Laundry powders vs liquids review

Liquid or powder? CHOICE determines which detergents give you the best clean.
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05.Detergent overdose

Washing powder

In 2011 CHOICE identified a product that performed well when used at a half dose.

We retested both top liquid and powder scorers for general soil removal with top and front-loaders using half their recommended dose. Each product was from a different manufacturer.

Omo small and mighty powder for front loaders (Unilever) performed just as well at half dose for general soil removal and grass stain removal at is did at full dose - only the tomato stain removal result was noticeably poorer.

On the other hand, the Trimat (Aldi), Radiant micro max liquid front loader (Cussons), and Dynamo ultra liquid top loader (Colgate Palmolive) all did significantly poorer at half dose.

The cost of detergent is the largest washing expense, and using a full dose of Omo will cost you about $190 per year washing one load a day, compared to $99 for halving the dose. It also lessens the effects on the environment too.

Although only one of four detergents appears to be overstating its dose, there could be more products. Research tells us that the majority of users only partially fill their washing machines, in many cases only to half their capacity. Since many detergent doses are based on a full load, we suggest trying half dose or even a quarter to minimise wastage. If your machine doesn’t have an autosensing water level, use a lower water volume too.


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