It’s no secret: Laundry is not the most enjoyable task. It’s not always fun, but it is a necessary chore. And once it’s done, having a stack of clean-smelling clothes, towels and sheets can be pretty great.
To help make doing laundry more efficient and effective, we spoke with experts about the types of products that are most helpful and rounded up bestselling laundry items from Amazon.
SKIP AHEAD Our top picks | How we picked bestselling laundry products on Amazon | Bestselling laundry detergents on Amazon | Bestselling stain removers on Amazon | Bestselling laundry accessories on Amazon | How to make doing laundry more enjoyable
Our top picks
- Best laundry detergent: Gain Laundry Detergent
- Best stain remover: Miss Mouth’s Stain Treater
- Best mesh bag for delicates: MuchFun Honeycomb Mesh Laundry Bags
How we picked bestselling laundry products on Amazon
We chose the below laundry items based on their high ratings. In addition to ratings, we relied on expert guidance to determine the types of items that are most helpful when doing laundry. Below is what they said.
- Detergent type: Pods, liquid and powder are the three most common types of laundry detergents on the market. Experts shared that many people are drawn to pods out of convenience — you can just grab them and throw them in your washing machine. “However, I prefer liquid or powder,” says Becky Rapinchuk, author of Simply Clean and founder of Clean Mama, a website that offers home cleaning tips. “These formulas allow you to adjust the amount you use based on what you may be washing.” Our experts agree that it really comes down to personal preference, so we included all types for you to choose from.
- Stain-removing ingredients: Both laundry detergent and stain removers can be helpful for getting dirt and spots out of soiled laundry. “Look for products with enzymes,” says Rapinchuk. “These break down dirt, helping it wash away from your items. They also help remove odor.” All of the detergents and stain removers listed below contain enzymes.
- Helpful accessories: Along with detergent and stain removers, there are a number of laundry accessories that can help make the process of cleaning your clothes go more smoothly. If you need to wash undergarments or other delicate items, putting them in a mesh laundry bag can help prevent them from getting beat up in the washing machine, says Patric Richardson, author of Laundry Love. On that note, some items call for air drying, so our experts recommend having a drying rack on hand. If you are putting items in the dryer, consider wool dryer balls over dryer sheets — they are eco-friendly, free of harsh chemicals and do a great job at softening your items, says Rapinchuk. We included top-rated mesh laundry bags, drying racks and wool dryer balls below.
Bestselling laundry detergents on Amazon
When it comes to laundry detergents, pods, liquid and powder formulas are all widely available. Experts say that it comes down to personal preference, but Rapinchuk notes that the latter two give you the benefit of customizing exactly how much you use.
The number one bestselling laundry pods on Amazon, this option combines concentrated detergent, a stain remover and color protector in one small packet. These pods, which have a 4.8-star average from over 132,000 reviews on Amazon, leave clothes with a floral scent, according to the brand. To use, place one or two pods in the basin of your washing machine before adding clothes. Then, just run the machine as you normally would.
This liquid detergent from Gain has a 4.7-star average from over 94,000 reviews on Amazon. The formula contains enzymes, which Rapinchuk notes help wash away dirt and odors. The cap on the bottle doubles as a measuring cup, with markers telling you where to pour for a small, medium or large load.
This bestselling powder laundry detergent on Amazon has a 4.6-star average from over 13,000 reviews. The powder is free of artificial fragrance, which Rapinchuk says she prefers for those with sensitive skin. The powder is made from earth-derived ingredients and one bag will last you for up to 120 loads of laundry, according to the brand.
Bestselling stain removers on Amazon
Laundry detergent will help remove normal dirt and grime, but if you’ve spilled something like coffee or ink and are dealing with a stain, you’ll want to use a stain remover.
This spray stain remover has a 4.4-star average from over 43,000 reviews on Amazon. The formula incorporates citric acid and glycerin to lift stains and is non-toxic, making it a great option for kids’ clothing, according to the brand. To use it, spray it on the stain, blot it with a rag or towel and then wash it away (either by hand or in the washing machine).
Oxiclean is made up of something called oxygen bleach, a stain-remover that Richardson says he prefers over chlorine bleach. Oxygen bleach removes dirt and stains without bleaching the color out of items. To use this product, which has a 4.7-star average from over 25,100 reviews on Amazon, you’ll soak your stained items in a mixture of one scoop per gallon of water for up to six hours before putting them in the washing machine to clean them.
These Tide to Go stain-removing pens have a 4.7-star average from over 35,800 reviews. They are intended to be used on the go and fit nicely in a bag or even your pocket. You can use this on coffee, stains, wine spills and more, according to Tide. To use this item, blot away an access liquid from the stain, then dab the pen onto the stain to saturate it with the cleanser. Let it sit for a few minutes, before wiping away the stain remover.
Bestselling laundry accessories on Amazon
In addition to detergent and stain removers, experts agree that there are a few tools that can make the process of doing your laundry go more smoothly.
These wool balls, which are the top-selling dryer balls on Amazon, are meant to replace dryer sheets to leave clothes softer and reduce static cling. Rapinchuk also likes dryer balls because they’re more eco-friendly than dryer sheets, which you throw out after a single use. You just toss these balls into the dryer with your wet clothes and they go to work. They can also speed up drying times because they lift and separate your items as they bounce around, allowing the hot air to better circulate, according to Handy. You can purchase these wool dryer balls in a set of four, six or 12. There’s no rule on how many to use at once, but the general guideline is that the bigger the load of laundry, the more you should toss in the dryer and each ball is good for over 1,000 uses, according to the brand. These wool dryer balls have a 4.6-star average from over 71,00 reviews on Amazon.
“I consider mesh laundry bags an essential for washing hosiery, sweaters, and anything delicate like lingerie or accessories,” says Richardson, who notes that enclosing these items in a laundry bag helps protect them from getting snagged on other items. This set, which has a 4.7-star average from over 24,500 reviews on Amazon, comes with three zippered mesh bags that are each 12-inches by 16-inches in dimension. This means the bags can fit items like bras, a sweater and even sneakers, according to the brand.
When washing your clothes, you should always follow the care instructions on the tags. Some items may require air drying. In cases like this, a drying rack can help. They unfold and allow you to hang your clothes on them so that air can circulate around the items to fully dry them. This is the top-selling laundry rack on Amazon and it has a 4.7-star average from over 57,000 reviews. It can support up to 32 pounds of clothing and has eleven bars for you to drape items over.
Expert advice on making laundry feel like less of a chore
While laundry may never top your list of fun things to do, it doesn’t have to be completely painful. To make it go more smoothly, experts suggest the following tips:
- Have your supplies ready: “Everything is easier when you are prepared — even your laundry,” says Richardson, who says that having your laundry supplies within easy reach can make the process go more smoothly. Keep your detergent and stain remover next to the machine. This way, you can add your soap easily and if you spot a stain as you are tossing something into the machine, you can reach for the stain remover and take care of it right away.
- Do it often: Avoiding tasks you don’t love makes sense, but it doesn’t always behoove you to do so. If you let laundry pile up, it will become overwhelming and take longer. Rapinchuk suggests doing laundry as soon as you have enough for a full load — even if that means daily. Doing it in smaller chunks makes it feel more manageable, she says.
- Mix it all together: “Give everyone in the family a hamper,” says Rapinchuk. Have them throw all their dirty clothes in there. Then, when the hamper is full, toss it all into the wash and use cold water, she says. The cold will prevent things from bleeding and allows you to do one big load rather than separate loads for whites and brights. The only exception to this rule: If you want to bleach your whites or if you have brand-new dark denim or vibrant clothes, which may bleed the first few times you wash them.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Becky Rapinchuk is the author of Simply Clean and founder of Clean Mama, a website that offers home cleaning tips.
- Patric Richardson is the host of “The Laundry Guy” on HGTV and author of Laundry Love.
Why trust Select?
Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two experts to gather their guidance on what to look for when shopping for laundry items.