I always like nosing around in the small non-food section when I make a Trader Joe’s run. I’m accustomed to buying things such as hand soap, dishwasher pacs, toiletries, and laundry supplies from Aldi, a regular grocery store, or a big box store. However, Trader Joe’s, which is a cousin to Aldi, sells some unique products that tend to feature more natural ingredients and are often reasonably priced. Some of my family’s favorites include eye cream, shaving cream, watermelon facial mist, a 3-in-1 body wash/shampoo/conditioner, and facial moisturizer.
During my latest Trader Joe’s visit, I checked out their laundry detergent. They sell two different kinds of laundry detergent: a smaller 50-ounce bottle of liquid free and clear detergent for $5.99, and a larger 100-ounce bottle of lavender-scented liquid detergent for $9.99. I picked up a bottle of the free and clear detergent to try at home (with intentions to go back later to try to lavender detergent as well).
Trader Joe’s Liquid Laundry Detergent with Stain Fighting Enzymes cost $5.99 for a 50-ounce bottle at the time of publication. That comes out to about 12 cents per ounce. This is the pricier detergent at Trader Joe’s, with the lavender detergent costing about 10 cents per ounce.
This is a free and clear detergent (meaning it doesn’t contain additives or irritants like dyes, fragrances, fabric softeners, etc.). For comparison, name-brand All Free Clear detergent cost about 15 cents per ounce for a small 24-ounce bottle at Walmart at the time of writing. You can get a better deal with a larger bottle of All Free Clear, with a 184.5-ounce bottle at Walmart going for about 8 cents per ounce at the time of writing. One Trader Joe’s fan on reddit mentioned the TJ’s detergent reminds them of plant-based Ecos detergent, which Walmart carries for about 10 cents per ounce if you buy a 110-ounce bottle.
So whether this Trader Joe’s detergent is a good deal depends on your brand loyalty and how big of a bottle you want to buy. If you’re willing to buy more in bulk, you can find better deals on name-brand free and clear detergents.
Here’s more information about the TJ’s free and clear detergent, according to the bottle:
- Good for up to 50 loads per bottle
- Free and clear
- Readily biodegradable formula
- pH balanced
- Made without dyes, fragrance, optical brighteners, phthalates, or phosphates
- HE/high efficiency
- Not tested on animals
The back of the bottle states:
Our laundry detergent is made with stain fighting enzymes and cleaners that are tough on stains. The biodegradable formula works great in all water temperatures to save energy. It is hypoallergenic for sensitive skin and contains no added dyes or fragrance.
Trader Joe’s website also mentions that this detergent cleans with coconut-derived surfactants and markets it as an eco-friendly liquid detergent.
Ingredients are water, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium coco sulfate, cocamidopropylamine oxide, phenoxyethanol, sodium citrate, glycerin, sodium formate, ethanol, caprylyl glycol, enzyme blend (protease, amylase, and mannanase), and sodium hydroxide.
To use, the bottle states to follow care label instructions on clothing, then sort, and test inside seam for colorfastness. For regular loads or HE machines, fill the cap to line 1 (1 fluid ounce, or 30 ml). For large or heavily soiled loads, fill cap to line 2 (2 fluid ounces, or 60 ml). For tough spots and stains, pour some detergent onto the stained area, rub lightly, and wash as usual.
As always with detergents, keep this out of reach of children. Do not swallow. Avoid contact with eyes. If product gets in eyes, rinse thoroughly with water.
So how good is this detergent at getting smells and stains out of laundry? I’ve used it with several loads of laundry now, including whites, bedding, and some winter coats that had gotten dusty and muddy when my children wore them to play outside. It’s done the job well no matter what I’m washing. It’s a clear liquid, and it gets dirt and stains out as well as other brands, and it has a nice clean scent without fragrance. Things just smell clean, and not perfumed, when I pull them out of the washing machine. As a small bonus, the measurement markers on the cap are easier to spot compared to other detergent brands I’ve used.
Trader Joe’s Liquid Laundry Detergent with Stain Fighting Enzymes is free and clear, meaning it does not contain dyes, fragrance, optical brighteners, or other additives that could be potential irritants. It’s the more expensive of the two liquid laundry detergents Trader Joe’s sells, but if fragrance-free is important, it might be worth the price. We’ve put it to the test with our own laundry, and it goes a good job of getting clothes clean and fresh.