Pros and Cons of liquid and powder laundry detergents

laundry detergents

The average family of four in UK does an average of 250 cycles per year, giving washing machines a ‘life expectancy’ of about only 4 years. Choosing the right laundry detergent will help you increase your washing machine’s life considerably. But, which one is the best?

Currently, the two main types of laundry detergent are powders and liquids. Both share the same active ingredients, but what are the pros and cons of using one or the other?

Here are some of the pros and cons of using liquid soaps for your laundry:

  • Pro: The detergent is already dissolved (so no soap scum inside your washing machine).
  • Pro: It can be used to clean some stains before loading the washing machine.
  • Pro: It dissolves easily in cold water, saving on energy.
  • Con: They usually come on plastic packaging, not very eco-friendly…
  • Con: They are more expensive.

Here are some of the pros and cons of using powdered soaps for your laundry:

  • Pro: They are cheaper than liquid detergents.
  • Pro: They are usually packed in eco-friendly cardboard boxes.
  • Pro: Surfactants (the bit that actually cleans your clothes) are more stable in powders, so these detergents have a longer shelf life (they are more effective than liquid detergents for longer).
  • Con: If you use too much you can find soap residues on your clothes, meaning you will need to have another cycle to wash them off.
  • Con: In some cases they dissolve better in warm water, so no possibility of using a cold cycle, thus higher electricity bills.
  • Con: Sodium sulphate, used as a filler in powder detergents, can destroy septic systems.

Can you think of any more pros or cons? Your choice of detergent will depend on the way you use your washing machine. Keep checking our blog for clever ideas on how to use your laundry detergents!


6 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of liquid and powder laundry detergents

  1. Valikliais

    A good summary of liquid and powder detergents, I would add that liquid ones are more economical, because less amount of detergents are needed.

  2. Jodie

    Thanks for sharing this article. Some really useful information about pros and cons of laundry detergents.


  3. Pingback: Tips on how to use your laundry detergent | Amy Cleaning Blog

  4. Prisha Christopher

    Nice Article. I try to be eco-conscious when washing my clothes with detergents. Most useful information about laundry detergent. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Godfrey Stern

    I have had a number of washing machines over the years and have pulled it apart to replace parts,What I discovered in the hoses were thick white powdery reserve that I believe to be soap powder that hardens and stick inside the outlet waste hoses like a blocked up human artery.I am more inclined to use the liquid soap because that may be the answer to a longer lasting washing machine because the liquid soap leaves no residue in the waste outlet hoses.

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