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Powder V Liquid Detergent

by Janine, Jan 2017

I’m sure we can all relate with the statistic that the average UK family of four does around 250 cycles of washing per year, right? This gives your washing machine an average life expectancy of only 4 years… but choosing the right detergent can help increase this, but what’s best?

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

Let’s review liquid soaps first…

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.

Not convinced on the liquid? How about the powder…

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.

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.

Moral of the story? There’s no ‘better’ decision really. Both options have good points and bad. In summary, liquid is more expensive but can save you money as will dissolve in a cold wash and powder is cheaper but can leave soap residue on your clothes.

Which do you prefer? If you ask your Well Polished cleaner to stick the washing on, we’ll always use your preferred products – so there’s no need to worry about your clothes smelling differently to normal!