Does your laundry smell a little funky even after pulling them fresh out of the washer? Perhaps it's time to change the products you use. Powder laundry detergents can pick up stains and odors, leaving your laundry feeling and smelling fresh and clean.
We've picked out some of the best powder laundry detergents, such as Tide's version, which can even address week-old stains. There are nine other options to choose from, with options including baby-safe ones and ones that work for both front and top loading machines and some for high-efficiency machines; plus we have a buying to help you select the most fitting detergent for your laundry needs.
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Choosing a powder laundry detergent can be tricky due to the different types of washing machines and formulas. Our buying guide will help you determine what to look for so that you can make a confident purchase!
If you require extra stain removal, such as in the underarm area, a bleach-infused formula will eradicate stains. The bleach used in laundry detergents is often hydrogen peroxide or sodium percarbonate. Most white clothing is compatible with bleach.
Colored clothes should indicate if they can be bleached, but you can always opt for color-friendly bleach solutions. You can also look for surfactants that lift dirt from fabrics and ensure it's rinsed away. Common surfactants are sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) and alcohol ethoxylates.
For an active lifestyle that results in sweat and odor, a powerful formula that removes dirt with an added scent replaces odors and makes your clothes smell fresh with every wash. If you choose to avoid fragrances, natural ingredients such as essential oils from flowers and herbs are an alternative.
If you have particularly sensitive skin and find yourself itching after putting on clean clothes, going through the detergents ingredients list is a must.
Enzymes are often used in laundry detergents for their stain-removal properties, but they can trigger skin irritation on sensitive skin. A quick way to confirm this is to check if the detergent is bio or non-bio.
Biological detergents contain enzymes and work effectively, even in cold water. Non-bio detergents lack enzymes and are gentler for those with sensitive skin. Plus, you can find non-bio detergents made specifically for delicate fabrics like wool and silk.
You should also watch out for optical brighteners, as they could trigger an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis for those with sensitive skin. These chemicals absorb ultraviolet light and re-emit it as blue light, thus making your clothes appear whiter or brighter without actually removing dirt.
The most common compounds used as optical brightening agents in laundry detergents are anionic diamino stilbene (DAS) and distyryl biphenyl (DSBP).
We recommend going for a hypoallergenic laundry formula without fragrances to avoid skin irritation. You can head on over to the reviews to confirm if those with sensitive skin could use the detergent without issues.
Given that washing clothes is a frequently occurring task, you may want to consider a powder laundry detergent that keeps the environment in mind. Here are a few examples of how to make this chore more efficient and sustainable.
Some powder laundry detergents come in plastic bottles or barrels. Keep the environment in mind and minimize waste by considering a refillable bottle or box. Because of their dry consistency, you can even find powder detergent brands that offer their refills in biodegradable carton boxes.
Another approach is to consider a concentrated or "ultra" formula wherein less water and detergent are needed to clean the same load.
Looking for the "HE" (High-Efficiency) symbol on the packaging is another option, especially if your washer is designed to use less water than older versions. HE detergents produce low suds and disperse quickly.
If you have an HE washer, then a HE detergent is required. Regular ones are too sudsy for HE machines and may lead to mold and odor buildup. Take note that a HE-detergent will work fine in a non-HE washer but not the other way around.
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Powder Laundry Detergent
Old Stains Are No Match for This Detergent
Arm & Hammer
Plus OxiClean Powder Laundry Detergent
A Laundry Detergent Infused With Stain-Fighting OxiClean
Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent
Concentrated Cleaning Powder Free From Potential Irritants
A Hypoallergenic Detergent Without Brighteners
Classic Rock Laundry Detergent Powder
Laundry Detergent for Soft to Moderate Water Types
Powder Laundry Detergent
Sensitive Skin-Friendly Concentrated Detergent
Baby Original Scent Powder Laundry Detergent
A Laundry Product Line Just for Newborns and Babies
Laundry Detergent Powder
Reliable Powder Detergent in Bulk
Super Powder Detergent
Vegan and Cruelty-Free Powder
Active Wear Laundry Detergent
Laundry Detergent for an Active Lifestyle
Even if the stains on your clothes are a week old, this powder detergent can remove the dirt without a problem. Its concentrated formula offers a better clean with less powder, too. It is also HE compatible, meaning a more efficient wash.
A few reviewers said that getting the powder to dissolve fully may be an issue. Others noted that it leaves their clothes with a strong smell. On a positive note, many confirmed that it's a reliable detergent that can clean almost anything. Reviewers also said that they washed a lot of loads with a single box.
This brand is known for powerful baking soda cleaning, and you can expect this powder detergent to do the same for your clothes. It's infused with the popular OxiClean stain-removing additive that brightens your clothes. You can use this product on standard and High-Efficiency washers.
A few users complained that the box leaks powder. Meanwhile, many were amazed at how clean their clothes were after a wash. They also liked that the powder leaves a fresh scent on laundry and doesn't clump together.
This bio-active powder detergent is a more natural and skin-friendly option. The formula is free of fragrances and dyes that could irritate sensitive skin. It's also an eco-friendly and plant-based option, thanks to the biodegradable ingredients used.
According to a few users, the powder's formula has changed and is now more difficult to dissolve. Still, many loved that it's more eco-friendly and gentler than other options. They said that it cleaned their laundry well, including towels and sheets.
This hypoallergenic powder detergent is free from sulfates, fragrances, brighteners, and fillers. It offers a deep clean with less potential for skin irritation. The powder is also septic safe and compatible with HE washers. It's made from only four ingredients, too.
A few reviewers warned against using the powder on dark-colored clothes as it left white stains. Meanwhile, many were pleased that the formula cleans clothes well and doesn't trigger irritation on sensitive skin. They also said it tackled grease, grime, and odors well.
If your water type is soft to moderate, try using this powder detergent. It uses plant-based enzymes and is made without potential skin irritants like fragrances, dyes, phosphates, and enzymes. Its biodegradable formula is safe for kids, babies, and all types of fabrics.
A few reviewers experienced an allergic reaction, so be sure to check the ingredient list. On the other hand, many said that one scoop of the product provided a deep clean. Parents confirmed that it washes cloth diapers well, too. Many also enjoyed its subtle lavender scent.
If you're looking for a dermatologist-, allergist- and pediatrician-recommended laundry powder, this one should do the trick. It's free from fragrances and dyes that could trigger skin irritation. Plus, it's compatible with all types of washers and water temperatures.
A few users complained that the powder left a white residue on their clothes, while others were disappointed with the messy packaging. On a positive note, reviewers with sensitive skin loved the unscented formula. They said that a small amount of powder goes a long way and cleans laundry well.
This brand offers laundry products of all types that are safe for newborns and babies. It's gentle on very sensitive skin while removing stains and dirt. The product also doesn't have an overpowering scent.
A few reviewers complained of a grainy or clumpy consistency. Meanwhile, many others loved the light baby powder smell that it leaves on clothes. Those with babies or sensitive skin relied on this product without any issues.
If you have a lot of laundry to do, then perhaps buying in bulk will help you save in the long run. This particular brand can wash up to 120 loads per bucket. You can also reuse the packaging. The formula is quickly dispersed in water, even in cold temperatures.
A few users found the detergent to be too fine and therefore caused clumping in their machine dispenser. Some also didn't like the fresh smell didn't stick on their clothes. Still, many said it effectively achieves a deep clean. They added that it's perfect for commercial use.
This powder detergent features a formula that is gentle on sensitive skin. It doesn't contain optical brighteners, synthetic fragrances, dyes, or other ingredients that may cause skin irritation. It is also certified vegan and cruelty-free. You can use this on standard or HE washers.
A few users noted that the particles are very small, and they recommended not breathing them in. Still, many loved having an option that was safe for their family and the environment. Those with sensitive skin confirmed that they had no allergic reactions.
Do you require an extra-strong laundry detergent to tackle tough stains and odors? This powder detergent can be used as a soak or in a machine to remove funky odors and stains. It's gentle on activewear fabrics, too.
A few reviewers had difficulty removing extra tough odors, but others suggested soaking smelly clothes instead of washing them in a machine. Overall, many said this product works like a charm on gym clothes. They tested soaking laundry in this detergent, and they confirmed that a lot of dirt came out of their clothing!
Powdered detergents are one of the most effective options for tackling stains and dirt, and they're very economical per load. However, they can pose issues if not used properly. They don't respond well with cold water and may not dissolve completely, thus weakening the cleaning properties.
If you have a top loader, put the powder directly into the drum before the clothes to ensure it dissolves properly and avoid white residue getting stuck on your clothes. If residue is still a problem, try mixing the powder with hot water first before adding it into the drum.
Meanwhile, front-loading washers often have a detergent drawer. This can quickly accumulate detergent and water residue and requires periodic cleaning. Lastly, HE washers use a different amount. Be sure to read the instructions carefully since too little powder will be ineffective while too much will result in overflow or residue.
Are you looking for more products to make washing and drying your clothes easier? Here are a few more suggestions to get you started!
No. 1: Tide｜Powder Laundry Detergent
No. 2: Arm & Hammer｜Plus OxiClean Powder Laundry Detergent
No. 3: Biokleen｜Free & Clear Natural Laundry Detergent
No. 4: Charlie's Soap｜Laundry Powder
No. 5: Rockin' Green｜Classic Rock Laundry Detergent Powder
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