7 Worst Laundry Detergents to Avoid in 2024

Have you ever taken a moment to peek at the ingredients list on your laundry detergent bottle?

Well, if you’re like me, you’d have assumed that most, if not all, detergents are pretty much the same.

After all, they all promise one thing: cleaner, fresher clothes. But here’s the shocking truth: not all laundry detergents are worth buying. Some might just be harmful!

So, after carefully using and studying the ingredients, I’ve prepared a list of the worst laundry detergents.

Worst Laundry Detergent

7 Worst Laundry Detergents

Based on usage and customer reviews, the worst laundry detergents to avoid are Tide Plus Liquid Detergent, Ajax 2X, Fab Ultra 2X, Dynamo, Ivory, All Fresh, and Cheer.

1. Tide Plus Lavender Liquid Detergent

I tried Tide Plus Liquid Detergent, Lavender, drawn in by its appealing scent and trusted brand name. At first, my clothes felt soft and had that delightful lavender aroma.

However, upon digging deeper, I was taken aback by the sheer number of ingredients, 29. Moreover, the company’s “poor” ingredient disclosure raised concerns.

While the product did its primary cleaning job, the lack of transparency regarding its composition made me reconsider.

For me, it’s not just about clean clothes; it’s also about understanding what I’m using regularly. I’ll be on the lookout for a more transparent alternative.

2. Ajax 2X Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent

On my recent trip to Walmart, Ajax 2X Ultra Liquid Laundry Detergent caught my eye. I thought, “Ajax has been around for a while; it must be trustworthy.” So, I gave it a whirl.

When I used it, my clothes emerged spotless, and I felt I’d struck gold. But then, curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to peek behind the curtain.

I was shocked to uncover the list of ingredients that gave me pause. Formaldehyde? Synthetic colors? It felt like opening a Pandora’s box of laundry surprises.

While my clothes seemed clean, the thought of what might be lingering on them made me uncomfortable.

As much as I want spotless outfits, these chemicals make it among the harmful laundry detergents we should avoid.

3. Fab Ultra 2X

On paper, this Liquid Laundry Detergent, Spring Magic, promises a refreshing and effective clean. Indeed, clothes carry a scent reminiscent of spring blossoms after a wash.

However, a deeper look into its ingredient list raises some concerns. Notably, the presence of formaldehyde is concerning.

This places it on the worst liquid laundry detergent list for those seeking a more health-conscious and eco-friendly solution.

While its fragrance might be appealing, understanding its composition is essential for making an informed choice.

4. Dynamo Liquid Laundry Detergent

Dynamo Liquid Laundry Detergent has been on the market for quite some time, and many consumers have been drawn to its cleaning potential.

However, the transparency around its ingredients is less than ideal.

The company has not disclosed its complete ingredient list, leaving users wondering what they’re introducing to their clothes and homes.

While it might tackle tough stains, its formulation’s mystery places Dynamo on the bad laundry detergent list for those who value transparency and safety.

It underscores the importance of knowing what’s in our daily products.

Laundry Detergents to Avoid

5. Ivory Ultra Snow Liquid Laundry Detergent

Next on our list of laundry detergents to avoid is Ivory Ultra Snow. The brand suggests that it’s perfect for delicate washes.

Interestingly, despite its promotion for use on sensitive clothing like baby apparel, there are concerns about its formulation.

Users have pointed out ingredients like ethanolamine and sodium borate that could have potential environmental and health impacts.

Avoiding such products is better for those who prioritize using eco-friendly and safe household products.

6. All Fresh Rain

When you hear “Fresh Rain,” the image that likely springs to mind is a refreshing downpour in a lush forest. All Small & Mighty’s Laundry Detergent promises just that experience for your clothes.

Yet, behind that delightful scent, there’s an opacity surrounding its ingredients. With terms like “fragrances” and “nonionic surfactants” being part of the mix, consumers are puzzled about what’s inside the bottle.

While it might deliver on its fresh scent promise, the vagueness around its ingredients makes it the least reliable laundry detergent.

7. Cheer HE Liquid Detergent

The name “Free & Gentle” evokes a sense of purity and harmlessness. However, some red flags emerge when scrutinizing the ingredients of Cheer’s HE Liquid Laundry Detergent.

Some of its ingredients have raised concerns over their potential impacts on human health and the environment.

While its colorful packaging and promise of a gentle clean are alluring, those who deeply care about the products they bring into their homes might think twice.

Without inducing panic, it’s merely another reminder of why staying informed and choosing laundry products with a clear and safe ingredient list is essential.

Harmful Laundry Detergent

How to Spot Bad Laundry Detergents?

Navigating the world of laundry detergents can be a bit like going on a blind date. Sometimes, you hit the jackpot; sometimes, you wish you’d swiped left.

I have prepared a list of some red flags to identify the worst laundry detergents you should avoid.

Allergic Reactions: 

If you’ve ever broken out in a rash or experienced itchiness after a wash, your detergent may be the culprit.

Always look out for products labeled as hypoallergenic if you have sensitive skin. But remember, just because it’s hypoallergenic doesn’t mean it’ll suit everyone.

Overpowering Fragrance: 

Does your laundry room (or, let’s be real, your entire home) suddenly smell like a perfume factory? Detergents with strong fragrances might not only be a noseful but also a sign of excessive chemicals.

Residue Blues: 

Have you ever pulled out a supposedly clean t-shirt only to find streaks or patches of detergent?

Not only is this a sign of a subpar detergent, but these residues can also irritate the skin.


A detergent tough on stains should also be kind to our planet. You might want to reconsider if it has a slew of unpronounceable chemicals and isn’t labeled biodegradable.

3 Reliable Laundry Detergents

Best Laundry Detergent

When it comes to laundry, finding the right detergent isn’t just about cleaning your clothes. It’s about the fragrance, the feel, and ensuring the ingredients are not harmful.

After testing several detergents and analyzing user reviews, here’s the list of the best laundry detergents you can use.

1. Tide Hygienic Clean Power Pods

The first time I tried these pods, I was admittedly skeptical. Could these tiny packets do the trick? But let me tell you, the results were nothing short of miraculous.

I had this white dress shirt that had seen better days. You know, those yellowish collars that stubbornly refuse to get clean?

One wash with Tide’s Hygienic Clean Power Pods looked practically brand new.

It wasn’t just about removing surface stains; it felt deeply cleansed. Every garment felt revitalized, as if the fibers themselves were rejuvenated.

Also Read: Poor Carpet Cleaners

2. Persil ProClean

While I’ve often relied on Tide for deep cleaning, Persil has been particularly effective for those unplanned stains, and it is certainly among the top laundry detergents.

Take, for example, a recent incident where I accidentally spilled red wine on my light-colored summer dress.

I was concerned about the stain but decided to give Persil a try. Its smooth consistency made it easy to apply.

I pre-treated the dress with Persil, and the stain disappeared after washing.

Additionally, the scent of the detergent is pleasant and not too strong, leaving my clothes with a fresh and mild fragrance.

3. Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean

I recently tried the Kirkland Signature Ultra Clean HE Liquid Laundry Detergent from Costco and found it quite effective.

Made for high-efficiency machines, it offers a good clean at an affordable price. A capful was enough to handle my regular laundry load, leaving clothes with a mild, pleasant scent.

The environmentally-friendly formula is a bonus. Kirkland’s option is solid if you are searching for a reliable laundry detergent that won’t break the bank.

You might also love to read our blogs on other worst brands:


In the market of laundry detergents, not everything that glitters is gold.

As you’ve discovered, even some renowned brands can hide behind the facade of fresh fragrances only to be labeled as the worst laundry detergents.

It’s more than just seeking the best scent or the most affordable option.

It’s about understanding the composition, considering the impact on your health, and recognizing the environmental footprint.

So next time you’re standing in the detergent aisle, think about the bigger picture and make a choice you can feel good about. Because your laundry deserves the best, and so do you!

Crystal Hafley Author

Crystal Hafley is a dedicated writer and content creator for WorstBrands, where she specializes in writing insightful reviews about kitchen appliances and fashion products.

With her expertise, Crystal provides readers with accurate and reliable information to help them make informed decisions about the brands and products they use every day. When she's not researching or writing, Crystal enjoys cooking and exploring the latest fashion trends.

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