Gain vs Purex | What’s the Better Laundry Product?

What are the most important features of laundry detergent for you? Most people want a detergent that eliminates odors, removes stains, brightens and whitens their laundry- and does it all while imparting a wonderful fragrance.

Gain and Purex are two iconic laundry detergent brands that claim to do all of these things. So, which is the better detergent? We’re going to review each brand in-depth and ask some pressing comparison questions to determine which is the better laundry product.

You don’t have to take our word for it! We’re going to walk you through each laundry product that both brands offer so you can see for yourself whether Gain or Purex is the superior laundry product.

What’s the Difference Between Gain and Purex?

Gain and Purex are actually very different brands. Gain focuses their marketing solely on the fragrances they offer. This brand has a large variety of unique fragrances, and their laundry products are uniquely effective at delivering long-lasting and impressive fragrances.

Purex is more of an all-purpose laundry detergent. This brand will remove odors, eliminate stains, and also provide your clothes with some pleasant fragrances. You can really see the difference between these two brands when looking at their products, which we’ll get into in more detail later in this guide.


Gain is part of the P&G family, and was introduced on the market in 1969 as an enzyme-driven laundry detergent. Originally, Gain was a brand all about their enzyme-driven effectiveness.

However, in 1981, Gain rebranded to a laundry detergent with superior fragrances. They began putting out fragrance forward lines, such as Joyful Expressions, that offered unique and long-lasting fragrances unlike any other detergents on the market. This brand has become very popular over the years and P&G expects them to continue to grow as they put out new and more creative fragrances.

What Products Does Gain Offer?

Gain offers a ton of laundry detergent products and a wide variety of fresh, long-lasting fragrances. Let’s get right into it and do a brief review of each product they offer.

Gain Original Laundry Detergent Gain Laundry Detergent Liquid Soap Plus Aroma Boost, Original Scent, HE Compatible, 96 Loads Total, 75 Fl Oz (Pack of 2)

Gain’s original detergent digs deep into your laundry to remove tough odors and replace them with inspiring fragrances. Gain Liquid Laundry Detergent comes in the following fragrances- Apple Mango, Hawaiian Aloha, Orange Blossom Vanilla, Thai Dragon Fruit, Island Fresh, Icy Fresh Fizz, Moonlight Breeze, Lavender, White Tea Lavender, Blissful Breeze, and more!

Gain Powder Laundry Detergent Gain Powder Laundry Detergent 40 Loads, Original, (Pack of 2), 45 oz

Gain Powder Detergent is tough on odors and comes in a similar impressive variety of fragrances as their liquid products. This powder detergent will get deep into the fibers of your clothing to lift out and eliminate tough odors, while replacing them with some inspiring and fresh fragrances.

Gain Laundry Detergent Pacs Gain Flings Laundry Detergent Pacs with Odor Defense, HE Compatible, 81 Ct, 3in1 DetergenPacs with Febreze and Oxi, Super Fresh Blast Scent

Gain has condensed all the power of their original formula into Laundry Detergent Pacs. This concentrated detergent doesn’t just mask unpleasant scents, it completely eliminates tough odors and replacing them with an amazing fresh fragrance!

Gain Laundry Fabric Softener Liquid Gain Laundry Fabric Softener Liquid, Moonlight Breeze, Packaging May Vary, Total 192 Loads, 41 Fl Oz, Pack of 4

When you want your clothes to feel soft and smell fantastic, Gain Fabric Softener is the perfect product for you! You can get this product in a variety of unique fragrances, including Sunshine Fresh, Bloom Blossom, Midnight Breeze, and more! You can also get this product in an eco-box to save on plastic and cut down on waste!

Gain Scent Booster Gain Fireworks Laundry Scent Booster Beads for Washer, Original, 26.5 Ounce

Gain Scent Boosters are an excellent addition to your everyday laundry routine. These scent boosters come in a wide selection of unique, fresh fragrances that are guaranteed to keep your clothes smelling great for longer than when using detergent alone. These scent boosters use AromaBoosting technology that activates when you move, so your clothes will always smell great- even on the go!

Gain Dryer Sheets Gain Dryer Sheets Laundry Fabric Softener, Moonlight Breeze, 240 Count

Imbuing your clothes with impressing and long-lasting fragrances may start in the wash, but this process can be enhanced during the drying phase as well. Gain Dryer Sheets work to reduce static cling and lint on your clothes while releasing beautiful fragrances that stick to your clothes and last for longer than when using detergent alone!

How to Use Gain Laundry Products?

Gain’s laundry products are incredibly convenient and easy to use! Here’s a simple breakdown of how you can effectively use their products.

  • Dryer Sheets- Add one or two sheets into the dryer with your laundry. Then, run your dryer as normal.
  • Scent Boosters- Shake a handful of scent booster beads into the washer before your clothes. Then, add your detergent and fabric softener. After that, you can run your load as usual.
  • Fabric Softener- Measure out the correct amount of softener and add to your machines dispenser. If your machine doesn’t have a fabric softener dispenser, manually add it just before your load’s final rinse.
  • Liquid Detergents- Measure out the correct amount of detergent and add to your machines dispenser, or directly to the drum. Run your load as normal and enjoy the refreshing fragrance!

What Are The Ingredients in Gain Laundry Products?

Gain, as part of the P&G company, has a full transparency mindset when it comes to the ingredients in their products. They use SmartLabel to allow anyone to view their products online. It’s a convenient and trustworthy way to share their ingredients so you know this brand has nothing to hide.

The ingredients in Gain’s laundry products will vary depending on which product you’re looking at, but we’re going to focus on Gain’s Original Laundry Detergent. You can use these ingredients as a baseline for what to expect in their other products.

Without further ado, here are the ingredients in Gain’s original detergent.

  • Water
  • Sodium and MEA c10-16 Alkylbenzenesulfonate
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate
  • C10-16 Pareth
  • Sodium Citrate
  • Sodium Borate
  • Fragrances
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Pentasodium Pentetate
  • Alcohol
  • C10-16 Alyldimethylamine Oxide
  • Polyethyleneimine Alkoxylated
  • Calcium Formate
  • Hyrdrogenated Castor Oil
  • Subtilisin
  • Methyl Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamet
  • Sodium Formate
  • Enzymes
  • Color

Is Gain Toxic?

Gain contains several ingredients that can be considered toxic. They received a D rating on EWG, which shows the high toxicity potential of Gain’s ingredients. Sodium borate, in particular, is a powerful toxic chemical, and can cause eye, skin, and respiratory irritation.

This product should be safe to use as intended, but if you develop any symptoms after using Gain laundry products, then you should contact a health care profession immediately.


“A bright clean for a smart value” is how Purex describes their brand. They are part of the Henkel company, and are devoted to providing their customers with high-quality laundry products at affordable prices.

Purex began their journey as a bleach-based cleaner in 1922, then released their first liquid laundry detergent in 1975. They discontinued their bleach-based cleaner in 1990 to focus on more laundry related products and have become one of the top value brands of laundry detergent on the market!

What Products Does Purex Offer?

Purex has a solid range of laundry products available, and they’re all marketed as being the most affordable choice. We’ll see if that turns out to be the case later in this detailed guide. For now, let’s check out the laundry products Purex has to offer.

Purex Liquid Laundry Detergent Purex Liquid Laundry Detergent, Natural Elements Linen & Lilies, 2X Concentrated, 2 Count, 252 Total Loads

Purex has an impressive variety of laundry detergents available. All of their detergents are designed to remove stains, eliminate odors, and freshen, brighten and whiten your clothes. Here’s a list of the liquid laundry detergents Purex offers:

Purex Laundry Detergent Powder Purex DIA 10245 Ultra Concentrated Powder Detergent, 1.4oz Box, Vend Pack, 156/carton

Purex Powder Detergent holds all the same benefits of their liquid laundry detergent, but in a powder form. This detergent will remove stains, brighten your clothes, and leave them with a pleasant, fresh scent!

Purex Laundry Detergent Pacs Purex 4-in-1 laundry detergent pacs, mountain breeze, 58 Count

If you want all the brightening, freshening, and cleaning power of Purex’s detergent in a convenient and easy to use laundry pod form, then the Purex Laundry Detergent Pacs are the product for you! These pacs made it easy to get your laundry done with zero mess or spills.

Purex Crystals Fragrance Scent Boosters Purex Crystals In-Wash Fragrance and Scent Booster, Fresh Spring Waters, 39 Ounce

Scent boosters infuse your clothes with even more fabulous fragrance and helps it last even longer than using detergent alone. Purex Fragrance Boosters come in a variety of fresh, pleasant scents so you can have a specific fragrance for every occasion!

Purex Laundry Enhancers Purex Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar & Stain Remover, 5.0 OZ (Pack of 24)

Purex has two unique laundry enhancing products that help you level-up your laundry game. Their laundry bar is perfect for removing tough, greasy stains and oily residue from your clothes. Their Sta-Flo Liquid Starch product is perfect for getting your formal wear crisp and crease-free!

How to Use Purex Laundry Products?

Purex’s laundry products are all very simple to use! Their pacs are the easiest, as all you have to do is put one in your machine with your laundry and run a load as usual.

Their laundry bar is perfect for tackling the worst and must ground-in stains. First, you need to wet the bar. Then, you rub it along the stains and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. After that, you can wash your clothes as usual.

The rest of Purex’s laundry products follow the same basic steps. You load your clothes into the washer, measure out the amount of product needed, add it to the machine, and run your load as normal.

What Are The Ingredients in Purex Laundry Products?

Each of Purex’s laundry products are going to have slightly varied ingredients. Their laundry enhancers certainly aren’t going to have the same ingredients as their fabric softeners! Still, we can take a look at the ingredients in their original liquid detergent to get a baseline for the type of composition their formulas have.

Here’s a list of ingredients in their liquid detergents.

  • Water
  • Sodium c12-18 Alkyl Either Sulfate
  • Sodium Carbonate
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Sodium c10-16 Alkylbenzenesulfonate
  • Laureth-12
  • Sodium Polyacrylate
  • Sodium Cocoate
  • Fragrance
  • Fluorescent Brightener
  • Color

Is Purex Toxic?

Purex does contain some powerful chemicals that have a degree of toxicity to them. This brand also received a D rating on EWG, which shows the potential harmful effects that can be experienced using this product. Some of the ingredients could cause respitory or skin irritation.

This product should be safe for most people to use as intended. However, if you experience any concerning health effects after using Purex products, it’s recommended that you contact a health care provider immediately.

Comparison Questions (Gain vs Purex)

Is Gain or Purex More Affordable?

Purex is marketed as being an affordable option for people who want high-quality and effective laundry detergents. Gain is more focused on their fragrance, but their price points aren’t dissimilar to Purex.

The best way to determine which is the more affordable product is by taking breaking down the cost of each to their prices per fluid ounce. Take a look at the table below to see how these two brands compare:

Brand Price Per Fluid Ounce
Gain $0.20
Purex $0.17

As you can see, Purex does come out to be the more affordable laundry detergent. They may only be a few cents less per fluid ounce, but when you’re buying a jug containing 100 or more ounces, this will really add up!

Which Laundry Product is More Powerful?

When it comes to delivering fresh, long-lasting fragrances, Gain is the more powerful laundry product. However, Gain’s products don’t contain as many surfactants or cleaning agents in their ingredients as Purex does.

Purex is the more powerful cleaning and stain removing detergent. Purex’s detergents also deliver a variety of impressive fragrances so, overall, Purex is the more powerful laundry product.

Which Provides a Larger Variety of Products?

Gain beats out most other detergents, including Purex, when it comes to offering a wide variety of fragrances. Their whole brand is centered around providing amazing fragrances, and they really deliver on this!

However, Purex has a wider variety of products. They have laundry enhancers, such as the laundry bar and liquid starch product. Gain has no comparable products. They also have more detergents aimed at targeting specific needs such as their baby detergent and their Free & Clear detergent.

Are Both Cruelty Free?

According to reputable sites like CrueltyFreeKitty, Gain is not cruelty free. This means that Gain must test their products on animals in some way.. Whether this company does the testing themselves, or sends their products to a third party lab for testing, is unclear.

Purex is a part of the Henkel company, which does not allow any of their brands to partake in animal testing. Therefore, Purex is the only cruelty free brand between these two.

Which Product is More Environmentally Friendly?

Gain and Purex both have very similar ingredients and packaging practices. Their environmental friendliness isn’t the highest compared to some other big name brands, but each tries to purse some level of eco-consciousness.

Gain has eco-boxes for some of their products to help cut down on waste and packaging. Purex has a Natural Elements line of detergents that are 75% plant-based. So, which brand is more environmentally friendly?

Purex appears to be the more environmentally friend brand. They have a line of products made with more plant-based than conventional ingredients, while Gain doesn’t have a similar option.

If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly laundry detergent product, then Purex is the best brand for you!

Related Questions

Is Gain A Good Stain Removing Laundry Detergent?

Gain will remove some stains, but that isn’t this brand’s primary focus. Their main goal is to offer a wide variety of fresh, pleasant fragrances that stick to your clothes longer than competing brands. If you’re looking for a detergent that’s tough on stains, then you may want to consider another option.

Is Purex Laundry Detergent Safe For High Efficiency Machines?

All of Purex’s laundry detergents are safe to use with high efficiency machines. Their detergents are powerful cleaners that remove stains, odors, and deliver pleasant fragrances to your laundry.

Is Gain Laundry Detergent Safe For High Efficiency Machines?

Gain’s laundry detergents are perfectly safe and effective when used in HE machines. Their detergents can be used in all machines, and they’ll effectively imbue your laundry with long-lasting fragrance no matter what machine you use them in.

The Verdict – Which Is Better?

Gain and Purex are both great detergents, but one is clearly better than the other. Purex is the more powerful cleaner, offers a greater variety of products, and has eco-friendly options like their Natural Elements detergent. While Gain has the superior selection of fragrances, that isn’t enough for them to stand up to Purex’s variety and effectiveness. If you need a detergent that has plenty of options, eco-friendly choices, and works wonders on stains, then you should go with Purex!