Martha Stewart's laundry detergent claims it removes tough stains, so Consumer Reports used swatches soaked with tough stains to test it out. Some swatches were stained with things like wine, blood and grass.
After washing, testers used a device to precisely measure how much of the stain had been removed.
In conventional top loaders, there was barely a difference between the swatches washed in Martha's detergent and those washed in plain water. The results from high-efficiency washers were only slightly better.
So, which detergents did perform well in Consumer Reports' test?
For conventional top-loaders, Tide 2X Ultra Concentrated for Cold Water worked best. For high-efficiency machines, Gain Original Fresh HE is a best buy at just 6 cents a load.
If you're looking for a green laundry detergent, both Kirkland Signature Free & Clear 2X Ultra and Seventh Generation Natural Powdered HE cleaned reasonably well in Consumer Reports' tests. Both of those detergents are for high-efficiency top-loading machines.