How well do cheap laundry detergents work?
Cheap Laundry Detergents
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
Make Your Own Homemade Laundry Detergent
Colored Clothes and Cheap Laundry Detergents
Saving in the Laundry Room
Cheap Laundry Detergents
I'm really trying to cut down on what I spend on cleaning supplies. We have a big family, so I do a lot of laundry and use a lot of detergent. I've always been pretty picky about my favorite brand, but I'm beginning to think I should try some of the cheap laundry detergents. How successful have others been with off-brand detergents?
This Detergent Hits the Target
Consumer Reports actually ranked Target's brand as the best detergent, even better than all name brands.
Elane (via Facebook)
Add Vinegar to Wash
Use vinegar as a fabric softener. Some suggest 1/2 cup for a full load, but I'm happy with 1/4 cup. Your clothes won't smell funny, and it really does work. I also only use half of the recommended amount of powder, lower the temperature for everyday stuff, and set my machine to delay, so I do at least one load before 8am!
Ali (via Facebook)
Name Brands Are Usually Best
I am very picky about the detergent I use. It has to clean well and smell good. I have tried many brands over the years, and the more expensive name brands are usually the best. However, I tried Purex® and found that it did just as well as my name brands, it smells really good, and it is about half the price of the others. Remember to use cold water whenever you can to help extend the life of your items.
Quick and Easy Homemade Laundry Detergent
3 tablespoons borax
3 tablespoons washing soda
2 tablespoons original blue Dawn® dishwashing liquid
Find a one-gallon container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour in the borax, washing soda and liquid Dawn®. Add two cups of very hot water. Apply the lid and shake until the soda and borax have dissolved. Now fill the container with cold water. Reapply the lid and label. You're done. To use, add 1 to 2 cups to each load of laundry, depending on the size and soil levels.
Cut Amount in Half
You can still use the "name brand," but cut it in half. We often use too much and half the amount gets the same job done. To avoid using too much, provide a "new" scoop that is the correct amount.
Cheap Laundry Detergents? No Problem!
I buy inexpensive laundry detergent all the time. I have a favorite brand, which is Sun® liquid detergent. I purchase it at a Dollar General on Saturdays with a coupon. This last Saturday, it was on sale for $4 a bottle (bottle does 100 loads). I filled up my shopping cart with it.
When I had a membership to Sam's Club, I used to buy the store brand of powdered detergent in the big bucket. It does a really good job, and it dissolves well, but I now prefer a liquid detergent.
Shop on HSN
I buy my detergent from HSN, the televised home shopping channel. I order a container of 100+ detergent sheets. They do a great job, and I am thoroughly satisfied with the results.
I wash clothes in cold water only and stains disappear. The detergent sheets come down to a cost of 20 cents per load. The name of this terrific laundry detergent is S20. It comes in a variety of scents. I love the lavender.
Getting Better Value
I am fussy about laundry detergent and fabric softener. I'm also not crazy about making it myself. I started using Sun & Earth concentrated laundry soap and fabric softener. I use very little, and it cleans great no matter what temperature water I use. I buy a gallon of each, and they last about a year. We do about four to six loads of laundry per week. Since I live close, I am able to pick it up at the factory and save on shipping, but this brand is sold at Whole Foods and some health food stores.
Ruth in Southeaster, PA
Take the Next Step:
- For more ways to save in the laundry room, visit The Dollar Stretcher library.
- Like the idea of making your own cleaners? See these recipes for homemade cleaners.
Discuss "Do Cheap Laundry Detergents Work?" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- How to hire an affordable, reliable housesitter
- Helping your adult children with housing
- 10 ways to cut the cost of cleaning
- Installing bathroom in-floor heat
- Natural homemade laundry soap recipes
- How to reduce heating bills this winter
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Should I borrow from my home equity?
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?