Laundry detergent pods have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their undeniable convenience and effectiveness. The pod makes it easy to toss in a load of laundry on-the-go, without worrying about over or under cleaning your clothes. Whether you’re a college student just learning to do your own laundry, a busy professional, or a parent taking care of a family-sized load, taking the guesswork out of this weekly chore can keep things running smoothly with the best laundry detergent pods.
Even if you’ve been taking care of your own laundry for decades, there’s a chance that your clothing isn’t getting as clean as you’d hope. In fact, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany say antibiotic-resistant bacteria is capable of being spread by washing machines. Proper use of detergent is the first step to making sure your wardrobe is clean and cared for.
Another poll found that 66 percent of respondents limit how often they wear some of their best outfits out of fear the washing machine will wreck them. Sixty-nine percent of the 2,000 millennial and Gen Zers surveyed are convinced they know how to do laundry correctly, while 65 percent believe laundry is a skill that people need to teach and learn. Forty percent have over-filled their laundry machines with clothes and 29 percent have put in too much detergent.
Using a detergent pod is a quick and easy way to take care of one of the most dreaded chores. But with so many options in the laundry aisle, it can be challenging to find the one for the job. That’s why StudyFinds did the research for you and searched the internet for 10 expert opinions on the best laundry detergent pods. This list includes the most frequently recommended products, but if you have a favorite that we missed, be sure to let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Laundry Detergent Pods, According to Experts
1. Tide PODS
Sometimes, you just can’t beat the classics. Tide PODS are the original laundry detergent pod, packing the traditional Tide detergent’s reputation in a small and convenient package. “It’s hard to beat the cleaning power of Tide. These pods come in the Tide original scent, which adds a familiar freshness to your clothes as it cleans,” says The Spruce. “Each pod cleans just as well in cold water as in warm water, so they’re perfect for use on just about any soil level or stain you can create. They are also safe for both soft and hard water, as well as high-efficiency washing machines.”
“These are widely considered the best detergent pods on the market for getting rid of tough stains while preserving colors,” adds Gadget Review. “The detergent in these tide pods is ultra concentrated and the stain remover and odor removers are also highly potent, meaning you’ll generally only need one of these per load for all but the largest loads.”
“During testing, the pod was tough on most stains, removing almost 50% of deep grass and red wine stain. In our severity-based grading scale, the grass stain was rated a 10, and this product reduced it to a 4,” says GearLab. “After drying, our clothes had a mild fresh and natural smell. The 3-in-1 design of these pods has a color protector that helps maintain the integrity of your clothes.”
If you or someone else in your household has sensitive skin, the gentle, fragrance-free formula of All Mighty Pacs Free & Clear may provide some much needed relief from irritants. And with plenty of strength in every pod, a single Mighty Pac can handle an entire load. “These pods combine the cleaning power of All with a Free & Clear formula that doesn’t use fragrances, dyes, or perfumes,” says The Spruce. “If you are sensitive to those things, this could be the perfect pod to take care of your cleaning needs.”
While stripped of any fragrance or dyes, these pods can still do the trick when it comes to spills, stains, and color maintenance. “This product packs plenty of cleaning power and provides the benefit of being an affordable dye and perfume-free option,” claims GearLab.
3. Gain Flings
If you want your clothes to come out of the dryer smelling fresher than a daisy, look no further. Gain Flings are every bit the powerful cleaner paired with a lasting burst of fragrance. “Each Gain flings laundry pod features a stain-removing Oxi Boost and the odor-busting freshness of Febreze. The Oxi Boost formula helps to clean stubborn stains, even those left on clothes for two weeks,” notes Bob Vila. “This package includes 81 pods, which are suitable for both standard and HE machines using either hot or cold water.”
“If you’re looking for a classic laundry detergent smell with no obvious fake floral notes, these Gain detergent pods do a good job and are often ranked as the best smelling detergent pods,” boasts Gadget Review. “They also continually release scent after the wash is done, great for keeping that fresh, clean laundry smell going longer.”
“Not only are these laundry pods safe for HE washers, but they are also effective at cleaning in cold water,” adds Real Simple. “Gain Flings are also an excellent value for the price. Like most laundry pods, simply add one (two for large or heavily soiled loads) to the top-loading or front-loading washing machine drum before adding clothes.”
Not every natural product can live up to a comparable standard product. That’s not the case for Grab Green’s 3-in-1 laundry detergent pods. “This environmentally-friendly pod uses plant and mineral ingredients to deliver a very effective clean. The formula doesn’t use phosphates, phthalates, chlorine, dyes, or toxins,” says The Spruce. ‘These pods are perfect for those with sensitive skin or those who just want to do their part to protect the environment. They’re also septic-safe, and they work in HE machines.”
“Billed as a more natural and eco friendly alternative to Tide Pods, these highly effective 3-in-1 detergent pods include a detergent, a stain remover and a brightener that leaves clothes looking clean and colors popping,” adds Gadget Review. “While it’s not labeled hypoallergenic, Grab Green detergent generally includes more biodegradable and eco friendly ingredients than most detergent pods.”
And while most products have an ingredients list that would leave most shoppers scratching their head, Grab Green believes in transparency. “The package also includes a full disclosure that explains each ingredient and its purpose so users can understand exactly what goes into each pod,” explains Bob Vila.
These Seventh Generation detergent packs are another excellent natural option for households looking for more straightforward ingredients. Free of fragrance and many other irritants, this is an ideal option for those with sensitive skin. “Seventh Generation Free & Clear packs are hypoallergenic and perfect for those with sensitivities,” says The Spruce. “They are made with 94 percent plant-based ingredients but still have strong cleaning power. Their transparent list of ingredients on the back of the package can help those with allergies or sensitive skin know whether these will work for their needs before buying them.”
“These fast-dissolving laundry pods are HE-compatible and work in all water temperatures, and they even contain 20 percent more cleaning power than the liquid detergent version, according to the brand,” notes Real Simple. “Derived from essential oils, the fresh citrus scent leaves behind a clean but not overwhelming smell.”
“This product is Certified by the EPA Safer Choice Program and is a certified USDA Biobased product. Third-party verification brings confidence in the sustainability and accountability of Seventh Generation,” adds GearLab. “Its impressive environmental resume doesn’t hinder its ability to clean, as it could keep up with most mid-tier detergents.”
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.