I Hated Laundry, Until I Made This Change

Best laundry detergents in 2022
Best laundry detergents in 2022

I Hated Laundry, Until I Made This Change

Swapping my detergent made all the difference

For someone whose life basically revolves around clothing, I have a strange aversion to laundry. We all have to do it, but I fight it every week. It's not a difficult chore, but it's such a drag—emptying out the hamper, sorting through the colors and attempting to get the balled wet clothes into the dryer without dropping any on the floor (something I've never mastered).

But then I had a thought: I have no problem fussing over my grooming routine which certainly takes more of my time than laundry each week. What makes my skincare regimen so much more pleasurable than my laundry duties? Well, first, I can see the proverbial fruits of my labor every time I look in the mirror. And secondly, the products themselves! They're stylish. They smell good. And I've done my research to find the formulas that are proven to deliver results.

Phoning in my laundry detergent, and buying the same stuff my mother used (no offense, Mom) wasn't doing me any favors. Sure, you have to dig a little deeper (and maybe spend a bit more) to find something that will not only clean your clothes but also leave your wardrobe smelling sophisticated—not like some generic idea of clean. But, it turns out, there are some really good detergents out there. Handsome packaging that's a joy to use, with formulas that smell great and get your clothes spanking clean while keeping them looking like new. They're such a pleasure to use, I barely mind lugging out my hamper at the end of the week.

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The Best
Luxury Detergents

For Stains

If you want serious stain-fighting power, this formula uses enzymes which target stains and odors at their source while being extra gentle for your skin and your clothes. The scent is woody and citrusy, and more masculine than you might expect.

Bio laundry detergent,
$17.10 by Dirty Labs

Gentle on
Clothes

If you spend a lot on clothes, you want them to last right? This soap is derived from coconuts and the same oils used in skincare. The result? Softer clothing that stays looking like new. Plus, the sandalwood and clove scent is subtle but welcome.

Eco-friendly laundry detergent,
$35 (for two) by Frey

For Dark Clothes

Keep your black clothes and dark denim from fading by using a special detergent like this one from the experts at The Laundress. The floral formulation is concentrated so a little goes a long way and the light scent doesn't linger on your badass black tees.

Darks Detergent,
$20.50 by The Laundress

For White Fabrics

Don't let pit stains and overall yellowing ruin your white shirts and luxe towels or sheets. This was recommended to me by several in-the-know people because the enzyme-rich formula doesn't use any bleach but keeps your white fabrics bright. Plus, it apparently creates a coating around the fibers in order to even avoid future stains.

White detergent,
$27 by The Steamery

Best Bottle

Did I buy this simply because of the packaging? Yes. Did it exceed my expectations? Yes. Pulling this metal oil can down from the shelf made laundry day a joy and the scent was more like cool, indie cologne (think incense, vetiver and spices). But be warned, the smooth metal can be a little slippery so be careful when handling.

Spring Dedtergent,
$35 by Dedcool

For Performance
Fabrics

If you workout heavily, you know that your technical clothing can hang onto that fitness funk if you're not careful. This soap is specially engineered for synthetic or blended fabrics with a luxuriously scent that neutralizes odors and keeps windproofing intact.

Clover sportswear detergent,
$20 / $14 by TangetGC

Easiest

I'm a bottle man, but I know some people (or those who lug their clothes to a laundromat) prefer these handy detergent pods. The all-natural packs unleash the power of four plant-derived enzymes to get clothes clean. Plus, they're scented with real citrus peel and juniper oil.

Laundry powder packs,
$15.95 by Grove Collaborative

Fragrance-Free

If you want the ease of detergent pods, but none of the harsh chemicals, these are your best bet. The hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested formula doesn't contain any of the harmful chemicals or synthetic fragrances common in many detergents and it's ideal for sensitive skin.

Natural detergent pods,
$6.95 by Public Goods

A Dryer Upgrade

For the past few months, I’ve been using these wool balls as all-natural fabric softener. They remove static (even from performance fabrics), reduce wrinkles, and cut down on drying time. You can also add a few drops of essential oil if you want them slightly fragranced.

Dryer balls,
$11.95 by SnugPad

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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