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.