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Best Laundry Detergents for Kitchen and Restaurant Workers

Kitchen and restaurant workers have got a raw deal. They work long hours in a mostly thankless job under less-than-ideal conditions.

On top of that, they have to battle the toughest and most stubborn stains. I’m talking about oil stains, food stains, and grease that sets as soon as it touches the fabrics.

And since they have to show up for work every shift in spotless clean clothes, they have to look for the best laundry detergents for the ruthless conditions in kitchens and restaurants.

In this review, I’ll cover the top laundry detergents for kitchen and restaurant workers. They are the following.

  1. Best for Oil and Grease: Oil Eater Original 1 Gallon Cleaner and Degreaser
  2. Best for Fighting Stains: Persil ProClean Stain Fighter Liquid
  3. Best Stain Remover: Shout Advanced Stain Remover for Clothes
  4. Best Value: Tide PODS 4 in 1 with Downy
  5. Best Performance: Persil Discs Laundry Detergent Pacs, Oxi
  6. Best Eco-friendly: Clean People Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent Pods

What Makes a Good Laundry Detergent for Kitchen and Restaurant Workers

Although the average person goes to the detergent aisle and picks the first product that catches their eye, kitchen and restaurant workers cannot afford that carefree luxury.

Instead, they have to find laundry detergents that can break down and remove tough stains that have been subjected to heat and had long hours to set.

Here are the top features that a good laundry detergent for kitchen and restaurant workers has to have.

  • Dissolve Grease and Oil: It’s no secret that oil and grease are tough stains to beat and remove. The more you wash them, the longer the stain remains and changes color. Your detergent should be able to dissolve grease and oil stains and break them down so that they don’t stick to other fabrics in the washer.
  • More Stain-lifting Power: Food stains are tough to remove because they’re usually hot and liquidy, which allows them to penetrate the fabric quickly and stick like superglue. The detergent should be able to remove all types of stains in 1 washing cycle.
  • Overpowering Fragrance: Extra scent in the detergent ensures that the laundry will smell good and all traces of food and grease odors are gone by the time the washer is done.

The 6 Best Smelling Laundry Detergents for Kitchen and Restaurant Workers

1. Best for Oil and Grease: Oil Eater Original 1 Gallon Cleaner and Degreaser

If you ask a good sample of kitchen and restaurant workers about the most common and toughest stains they face, the majority would agree that they usually go home with their clothes soaked in and reeking of oil and grease. Grease stains are even worse since grease is often hot, and once it falls on the shirt or pants, it latches onto the fabric and would require a special detergent with extra degreasing power to remove it. 

Oil Eater Original is the ideal solution for this particular problem. It works on grease, oil, dirt, food stains, and just about any other tough stain. And it doesn’t just work with clothes; you can also use it to remove any grease and oil stains on any surface. Oil Eater Original is USDA-approved to be used safely in restaurants and kitchens. It uses biodegradable components and doesn’t contain any harsh solvents.

2. Best for Fighting Stains: Persil ProClean Stain Fighter Liquid

You would want your laundry detergent to deal with all types of stains, remove them, and render the clothes as good as new with every wash. And you don’t want to repeat the washing cycles just to get rid of the kitchen or food stains. Persil ProClean has an advanced formula that gives you more stain-fighting power. The boosted stain removal feature makes it easier for you to get rid of tough food stains without the need for bleach.

The key feature that sets Persil ProClean apart is that it is optimized to work with all types of washing machines, including HE ones. The proprietary formula penetrates the fabric, breaks down the stains even at deep levels, and gets rid of all traces of the stain. It then smothers the fabrics in a fresh scent.

3. Best Stain Remover: Shout Advanced Stain Remover for Clothes

While Shout isn’t technically a detergent, it’s one of those multipurpose products you will be using regularly. This is especially true if you tend to go home from work with all kinds of food-related stains on your clothes. Shout is a thick gel that you apply directly on the tough stain before you put the clothes in the washer. 

It can tackle and remove all kinds of stains from food to wine, makeup, and coffee. However, you should only use it with colorfast clothes since it tends to impact colors. And while it has a strong formula, Shout doesn’t damage the fabrics.

4. Best Value: Tide PODS 4 in 1 with Downy

As the name implies, you get 4 products in this nifty Tide Pods container. Besides the detergent, Tide Pods contains a powerful stain remover that specializes in food stains that have been set for hours. The stain remover targets the tough stains in the washer without the need for extra treatment or pre-wash soaking and scrubbing.

Powered by Downy Fabric Protect technology, Tide Pods keep your clothes safe from damage, even expensive and sensitive fabrics. 

5. Best Performance: Persil Discs Laundry Detergent Pacs, Oxi

Another detergent from the Persil brand. This one has a unique four-chamber technology that works on all types of stains, including oil, coffee, and chocolate stains. In addition, it has Oxi stain-fighting technology that breaks down stains but leaves the color and fabric-safe from fading and damage.

The detergent fights stains at the root and removes them in a single wash. So you won’t need to treat the stains or soak them. 

6. Best Eco-friendly: Clean People Ultra Concentrated Laundry Detergent Pods

And last but not least, we wrap up this list of the best laundry detergents for kitchen and restaurant workers with an eco-friendly and biodegradable laundry detergent. Clean People Ultra is a concentrated detergent that works with all washers and has power stain-fighting properties.

The ingredients are plant- and mineral-based without any added toxins or hazardous materials. Besides handling tough stains, it has a natural fresh scent that makes the laundry smell great.

Next, you can check out my guide on how to get soot stains out of your clothes.

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