Consumer Reports tests best laundry detergents

Many highlight that they're concentrated. You'll see "2-times Concentrated," "3-times Ultra," and even "6-times" concentrated.

Consumer Reports says while you use less of these detergents per load, they aren't necessarily less expensive.

But they do use less plastic packaging — a plus for the environment.

To find out how well the detergents clean, testers use swatches soaked with tough-to-remove stains like wine and grass and wash them with the detergent and a full load of towels.

"We found there were plenty of detergents that did a better cleaning job than the Dropps pacs and the Arm & Hammer Power Gel," said Consumer Reports' Jim Nanni.

For conventional top-loaders, Consumer Reports recommends Wisk Deep Clean New Stain Spectrum Technology. It costs 17 cents a load.

And for high-efficiency washers, Consumer Reports named Target's Up & Up Fresh Breeze liquid laundry detergent a Best Buy at 11 cents a load.

These days there are more and more detergents that claim they're green, but Consumer Reports says be skeptical. The fact is there are few regulations governing these claims. As for their cleaning power, only one of the 14 Consumer Reports tested scored high enough to be recommended. That green detergent — Seventh Generation's HE powder for high-efficiency machines.

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