Best forFamilies that prefer mildly scented detergents, and those who would like to avoid dyes
Top BenefitsFree of dyes and phthalates, good stain removal, budget-friendly
ConsiderationsMild scent, only available at Sobeys stores
Bottom lineCompliments Original Liquid Laundry Detergent is an inexpensive, dye-free detergent that has above-average cleaning power
As we headed into testing original formulation liquid laundry detergents, we suspected that a lot of the private label products might not be able to compete with brands that are renowned for their stain-fighting, clothes-cleaning power. But Compliments Original Liquid Laundry Detergent impressed us. We hit the laundromat to test a range of original formula scented liquid laundry detergents, and Compliments ranked in the top third of the ones we tested, keeping company with some heavy hitters in the detergent world.
In our tests, Compliments effectively removed grass, grape juice, pureed sweet potato, washable marker and formula stains—both fresh and ones that we let sit overnight—from pre-washed, 100-percent cotton white onesies. Although none of the brands we tested completely removed mud, spilled coffee or spaghetti sauce, Compliments left the onesies cleaner than most brands. Our parent testers agreed that this detergent did a good job of washing their family’s clothes, and gave its stain-fighting abilities an average to good rating overall.
Compliments also earns a gold star for being the only scented detergent we tested that is free of any dyes, and it's also phthalate-free. You'd normally have to spend a bit more money on a "free and clear" detergent to get those benefits. As the private, in-house label for Sobeys Inc., the cost per load is already lower than big brand names ($0.19 per load), so these extras really add to the value.
Our parent testers were divided on the scent of Compliments Original Liquid Laundry Detergent, with one tester noting that she was disappointed that the fragrance wasn't stronger, while another made a point of mentioning she appreciated the mild scent. Scent is really a matter of personal preference, but the mild fragrance in this detergent could be a plus if you want some scent but don't want it to heavily perfume your clothes and sheets.