Formulas From Tide & Wisk Top Consumer Reports' Latest Test of Laundry Detergents

No Clear Winner in Powder vs. Liquid Contest; Target's Up & Up HE Fresh Breeze Only Detergent Deemed a CR Best Buy

YONKERS, N.Y., Sept. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- When it comes to overall cleaning, formulas from Tide and Wisk stood out in Consumer Reports' latest test of laundry detergents.  Tide HE Plus Bleach Alternative and Ultra HE topped the Ratings of high-efficiency formulas and Wisk New Stain Spectrum Technology exceeded other conventional top-loader detergents.  Up & Up HE Fresh Breeze from Target was the only detergent named a CR Best Buy for its combination of performance and cost of 11 cents per load.

The full results of the laundry detergent Ratings are available in the November issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

"We put laundry detergents through rigorous testing to determine how well they perform," said Pat Slaven, a program leader for Consumer Reports.  "We pitch each product against seven hard-to-clean stains commonly found in households including red wine, grass, blood, chocolate and ring around the collar."

Consumer Reports expanded its testing to include new types of detergents such as capsules and gels, which join the long lineup of liquids, powders and sheets. While these types tout convenience, results revealed that they don't trump their liquid and powder counterparts in cleaning performance.  Of the more conventional liquids and powders tested, neither type was a clear winner.  

Among the new detergents evaluated were Dropps 6X Concentrated, a pod sealed in a single-dose dissolving capsule, and two gels from Arm & Hammer – Essentials Power Gel and Power Gel Plus Oxiclean Stainfighters – which all scored fair in Consumer Reports' tests. The Purex Complete 3-in-1 sheet, which contains detergent and a fabric softener that's released in the dryer, performed slightly better but was no match for more traditional liquids and powders.

Here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for or using laundry detergent:

  • Using a concentrated formula doesn't always result in savings.  While consumers will use more per load of a brand's 2X version than the 3X detergent, the price per load is often similar.
  • Be wary of laundry detergents that tout a green claim as there are few or no governmental regulations for many of the claims.
  • Products labeled "cold water" detergents generally include stain-lifting enzymes that work better in cold water than hot.
  • For best performance, consumers should use the right laundry detergent for their machine.  Use HE formulas for front-loaders and high-efficiency washing machines and conventional detergents for top-loaders.
  • Use the right amount of detergent per load as per indicated on the laundry detergent's instruction label.

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications.  Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

NOVEMBER 2011

The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is published by Consumers Union, an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®, ConsumerReports.org® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumers Union will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

SOURCE Consumer Reports



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