The Laundry List: Best Washers, Dryers and Detergents

"Consumer Reports" shows you how to save up to $140 a year on laundry.

ByABC News via GMA logo
June 7, 2009, 8:04 PM

June 8, 2009 — -- It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it: laundry.

Thanks to Consumer Reports, consumers can save time, money and even the earth while getting rid of those nasty stains.

Consumer Reports senior project editor Mandy Walker joined "Good Morning America" with the results of the magazine's most recent tests of detergent, washers and dryers.

Consumer Reports looked at how effective the washers were at removing stains while retaining color and tested dryers to see if all clothes were dried thoroughly. The report not only examined effectiveness, it also looked at efficiency, both interms of cost and energy.

After laundering 5,000 soiled swatches, a total of 5,800 pounds of laundry, Consumer Reports published its findings. You can see the results below.

Best Conventional Detergent: Tide 2X Ultra for Cold Water

At 19 cents per load -- about $80 less per year than pricier detergents -- Tide 2X Ultra for Cold Water got out grass and other top stains. It is best used in a standard top-loading washer and since it is made to use in cold water, it will save $60 per year in energy costs, which combines for a total of $140 in savings for an excellent detergent.

Best Green Detergent: Simplicity Hypoallergenic Non-toxic 2X

Simplicity Hypoallergenic Non-toxic 2X costs 17 cents per load, is best used in a top-loader, and cleans well. It is considered "green" because it is made with plant-based rather than petroleum-based ingredients.

About its "hypoallergenic" status, it is important for consumers to know that manufacturers can make those claims without meeting any federal standards. In fact, the safety warning on this detergent says that it can cause eye, skin or respiratory irritation.

Most Efficient Detergent: Cheer 2X Ultra Color Guard

Consumer Reports recommends Cheer 2X Ultra Color Guard. At only 17 cents per load, the Cheer detergent cleaned clothes thoroughly and offered the most value. It is used in front-loading machines.