I've always been curious to find out if more expensive detergent brands actually get stains out better than their lesser-expensive counterparts. So, I decided to put a few detergents to the test with my own quasi-scientific experiment.
I have three bottles of detergent at home: Wisk, Tide, and Purex. I sacrificed one of my white towels and stained it with the following: grape juice, ketchup, dirt, vegetable oil, and red marker. Next, I cut the towel into strips and wrote the name of each brand on the towel with a black Sharpie.
With the help of my lovely frugal living apprentice Sydney (pictured here) we'll bring you the results later on this week. What detergent brand do YOU predict will be our winner?
I have one more towel strip left to wash. YOUR comments will help me choose a fourth detergent to put to the test. Which one should it be? Let me know by replying below.
*UPDATE 5/5* I will be using All Free & Clear for the 4th test strip. Results coming tomorrow! I really wanted to do the homemade laundry soap, but didn't have time to make a batch. I plan on doing this test again in the summer to test other detergent brands that were mentioned. Thanks for all the feedback!
*UPDATE 5/6* My detergent experiment findings are explained below.
For my first test, I ran each strip through the wash by themselves in cold water. I used half the recommended amount of detergent. As you can see, the stains still remained. I really thought that there would be a clear winner, but to me most of the detergents performed about the same.
For my second test, I ran each strip through the wash a second time with another load of clothing in warm water. I used the full recommended amount of detergent. Still, there was not a run-away winner. However, when you put the strips up to a light source it is easier to see the stains.
With the stains held up to the light, to me it looks like Tide (far right) and Wisk (second from the right) were the cleanest. All Free & Clear (far left) seemed to have done the least effective job. Purex seemed to be in the middle of the pack. However, I'd say my overall conclusion was that all four detergents were almost equally effective in removing stains and there was no one clear winner.
I plan on doing this experiment again in the summer using homemade detergent as well, so be sure to let me know which other detergents you'd like me to test. In the mean time, I have four bottles of detergent to use up!