Luxury Detergent Round Up: Comparing the 6 best detergents for washing your luxury clothes and fine fabrics

Choosing the Best Detergent for Your Luxury Washables and Fine Fabrics

Your luxury washables are an investment. And when it comes to laundering, they deserve only the best.

Quality bath and table linens, clothing, and bedding should be washed with a detergent gentle enough to protect the fabric while getting it clean and removing tough stains. Regular detergent won't fit the bill; these commercial formulations may clean your items effectively but they are often made with harsh chemicals that ultimately take a toll on fine fabric.

Fortunately, there are many wonderful detergent options made specifically for fine fabrics. These are typically pH neutral formulas, designed to clean thoroughly without causing damage. At Fine Linen and Bath, we always recommend using a detergent specially formulated for fine fabrics to wash towels, bedsheets, and table linens. Our team took a look at some of the best-selling brands and weighed in with their thoughts and feedback on each.

For purposes of this discussion, we are focusing on each brand's "all-purpose" liquid detergent formula that is the most versatile. We cleaned similar loads of towels and clothing in each brand on a regular wash cycle and followed manufacturer directions for measuring laundry soap.

Luxury Laundry detergent roundup comparison

Heritage Park Fine Laundry Detergent, Fragrance-Free

The promise: to formulate a detergent with powerful cleaning enzymes to remove dirt and stains while preserving and restoring the natural beauty of fine linens and luxury bedding. This all-temperature detergent wash has a neutral pH; is fragrance-free, and 100% biodegradable. It has also been tested by a third-party lab (AMA Laboratories) to be hypoallergenic as well as dermatologist and pediatrician tested. It contains no harsh chemicals (sulfates, phosphates, chlorine bleach, or brighteners) and is certified cruelty free with no animal testing by Leaping Bunny. The plant-based ingredients are organic and are listed on the bottle and website, where they are explained in detail. The Heritage Park website features laundry tips and a blog and highlights several companion products including silk & wool wash, wool dryer balls, mesh laundry bags, and more.

Heritage Park Luxury All-Purpose Laundry Detergent

The performance: This detergent absolutely knocks it out of the "park" when it comes to towels, leaving them clean, soft, and smelling wonderfully fresh (even though it contains no added scent!) Our fussiest family member offered unsolicited praise after their towel was washed without their knowledge in this fabulous detergent, saying, "Whatever detergent you used on the towels makes them way softer and smell much better. Like incomparable." We think it's the proprietary blend of enzymes at work, cleaning the fibers and allowing them to retain their innate softness and absorbency. The bottle yields between 16 (regular machine) and 21 loads (HE machine) at a cost of $1.09 to $1.43 each.

Recommended for: Towels, sheets and clothing that you want clean, restore, and freshened up. This is a versatile detergent.

LeBlanc Linen Wash, Original

The promise: designed for the laundering of luxury and everyday washable and colorfast linens and apparel. LeBlanc Linen Wash is formulated to protect fibers while preserving the original beauty of fine textiles and apparel. It can be used on washable, colorfast, and organic linens as well as all cottons, synthetics, and blends. This cold-water wash (lukewarm for hand wash or pretreating) has a pleasing flower/fruit/herb scent and is neutral pH. It's 100% biodegradable with no animal testing but no outside certification that we can find. It has NO cleaning enzymes as well as no bleach, caustics, phosphates, sulfates, or parabens. The ingredients aren't listed on either the website or the bottle, but the website does say that the formula contains organic ingredients; is environmentally safe; not tested on animals, and is biodegradable. The website offers laundering tips and showcases a full line of detergent and laundry accessories.

Le Blanc Linen Wash Original

The performance: LeBlanc left our towels soft, though not quite as soft as Heritage Park, with a light pleasant scent. It did well on our laundry, too. The big limitation is that LeBlanc is formulated only for cold water and does NOT contain enzymes; therefore, it's not ideal for heavily soiled towels or laundry that need heavy-duty cleaning. Also, LeBlanc makes multiple formulations, including specialty detergent for towels, lingerie/silk, and general laundry (again, the original has no enzymes and is cold-water only). That's a LOT of separate detergents to buy! LeBlanc Linen Wash yields 16 loads per bottle for both regular and HE washing machines at a cost of $1.50 per load.

Recommended for: Clothing that can be washed in cold water.

Puracy Natural 10x Laundry Detergent

The promise: Puracy makes a lot of really big promises, starting with the idea that you can do 96 loads of wash (spoiler alert: not really). However, they do send a helpful pump (something the other brands do not) to measure their very concentrated detergent. This unscented detergent is hypoallergenic and formulated for allergies/sensitive skin; it is also plant-based, 100% biodegradable, and made without harmful chemicals. It is not tested on animals and is certified by PETA as well as Leaping Bunny. Puracy contains enzymes and is neutral pH. It contains NO sulfates, petrochemicals, caustics, phosphates, phthalates, animal by-products, chlorine, allergens, or optical brighteners. Ingredients -- including enzymes -- are listed on the bottle but are not explained on either the bottle or website. The website offers tips for cleaning, wellness, and healthy living and highlights other Puracy products for the laundry, home, and personal care.

Puracy Natural 10x Laundry Detergent

The performance: Let's begin with the math. The bottle promises up to 96 loads of wash but that is based on a single pump for hand washing. A large, non-HE load could require four pumps of detergent, which means you're getting 24 washes out of the bottle (which is still a good value, but a far cry from 96). That said, the pump is helpful for measuring and avoiding spills and waste. Puracy left our towels clean and fresh (we needed three pumps even in our HE washing machine) but was not very effective on moderately soiled clothes, which had to be washed a second time. Perhaps Puracy would perform better on clothing if used in combination with an oxygen bleach powder or a scent booster. Additionally, the Puracy bottle says it can be used for washing silk, but it contains enzymes that can actually degrade silk and other protein-based fibers. Despite the overpromising, Puracy gets credit for eco-friendliness and sustainability. Puracy lives its commitment to fighting waste both by producing a highly concentrated formula and selling refill pouches that allow you to reuse the bottle. A large, non-HE load washed in Puracy will cost 63 cents.

Recommended for: Individuals with sensitive skin or allergies, babies. Not for heavy-duty cleaning.

The Laundress Signature Detergent

The promise: Master everyday laundry. The company says it developed this product for those who are "serious about caring for their clothes and linens." For all-purpose laundering, Signature Detergent is perfectly formulated to whiten, brighten, and preserve color while being effective at stain removal. This all-temperature detergent is made with a "clean laundry scent" blended from flowers, citrus, and herbs. It is biodegradable, non-toxic, allergen-free, and made with no animal testing (although the Laundress' parent company DOES conduct animal testing on other products). It contains no artificial color, petroleum, phosphates, or phthalates. The ingredients are listed on the bottle and website with no detailed explanation. The site does offer robust how-to's but they often link to ancillary companion products.

Laundress Signature Detergent

The performance: The Laundress Signature Detergent did a great job on our mildly soiled clothes, leaving them clean, soft, and smelling great. It did an adequate job on our towels, not nearly as good as Heritage Park or Woolite Clean and Care. The cap on the bottle is incredibly hard to work worth; the usage instructions recommend measuring by capful which leaves us with detergent running down our arm and the side of the bottle. Also, math used to calculate loads per bottle is a bit sketchy; 64 "loads" means 64 handwashes with one capful per wash. The reality is the bottle will deliver either 32 HE loads or 16 regular machine loads following directions; this works out to between 64 cents and $1.28 per load. The Laundress also offers dozens of companion products for laundry (delicate fabrics, denim, whites, baby, etc.), household cleaning, gifts/baby, and more. The Laundress was recently purchased by Unilever, which is consistent with the aggressive upsell/cross-sell/brand extension. Honestly, should you really have to buy a completely different detergent to wash your jeans?

Recommended for: A pleasing scent and being a good value on mildly soiled clothing.

Tyler Glamorous Wash Diva

The promise: Made by Tyler Candle Company, Glamorous Wash allows candle fans to enjoy their "favorite scents throughout the day and night." (And how! More on that later). While it is formulated for HE machines, this detergent can be used in regular machines; it promises to "clean effectively yet remain gentle" on delicate fabrics such as "linens, lingerie, and fine fabrics." Instructions say to shake the bottle before using it. It is made without phosphates but otherwise, the ingredients are not listed on the website or the bottle. The website sells many scented products such as sachets and signature scented candles. We tested the DIVA scent, which is a heavy mix of fruits, florals, aromatic chocolate, and amber.

Tyler Glamorous Wash Diva

The performance. The towels we washed came out smelling VERY strong but not as clean feeling or fluffy as with other detergents. It almost appeared that the nap was down a bit. With clothing, it's hard to tell how clean the items are getting because the scent is, frankly, overpowering; in fact, we were woken up in the middle of the night by the very strong Diva smell from our recently washed nightgown. The bottom line: this detergent is NOT for everyone. You really have to be a fan of the smell, and use it judiciously. The bottle suggests the same amount of detergent for every load no matter the size or efficiency of the machine; that means a bottle yields 10 loads at a cost of $2.99/load. We think you can get away with using less than is suggested, particularly if you are just looking to scent your wash.

Recommended for: Super-fans of Tyler Candle Company DIVA scent. Consider using less than suggested, both due to cost and strength of scent.

Woolite Clean and Care

The promise: The name Woolite is a legendary brand that is synonymous with washing delicate items. Clean and Care says it is made to keep the clothes you love looking like new even after 30 washes without causing stretching, shrinking, or fading. It is formulated to smooth fibers; remove pilling and fuzz, and revive color. The Sparkling Falls scent is extremely mild. It can be used in all temperatures and both regular and HE machines. The ingredients are not listed on the bottle; you have to search the parent company website to find them, and they do include sulfate. The same parent company website also vaguely mentions environmental initiatives but we weren't able to click through for any specifics. However, the product website is robust and includes instructions and helpful guides for decoding fabric symbols. Companion products are Woolite Darks and Woolite Delicates (the traditional formula).

Woolite Clean and Care detergent

The performance: This detergent was really good on our towels, second only to Heritage Park. It also performed well on clothing. There are some odd instructions for top loaders, which include filling the machine with water, then adding the detergent, then the items to be washed. We realize this is to allow the proper dilution of the detergent, but it's super awkward, particularly if you are working with a top loader that locks. The amount of detergent recommended is the same for both HE and regular machines; each load works out to a cost of 35 cents. Our experience tells us that Clean and Care is likely a highly commercial formulation, which is why we had to dig for ingredients and environmental information. (You will note in the comparison chart below there were many questions left to be answered about this particular detergent).

Recommended for: A very cost-effective way to wash towels and keep them looking nice.

Fine Linen and Bath Top Detergent Picks are...

Best Detergent for Towels

  • Heritage Park Laundry Essentials
  • Woolite Clean and Care

Best Detergent for Clothing

  • LeBlanc Linen Wash (cold only)
  • The Laundress Signature Detergent
  • Heritage Park Laundry Essentials

Best Detergent for Sheets

  • Heritage Park Laundry Essentials
  • LeBlanc Linen Wash
  • The Laundress Signature Detergent

Comparison Chart of the top Luxury Detergent Brands

The chart below offers more comprehensive details on the specific detergents:

 

Heritage Park Fine Laundry Detergent
32 oz.
LeBlanc Linen Wash (Original)
32 oz.
Puracy Natural 10x Laundry Detergent
Free and Clear
The Laundress Signature Detergent
32 oz.
Tyler Glamorous Wash Diva
32 oz.
Woolite Clean & Care Sparkling Falls Scent
50 oz.

Price

$23 $24 $15 $20.50 $29.95 $11

Compatibility

HE, standard washing machines, and handwash HE, standard washing machines, and handwash HE, standard washing machines, and handwash HE, standard washing machines, and handwash HE, standard washing machines, and handwash HE, standard washing machines, and handwash

Loads per bottle

21 loads HE, 16 loads regular 16 loads 96 loads HE, 24 loads regular 32 loads HE, 16 loads regular 10 loads 33 loads

Cost per load

$1.09 HE / $1.43 regular $1.50 per load $0.16 HE, $0.63 regular $0.64 HE / $1.28 regular $2.99 per load $0.33 per load

Recommended washing temperature

All Cold (lukewarm ok for hand or pretreat) All All All All

Scent

Fragrance-free, But smells “clean” Jasmine and hyacinth, notes of apple, kiwi, herbs, wood, citrus Fragrance-free Classic, the ultimate “clean laundry smell,” blending lily of the valley and jasmine with sweet musk, sandalwood, and a touch of citrus Heavily scented. Fruits, florals, aromatic chocolate, and amber Sparkling Falls (very light)

Other scent options

Shore Breeze 5 additional scents Fresh Linen 4 additional scents and unscented 11 additional scents ----

Allergies and Sensitive skin

Hypoallergenic, pediatrician and dermatologist tested ---- Hypoallergenic formulated for allergies and sensitive skin Allergen-free ---- ----

Environment

100% biodegradable, No dyes or harsh chemicals 100% biodegradable, No harsh chemicals 100% biodegradable, Plant-based, No harmful chemicals Biodegradable, Non-toxic ---- Parent company, website vaguely mentions environmental initiatives

Cruelty-free / No animal testing

No animal testing No animal testing Cruelty-free Yes, but parent company Unilever does conduct animal testing on other products
No animal testing
----

Third-party cruelty-free certification

Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free ---- PETA and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free (no logo on package) ---- ---- ----

Cleaning enzymes

Yes No Yes Yes ---- Yes

Recommended for

All-purpose cleaner recommended for clothing, towels, and bed linen made from cotton, synthetic fabric, and blended fabric Washable, colorfast, and organic linens as well as all cottons, synthetics, and blends. Label notes bed linens, table linens and clothing All-purpose cleaner recommended for washables including clothing, linen, fitness gear, wool, silk For all-purpose laundering, formulated to whiten, brighten, and preserve color while removing stains Linens, lingerie, fine fabrics, everyday use, made to leave a signature scent All clothes. Won’t cause fading, shrinking, or stretching clothes look new after 30 washes. Smooths fibers, removes pilling and fuzz, revives colors

Neutral pH

Yes Yes Not stated on bottle or website Available in other detergent options Not stated on bottle or website Not stated on bottle

Spot treat stains?

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Dye-free?

Yes No, they don’t specify Yes No “artificial color” No No

Made without

NO sulfates, phosphates, chlorine bleach, brighteners NO bleach, caustics, enzymes, phosphates, sulfates, parabens NO sulfates, petrochemicals, caustics, phosphates, phthalates, animal by-products, chlorine, allergens, optical brighteners NO petroleum, phosphate, phthalates, and artificial color NO phosphates Unclear, the ingredient list contains sulfate

Ingredients listed on the bottle?

Yes No Yes, including plant enzymes Yes No No

Ingredients listed on the website?

Yes, with a detailed description No Yes just names of ingredients Yes, list only No Yes but need to search parent company website

Organic ingredients?

Yes, plant-based Yes, unspecified Plant-based Vegan friendly ---- ---- ----

Septic system or Greywater safe?

Yes ---- Yes ---- ---- ----

Made in

USA USA USA USA USA USA

Website has washing tips?

Tips, FAQs, laundry blog Laundering tips Cleaning tips, wellness, lifestyle Yes, but “tips” and “how-tos” often link to ancillary products like stain treatment, fabric softener, scent boosters, etc. ---- Robust website with instructions and helpful guides to fabric symbols

Companion products available

Fine silk and wool detergent, laundry accessories Full detergent line, sachets, linen water, linen press Laundry stain remover, wider line of household cleaning and personal care Many companion products across multiple cleaning disciplines Sachets, scented candles Woolite Darks, Woolite Delicates (traditional)

 

Visit the Fine Linen and Bath website to learn more about caring for your luxury towels and sheets.

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