Consumer Reports tests laundry detergents

September 22, 2011

Its latest test covers almost 60 detergents, including some new types that are heavily advertised.

Arm and Hammer is touting its new type of detergent. Consumer Reports tested the detergent along with dozens of others.

Many highlight that they're concentrated. Customers will find bottles that say two times concentrated, three times ultra, and even six times concentrated.

Consumer Reports says while you use less of these detergents per load, they aren't necessarily less expensive. They do, however, use less plastic packaging which is a plus for the environment.

To find out how well the detergents clean, testers used swatches soaked with tough to remove stains like wine and grass and washed them with the detergent and a full load of towels.

In the end, Consumer Reports says plenty of other detergents did a better job cleaning than the Arm and Hammer Power Gel.

For conventional top loaders, Consumer Reports recommends Wisk Deep Clean New Stain Spectrum Technology. It only costs 17 cents per load.

For high-efficiency washers, Consumer Reports named Target's Up and Up Fresh Breeze liquid laundry detergent a best buy at only 11 cents per load.

Meantime, Action News contacted Arm and Hammer for comment and they gave this statement:

"In this tough economic environment, consumers don't always need the absolute best cleaning products – instead, many seek a reliable option that won't put a strain on their tight family budgets. ARM & HAMMER® Plus OxiClean® Power Gel Laundry Detergent offers the "clean you need" at a fraction of the cost. It's loaded with a powerful blend of ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda and twice the supercharged OxiClean® Stain Fighters in every drop. The gel attacks even the toughest stains to power them out, quickly dissolves in the wash, and then rinses clean, leaving no residue behind."

These days there are more and more detergents that claim they're green, but Consumer Reports says be skeptical.

The fact is there are few regulations governing these claims.

As for their cleaning power, only one of the 14 Consumer Reports tested detergents scored high enough to be recommended.

That green detergent is Seventh Generation's HE powder for high-efficiency machines.

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