The Best Specialized Laundry Detergents
Whether you want one solution for all your delicate needs or prefer a truly tailored approach, these five soap stars—of 40 vetted—give your most precious garments the VIP treatment.*
Laundry Duty, Simplified
*All winners are nontoxic and biodegradable; clothes were machine-washed according to the package instructions.
Excellent on all fabrics, it wiped out chocolate stains and even stubborn lipstick on champagne-colored silk.
To buy: $7.50 (25 loads), ecos.com.
Best for Cashmere
Most cashmere detergents advise only hand washing; this one is safe for the machine. Sweaters emerged soft and fluffy, with a lovely, light cedar scent.
To buy: $19 (8 loads), thelaundress.com.
Best For Workout Wear (Scented)
Cleaned stinky sports tops smeared with dirt and grass (and sealed in plastic for a week to ferment!), imbuing them with a subtle floral fragrance.
To buy: $10 (8 loads), caldrea.com.
Best for Workout Wear (Unscented)
Completely eradicated odors and stains from clothes under the same rank conditions as described at left—and did a phenomenal job on smelly sneakers, too.
To buy: $21 (34 loads), sportsuds.com.
Best for Baby’s Things
Delicious-smelling, all-natural, and nonirritating, it cleaned bibs stained with peas, squash, and blackberries by our voracious 16-month-old tester.
To buy: $16 (64 loads), mrsmeyers.com.