Unhappy with Kirkland Laundry Detergent


The image above is not the exact Kirkland detergent I’m unhappy with, but I think it’s close enough. I was too lazy to take a picture of my actual box, but it’s the dry detergent we’re talking about here.

PROBLEM: Detergent is NOT dissolving all the way and is instead leaving small detergent specks all over our clothes. You can even see all kinds of detergent specks in the sink when the water has drained, so this is after a full cycle wash that the detergent has not fully dissolved.

I think we’ve used this Kirkland detergent before & I don’t remember this problem. Is this a new formula, new outside company making the stuff, or did I just get a bad batch? Anybody else having this problem?

I got a big  ol’ box of stuff now, too. Not happy.


37 responses to “Unhappy with Kirkland Laundry Detergent

  1. Um it’s costco. Return it! You don’t need a receipt if you have your member card. Also you could try warm water at least to dissolve it.

  2. You’re right, of course. I could return it & I know they’d take it back. I’m just between Costco trips and I don’t feel like getting out there again. Between my time & the gas money, I’m not sure it’s worth it. Stupid me I’ll probably keep on using it & deal with the powder specks & just not buy it again.

  3. well try the warm water trick and return it on your next visit. there’s no obligation to take it back to the store pronto. i’m not a return abuser but i’ve returned food (shelf stable) items months later that it just turned out we didn’t like. costco is satisfaction guaranteed. besides, i’m sure you go to costco about 1x/week!

  4. It is definately about the water temp. It doesn’t dissolve well in cold water. If you still want to save money to by using cold, then you can add the detergent, use warm until it dissolves (swishing with your hand works) and then switch the knob back to cold. It will get your clothes as clean as Tide!

  5. Hijack**
    I don’t have a scoop for my dry soap. Does anyone know what the actuall measurement is for the #3 line please?
    Thanks In Advance

  6. Did yours come in a clear or white bucket? If so, my Kirkland detergent is doing the same thing! I paid $13.99 for a whole bucket of powdered soap. I kept thinking that maybe I forgot how to do laundry correctly or something! I’m getting quite perturbed at having specks everywhere! It is not happening with hot water (I wash socks, sheets etc in hot water) but it IS happening when I use cold water!

  7. Has anyone noticed this soap make their excema or dry skin worse. I can’t seem to get rid of it even in summer and the only thing I’ve changed is using the Kirkland laundry detergent.

  8. Gosh, I love this stuff!!! I am using Kirkland Ultra powdered detergent – without the color safe bleach. (Looks almost identical to the photo posted.)

    I’ve tried their liquid detergent (regular and the “free & clear”) as well as all the other major brands (Tide, Gain, Arm & Hammer, Ecos, etc.) and I am still a big fan of the Kirkland Ultra powdered detergent. It cleans as well as Tide (supported by testing by Consumer Report magazine) but costs half as much. I think the powder does work better than the liquid too.

    1. I do not have any skin/itching problems with this detergent (though I always double rinse) but this probably differs from person to person. I personally like the smell of the detergent, but then again I am not sensitive to perfumes. I believe Kirkland has a “free and clear” liquid detergent (not sure if it comes in a powder) if you have sensitivity problems.

    2. I have a front loading washer but do not have a problem with too much sudsing. This is easy to prevent by using only 1/4 – 1/2 of the recommend amount . Keep in mind the directions on the packaging is probably wrong. Front loader take LESS detergent than top loaders so I wouldn’t use more than 1/2 a scoop in my washer.

    3. I live in an area with hard water which requires MORE detergent to clean. I use half the recommended amount by adding a couple scoops of Oxiclean (which boosts the cleaning, whitens, deodorizes and helps to soften the water). If you do not have hard water, you may have to use even LESS detergent as it will suds up even more (maybe only 1-2 tablespoons full in a front loader).

    4. I always use warm or hot water (I just really don’t think my clothes get as clean in cold water) so I don’t have a problem undissolved detergent. Keep in mind that Oxiclean doesn’t work in cold water either. If you are a diehard cold water fan, I’d go with the Kirkland liquid detergent (though I really think the powder works better.)

    5. Again if you’re having problems with sudsing in your front loader, you may be washing too small of a load. I find that when I fill my washer adequately, I do not see any suds. The few times I tried to wash a small load, I did get a lot more foam.

    6. I would love to go “green” but I just find that there isn’t a “green” detergent out there that does as good as a job. I’m willing to pay more, but I don’t want to sacrifice quality. I balance using the Kirkland Ultra detergent out by using Mrs. Meyer’s natural laundry softener. (I tried using vinegar in the rinse but it really doesn’t work very well.)

    7. I am NOT an employee, stockholder or heir to the Costco family. I just shop there quite a bit and think most (if not all) of the Kirkland products (toliet paper, dog food, paper towels, food, etc.) are fantastic and an exceptional value. … And if you are unhappy with a product, they have the BEST return policy!!! So don’t be afraid to buy anything there, you can always take it back (though they did recently limit their return of electronics to 90 days due to people abusing their generous return policy).

  9. This is the absolute sorriest product ever produced. I let a scoop sit all day in a full washer of water thinking it may actually dissolve. I then ran a load of laundry after letting it sit 10 hours and it still did not dissolve. Is this the old beat your clothes against a rock mentality in the design of this product? This is as bad as being sold waterfront property in Arizona.

  10. I have the same problem with this soap. Not to mention since I have been using this soap my skin is so extremely dry I have to use steroid creams, lotions, etc. It didn’t dawn on me until reading these posts that this is the cause. Costco needs to drop this soap or make them test their products before selling them to the public.

  11. Switch to all, it also leave grease marks you cannot get out.

  12. I thought the washing machine was to blame
    my lovely dark clother has millions of undissolved white specks in various sizes
    looks like a disaster. I am running all of my
    darks through one more time.
    just hate the thought of my 100.+ lovely top is going to be history. Jeans look bad too.
    I buy eileen fisher clothes and this may be the most expensive load of laundry I ever did with this Kirkland stonewash.

  13. i was getting the same problem with flecks of detergent in my laundry, even when i followed the instructions on the bucket. this has happened to me in the past with other detergents, but only when i used TOO much. the problem isn’t with the detergent itself–it’s the instructions. they tell you to fill the cup to the third line on regular loads and you end up using too much. so even if you follow the instructions and fill the machine to give the detergent time to dissolve before adding your clothes, you’re going to get flecks of detergent everywhere.

    i’ve found that using less detergent cleans my clothes very well and i don’t have any problems with detergent remaining on my clothes. i fill the measuring cup to the number 1 line on large or heavily soiled loads and only use half of that for regular loads. also, for the comment about hard water–it doesn’t matter what the hardness of you water is, one of the first ingredients is sodium carbonate, which is a powerful water softener, so adding more detergent to clean your clothes would be a mistake.

  14. Any trouble with blocked drains?

  15. Has nothing to do with ‘blocked drains’ or ‘water temperature’ or ‘water hardness’ or ‘amount used’.. all you folks that blindly comment without trying to dissolve this stuff are ignorant. Put some, any amount, in a container and do what you can to dissolve it.. NOT!! The stuff wont dissolve, at least not 100%..

    I’m not saying it doesn’t clean all your laundry, but how efficient is it when something like 50% goes out the drain hose, and how friendly is that to the environment?

  16. Hey,all this sounds good about Kirkand detergent but in Lake Charles,La where can i purchase Kirkland detergent. If purchased from a Costco store there is non in this area.

  17. I’m unhappy with Kirkland laundry detergent too. Even with an extra rince I get flecks. I’ve bought it for the last time.

  18. I have been using the big white tub with the blue lid for the last 2 years, and have never had an issue with it not dissolving. It works really great, but I have noticed it now affects my skin and when I wash my bed sheets with it it feels like small specks of fiberglass under my skin, extremely itchy and almost painful. I started to wonder, and do keep in mind it can also be used to absorb oil spills. So I have stopped using it for my clothes and bedding and now just use it to wash rags & mops (I have a small cleaning company, and it is very economical for this.)

  19. So glad I found this blog…I too have purchased this Costco brand soap, due to the fact it was WAY economical. But, have found it annoying as most of my clothes have undisolved flecks of soap on them. And, just last night my husband was itching up a storm…never dawned on me it could be the detergent. I am going back to my trusted and faithful friend TIDE…even if it is ALOT more expensive…it will save me alot of headache. Thanks to all for the review it was very helpful. And for those of you who say it will do better in WARM water…NOT TRUE…it still doesn’t dissolve.

  20. good! It’s not just me. I just make sure to dump it in first so it is in the bottom and not on the clothes. If I forget and sprinkle it on the clothes I am always left with clumps. I have used this soap for years and it didn;t used to do this. I will be changing. Unfortunately, I don;t like the smell of the Kirkland liquid soaps.

  21. We have been Costco Members for a very long time and have always loved your products. I have been using Kirkland powder detergent for many years without problems, but in the last several months I have had problems – it is not performing well. I have always used baking soda or vinegar to soften the water and enhance dirt removal. I have always used warm water and 3 rinses – the last one with liquid softener.
    Here are the problems:
    1. Not getting clothes clean – have had to get another detergent and re-wash them.
    2. Granules not dissolving in warm water even when I add clothes after the tub fills.
    3. A residue left that is itchy and sometimes causes a rash

    We love Costco, but I am not going to buy Kirkland Laundry Detergent again.

  22. I used to get some of the specks on my laundry too until I tried putting the soap at the bottom. Never had any problem since. I love my kirkland soap and it does a really good job. I also don’t use as much as they tell me too and it still keeps my clothes clean.

  23. I used Kirkland powder for a year without any problems. I just put it in the bottom of the machine before turning the water on, and by the time I carry the clothes to the laundry room the water has dissolved the soap, even in cold water. Unfortunately, when I bought a new tub of detergent recently I found it doesn’t work. It doesn’t dissolve and it doesn’t remove stains, even after soaking overnight or with an oxiclean booster. And it made my son’s exzema flair up. All I can figure is they changed the formula and it isn’t working for me anymore. I will be returning the rest of the bucket and buying something else. So frustrated with you, Costco!

  24. Carlyle Lynton

    I just opened my bucket of detergent from Costco, yes, the white bucket with the blue lid. I had to use my pruner and a pair of pliers to cut a hole in the lid. I have never had such a job opening soap before…someone should look at this, as this is NOT USER FRIENDLY. As for the soap, the load is washing now, and if it is a problem, i will take the bucket back. This makes no sense for Costco, and their marketing vice president should get his own bucket and try it!

  25. I am happy to find this blog too. The detergent has a very strong smell and is causing itching and dry skin. Bad idea to have bought it. Planning to return it to Costco

  26. Its call rock detergent. Rock doesn’t dissolve in cold or hot water. I place one scope in the bottle of soda added hot water half way shake it for 5 minutes each time for the total of 15 minutes still that rock doesn’t dissolve all the way. Next coffee grander after running for about 1 minutes. its works. if you want to this rock detergent you need a coffee grander. I have used about 1/4 of the container already for my experiment to dissolve this rock hard detergent. Hope Costco will to listen to their costumers.

  27. This is very confusing. Costco sells “detergent” (comes in a plastic tub white with blue lid) and then they also sell “laundry detergent” the picture above. which one are you all talking about? they are different products, for different purposes. I don’ think the white plastic tub is for HE.

  28. I purchased the detergent pictured and after using about half the box, I noticed a “sud” error on my washing machine and then it started leaking. I cleaned the drain, ran it through a cycle and realized the standpipe was overflowing when the water drained out…and I noticed a TON of suds. Since my kitchen sink had backed up the week before, I thought I the line must be clogged somewhere and needed to have the pipes checked.
    In the meantime, I used a bucket to catch the water draining from my washing machine and
    I couldn’t believe the amount of suds coming out. I cut the amount of detergent by half and still had way too many suds, so I ran a rinse and spin cycle THREE times. I was shocked to see there was STILL foaming suds in the water. Since I never had a problem like this with any other detergent, I threw the rest away and went back to my previous brand. Amazingly the pipe hasn’t overflowed once in the past week.

  29. Have any of used a product called SA8 ? It works great in hard water and with cold water. Comes in liquid and powder. Doesn’t leave your whites grey.

  30. Large liquid dispenser gouged dents In my fingers by the time enough comes out to fill the washer

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  32. I am using the kirkland laundry detergent that comes in a square, white bucket with a blue lid. I noticed lately and since the new tub was in use, that our dark clothes are fading and have bleach-like blotches on them. It itches my skin too. I use 1/4 scoop for regular loads of laundry. I don’t fall for the instructions telling us to use a whole scoop. Same with Cascade. I use about 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Cascade in my dishwasher. I also use White Vinegar in place of a rinse agent. Where I live we have the country’s hardest water. I have a stainless steel interior in my dishwasher and the vinegar keeps the inside free of water deposits and also works amazing on the dishes! FYI
    I am a clean fanatic.
    Anyone having the fading, blotching issues?

  33. If you are going for finest contents like
    me, only pay a visit this website daily since it provides quality contents, thanks

  34. I too, have been using the detergent with the blue lid for years. I literally destroyed all of my sons favorite black tees as well as my husbands work out shirts last night. When did they change the formula of this detergent? Has anyone come up with a cure for the blotching and fading issues. This detergent is going back asap. I am so upset with Costco.

  35. Patrick Newsam

    Ive been using Kirkland household detergent,(white with blue lid bucket), for nearly seven months, i ly here typing away, “itching” the kirkland itch, i now have to wash hell of a lot of clothes to be free of the issue, i have had cancer treatment and radiotherapy, so initially thought the solpadol co codomol tablets were to blame, stopped them and still after three weeks, the itching and rash continued, then thought my sugar intake, so stopped that completely, two weeks and the hot itchy continues, but with oilatun cream, anti histermine tablets, controlled the rash where it wasnt getting any worse, washed one of my favourite t-shirts today and a pair of beach shorts, in kirkland powder, full automatic medium temperature wash, put the clothing items on and the itching went through the roof, regardless of the antihistermine and oilatum, so now i am convinced that the kirkland detergent has to go, ill have to re-wash many items in another brand or vinegar, so there you have it, i will re=post in two weeks after abstaining from kirkland detergent.

    Patrick from bedford England

  36. Paul Castillo

    Tried HE new “improved” formula Kirkland detergent in orange rectangular box(not the one pictured here) and now my spouse is having a rash all over and itching badly.
    I think the enzymes in the formula are to blame as we once had this issue years ago.Costco needs to comprehensively test consumer products before causing health problems.Taking it back for a refund and will try another brand like Gain or Tide which are thoroughly tested to avoid these issues,

  37. Ummm. Guys, PLEASE DO NOT DO LAUNDRY IN COLD WATER!! That’s disgusting!! It’s not the detergent, it’s your water temp! Today’s HE machines do not use that much water, so using HOT/WARM isn’t going to break the bank…..I’ve used this powdered Costco detergent, and since I never use cold water EVER, I don’t have a single issue, there’s hardly even any perfume scent when the clothes are done – just a clean smell….which kind of shocked me because the smell is a little strong and I’m not fond of it, but once the laundry is done, you hardly smell just that faint smell and no one is breaking out from this in my family…..I don’t care for liquid detergents, I feel powder works best……but this washing clothes in cold water only is crazy, even with liquids. You’re gonna end up with nasty gummed up machines with hard dried liquid detergent or fab softener that ends up growing nasty crap in your washer if you keep using cold water………

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