Awaken Your Senses with the Best Smelling Laundry Detergent

Have you ever done the laundry only to realize later that your clothes smell funny or just have no freshness at all? It really is frustrating since everyone wants their clothing to feel clean and smell fresh after being laundered. The simplest way to achieve this is to find the best smelling laundry detergent for your clothes and you won’t be disappointed again by poor quality, odd smelling laundry.

Choosing the Best Smelling Laundry Detergent

Since “the best scent” is a subjective issue and everyone will have differing opinions, there will be some variances in what you may consider the best smelling laundry detergent. However, there are some key features which should be considered when purchasing a laundry detergent to have your clothes smelling great.


This is an obvious feature you will want to look at when purchasing a detergent. Scents range from fruity flavors to natural wonders such as rainfall or mountain air. Even though you have probably been taught not to open things in the store, for your laundry detergent selection it is a good idea to get a whiff. Take off the cap and smell it to see if it’s a scent that is pleasing to your nose. Keep in mind, that scent may change a little once it is on your actual clothing


This may not even occur to you but the ingredients used in your laundry detergent are very important. This soap is used on the clothing that is next to your skin all day long. It could mean the difference between having a rash or not. It is also a good idea to get familiar with what is used in the detergent to create the scent you smell. If you are looking for organic or natural detergent, the ingredient list will tip you off to whether you are on track or not. There are many environmentally conscious products available.

Load Count

How many loads you will get from one container is always a key factor anytime you buy laundry soap. This is especially true if you have a big family or lots of laundry to do. Some detergents are high efficiency and you will use less soap per load compared to other brands. However, if you are unsure if you will like the scent once you wash your clothing in it, it is best to go with a smaller jug of detergent to start.

Cold Water vs. Hot Water

Using cold water is said to be less harsh on your clothing and prevents your garments from wearing prematurely. Also, using cold water washes will reduce your utility usage since the water won’t require heating from a hot water tank. However, this means you must find a detergent specifically for use with cold water, so that your clothes get washed properly. Most other detergents work fine with hot or warm water. Whichever method of washing you elect to do, your detergent needs to match.

Price Point

You probably have a budget in mind for what you would like to spend on your laundry expenses. With that budget in mind, you should choose the best smelling laundry detergent from the bunch. Some detergents are also more expensive if they offer other benefits such as being compatible with high-efficiency machines, or built-in fabric softener. Inexpensive detergents don’t necessarily mean the best, and neither does a high price tag equate the top detergent on the shelf. Price point goes along with load count as well, since you will want to price out roughly how much the detergent costs per load, not just the final selling price.


Choosing the best smelling laundry detergent also means choosing one which will hold on to that favorite scent well past laundry day. Sure, it may smell terrific right after the wash is through, but how long will your clothes stay fresh once they are dried and put away? If you want to savor that scent, you will want to choose a detergent with staying power over the others.

Match Up

While this feature isn’t a deal breaker, it would be wonderful if the detergent you find as the best smelling laundry detergent was also available in a dryer sheet with the same scent. This would allow you to use dryer sheets to prevent static but also compliment the scent of the detergent you are using. If you cannot find a match up in a dryer sheet, you might want to choose an unscented dryer sheet so as not to overpower your laundry detergent scent.

The Best Smelling Laundry Detergent—Five Great Choices

While not the most inexpensive detergent on the market, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Liquid Laundry Detergent works hard to get your laundry clean and smelling fresh right out of the machine. It comes in a 34 ounce bottle which has a flip top cap. You only need to use a tablespoon of detergent in each regular load since it is a very concentrated formula. The lavender scent is soft yet noticeable and doesn’t overpower the senses.


  • 98% natural ingredients are used including plants, herbs and natural essential oils
  • Very little detergent needed per load
  • Works with both high-efficiency and regular washing machines
  • Can wash in cold, warm or hot water
  • Stain removal capability with instructions on the back label
  • Not animal tested
  • Safe for use on most garments since ingredients are gentle on fabrics
  • 68 loads per bottle
  • Matching scented dryer sheets are available for purchase separately


  • Higher price point than many detergents at .59 cents per load
  • Using the cap to measure detergent leaves a sticky mess down the side of the bottle
  • The bottle isn’t easily handled or gripped
  • May not get all bad odors out of your laundry; may just mask them
  • Measuring the liquid detergent into a tiny cap means more spillage
  • If you want the scent to last, you will need to use more than recommended

The Seventh Generation company is well known for their natural products which attempt to be kind to the environment for those who are wishing to be concious of their purchases. This comes in a two pack option and features a blended scent of geraniums and vanilla in a 53 load bottle. You will also be able to use this detergent as a stain remover if you follow the directions on the bottle.


  • 100% natural ingredients
  • 4x concentration formula means you use less per load
  • Hypoallergenic since there are no dyes or synthetic scents
  • Effective in hot or cold water washes
  • Works with high-efficiency and standard washing machines
  • Can work on stain removal as well
  • Two pack means 106 loads
  • Scent is refreshing without being overpowering like other top brands


  • Price per load is moderately high at .23/load
  • May need to use more detergent than recommended for moderately soiled clothing to come clean in the wash
  • If you prefer a stronger scent or if you want the scent to last you need to use more detergent in each load
  • Lid is tricky to put on correctly and can cause leaks easily
  • No exact matching scent in a dryer sheet; only unscented (Free & Clear)

This highly concentrated laundry detergent boasts 8x concentration compared to other brands. It has an easy pump top to dispense the detergent without creating a mess. The scent is not floral or too feminine which works for all family members. It is plant based for anyone concious about the environment and their carbon footprint. It is also not tested on animals.


  • Super concentrated formula at 8x means you get more than double the usage compared to popular brand names and even those with high concentration at 4x
  • Plant based ingredients for environmentally friendly shoppers
  • Handy pump top means dispensing even with one hand and no messy cap
  • Fresh air scent isn’t floral or feminine, catering to all family members
  • Works with high-efficiency and standard machines
  • Moderate price at .20/per load
  • 75 load bottle means you get many loads of laundry per bottle


  • If the pump top malfunctions, dispensing becomes very messy
  • To get a longer lasting scent, you need to use more than 4 pumps which reduces the amount of loads you will get from the bottle
  • No matching dryer sheet scent
  • Doesn’t clean as well as other popular brands unless more detergent is used

Tide is a popular household laundry detergent and, with this product has released an option for high-efficiency washing machine models. You get 32 loads per bottle for a very cost effective price per load. The scent of this detergent is original to Tide and is not based on any other type of aroma. The handy cap has markings to measure your detergent for differing size laundry loads too.


  • Very cost effective at about .17 per load
  • Helpful measuring cap with different measurements fordifferent sized loads
  • Caters specifically to high-efficiency machines but also works in standard washers
  • 6 x the cleaning power over other brands
  • Fights stains effectively
  • Very long-lasting scent on clothing long after laundry day
  • Matching dryer sheets and even fabric softener are available


  • Is not made with environmentally friendly ingredients and is dangerous for children to ingest
  • Scent is artificial
  • Allergic reactions are possible due to chemical ingredients
  • Loads per bottle reduced greatly if you use maximum amount of detergent per load
  • Not as effective in cold water washing as in hot or warm water washing

Gain is a well-known detergent for it’s long-lasting, very noticeable scent. These laundry pacs are super easy to use since you just throw one in each load without the fuss of measuring liquid. The scent is long lasting, even after your laundry has been folded and put away. The price per load is moderate. This works in all types of washing machines.


  • Very pleasing fresh, floral scent which isn’t too feminine
  • Cost per load is moderate at .30/load
  • Matching dryer sheets, fabric softener and even scent boosting beads are available for purchase separately
  • Works in high-efficiency and standard washing machines
  • Can be used in hot or cold water washing
  • Uses Oxi to fight tougher stains on clothing and brighten as it cleans
  • No pouring liquid into a cap for measuring and then creating a dripping mess


  • Not made with all natural ingredients, can be dangerous for children to ingest
  • One pac may not be enough for tough or larger loads
  • Scent may be too overpowering for those looking for something subtle

The Best Smelling Laundry Detergent Winner Is…

Clearly, scent is a preference for everyone but when other factors are also considered it was easy for me to decide which was the winner of these five products. Since we are first considering the best scent, I clearly would choose the Gain Flings! Scent Duet Laundry Detergent Pacs in the Wildflower/Waterfall scent. These hold their fresh, pleasing scent for many days and it is a perfect fragrance for all family members.

The bonus of this detergent is that it features Oxi to brighten and clean laundry effectively. It is not the least expensive on the market, but worth the money to avoid fighting with messy liquids and fussy measuring caps. Since this container includes 61 pacs or enough for 61 loads, you will get weeks of use out of one container. To compliment the detergent, you can opt to purchase matching dryer sheets and fabric softener. When you want to boost the scent, you can purchase scent boosting beads. This is an effective detergent which wins the title of the best smelling laundry detergent for me and my family.

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Jennifer Shackelford

Hi, I’m Jennifer, the founder and editor of TheMamaNeeds.com. On The Mama Needs, I write about experience with pregnancy, raising kids, and nutrition for both kids and expectant moms.. I love that blogging brings parents together and lets our readers know they’re not the only ones going through these experiences. I love seeing comments on my posts that say “I thought it was just me! I’m so glad it’s not!” Being a parent is hard, but friends and blogs really help.

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