Save On Laundry Detergents

Companies spend more than $300 million a year advertising laundry detergents. Consumer Reports tested three dozen to show you the best.

Project Runway's Tim Gunn is touting Tide's latest edition-Tide Total Care.

Consumer Reports wanted to see if Tide Total Care delivered on its promise.

Testers washed three brand new cotton dresses 30 times-one in Tide Total Care, another in All Small & Mighty, and another in 2-Times Ultra Tide for Coldwater.

Pat Slaven then compared the new dress to the washed ones.

"The dress washed with All faded compared to the dress washed with Tide Total Care," said Slaven.

And the dress washed in Two Time Ultra Tide for Coldwater looks about the same as the Tide Total Care dress. But that detergent costs about half as much.

And the cheaper 2-Times Ultra Tide for Cold water did a better job getting out stains in Consumer Reports' stain-removal tests.

In all, more than 40 detergents were evaluated.

Testers washed more than 1500 cotton squares stained with hard-to-clean substances like red wine...grass...blodd..and chocolate.

In the end, Consumer Reports named two Best Buys that will tear through tough stains and save you some money, too.

For conventional top=loading washers, try 2-Times Ultra Tide for Coldwater.

For high-efficiency front-loaders, Consumer Reports recommends Ultra Cheer Colorguard 2-Times concentrated.

To save more money, wash you laundry in cold water instead of warm.

Consumer Reports says with a conventional top-loader, that can reduce your energy costs by $60 a year.

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