What's the best laundry detergent for the money? Consumer Reports has stepped in with new advice.

Who does the best job of getting your clothes clean?

A recent tally gives "recommended" checkmarks to 2 detergents for high-efficiency (HE) and standard washers.

  • Persil ProClean Power-Liquid 2in1 (Walmart) at 25 cents per load
  • Tide Plus Ultra Stain Release for 25 cents per load

Both the Persil and Tide scored an 82 out of 100 -- the highest scores on the list.

The cheapest laundry detergent of all is Xtra Plus OxiClean for just 6 cents a load. But it only scored a 37. Moving up the quality ladder while still focusing on price, you have Kirkland Signature Free & Clear (Costco) at 11 cents a load (score of 54) and White Cloud Laundry Detergent (Walmart) for 7 cents a load (score of 58).

And you don't have to go much higher in price to get to some options with better ratings:

  • All Radiant:14 cents a load; Score of 67
  • Wisk Deep Clean:14 cents a load; Score of 72

Not really into commercial laundry detergents? Try making your own at home to save even more money. We've got a great homemade laundry detergent recipe to share with you. It takes about 20 minutes to make and works out to cost only 6 cents a load!

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You may be washing your clothes all wrong

Did you know somewhere between 60 and 65 degrees is the optimal temperature to wash clothes in? That's according to Consumer Reports again. "Detergents are formulated with enzymes that kick into action even at 60 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Pat Slaven, a chemical engineer who has worked as a detergent tester for the magazine for 10 years. 

Once the water temperature reaches above 75 degrees, detergents becomes less effective, and the heat can actually help stains set into the clothing. Hotter water can also damage some fabrics and colors.

For more on how to properly wash your clothes, read this article.

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