Best laundry detergent for your money

If you’re looking for the best laundry detergent for the money, look no further than the house brand at one of my favorite stores.

The latest issue of Consumer Reports gives “best buy” checkmarks to two detergents for front or high-efficiency (HE) top-loaders. Both show that it’s entirely possible to pay twice as much for roughly equivalent cleaning power from the industry leader… but why would you want to?!

  • Wisk Deep Clean (liquid) costs 14 cents a load and scored an 80 on a scale of 100.
  • Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean (powder) costs 9 cents a load and scored a 73.

Both of those “best buys” are much cheaper than Tide Ultra plus Bleach Vivid White + Bright HE (powder), the highest-ranked laundry detergent of all. At 23 cents a load, the Tide offering got an 82 yet failed to clinch the magazine’s seal of approval.

Target’s Up & Up HE (liquid) — a previous “best buy” winner — raised the price per load in the latest tally from 11 cents to 13 cents, but only scored a 67 this time out.

When it comes to laundry detergent for standard top-loaders, the only one to get the “best buy” checkmark was Tide Plus Bleach Alternative Vivid White + Bright. At 18 cents a load, it scored a lowly 61 — still the best score in its class.

Not really into commercial laundry detergents? Try making your own at home to save even more money. We’ve got a great homemade laundry detergent recipe to share with you. It takes about 20 minutes to make and works out to cost only 6 cents a load.

Ingredients (full prices are listed):

1 bar soap = $3.49

1 box Washing Soda (55oz) $3.19 – Cost Per Cup = 46 cents

1 box Borax (76oz) $4.49 – Cost Per Cup = 47 cents

Optional Essential Oil: Tea Tree Oil (1oz) $8.99 – Cost for 40 Drops = 72 cents

Total Cost for 5 Gallons or 80+ loads of laundry Detergent = $5.17

Total Cost Per Load: Approximately 6 cents

Now, just imagine if you got these items on sale, how much this would cost you! You could be saving a ton of money by making your own laundry detergent at home. Genius. right?


1. Using a cheese grater, shred your bar of soap.

2. Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil on the stove and reduce the heat.

3. Slowly pour in the grated soap and stir until melted.

4. Slowly add in 1 cup of washing soda, but be careful. This is the part where a chemical reaction takes place and it could boil over. Place a wooden spoon across the top of your pot to prevent it from boiling over.

5. Add in 1 cup of borax, and stir until everything is dissolved.

6. Pour contents into a five gallon bucket, and fill the remainder of the bucket water.

7. Add in your optional essential oil (ie. tea tree oil or lavender), and stir.

8. Cover with a lid, and let sit overnight.

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