How we test
Hi, I’m Jon Chan, the senior lab technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it’s likely I oversee its testing, whether you’re asking about a vacuum or laundry detergent. Over the years, I’ve tested dozens of laundry detergents, including eco-friendly detergents and even detergent alternatives. When it comes to detergents, I’m most interested in stain removal and cost-effectiveness.
We tested all the detergents on the Maytag MVWC565FW top-loading washer on the Normal cycle with warm water. To ensure the test results were consistent, we used mechanically dyed swatches that are covered in common household substances like sweat, oil, pig’s blood, red wine, and cocoa. All stains are carefully sourced, for example, all the red wine is made in the same vineyard and all the blood comes from the same breed of pig.
In addition to mechanically created stains, we produced some stains of our own. We dragged a colleague through dirt and grass to create stained t-shirts and further, we added tomato sauce and fresh red wine.
We placed these stains strips into standardized loads of laundry, each consisting of eight pounds worth of pillowcases, towels, and bedsheets. Next, we place the strips and laundry in designated places in the machine.
After we ran the Normal cycle, we took each strip and let them dry overnight then analyzed them with a photospectrometer–a device designed to detect changes in color. This allowed us to assign an empirical number to how much of each stain the detergent lifted.
Other Detergents We Tested
If you’re shopping for laundry detergents, check out our guide, The Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents.