With the right smelling laundry detergent, you can forget about having to add softener or anything else to boost the scent. Typically, laundry detergent isn’t known for producing a pleasant scent but there are plenty of great products out there that not only cleans your clothes but leaves them smelling great. It’s not asking a lot fo these products to give work a little harder, after all, most brands promise you the world on the side of the bottle anyway!
This is one of the reasons finding a pleasantly scented detergent can be challenging. To help make this tricky purchase easier, we have compiled a list of the best smelling laundry detergents available. Each one has something unique to offer but above all, smells great.
- Editor’s Choice
Tide Pods 3 in 1, Laundry Detergent Pacs, Spring Meadow Scent (Amazon) – Review
- Best Concentrated
Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent (Amazon) – Review
- Best Luxury
TYLER Glamorous Laundry Wash Detergent (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Odor Control
Downy Fresh Protect with with Febreze, In-Wash Scent Beads (Amazon) – Review
- Best Unscented
Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent (Amazon) – Review
- Best For Sensitive Skin
Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Tide Pods 3 in 1, Laundry Detergent Pacs, Spring Meadow Scent
The convenience of pods, a 3-in-1 formula, and a pleasant meadow scent make this our top pick of the smelling laundry detergents. Tide might be one of the most well-known brands on our list but they do just about everything right here. There is a stain remover, detergent, and color protection to keep your bright colors vibrant and smelling fresh.
It is free of phosphates and has 10 x the cleaning power of other brands. The fresh floral notes are great for all the family and stay on clothes for a while. This isn’t the kind of natural formula that some people prefer but it is tough on stains and odors and great value considering you get 81 pods.
- 3-in-1 formula
- Color protection
- Spring meadow scent
- 10x cleaning power of other brands
- Good value in the 81 pods
Best Concentrated: Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent
Although a pleasing scent is all down to personal preference, this Geranium Blossom & Vanilla combination is hard to better. They use 100% essential oils and botanical extracts so there is no chemical smell left behind. In terms of its main purpose, this great smelling laundry detergent is also highly concentrated so each bottle in this 2-packs lasts for around 53 washes.
It is also fine for both standard and HE machines and is a USDA certified biobased product, hardly surprising since it is made from 96% plant-based ingredients. These ingredients combine to ensure it is tough on stains so the likes of coffee and spaghetti sauce won’t ruin your light-colored clothes and it is made without dyes or synthetic fragrances. So when you’re breathing that Geranium Blossom & Vanilla it’s not going to do you any harm.
- Geranium Blossom & Vanilla scent
- 100% essential oils and botanical extract
- 96% of plant derived ingredients
- No dyes or synthetic fragrances
- Other formulas are tougher on stains
Best Luxury: TYLER Glamorous Laundry Wash Detergent
If you want your clothes to capture the smell of a popular fragrance then this is one of the best smelling laundry detergents with a rich aroma. Although it is tough on dirt and cleans well, it is still gentle on delicates meaning all your clothes can be washed in the combination of fruits and rich florals with a hint of amber.
These are the sort of words best to describe perfume which means it shouldn’t be such a surprise that it is the same aroma as Tyler fragrances. Fine for machine washing and hand washing it is not as readily available as other brands but you can grab this 16 oz bottle for yourself. It is on the more expensive side but does have a luxurious feel and you don’t need to use a lot at a time so it should last a while.
- Tyler fragrances scent
- Ideal for delicates and linen
- Generous 16oz container
- Fine for machine wash and hand wash
- Can be a bit pricey for some
Best For Odor Control: Downy Fresh Protect with with Febreze, In-Wash Scent Beads
These scented beads are something else and make for some heavenly scented clothes. They combine with Febreeze odor defense so they keep clothes smelling great for longer and are easy to use, just tip a capful into your load, adding more if you feel the need. It contains motion-activated protection against odor so it is ideal for the outdoorsy lifestyle and anyone on the move.
It works in both standard and HE washing machines and gives 24 hours of freshness on worn garments. You can use it alongside any detergent so it is there to complement your regular choice, not replace it. Still, anyone who sweats on their daily commute or doesn’t want to ruin their clothes with strong odors should consider this as a great way of covering up unwanted smells.
- 24 hours of odor control
- Motion-activated defense
- Works in both standard and HE machines
- Have to buy detergent separately
Best Unscented: Seventh Generation Concentrated Laundry Detergent
If smelling laundry detergent is more of a concern than something you are hoping to find, this unscented product from Seventh Generation is a good option. It has a triple enzyme formula that is tough on stains despite much of the formula being tailored towards those with sensitive skin.
It is hypoallergenic and is concentrated to make each bottle of this two-pack fine for around 53 washes. Each bottle contains its USDA Certified and 96% plant-derived formula that is made without synthetic fragrances or dyes. Another bonus is the convenient size, all down to the fact that it is concentrated. It cleans without leaving you with a strong chemical smell, or any smell at all.
- Tough on stains
- Concentrated formula
- No synthetic fragrances of dyes
- Not everyone wants a scentless detergent
Best For Sensitive Skin: Biokleen Natural Laundry Detergent
The citrus scent of this has a pleasant and more natural smell to it than other options which is all down to the carefully selected plant-based ingredients. Eco-friendly and non-toxic, we like it because there are no artificial fragrances so everything on the nose is kind on the skin as well.
It uses extracts from grapefruit seed and oranges to freshen up your clothes and because the ingredients are natural, it is ideal for anyone with sensitive skin. When you use it you are not hurting streams, rivers, or wildlife and it cleans well without leaving a harsh scent. You get around 64 standard loads out of this 3 x concentrated formula and it is not tested on animals
- Eco friendly and non-toxic
- Plant-based ingredients
- Pleasant citrus scent
- 3 x concentrated formula
- May have to use a little more than one cap
Anyone with kids will know that some laundry detergent brands just do not stay on clothes long enough. Even when some do, they have a strong chemical smell that is not the same as the best smelling laundry detergents. on the market. There is something to be said for a product that is tough on dirt but will also leave a lasting impression on the nose.
We don’t all have the budget to buy 3 detergents at once to find out which smells best but when you know what the best brands are capable of, it can help you make an informed decision.
This is why we have created the following buyer’s guide.
Anyone who washes their clothes can often tell if the scent is going to last. Firstly, if it comes out and smells like wet clothes instead of the fragrance that the brand claims on the bottle then it is not going to be present when you take that t-shirt out in a few days.
The best smelling laundry. detergents are those that not only smell great when you pour it in but stays on clothes for longer., some brands make products that stay on clothes for weeks when folded away.
Suitable For Different Types of Machines
Some detergents are fine for hand washing and dissolves in cold water as well as warm but before you buy, make sure the product you have your eye on is fine for your type of washing machine. On the label, it should say it is fine for both HE and standard machines.
This can come in many forms but if the price is reasonable then you are off to a good start. Sometimes, smelling laundry detergent can seem expensive but that is because it comes in a large container and is highly concentrated. These types are going to last longer and can represent good value.
You want a great scent, but also one that covers up the bad ones. If you are washing reusable diapers then these are the sort of detergents that are going to stop any unwanted smells from lingering.
Odor technology is great because it can be work harder when you sweat and masks odors when they start to emerge.
This is still a vital feature of any smelling laundry detergent. There is no point in smelling great if your clothes are too dirty to wear. Not every brand has to be a 3-in-1 product (although there is no harm in that!) but as long as it can cover the basics, it’s worth considering.
Fine For Sensitive Skin
This might not apply for you but if t dos, you know how irritating some washing detergents can be. The mix of chemicals can make it difficult to identify which is the culprit so it is not worth taking a risk.
Certain brands make products that are designed with sensitive skin in mind so look out for these.
This leads on from the previous attribute as any formula with plant-based ingredients is going to be better on your skin. The only downside is that these tend to not be as good at removing dirt and are not as strong in terms of cleaning but anything that stays away from parabens and artificial fragrances is a good place to start.
No Animal Testing
Not everyone looks out for this although it can be vital to a lot of customers. Usually, a brand will display something on the side of the. bottle to state that they have not tested on animals at any point.
Although some people might be tempted by an at-home formula, a lot of us stick to what we know best. Using a laundry detergent is convenient when you buy a reputable brand that delivers on its promises and cleans but there are other benefits too.
Laundry detergent is good for different water types so if your area has hard water, the magnesium, and salt in the water that can leave mineral deposits on your laundry. The detergent helps to reduce this and can brighten whites that would otherwise look dull as a result.
This is just one benefit of using detergent but it also helps to keep bright colors looking their best, removes stubborn stains, and protects clothes from wearing so fast.
To ensure your clothes don’t smell like wet rags when you take them out of the machine, you need to use the right amount. This is all down to how big the load is.
Although every brand is different and with concentrated formulas you might need to use less, the following is a general guide to understand what makes a small, medium, and large load so when you read the instructions on your detergent, you know how much to use.
A small load is anything up to 1/3 full.
A medium load is around 1/3 to 1/2 full
A large load is anything above 1/2 full
These are some of the most common types of laundry detergent and are easy to use. They are often best for removing stains and softening water, not to mention they are great at cleaving a lasting scent on clothes.
Another popular laundry detergent and the easiest to use. By throwing a pod in with your washing there is no cleanup or measuring.
The downside is you cannot portion them for smaller loads but the soluble outer ensures they are easy and effective.
These are the types of laundry detergent most of us remember from childhood as our parents scooped the right amount per load. They dissolve with ease and can often be used for handwashing as well.