Best forFamilies with older kids who are looking for an effective pack-style laundry detergent at a budget-friendly price
Top BenefitsGood stain removal, low cost per laundry pack, infused with OxiClean stain fighters
ConsiderationsScent may be too strong for some, opening child-safe zipper top on pouch package requires a bit of concentration
Bottom lineArm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks is a budget-friendly laundry detergent that cleans clothes well, lifting tough stains.
Arm & Hammer baking soda has long been a household staple for cleaning and banishing odours, so it wasn’t really surprising that Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks performed well in our tests. Parents who tried this pack-style laundry detergent at home were fans too, giving it top marks for cleaning power and scent. And with a budget-friendly price point, it offers a lot of value to families.
To test the effectiveness of laundry detergent packs, the Today’s Parent Approved team dirtied white 100-percent cotton t-shirts with those worst-nightmare stains—everything from spaghetti sauce to grass—and then headed to the laundromat to see how well the detergents tackled both fresh and set stains (because life happens and you can’t always wash something right away). Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks fared well, almost eliminating spaghetti sauce and chocolate ice cream stains, and doing a better-than-average job on red wine. It also performed as well on grass stains as leading brands that are typically thought of as being among the best when it comes to stain removal. It’s worth noting that the Power Paks performed best in our tests when two were added to the wash—not surprising given how heavily stained the white t-shirts were. For smaller loads of lightly soiled laundry, one pack should get the job done.
Our parent testers were impressed with this OxiClean-infused detergent: many said their most stubbornly stained items came out fresh and clean, noting that their regular detergent wasn’t up to the task. They all agreed that the Arm & Hammer packs did a good job cleaning their family's laundry, while keeping whites and colours bright. It’s worth noting that this detergent is fragranced, and testers had mixed feelings on the scent, with some liking it and others not so much.
Ease of use is important for families, especially when it comes to everyday household products. It doesn’t get much more simple than tossing a pack or two of pre-measured detergent into the washing machine before adding your laundry (bye, bye drips and spills!). The only thing you really need to think about is whether to add one or two packs, and both our editors and parent testers found it easy to understand the instructions on the package relating to this.
One very important thing we must note is pack-style laundry detergents do carry a risk of accidental poisoning. To a young child, that squishy pack looks a lot like candy or a toy to gum on, so it’s vital that the packaging includes safety features to keep little ones out. Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks come in two types of packages: a hard plastic tub and a zip-top pouch, each with safety features. Parents all received the zip-top pouches for testing, and they said they were pretty easy to open and secure, though it wasn’t completely effortless: The childproof zipper requires a press-pinch-pull action that takes a bit of concentration, and the majority of parents felt their kiddos wouldn’t be able to open it. (One parent did say that the zipper broke after a few uses, which can happen if you’re not careful—and it’s not always easy to be when you’re tired and just need to get the laundry done.) The hard plastic container, meanwhile, features a childproof lid with squeeze tabs that require finger strength and a wide finger span—near impossible for little ones to get inside.
Pre-measured and dissolvable in all temperatures, Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks makes the chore of laundry a little bit easier. All of our parent testers gave these laundry packs good or very good ratings for quality, ease of use and value for money, and they especially liked the convenience and price. In the end, though, it’s whether your laundry comes out clean that really matters, and testers and editors alike were impressed with how effectively the Arm & Hammer packs dealt with common messes and stains.
Keep up with your baby's development, get the latest parenting content and receive special offers from our partners