The 11 Best Laundry Pods of 2021

A simplified way to wash your clothes

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Our Top Picks
These highly concentrated pacs dissolve quickly, clean thoroughly, lift stains, and protect your colors.
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Able to dissolve in any water temperature, this low-sudsing detergent cleans efficiently and won't leave residue behind.
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You'll be able to smell the floral, citrusy aroma on your laundered clothes for up to six weeks.
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The non-nonsense hypoallergenic formula fights stains without the use of dyes or fragrances.
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Each pre-measured pac is filled with concentrated detergent made from sustainably sourced ingredients.
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These hypoallergenic laundry pacs are made without artificial brighteners, dyes, or fragrances.
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Your workout clothes will look and smell as fresh as new with the help of baking soda and OxiClean in these paks.
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Formulated with plant-based ingredients, these unscented detergent pods are gentle enough for a baby's laundry.
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Best for College:
all OXI Mighty Pacs at Amazon
The tub of 60 pacs is enough to last a college student at least a semester and quickly dissolves in any water temperature.
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These powerful little pacs are formulated to clean delicates in cold cycles in both standard and high-efficiency washing machines.
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Laundry pods are little water-soluble pouches filled with concentrated detergent—and sometimes fabric softener, stain-lifters, or other cleaning agents. While they've been on the market for barely a decade, many households swear by the streamlined laundering solution.

Sometimes called packets, pacs (or packs), or tabs, the pre-portioned vessels take the guesswork out of measuring soap, plus they save you time. Just toss one in your washer (or two for a heavier load), set the cycle, and you're on your way.

The best options dissolve easily in different water temperatures and leave your clothes and textiles clean and free of residue. Whether you're looking for pods for sensitive skin, a natural product, an odor-fighting formula, a fresh fragrance, or unscented laundry pacs, we found something for everyone and every budget.

Scroll down for the best laundry pods available today.

Best Overall: Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Original Scent

Tide Pods

Quantity: 42 pods | Scent: Original | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • Brightens and whitens clothes

  • Dissolves in any water temperature

  • 90 percent active ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Could irritate sensitive skin

When Tide Pods launched in 2012, many people got their first taste (not literally) of laundry pacs. Serving as a tipping point for the now-massive demand, they're still the best option overall. Filled with 90 percent active ingredients, you can count on a high concentration of clothes-cleaning and stain-lifting power.

They dissolve quickly in hot, warm, or cold water, making them suitable for regular loads, delicates, and heavy soils. What's more, these laundry pacs work to protect your colors, keeping your brights bright and your whites white. And the undoubtedly fresh floral aroma of Tide's original scent doesn't hurt either.

Best Budget: Purex Mountain Breeze 4-in-1 Pacs

4-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pacs

Quantity: 58 pods | Scent: Mountain Breeze | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • Affordable price

  • Clean rinse

  • Dissolves in any water temperature

What We Don't Like
  • Pods can be ruined if bag gets wet

Laundry pods typically cost a little more per load than liquid detergent—you're paying for convenience—but with budget-friendly Purex, you'll shave off at least a few cents per load. 

These powerful pacs contain a concentrated portion of low-sudsing soap that washes clothes efficiently and rinses completely clean. We also appreciate that they dissolve in any water temperature.

Best Scent: Gain Original Flings Laundry Detergent

Flings! + Aroma Boost 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent Pacs

Quantity: 81 pods | Scent: Original | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • Scent is long-lasting

  • Dissolves in any water temperature

  • Compatible with all washing machines

What We Don't Like
  • Could irritate sensitive skin

If fresh-smelling clothes are what motivates you to do laundry, get a whiff of Gain Gain Original Flings Laundry Detergent pacs. The brand's original scent is citrusy and floral with a hint of fruitiness—and you can count on it to last for up to six weeks after washing.

But your laundry won't just smell fresh. These concentrated soap pods clean your clothes and linens effectively and lift stains while they're at it.

Best Unscented: Method Laundry Detergent Packs

Method Laundry Detergent Packs Free + Clear

Quantity: 42 pods per bag | Scent: Unscented | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • No dyes or fragrances

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Dissolves in any water temperature

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

For folks who prefer unscented detergents, we recommend Method Laundry Detergent Packs. These no-nonsense packets are filled with stain-fighting detergent and without any dyes or fragrances. The hypoallergenic formula is ideal for people with skin sensitivities or allergies—and anyone who likes to keep things simple.

Best Natural: Grab Green 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods

Grab Green Bleach Alternative Laundry Pods

Quantity: 60 pods | Scent: Lavender with vanilla | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • Removes stains, cleans, and brightens

  • Available in a variety of fresh scents

  • Non-toxic, natural ingredients


What We Don't Like
  • Pods can be ruined if bag gets wet

If you're all about eco-friendly cleaning products, you'll appreciate Grab Green's 3 in 1 Laundry Detergent Pods. Each pre-measured pouch is filled with concentrated soap made from responsibly sourced ingredients. And you can bet they're free of synthetic preservatives, dyes, or masking agents.

What Testers Say

"Fortunately, Grab Green’s 3-in-1 laundry pods were up for every challenge we threw their way. We tend to need more than the recommended amount of liquid detergent to deal with our family’s laundry (especially with all-natural options), but these tiny pods packed some major cleaning power." Katie Begley, Product Tester

Best for Sensitive Skin: Seventh Generation Laundry Detergent Packs - Free and Clear

Seventh Generation Free & Clear Laundry Detergent Packs

Quantity: 45 pods per bag | Scent: Unscented | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • No dyes, fragrances, or artificial brighteners

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Plant-based formula

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note they don't dissolve well in cold water

We suggest Seventh Generation Free and Clear for those with sensitive skin. Made without dyes, fragrances, or artificial brighteners, these hypoallergenic laundry pacs are great for babies, kids, and anyone whose skin tends to react to harsh detergents. We also like that the plant-based formula dissolves quickly in hot or cold water.

Best for Activewear: Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 5-in-1 Power Paks

Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-IN-1 Power Paks

Quantity: 40 pods per bag | Scent: Fresh Scent | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • Deodorizes

  • Lifts stains

  • Brightens and whitens clothes

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note packaging is difficult to use

You'll be glad to have Arm & Hammer Power Paks on hand when it's time to wash your workout gear. Combining the brand's signature baking soda formula with OxiClean, these laundry pods not only clean effectively but also deodorize, lift stains, whiten, and brighten. In other words, your clothes will look and smell as fresh as the day you bought them.

Best for Babies: Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent

Sensitive Skin & Baby

Quantity: 36 pods per bag | Scent: Unscented | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • Plant-based ingredients

  • Gentle

  • Unscented

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

If you have a little one at home, go with Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby. These unscented detergent pods draw on plant-based ingredients to gently yet effectively clean your fabrics. Without any harsh dyes, preservatives, or irritating fragrances, you won't have to worry about the formula causing a skin reaction.

Best for College: all OXI Mighty Pacs

4 in 1 Mighty Pacs with Stainlifters

Quantity: 60 pods per bag | Scent: Fresh Scent | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • Dissolves quickly in any water temperature

  • Concentrated formula

  • Budget-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note packaging is difficult to use

all OXI Mighty Pacs are great for college students. Each pouch has the perfect portion of detergent, making it a little easier to do laundry in a dorm or apartment building.

They work in any water temperature, quickly dissolving and leaving clothes smelling oh-so-fresh. Plus, the tub of 60 is likely enough to last at least through a semester.

Best for Cold Water: Woolite Clean & Care Laundry Detergent Pacs

Clean & Care Laundry Detergent Pacs

Quantity: 30 pods per bag | Scent: Not listed | Water Temperature: Formulated specifically for cold water

What We Like
  • Specifically formulated for cold water

  • Contains keratin to promote elasticity

  • Compatible with all washing machines

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

Some laundry pods don't dissolve as well as liquid soap in cold water, but with Woolite Clean & Care, you won't have to worry about that. These robust little pacs are specially formulated to work in cold cycles in both standard and high-efficiency washing machines.

Each one contains a teensy bit of keratin to promote elasticity and protect your clothes. When you drop one in the washer drum with your delicates, you'll have peace of mind knowing they'll be thoroughly cleaned but not shrunk, stretched, or faded.

Best for Stains: Persil Original Scent Discs

ProClean Discs Laundry Detergent Pacs

Quantity: 62 pods per bag | Scent: Original | Water Temperature: Dissolves in hot, warm, and cold water

What We Like
  • Four chambers to target different results

  • Dissolves in any water temperature

  • Compatible with all washing machines

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note they don't dissolve well in cold water

Stained linens? Reach for Persil Original Scent Discs. These detergent pacs have four liquid chambers: one for deep cleaning, one for fiber care, one for freshness, and one for stain removal.

The stain-removing component is formulated with enzymes that break down marks, spots, and discoloration. Not only that, but these laundry pods work in any water temperature.

Final Verdict

When it comes to laundry pacs, the original Tide PODS Laundry Detergent Original Scent (view at Amazon) are tough to beat. These highly concentrated pouches are filled with 90 percent active ingredients, and they dissolve easily in any water temperature. Having said that, if you want an unscented option that's gentle enough for a baby or anyone with skin sensitivities, your best bet is Dropps Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in Laundry Pods

Ingredients

When considering different laundry pod brands, you'll want to check the ingredients lists. As with most cleaning products, a lot of the ingredients will be a mouthful of chemical compound terms. With that said, many are made with surfactants (cleaning agents), like alcohol ethoxy sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, propylene glycol, triethanolamine, glycerin, and fatty acids.

Some pacs contain enzymes that break down stains, such as mannanase, amylase, and subtilisin. Others contain a small amount of hydrolyzed keratin, which helps protect fabrics and keep them elastic. You'll likely also see some sort of polymer listed, like polyvinyl alcohol, which is the clear water-soluble pouch that holds the rest of the ingredients.

Scent

There will probably always be a demand for scented laundry soap, as many people find it comforting and refreshing. However, fragrances can be irritating for babies and folks with sensitive skin, and others simply prefer unscented detergents.

There's no shortage of scented and fragrance-free laundry pods on the market. The fragrance (or lack thereof) will typically be shown on the packaging, so just make sure to check before buying if you prefer one or the other.

Price

Most online retailers show the cost per laundry pac right next to the total price of the product. If you don't see it, you can calculate it by dividing the total price by the number of pods that come in the package.

We've seen budget-friendly options as low as $0.10 per pod, though most come out to around $0.25 to $0.35 each. For whatever reason, natural and unscented laundry pacs tend to be priced a little higher.

FAQs

Do laundry pods work as well as liquid detergent?

Laundry pods can work just as well as liquid detergent, but not all are created equal. The most effective options contain a high concentration of cleaning agents (even higher than their liquid counterparts), allowing you to achieve the same result with a smaller amount of soap. 

It's also crucial that the filmy pouches are water-soluble so they dissolve quickly in hot or cold water. Additionally, if you need to get rid of marks and deep soils, you'll want to look for an option containing stain-fighting enzymes.

What happens to the plastic casing after they run through a wash cycle?

Most laundry pods have plastic casings made of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA). The substance is water-soluble, meaning it dissolves when it comes into contact with water. (You'll want to store your pods in a cool, dry place to make sure they don't dissolve prematurely.)

After the casing dissolves, it rinses out and drains with the rest of the water in your washing machine. While there are some mixed opinions on the issue, PVA is thought to be biodegradable and not harmful to the environment.

Are laundry pods bad for your washer?

Laundry pods aren't bad for your washer. The only concern is if the casing doesn't dissolve properly, as it could potentially leave gooey blobs in your drum. If you see this, remove them before your next load, and if it keeps happening, we recommend trying another brand or switching back to liquid detergent.

Can laundry pods stick to clothing?

When laundry pods aren't dissolving properly (whether because the drum is too full or the water is too cold), the PVA casing might stick to your clothes in the wash. To prevent this, get in the habit of putting the detergent pac in first before adding water or clothes. This will give it the best shot at dissolving completely.

Why Trust The Spruce?

Theresa Holland has several years of experience covering home goods and cleaning products. While she's partial to liquid laundry detergents, she's a sucker for Tide's original scent and has gone through a couple of boxes of Dropps in the past. Theresa has been writing for The Spruce since 2019 and also contributes regularly to MyDomaine, Verywell Mind, and Byrdie.

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