent powder, it’s important to understand what ingredients are used in its formulation, as some are better suited for certain fabric types or skin allergies than others. Look for natural ingredients that contain plant-based surfactants and emulsifiers instead of synthetic chemicals, as these offer better cleaning power without potentially irritating your skin or eyes.

Environmental Impact

Choose products with biodegradable and phosphate-free ingredients if you seek a more ecologically-friendly option. Such products minimize the impact on the environment and support sustainable living efforts. Additionally, look for eco-friendly packaging made from recycled materials with a minimal environmental impact.

Look for certifications such as the EPA’s Safer Choice label, which indicates a product has been independently tested and verified as meeting certain eco-friendly standards.

Acid Content

Some laundry detergents contain acidic substances, such as citric acid, that can contribute to yellowing over time if used regularly on certain fabrics like whites or pastels. When choosing a laundry detergent powder, verify if it is labeled as low-acid or free from any acidic components in order to avoid any potential discoloration issues with your clothing.

Bleach Content

While bleaching agents are great for removing tough stains, they often also contribute significantly to the yellowing and fading of clothing over time due to their harsh chemical properties. Look for laundry detergent powders with mild bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide that effectively remove stains while minimizing potential damage to delicate fabrics or colored items with repeated use.

Amount of Detergent per Load

Follow the guidelines on the product label when measuring out laundry detergent powder, usually using two to three tablespoons per load, depending on soil level and water hardness. Too much detergent can cause streaking or graying of fabrics, whereas too little will fail to clean fabrics properly; follow the guidelines carefully for optimal performance.

Allergen-Free

If someone in your household suffers from skin allergies, then be sure to check if a particular brand offers an allergen-free version of their laundry detergent powder by looking out for ‘hypoallergenic’ labels on products. If necessary, contact relevant customer service departments for more details about their formulations so as not to inadvertently worsen any existing irritation-related issues by using an unsuitable product.

Color-Safe

While chlorine bleach can damage colored clothing and fabrics over time, look for color-safe bleaches that do not contain chlorine or opt for non-bleaching detergents. For dyed garments or fabrics, consider non-chlorine whiteners instead of traditional bleaches that could cause fading or staining over time.

Suitable for HE Washers

Some laundry detergents may not be suitable for high-efficiency (HE) washers due to foaming issues. Check labels carefully before purchasing to ensure compatibility with your washer type if you have an HE machine at home.

Comparing the Highest-Rated Laundry Detergent Powder

WIN Laundry Detergent Powder

– Best Overall

img

Buy on Amazon

The WIN Laundry Detergent Power is the best-selling activewear detergent on Amazon for good reason. Formulated to restore stretch fabrics, brighten colors, and eliminate odors from microfiber, synthetic and technical fabric, it is an ideal choice for activewear from top performance clothing brands such as Lululemon, Athleta, Nike, Reebok, Champion, Adidas, Puma, and others.

This laundry detergent works to make activewear perform better and last longer with its combination of cleaning and restoration properties. It is perfect for athletic uniforms and apparel for football, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, basketball, softball, and volleyball. It is also ideal for running, cycling and compression wear like sleeves and socks that are popular with marathoners, triathletes, and cyclists. With its light fresh scent or fragrance-free option, it can provide lasting freshness to your favorite performance apparel.

Pros

  • Brightens colors
  • Restores stretched fabrics
  • Light fresh scent

Cons

  • Some may not enjoy the scent

Charlie’s Soap Laundry Detergent Powder

– Best Absorbing

img

Buy on Amazon

Charlie’s Soap Laundry Powder is an eco-friendly and hypoallergenic detergent that offers a deep clean for all types of clothes. Its plant-based ingredients allow it to have a powerful cleaning effect without the use of harsh chemicals, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. It is also cloth-diaper friendly and has been certified by the EPA as safe for the environment. It only requires one tablespoon per dose, yet its concentrated formula works on all types of laundry, from high-tech fabrics to delicates. It also removes smells, stains, and left-behind residue from previous detergents, leaving fabric fresh and soft. The fragrance-free formula is also perfect for those sensitive to perfumes.

Pros

  • Requires minimal amount for extra large loads
  • Can save money in the long run
  • Hypoallergenic; no scent added
  • Works well on heavily soiled clothes

Cons

  • No scent on clothes after drying

Rockin’ Green Laundry Detergent Powder

– Safest Formulation

img

Buy on Amazon

Rockin’ Green Active Wear Detergent is a plant-based, all-natural laundry detergent powder designed to help remove tough stains and odors from clothes. It is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, vegan, and biodegradable, making it safe for sensitive skin and babies. It comes with an unscented formula and is ideal for washing all fabric types. Its super-concentrated formula only needs one tablespoon per load and can clean approximately 90 loads. In addition to being all-natural and non-toxic, it is also free of bleach, dyes, parabens, phosphates, phthalates, SLS/SLES, optical brighteners, and artificial fragrances.

Pros

  • Deep cleans fabrics and removes stubborn stains
  • Environmentally friendly and clean formula
  • Gentle on the skin; clothes feel fresh
  • Works well with hard water, HE washing machines

Cons

  • Ineffective at removing strong odors such as ammonia

Molly’s Suds Laundry Detergent Powder

– Long-Lasting Cleaning Power

img

Buy on Amazon

Molly’s Suds Original Laundry Detergent Powder is ideal for consumers who care about the environment and their family’s health. The powerful combination of earth-derived ingredients helps fight off stains from fabrics, allowing you to keep your clothes looking new for longer. It is available in unscented or lightly scented varieties to maintain a fresh scent on your clothes and fabrics. It even works in standard, commercial, and HE washing machines, and is safe for septic and gray water systems. Additionally, it is certified cruelty-free, vegan, and peanut free, allowing you to feel confident that you are using a product that is kind to nature and animals alike.

Pros

  • Leaves clothes feeling fresh and clean
  • Lasts longer than liquids and pods
  • Low amount of product needed per load
  • Gentle on sensitive skin
  • Non-toxic and safe for the environment

Cons

  • Smell doesn’t linger once clothes are washed

Tide Laundry Detergent Powder

– Best Value for Money

img

Buy on Amazon

Tide Powder Laundry Detergent is an impressive laundry detergent for regular and high-efficiency machines. It is formulated with HE Turbo technology and designed for a deep clean that exceeds expectations. Its Acti-Lift Crystals power through even week-old stains, making it a powerful force in the fight against dirt and grime on your clothing. It acts as a great all-around solution for everyday cleaning needs that can help make your clothes look bright, clean, and fresh without requiring extra effort. Its special formula is designed to get rid of dirt and grime without causing any damage to your clothing.

Pros

  • Affordable, reliable, and efficient
  • Completely biodegradable and environmentally friendly
  • Great at removing stubborn stains
  • Safe for white and colored fabrics

Cons

  • Scent may be overpowering for some

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent Powder

– Best for Laundry Volume

img

Buy on Amazon

Arm & Hammer Laundry Detergent promises an easy-to-use and effective cleaning solution for your laundry needs. It comes in an 18lb pail and is suitable for up to 290 medium loads to last you a long time. It can be used in both standard and High Efficiency (HE) machines and is also safe for septic systems. It has a pleasant, crisp clean scent that will leave your clothes smelling wonderfully fresh. It dissolves quickly and easily into the water, ensuring proper suds formation and thoroughly cleaning all your laundry needs. The detergent also doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients, making it a great choice for those with sensitive skin or allergies.

Pros

  • Comes with a scoop for precise measurement
  • Great price-to-quantity ratio
  • No residue on clothing or washer
  • Long-lasting scent

Cons

  • Strong scents may induce allergies in some

People Also Asked

Q: Is laundry detergent powder better than liquid detergent?

A: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Generally speaking, most people feel that liquid detergents clean clothing better than powders do. Powders are usually cheaper, but they don’t require any special measuring or mixing like liquids do. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your laundry load.

Q: Is laundry detergent powder good for removing tough stains?

A: Yes, many laundry detergents have added enzymes that tackle tough stains such as oil, grease, and grass. In addition to a quality detergent powder, pre-treating any stubborn stains with an appropriate stain remover can help remove them more effectively from clothing during washing cycles.

Q: How much laundry detergent powder should I use per load?

A: The amount of laundry detergent powder that should be used per load depends on several factors, including the load size, the type of clothes being washed, and the level of soiling. Generally, you should use 1/2 to 3/4 cups of HE detergent per regular-sized load. For lightly soiled loads, you can reduce this to 1/4 cup; for heavily soiled loads, you can increase it to 1 cup.

Q: Does laundry detergent powder work better with warm or cold water?

A: Cold water is generally best for cleaning with laundry detergent powder as it is less likely to cause fabric fading or shrinking. However, some stains may respond better to warmer water temperatures, which can dissolve oils and grease more effectively. Check the instructions on your powder for specific guidance on suggested water temperatures.

Q: Does laundry detergent powder leave residue on clothes?

A: No. If used correctly according to product instructions, most high-quality laundry detergents will not leave residue on clothes. However, if too much is used or hard water is present in the wash cycle, this can cause residue build-up, leaving clothes feeling stiff or scratchy.

Q: Are there any danger signs I should know when using laundry detergent powder?

A: It’s important to always read and follow the instructions on your product, as misuse can cause problems such as skin allergies or eye irritation if it’s not diluted properly with water before coming into contact with the skin or eyes. If you suspect any adverse reaction when using laundry detergent powders, stop using them immediately and seek medical advice if necessary.

Q: How can I tell if my laundry is fully clean using a laundry detergent powder?

A: You can tell if your laundry is fully clean by conducting a simple white towel test before you put your garments in the dryer. Put a white towel in with your wash, and then take it out once the cycle has finished. If it’s still stained or has an unpleasant odor afterward, your clothes may not be fully clean yet and require an additional cycle with more detergent added for full cleaning results.

Q: Does using too much laundry detergent powder damage my washing machine?

A: Yes, using too much laundry detergent powder can damage your washing machine over time as excess soap residue can accumulate inside it, impacting its performance and potentially leading to expensive repairs or replacements down the line. It is always best to follow manufacturer instructions when using any type of cleaning product in order to minimize any potential damage risks associated with misuse or overuse of products like laundry detergents.

Editorial Contributors
avatar for Old House Journal

Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes.

Learn More