Closeup of washing machine full of dirty clothes. Laundry washing process.

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In its 2022 test of laundry detergents, Consumer Reports named Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Liquid as the “best value” detergent, ranking it above top-tier brands like Tide and Persil in the budget category. We’re inclined to trust Consumer Reports, especially since the magazine was rigorous in its testing.

After staining fabric swatches with coffee, dirt, blood, and other hard-to-remove liquids, the Consumer Reports team washed them in identical machines. That was followed by meticulous colorimeter testing, which measures a color’s (and stain’s) intensity. The result: Kirkland came out on top as the clear compromise between budget and quality.

“Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean is about half the price of higher-scoring detergents from Persil and Tide,” Consumer Reports wrote. “Kirkland cleans up nicely in our tests, earning an Excellent rating for removing stains from body oil, one of the chemicals in sweat (think sweaty workout clothes).” 

With a limited discount (through Aug. 28), the detergent is a steal on Costco’s website for $20, including a $3 two-day delivery fee. The cost per load — 146 loads for $20 — works out to be around 14 cents. Compare that to Tide Advanced Power Ultra, which costs more than double per load. 

The only downside of Consumer Reports’ best value pick is that Kirkland products are (usually) reserved for Costco members. Luckily, there’s a workaround.

A handful of Amazon merchants are selling the detergent for around $30 — not to mention a couple other Kirkland detergents, including Consumer Reports’ “Best for Baby Clothes” pick: Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean Free & Clear for $33. There’s also the Instacart loophole, which lets non-members order goods from the store.

However you get your hands on it, know that Kirkland’s Signature Ultra Clean Liquid is a cheap, award-winning detergent that competes with the titans of cleanliness.

@jeeves_ny I like Kirkland detergent because it cleans well and it’s inexpensive #detergent #laundry #clean #cleaning #clothes #stain #stains #kirkland ♬ original sound - clean freakz

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best laundry detergent?

That depends. Costco’s Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean detergent is the best value detergent, according to Consumer Reports. But if you don’t mind spending a little extra, Persil ProClean Stain Fighter is the best for stain removal. Here’s a full list of Consumer Reports’ favorite detergents.

Who makes Kirkland laundry detergent?

We don’t know who makes Costco’s in-house detergent, but some speculate that the German company Henkel produces Kirkland brand detergent. Henkel is the same company behind All and Persil. 

How much laundry detergent should I use?
According to the experts at Wirecutter, use two tablespoons of detergent per load at the most. For most loads, one tablespoon should be enough. 

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