The best laundry detergent pod of 2020

From bestreviews.com
By
Michael Pollick
BestReviews

Laundry detergent pods should always be added to the washing machine before the clothes. Pods may not dissolve completely otherwise.

At one time in history, the best laundry detergent was a block of lye-filled soap and a metal file. Laundry powders improved the process, then concentrated liquid formulas became the rage. Today, there's an even more convenient method for adding liquid detergent to the wash load: a water-soluble pod.

A laundry detergent pod still contains all of the powerful cleaning ingredients found in powders and liquids, but the user no longer has to contend with measuring cups, accidental spills, or contact with harsh chemicals. A compact pod is pre-measured and easy to handle straight out of the box. The outer membrane simply dissolves in water and releases the detergent.

Many users prefer pods over powders and liquids because there's little chance of using too much or too little product. Pods are also very shelf-stable and easy to store.

In this guide, we've taken a fresh look at laundry detergent pods to bring you up to speed on the latest industry trends. Our updated short list includes a new organic option as well as two returning favorites from trusted brands.

Best laundry detergent pods of 2020

1. Gain Flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs: Our long-standing top pick, these pods pack a lot of punch, and we like their versatility for owners of regular and HE washing machines.

2. All Mighty Pacs Free Clear for Sensitive Skin: The affordable price point is hard to beat, and the fragrance-free and dye-free formula is safe for all users, which is why they're back on our list.

3. Grab Green Natural Laundry Detergent Pods: A newcomer to our short list, this organic alternative performs well on heavily soiled laundry and has a refreshing natural fragrance.

For full reviews of these products, scroll to the bottom.

What you need to know before buying laundry detergent pods

Because laundry detergent pods are relatively new on the market, there is still a bit of a learning curve among consumers. Detergent pods most closely resemble liquids, but the formula in a pod is often much more concentrated than bottled liquid detergents. Unlike powders or liquids, a laundry pod must be placed directly into the drum of a commercial washing machine, not a detergent feed. Some pods may not dissolve completely, leaving traces of the membrane on clothing.

One of the main advantages of a laundry pod is safe handling. The detergent itself is contained under pressure inside a water-soluble membrane, so users never come in direct contact with harsh chemicals. The pods will not spill their contents if the packaging is dropped, unlike powders or liquids. However, some pods can be visually appealing to small children, so they should be stored out of reach.

There are laundry detergent pods that will match the needs of almost every form of laundry. Water temperature is not a factor, so cold water washing is possible. Some pods also contain color-safe bleaches or other whiteners, such as hydrogen peroxide. There are fragrance and dye-free brands, along with more organic brands with all-natural ingredients and cruelty-free certification.

A recent trend in washing machine technology is a front-loading high-efficiency (HE) model. Earlier incarnations of laundry detergent pods were not formulated for HE machines, but there are now HE-compatible brands available. HE washing machine owners should consult the product information on the packaging to confirm this compatibility, however.

Because package sizes can vary widely, it may be easier to discuss the price per individual pod. The most basic pod should cost around 16 cents per load, while the highest-end organic brands can cost as much as 98 cents per load.

FAQ

Q. If I have a heavily soiled load of laundry, can I use more than one laundry detergent pod?

A. Unlike detergent powders or liquids, pods are designed to contain a specific amount of product. If you have an exceptionally large or heavily soiled load, you should be able to add a second pod to the mix without a problem.

Q. Are laundry detergent pods safe to handle? I've never used one before.

A. Many satisfied pod users find they are easier to handle than loose powders or messy liquids. The outer membrane is water-soluble, so you should only handle a pod with dry hands. The contents are under pressure and can leak or spray if punctured.

In-depth reviews for best laundry detergent pods

Best of the best: Gain Flings! Liquid Laundry Detergent Pacs

What we like: Effective in both regular and HE machines. Clothes smell fresh for weeks after washing. Twice as many cleaning ingredients as original pods. Pleasant citrus fragrance.

What we dislike: Pods may not fully dissolve, especially in larger loads. Packaging is challenging to open.

Best bang for your buck: All Mighty Pacs Free Clear for Sensitive Skin

What we like: Formula is free of dyes and fragrance. Generous supply of pods per package. Safe for children's clothing. Appealing price point.

What we dislike: Not as effective on heavy stains. Some allergic reactions reported.

Choice 3: Grab Green Natural Laundry Detergent Pods

What we like: Completely natural, cruelty-free ingredients. Formula is non-toxic, safer to use around children. Easy-to-open velcro closure. Several pack quantities available.

What we dislike: More expensive than standard chemical detergents.

Michael Pollick is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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