The newest way to package soap for your clothes is as laundry detergent pacs, and as stain remover pacs.
Find out the pros and cons of this using this type of product, and all the choices available below, in my ultimate guide.
Have you noticed that more and more brands of detergent are coming out with "pacs", or "packs", or even "paks" of detergent?
They spell it all kinds of ways, but the ultimate result is always just about the same. These little packages are a way of selling the same detergent, just in a different format.
This format puts the typically liquid detergent (although some of them contain powder) into a little pouch that dissolves when it is thrown in the washing machine water, releasing the soap.
Similarly, many stain removers and bleaches are also made into pack form now, and even a few fabric softeners and laundry scent boosters as well.
As with anything there are pros and cons to this new type of product.
Each brand is different, so follow the directions on the type of laundry detergent pacs you choose to be on the safe side.
However, they typically have similar directions for use, which is to throw in one pac (two if it is an extra large or soiled load) into the washer drum, while the water is running but before you add clothes.
Do not add the pacs to the detergent dispenser, since they depend on water hitting them to actually dissolve, and would clog your dispenser in pac form.
They are typically made for use in either HE or standard machines, and are also typically designed to dissolve in either hot or cold water.
I don't know that it is necessary, but when I use any variety of them I tend to watch and wait until the pac has dissolved before I add clothes to the washer. It normally doesn't take very long, and the water is still adding during the process anyway.
Although I say they are designed to properly dissolve in hot or cold water, one of the problems sometimes encountered with these pacs is that they don't actually dissolve.
This is more common in cold water washes then warm or hot water, but it can happen with any temperature water.
Often the fact that the pacs don't dissolve has more to do with user error, and throwing in the clothes too soon before the water has a chance to fully dissolve the pac.
However, after receiving lots of reviews from readers as well (see below) I've come to believe that some brands just dissolve better than others. If you're consistently having trouble getting your pacs to dissolve, and have tried to change your tecnhique for adding them without avail, I would definitely suggest switching to another brand.
More and more pacs seem to be coming on the market every day, but I will try my best to keep up with this list, to keep it up to date. Where available for purchase online, I have linked the images below to the best place you can buy these products, in case you're interested.
Here's the brands I'm currently aware of that have this means of packaging their detergent:
All has just come out with these new Mighty Pacs, and they are available in both the original scent and free and clear version. You can read about All detergent here, in general.
I have personally tried these Mighty Pacs in the free and clear scent, and liked them, but another reviewer wasn't as pleased. You can read both our reviews here.
Arm & Hammer detergent has come out with what they've termed "Power Paks." There are two varities currently available, called Toss n' Done, and Crystal Burst. The Crystal Burst paks contain Oxiclean.
You can also read more about Arm & Hammer laundry detergent here, in general.
In addition, I've received a couple of reviews of the Arm & Hammer Power Paks detergent, in the Crystal Burst scent here, which were mixed, with some positive and some negative.
This natural brand has both detergent pouches, as well as a non-chlorine bleach product.
It is free of enzymes and optical brighteners, and uses pure essential oils as fragrance.
I don't have any reviews of this product at this time, but you can share your non-chlorine bleach review here.
Biz Blast Packs are not actually laundry detergent at all, but instead are a stain remover that you throw in along with your regular detergent.
You can learn more about Biz stain fighter here, but I haven't gotten any reviews of the actual packs yets.
Clorox 2 packs are not a laundry detergent either, but instead a color-safe bleach.
They are designed to be thrown into your washer, along with detergent, to help remove stains and brighten clothing.
I do not currently have a review of these packs. You can share your review here
Dropps is really the leader of the laundry detergent pacs movement, and one of the first companies to sell laundry soap in this fashion.
It is available in three varieties, fresh scent, scent and dye free, and baby detergent. You can learn more about Dropps laundry detergent here. In addition, you can read Dropps reviews here, including one from me, sharing what I thought about the scent and dye free version.
Finally, Dropps just came out with fabric softener pacs, which package softener in individual packs, similar to the idea behind the single packs of laundry detergent. This may be the next wave in natural fabric softeners as well, since it seems this company leads the way on new innovations such as this.
The ECOS brand is green, and they've got both a detergent and also an oxygen booster (under the Earth Friendly Products brand) in pod form.
I don't have reviews of either of these varieties though, so please share your review with me here if you've used one of these products.
This is a eco-friendly brand.
There are several scents of the detergent available, including Vetiver, Gardenia, Lavender & Vanilla, and a fragrance free version, but the bleach alternative comes only in scent free.
All of the pacs are dual compatible, meaning they will work in both HE and standard washing machines.
I don't have any reviews of this brand, so if you've used them you please share your opinions here.
The Honest Company is a relatively new brand that is eco-friendly, and has a whole range of products designed for babies, kids and adults, all rolled into one.
Their detergent pods are scent free and the company claims that they can be used not only on normal clothing, but also for hand washing wools, silks and other fine washables.
The oxygen bleach pacs are also scent free, and are designed as a general laundry booster for severely stained clothes.
You can read a review of the detergent pods here, where the reader reported her child had an allergic reaction.
This is a store brand, sold by Costco, and although not specifically stated I believe it is supposed to compete with Tide.
I have received a positive review of these. I would caution, however, that not specifically for the pods, but for several Kirkland laundry brand products in general I've gotten complaints about allergies.
Nellie's is a company that makes several all natural laundry products, ranging from detergents, bleaches and dryer balls.
One of the more recent products they've come out with are these "nuggets" which hold one pre-measured load of the washing powder in it.
It is hypoallergenic and eco-friendly, so it may fit many criteria for you if you're also looking for those things, in addition to convenience.
Here's a positive review of this product from a reader.
Oxiclean Max Force Power Paks are not technically detergent either, but are a stain remover. You throw one into the washing machine, along with detergent, to fight really tough stains.
You can read more about Oxiclean uses and directions for use here.
In addition, I've gotten one review of the older Max Force version of these paks from a reader, sharing that they caused her an allergic reaction.
Purex has just introduced two versions of these laundry detergent pacs which it terms "UltraPacks." They are available in two scents, Mountain Breeze and free and clear.
You can read more information about Purex laundry detergent here.
In addition, you can read some reviews of Purex Ultra Packs here (one of them is from me, and I liked them, but another reader has some problems with them).
Seventh Generation is a natural and eco-friendly cleaning and laundry product manufacturer, and is one of the latest companies to introduce laundry detergent pacs.
They are available in both a mandarin and sandalwood scent, as well as a free and clear variety.
You can read, in general, about Seventh Generation laundry detergent here, but I haven't received any reviews of the packs yet.
Snuggle has just recently released this product which is actually not a fabric softener, but instead an in wash scent booster. All it does it add scent to your laundry.
Here's the Snuggle Scent Boosters reviews, which include complaints of allergic reactions.
Tide recently released, with a big marketing blitz, their version of laundry detergent pacs. Instead of calling them pacs, however, they call them Tide Pods. They are currently available in three scents, Ocean Mist, Mystic Forest and Spring Meadow.
You can read more about Tide detergent here, in general.
Further, you can read Tide Pods reviews here, including a warning about how these pacs look similar enough to candy to have confused kids into ingesting some of them, making them ill. Plus, beware that I've gotten several complaints that these Tide Pods are causing allergies and itchiness.
In addition to the detergent pods, Tide already had Tide Stain Release In Wash Booster Pacs, which are now known as Tide Boost pacs. These are not actually detergent, but a stain remover, which is available in original scent or scent free. I have received reviews of Tide stain release pacs here, plus here's a Tide Boost review (it's new name).
A very recently added product to this category of laundry detergent pacs comes from Wisk. They are only available in the original scent at this time.
I don't have a review, so if you've used them I'd love to hear your opinion of them. You can share your review here.
Have I missed a brand that has pacs available? Or, have you used one of them I've listed, and you want to share how it worked for you?
Either way I'd love to hear from you, sharing your opinions and experiences, so I can link to your reviews from this page and help others make the decision of what product is best for them.
You can share your reviews here. I can't wait to hear from you!
Second photo courtesy of USCPSC from Flickr CC, and third photo courtesy of JeepersMedia
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
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