People Need More Low Cost Laundry Detergent Options!

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Eloise shared her opinion about the need for more low cost laundry detergent choices in the marketplace these days. Basically, she believes laundry detergent just costs too much these days!

Eloise says:

There should be a price set in place for laundry detergents... the price to clean clothes is so far out of control as Americans struggle to even pay the price to clean laundry.

Top 3 low cost laundry detergent recommendations, plus more ways to save money on laundry {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest
These huge companies are making millions, yes millions, as we make less and less. It is detergent, simple detergent. Why the constant greed of hiking the price? There is no reason to have a simple basic need cost this much! ...Ahh, but the key word is "need; of course...

These companies could still make millions if they cut these prices back ..., and fill a need at the same time.

Taylor says:

Thanks Eloise for sharing your opinions and thoughts about the cost of laundry detergent in the current economic situation.

I agree, some detergents are beginning to cost A LOT of money! Just recently here on this website, we've been having a running dialogue about Gain powder detergent raising prices and formula changes, with lots of discussion about how expensive this detergent can be. However, this dialogue could easily be going on for lots of detergents, not just Gain.

So, what do you think? Do you think that laundry detergent costs too much these days?

In addition, have you found a good low cost laundry detergent that you like to use? I know many people are trying to figure out the best cheap laundry detergent out there, to keep their families clothes clean without breaking the bank.

Share your opinions, ideas and thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear what you have to say!

I've listed what both I and a majority of readers have suggested most frequently as the top three brands of cheap detergents that actually work well for cleaning clothes below.

We've also discussed the pros and cons of making your own laundry detergent to save costs, plus whether it is better to just buy the big name brands using coupons and sales to cut the price some!

Join the discussion below.

Top 3 low cost laundry detergent recommendations, plus more ways to save money on laundry {on Stain Removal 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

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Purex Is My Choice For Cheap But Still Good Detergent

Several people have said that Purex is their low cost brand of choice, and I have to say I understand why.

Purex laundry detergent reviews
This stuff is both inexpensive, and having used it on my clothes I was happily surprised how well it works.

You can check out lots of Purex detergent reviews here from readers, as well as see below why people like this brand so much.

Anne Winchester says:

Purex liquid detergent works for me.

Coupons for Purex can be found many times at

Walgreens runs specials on it several times a year. I try to save my coupons for when they have a buy two, get one free sale. often has a $1.75 off two bottles of Purex. I stock up this way.

Julia says:

I don't like homemade laundry detergent. I have found Purex brand to work well. Stock up when it's on sale.

Stephanie says:

Make your own (use borax, soap, and washing soda) OR I got a bottle of Purex for FREE because of a coupon.

I have not paid more then $6 for laundry soap in a few months!

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I Love Arm & Hammer For Cheap Detergent That Works!

Another brand that a lot of readers enjoyed is Arm & Hammer.

Here's what some readers said:

Lawanna says:

Arm & Hammer. The stuff is awesome, gets out stains, and smells great. This what we have been using for years.

Michele says:

Arm & Hammer laundry detergent reviews
I love Arm & Hammer with oxy clean.

Erin says:

I'm not a big fan of homemade. I haven't had a lot of success getting boy funk smells out.

We buy 5 gallon buckets of Arm and Hammer for 18 bucks. Lasts our family of 7 for 2.5 months on average.

Taylor says:

I myself have tried this brand and thought it did well, although I am partial to Purex or ALL, compared to this one.

You can read more reviews and information about Arm & Hammer brand here.

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ALL Laundry Detergent Works Great But Is Inexpensive With Coupons

Shai says:

ALL goes on sale about once a year, and they put out coupons. I LOVE THEM! I get the ALL no scent added.

I paid with coupons and sale for a 32 load bottle $1 a piece. I stocked up and haven't purchased detergent in a year and a half.

Running low, so going to pick some up today. I got this deal at Walgreens, they're pretty good!

Local stores will sometimes do this too.

I'm also ready when it comes to fabric softener. I get dryer sheets from Snuggle. They are $2 at my grocery store year round. Their .50 coupon is doubled at my store, making them $1 a piece. You can't beat it.

Taylor says:

ALL detergent reviews
Thanks for your review.

You can check out lots of ALL detergent reviews here for lots of different scents and varieties of this brand.

I have personally really liked ALL and thought it works really well, but I will say that without coupons it is much more expensive than Purex, for example. So, this is kind of in my mind an in between option between the really cheap but effective brands (Arm & Hammer and Purex) and the really expensive brands like Tide and Gain.

However, if you watch for sales and use coupons like Shai says you can get a really good price for this detergent, and it works quite well in my opinion.

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Responses From Readers About How Expensive Laundry Detergent Is

I got a lot of responses about this topic from readers, I really must have hit a hot button issue, huh?

I've collected some of them below, but I'd love to hear from you as well, so be sure to comment with your opinions as well as any suggestions you have for ways to save money on your detergent!

Make Your Own Detergent & Other Laundry Supplies

Several people have made this suggestions. Here's some examples:

SR101 Reader says: Make your own! I have a recipe I follow to make my own laundry detergent, dish soap, fabric softener, window cleaner, baby wipes etc.

It saves TONS of money and the end result is cleaner and better smelling than what I could buy in the stores!

Taylor's Response Re: Making Own Cleaning Products

I would love to hear your laundry detergent recipes!

You are right. Many people have started making their own laundry detergent because commercial brands are so expensive these days (and some people also do it for environmental reasons).

I have provided some homemade laundry detergent recipes here. In addition, I would love to hear other people's recipes for detergent!

You can share your homemade laundry soap recipes here, or read others that have already been submitted.

In addition, I would love to hear any other homemade cleaners or laundry supplies recipes too! My homemade cleaning products recipes are here. In addition, you can share homemade cleaners recipes here, or read lots of other recipes already submitted here!

Buy Store Brands & Generics

While I listed three national brands above that lots of readers suggested work for them, there are lots of store brands and generics that are also available.

For example, Karen says: "Yes, it is very expensive! I buy the store brand most of the time. I don't see any difference whether you buy store brand or name brand. They all clean the same."

Taylor's response re: Store Brand detergents:

I have to agree, and disagree with you about store brands Karen. I have tried some and been quite happy with them, and others were a big disappointment.

That's typical though I think with all generics and store brands, and isn't something only found with laundry soaps.

That's why I'm excited to say that I collect reviews of both big name brands and generics, in all the product reviews here on the site, because I want to know if I'm wasting my money paying for a brand name or not.

You can check out lots of store brand laundry detergent reviews here (scroll down to find them, as well as lesser know national brand reviews), and be sure to share your own if you've used a product you loved (or hated).

In addition, many readers have said their favorite store brands in the comments below.

I Buy The Big Brands With Sales & Coupons

Finally, there are those who don't like to spend the money but feel that the expensive name brands work the best, so they try to save money on them with sales and coupons. Here's an example:

Rene says: "I use the more expensive because I've tried the others and was not happy with them. I have learned that not all loads require huge amounts of detergent. When it comes to some loads, I've cut the amount I use in half. While there are only 3 of us, we generate a lot of laundry due to jobs and school. I can make a rather large bottle last quite a long time now. You just have to think about your loads a little more before washing and throwing in the detergent."

Karin C. says: "I tried homemade laundry soap for six months with very little success. I used borax, washing soda and Castile soap and it would not clean like I had hoped. We have hard water and it left a film in the washer and clothes grew dingy, so I went back to store bought and have found that generic/store brand just don't clean as well as the name brands so I stock up when on sake and use coupons :)."

Taylor says:

As you can see there are a large range of opinions on this topic, as well as suggestions for saving money when washing your family's clothes.

I've also begun collecting frugal laundry tips and tricks here so come check out that page as well, to get more ideas.

I'd also love to hear from you, suggesting your favorite low cost detergents, or anything else about laundry you'd like to share! You can share your tips and ideas here.

Photo courtesy of Pixel Drip

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Washing Detergent Guide: Facts & Essential Information

Laundry Tips & Tricks For Busy Moms

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Comments for Responses From Readers About How Expensive Laundry Detergent Is

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brands I like
by: Jamie

I use Purex and buy it at our local Walgreens when it goes on sale for buy 1 get 2 free. I also have been trying Ajax and that is ok. Our local grocery store had Arm & Hammer on sale and that is a good one too!

my choices
by: Dawn

I use Purex and Arm and Hammer. Love both. I use coupons and sales at Walgreens and the dollar store. I buy months worth at a time.

Up & Up Detergent - Target brand
by: Shannon

We've been using the Target store brand for a while. Switched from Tide.

Smile Brand - from Walgreens
by: Miranda

Walgreens store brand Smile is amazing and cheap!

Sam's Club Brand
by: Marcy

Sam's club brand Members Mark does 115 loads for $13 and some odd change.

by: Jamie

Bravo by HEB is excellent.

make even for HE machine
by: Amanda

I make homemade laundry soap. I use the sunlight bar soap, borax, and washing soda. Works awesome!!!! And 2 dollars to make 120 loads for an HE machine works fantastic!!!

switching back from homemade - store bought just works better
by: Becky

I made my own for a year and just switched back to Tide. Clothes look cleaner and towels smell better. I buy it at Sam's or Target with coupons. May try Sam's brand next time.

no time for making my own, so buy what's one sale with coupons
by: Michelle

I would love to make my own but I started working again in October and I just don't have the time for anything extra. I buy pretty much whatever is on sale with coupons. I wont use Xtra because its water and Purex you can actually find the huge bottles fairly cheap at Walmart if I'm in a pinch with no coupons or sales.

instead of using inexpensive brands . . . add Dawn dish soap
by: Judy

Inexpensive and store brands do not cut through body oils and sweat. I add about 4 drops of Dawn to each load. If I have a gentle load I just add baking soda. Can't beat it, it is just like the "oxi" cleaners.

by: Jamie

I love love love Melapower 6x concentrate. One 96 load bottle lasts me 3 months for a family of 5. Saves me a ton of money. I only have to use 1/2 oz per load and I have not found a stain yet it doesn't get rid of.

shop the sales and stockpile
by: Anonymous

I shop the sales and use coupons whenever area supermarkets have been having frequents sales on All brand and Purex, my two favorites, for a few months now, so I've stockpiled well.

by: Cher

i buy a brand called Ariel. it comes in a white or clear plastic bag. $8 buys a huge bag (at least 4 lbs of it) and my clothes come out very clean as if i used Tide.

Aldi brand
by: Shannon

I love the Aldi brand detergent and fabric softener. Both are super cheap!!

Wisk is good
by: Gayle

I have recently tried Wisk liquid and find it works well and gets odors out. And it's inexpensive. Locally we had coupons for several weeks in our newspaper and I stocked up.

I love detergent!
by: Anonymous

I am a detergent connoisseur. If it's on sale, and a name brand, I'll take it in the $1 to $2 range. I never pay more. With coupons, and sales, such as the ones Kroger and CVS have, you can take name brands like Purex, Arm and Hammer, Wisk, all in their time. My personal favorite is Purex with Zout, and Oxi, but wait a minute. I love my own home-made laundry detergent too. I make it with one cup borax, one cup washing soda, one cup oxy, one cup Purex lavender crystals, 1 bar of fels naptha. I make the powder kind.

But, I wanted to also try Zote as a laundry bar, and so I made that one too. Same recipe, just substituted Zote. I use a Ninja blender to powder it up.

Whatever is new, I have to try it, but I want it at the cheapest possible price. Love experimenting with different smells, and different products.

The $1 coupon on Snuggle Burst was a fun one. They smell good. Trying new things keeps laundry days from being boring. It's always a new smell, or a different product.

I want to try the new Purex No Sort. With 60 detergents, I really don't need to, but it's one I haven't tried. When the price is right, I'm sure I will.

I even tried Nellies soap. Expensive, but I wanted her recipe. I came close I think using a bar of coconut based soap called Kirk's Castile. I kept this recipe hypo allergenic, and skipped the Purex Crystals, and picked up another ingredient. Salt. Kosher Salt 1/4 cup. Grind up all your borax, washing soda, kosher salt, Kirks Castile Soap, and oxi, and I think its awfully close. Plus I have the cute little tin. Well, there you have it. I'm one of those nuts who loves to do laundry.

which is the best?
by: Anonymous

A good friend of mine works for the soap manufacturing company where they make more than one brand. He says ALL is the best, followed by Kirkland (Costco brand), then Tide. Me, I like Arm & Hammer.

Not just the cost that stinks
by: Heidi

Not only have the costs of laundry detergent gone up, but a few detergent manufacturers are changing their products--mainly liquids (Tide, All, Wisk, Target Brand, etc.) Some of them down right stink now...Literally! I mean they smell horrid, like rotting something-or-other. Yuck!

I think Purex is good. I also make my own and buy natural brands when on sale. I make sure I use less of the Purex and Natural brands than required, only using full amounts if the soil is heavy on the clothes. Haven't had a problem. Clothes are coming out clean, and I'm saving some money.

Gain fan, except for the price
by: Anonymous

I love everything Gain except the price. I now buy a box of Fab powder for washing and have a Gain dryer bar (they last a long time). So we get the fresh smell and save a few bucks.

Cut detergent amount in half, please!
by: Anonymous

Whatever detergent you use, USE HALF. Add a little borax and some vinegar. The bottle will last twice as long and work just as well, I pinkie-promise. Soak in borax first if really dirty. Using less detergent is cheaper, better for the environment and better for your skin.

pods instead
by: Dawn

I use Tide pods. They are less messy and can't over use. I like Arm and Hammer but their pods smell bad, and I like Wisk but not sure if they have pods. Pods are easier for me as I have fibromyalgia and 2 bad shoulders. Just lighter to lift.

My Choice
by: Hope S.

I love ERA detergent and I use the blue Snuggle fabric softener and dryer sheets! My clothes are always nice and clean and smell so nice!!

Xtra with Oxi Clean
by: Anonymous

I've found Xtra plus Oxi Clean, Crystal Clean wonderfully for a lower priced detergent. Really, you get what you pay for, but at $5.96 for 96 loads, it's a good alternative. Also, Wisk deep Clean can be bought for a decent price with coupons and sales, and rates even higher than top national brands in Consumer Reports. I use this on heavily soiled loads, and use the Xtra for regular loads.

Tried all three but found a better one.
by: Anonymous

I've tried all three of the ones you like and haven't been too excited about any of them, but for about the same price as All, Wisk works great. A big problem for us is odor. And it gets it out, as well as stains. Everything comes out clean and fresh smelling. Love it. And sometimes I find coupons for $1.50 off, and stock up.

Ebay - question about Prisom
by: Shannon L.

Much like the other Shannon's comment. I am a laundry Connoisseur as well. I've used almost everything at least once. I currently got my eye on a bucket of liquid laundry soap on eBay . It's 25.00 and then 25.00 for shipping. They have 2 different formulas "Tide like" and "Gain like". I have only read one review (on eBay) and wanted to ask other people who love laundry products have they used or heard about this product. It's called Prisom.

I hate Purex :(
by: Anonymous

I can't believe all these Purex recommendations! I can't stand Purex! It doesn't get anything clean for me, leaves a nasty feeling film on my towels, and the smell reminds me of cough syrup. Icky!

We have very hard water, if that makes a difference. We mainly stick to Tide and All with coupons. Truly, my FAVORITE detergent is Vaska, but we can't always afford it since there's rarely coupons.

5 gallon bucket of Arm & Hammer
by: Anonymous

Where do you find a 5 gal bucket of Arm and Hammer? I love the smell of Arm and Hammer and a 5 gal bucket would be amazing!

Purex free and clear is awesome and cheap
by: Anonymous

I LOVE this detergent for its great price and excellent cleaning, softening, and deodorizing abilities without any skin irritation.

Homemade laundry detergent + Fels Naptha
by: Mary

I also make my own laundry detergent, BUT due to the type of work my other half does (maintenance) he sometimes come home with grease on his clothes. So I found that Fels-Naptha works wonders.

Soap Nuts
by: Marcey

Has anyone used Soap Nuts? It's all natural--I have not tried them yet. I've been contemplating ordering some to try it. Anyone have a review?

Taylor's response to Marcey about soap nuts
by: Taylor

Hi Marcey, yes, we have several soap nuts reviews here on the site at the link. Hope they will help you!

Make my own
by: Virginia

Personally, I refuse to pay the high cost of Tide, even though that is what my mother used back in the 50's, it is outrageous how expensive laundry detergents have become. So! I embarked on making my own, grated laundry soap, and, while it got the clothes clean, it is a lot of work. So, after about 2 years of doing this, I finally switched back to liquid laundry detergent, and found that Costco's own brand of laundry pods, Kirkland Ultra Clean, does a fabulous job for pennies a load, and the scent is good, strong, but good. You get 152 pods for $18.00!!! It has been compared to Tide pods and is a competitive detergent to use. Also, using cheap detergent can save you lots of $$, and if you add 1/2 cup of Washing Soda and 1/2 Baking Soda to each load, you will be very pleased with the outcome!

Used homemade, now back to Tide
by: Cathy

Nothing wrong with homemade, just got easier to go back to Tide. Have an HE machine, liquid says can be used in HE machines. I use a LOT less than recommended - says line 1-2 for medium loads, 3 for full, 5 for full HE loads. I only use up to line 1 for full HE loads, clothes come clean, no excess suds. For lightly soiled, I use 1/2 of that. I buy at Target on sale, 3 at a time, with a $5 off 3 Tide coupon and get a $10 gift card back. Lasts a real long time that way

Sun Detergent!
by: Anonymous

Sun detergent costs $5.84 at Walmart and you get 250 ounces. It smells so nice and clean and works great!

by: Shirley

I use Era and I think it compares with Tide.

This works for me
by: Kay

I love Tide and Gain makes my allergies flair up. Plus the cost for both is crazy. To save money and try something new, I switched to Purex. I use less than directed on the bottle. I mix the detergent and fabric softener in the soap dispenser together and I put distilled vinegar in the softener dispenser. I also add baking soda. I run the shortest cycle for everything except area rugs, towels and blankets. Everything comes out fresh and clean. This works for me and my teen since our clothes aren't "dirty". If you have younger kids or athletes this might not be your jam. Here in Florida from spring through mid fall my cold water is warm to hot, (no cold showers here in the summer), so I use my own dry detergent mix of purex, borax, baking soda and clorox2.

Homemade detergent and dingy clothes
by: Diane

If you're using homemade detergent and finding your clothes getting dingy, I have 2 suggestions. One, try using less detergent. Baking soda is a powerful worker and seems to expand and dig in when it comes to rinsing it out. (Vinegar cuts baking soda) Second, instead of giving up and going back to premade just use the premade every 5 weeks or so. Using a different detergent will break up the bits of old detergent building up in the fabric. It's a good idea to switch up detergents occasionally no matter what is used, to help keep clothes fresh.

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