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Clean Sweep

Laundry detergent comes in modern, retro, and pop packaging. Which bottle is best?

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Restoration Hardware, $22 for 75 ounces
Packaging looks cool and clean on the shelf, but smells more of detergent than cucumber mint, and it’s powerful enough to noticeably fade colored sheets (935 Broadway, nr. 22nd St.; 212-260-9479).








Jane Incorporated, $22 for 48 ounces
Two to three scoops are recommended—count on four to five to remove soiling. Cleans no better than grocery-store brands, though the lavender scent is pleasant. (At Sixth Sense, 324 W. 49th St., nr. Ninth Ave.; 212-957-9057.)








SDH, $20 for 16 ounces
Bottle says fine fabric wash, yet in practice it’s just as effective on rugged jeans and other tough items. No dyes or perfumes make this a good choice for those with sensitive skin. (At ABC Carpet & Home, 888 Broadway, at 19th St.; 212-473-3000.)








The Laundress, $18 for 33.3 ounces
The Signature brand claims to work for both white and colored clothes, but soak your whites in bleach first—garments don’t sparkle when washed with detergent alone. (At Bergdorf Goodman.)








Caldrea, $16 for 68 ounces
Fragrant mix of citrus, tea, jasmine, rose, and mint makes doing the laundry an aromatic experience. Really does work at all temperatures, cleaning lights and darks equally effectively. (At A.L. Bazzini, 339 Greenwich St., nr. Harrison St.; 212-334-1280.)








Victoria’s Secret, $14 for 64 ounces
Contains foam-boosting agents, so use with high-tech machines only: Outdated models won’t rinse out suds; front-loaded might overflow. (At Victoria’s Secret stores; victoriassecret.com.)








Mrs. Meyer’s, $11.99 for 64 ounces
Vintage-style bottle contains borax (which has natural bleach components), so it handles grungy white tees and socks without extra bleach. (At At Whole Foods, 10 Columbus Circle, at 59th St.; 212-823-9600.)








Ecos, $11 for 128 ounces
Low sudsing means there’s a slim chance of residue, and a soy-based fabric softener is already added to keep clothes soft. It’s biodegradable and free of phosphates, so it’s good for the environment. (At Whole Foods.)








Tide, $5.44 for 33 ounces
Powdered version is likely to leave clumps of detergent in creases of clothes and an unsightly residue on dark items. Stick to the liquid. (At Duane Reade stores; duanereade.com.)








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