Powder and Liquid and Pods – Oh, My! What Should You Look for in the Best Laundry Detergent?
Gone are the days of yesteryear when laundry detergent options were limited to a few brands on the store shelf – all of which did the basic job of cleaning your household laundry but offered little else. Today’s best laundry detergents are much more advanced, and there are brands aplenty, which can make sorting through the chaos a little challenging.
Let’s break down what you really need to look for when buying laundry detergent.
For many people, the number one concern when buying laundry detergent is a basic one: How clean will it get my clothes, sheets, and towels? If laundry detergent is not effective at lifting out dirt and grime, and then rinsing it cleanly away, it’s essentially just over-rated soap. If it is truly the best laundry detergent, it will usually publish information regarding laboratory tests or comparisons with other brands. As an example, Grab Green is proud to report our results in research against laundry juggernaut Tide; our detergent pods outperformed Tide in removing soil and stains and received a 94 percent overall score in stain removing power.
Look for ratings from other users when choosing a laundry detergent that meets your needs. Pay special attention to reviews from other users. Word of mouth is also great predictor of how effective a detergent really is.
2. TOXIN FREE
Families today are looking for way to reduce the overall impact their lifestyles have on the environment, and this includes using cleaning products that are more earth-friendly and human-friendly. Many detergents are loaded with toxic chemicals that are not only bad for groundwater when they exit your machine and make their way through the sewer, but they’re bad for humans in general; those toxic chemicals cling to fabrics which we live intimately with everyday.
The New York Times* reported that Tide laundry detergent contains the petrochemical solvent 1,4-Dioxane which is a classified by the EPA as a possible human carcinogen and is an ingredient found in varnishes and paints—yikes!!
Look for detergents that are free from possible toxins, including dyes, phosphates, optical brighteners, non-biodegradable surfactants, and masking agents. Avoid exposing your family to these types of harmful substances by going with a trusted green brand like Grab Green that publishes its full ingredient list for consumers to see – which is not required by the government and not standard practice throughout the industry, but part of Grab Green’s total transparency mission.
3. ALLERGIES, ASTHMA & SKIN ISSUES
If you live in a home where someone suffers from allergies, asthma, or sensitive skin, then the laundry detergent that you use should be one that is made from mineral or plant-derived ingredients and contains no fragrance to aggravate your loved one’s condition. Keep in mind that some companies label their products as “fragrance-free” even when they’re derived from petrochemicals and contain synthetic fragrances that cling to clothing, sheets, blankets and more. Research the company before you make a purchase, and be sure you know exactly what you’re putting into your wash and next to your skin. Luckily, Grab Green has a complete line of fragrance free laundry products that are free of dyes, fragrance and masking agents and are perfect for those with allergies and skin sensitivities!
Pay special attention to the rinse efficacy of your laundry detergent. This is especially important if you live with someone who is sensitive to laundry detergent or prone to laundry rashes—the problem often lies with the rinse cycle.
Many conventional and leading-brand detergents are difficult to remove from clothing, linens, and other household laundry with a single pass through the rinse cycle. Some people resort to rinsing their laundry more than once to completely remove the detergent, which wastes time, energy and water! A simpler option is to simply buy a detergent that rinses cleanly the first time.
5. STAIN-REMOVING POWER
Although there are good stain removers on the market, adding an extra step to your laundry chores by using a separate stain remover is a poor use of your time. Opt instead for a detergent with naturally-derived built-in stain lifters to reduce the time spent serving as the household’s laundress. Some detergents are better than others at resolving stains, so finding a product that lifts out the most commonly seen stains is a great way to streamline your efforts in the laundry room. Grab Green’s pods outperform Tide when removing the most common household laundry stains. Natural minerals such as sodium carbonate peroxide and sodium metasilicate penetrate stains in fabric and send them packing. Special subtilisin enzymes in our pods break down protein-based stains such as grass and blood, while a lipase enzyme breaks down fat/oil-based stains, so your laundry comes out clean and bright.
6. HIGH-EFFICIENCY DETERGENT
If you own a high-efficiency washer, then you need a detergent that’s designed for the HE wash cycle. Some laundry detergents are made just for HE washers, while others, such as Grab Green’s laundry detergent pods, can be used in both conventional and high-efficiency machines.
The difference in standard detergent and HE-rated detergent comes down to the suds produced during the wash cycle. HE-rated detergents are low-suds formulas. In a nutshell, HE washers use less water, so HE detergent is formulated to disperse quickly and produces fewer suds while suspending soil in the wash water, away from your laundry.
7. POWDER, LIQUID OR PODS?
Another consideration when purchasing detergent is whether to buy powder, liquid or pods… so many choices! Powder is generally more effective than liquid detergent at cleaning, lifting out stains and odors. Pods are a convenient alternative to both, but they do have drawbacks, especially the liquid pods sold by Tide, Gain, and various other brands.
More and more children are finding these colorful pods, mistaking them for candy and biting into them. Subsequently, the result is respiratory and cardiac arrest or even coma from exposure and ingestion of the toxic chemicals contained within. In fact, the Center for Injury Research and Policy reports over 62,000 calls** to poison control centers to report unintentional exposure to laundry or dishwasher detergent in kids under age six.
Reduce your child’s risk by keeping pods out of reach and going for powdered pods like those sold by Grab Green.
When it comes to laundry detergent, like everything else in life, you really do get what you pay for. But if you’re like most folks, price is a big determining factor in every purchase you make for your home. Maybe you don’t want the most expensive, but you’re willing to pay a little more for best results? This is actually a very economical purchasing practice. Cheaper brands may offer more in terms of quantity, but their results are often sadly lacking. For example, when financial guru Clark Howard tested out several laundry detergents to rate them on effectiveness, the cheapest option rated scored only a 35 out of 100 during his comparison. It cost just six cents per load, but it didn’t perform well at all; essenti. **** Cheaper formulas are nearly always chock full of toxins and chemicals too. Before any discounts, Grab Green’s laundry products cost as little as .17 cents per load – making them an economical and healthy option for your laundry if effectiveness and price matter to you.
9. DISCLOSURE OF INGREDIENTS
Most consumers are unaware that laundry detergent manufacturers are not required by the FDA to give full disclosure of the ingredients in their products. Companies can hide behind trade secrets laws to keep their formulas proprietary, and most take full advantage of that fact–which keeps you in the dark about what’s actually in your detergent. Under this loosey-goosey setup, manufacturers can market products as fragrance-free even if they are using masking fragrances that detract from the product’s chemical smell. Grab Green’s True Transparency philosophy ensures you know exactly what you’re putting in your laundry, without the tomfoolery that’s so prevalent within the industry.
When buying pods, choose pods that dissolve quickly for optimal cleaning power. Grab Green’s detergent pods dissolve quickly and easily in the wash in seconds, so the detergent starts cleaning your clothes more rapidly. Leading brands can take minutes to break down in the wash. Check out this video to see how our pods dissolve faster than Tide’s!