Going Green, Product Performance

FRESNO, Calif. Laundry detergent, Dishwasher detergent, and Toilet paper ... Consumer Reports has tested them all.

Lisa Lee Freeman with Consumer Reports said, "When it comes to green cleaners and paper products, our testers have found that quality varies a lot."

Take dishwasher detergents.

"The best-performing ones usually have phosphates, which are bad for the environment," said Freeman.

But most phosphate-free dishwasher detergents are not great cleaners. However, a few are worth trying, including ones from biokleen, ecover, and method.

Another plus, you don't have to pay a premium for them.

What about laundry detergent?

"Unfortunately, none of the eco-friendly laundry detergents we've tested earned top scores," said Freeman.

But tests show if your laundry isn't too grungy, there are some green detergents worth trying. For regular top-loaders, method squeaky green 3x concentrated. And for high-efficiency washers ... powdered seventh generation natural laundry detergent.

Then there's toilet paper. Of the 16 products tested, most of the recycled toilet papers weren't as tough ... or as soft as conventional ones.

"But we did find that recycled toilet paper broke down easily in our disintegration tests. And that's good for your septic systems and the environment," said Freeman.

Marcal small steps is a good green choice. And it's also less expensive than some big brand names, so it'll save you some green at the store, too!

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