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Liquid, capsules, or powder: which detergent is best for my clothes?

Powder, detergent or capsules - there are so many detergent choices out there, it can be really confusing! Check out this handy guide for information.


washing machine with liquid, capsule and detergent

With the pace of innovation growing ever faster, it can be hard to figure out which products are the right ones for you – and that goes for everything, from choosing a mobile phone contract to a laundry detergent.

Which detergent should you choose? What’s the best laundry detergent for sensitive skin? How can you really make the most of the power of Persil and other detergents? And which format of laundry detergent is the most convenient or environmentally friendly? Read on to find the answers and get advice on which detergent is best for your clothes. You may even discover an alternative to washing powder!

Whether its washing powder or liquid, always follow the instructions and dosage guidance on the packaging of your chosen detergent to make sure you use it safely and correctly. Check your clothes’ care label to make sure you are washing on an appropriate setting too.

Types of detergent

Before you can choose the best detergent for your clothes you need to know what options you have. Sometimes, it can seem that that only choice is liquid detergent vs powder detergent. Broadly speaking, however, there are four main types of laundry detergent:

  • Washing powder: sold loose and measured out using a scoop
  • Liquid detergent: sold in bottles and measured using a dosing ball or bottle cap
  • Capsules: sold in boxes as pre-measured pouches of liquid detergent
  • Tablets: sold in boxes as pre-measured blocks of compressed washing powder

Each format has its own benefits, and different people will prefer different options, whether that turns out to be liquid or powder washing detergent. You'll also find that all of these detergent formats are available in different types or formulas that go beyond the old powder vs liquid laundry detergent paradigm. The main options you'll get here are:

  • Biological: contain enzymes to offer better performance on protein-based stains
  • Non-biological: enzyme-free and a milder choice for delicate fabrics (wool, silk) and sensitive skin. If you are worried about the risk of having an allergic reaction to Persil laundry detergent then switching to non-bio is recommended
  • Concentrated: only available on liquid detergents, they have a more potent formula that allows you to use less of the product to achieve the same results

What is most important to you when buying a laundry product?

Choosing a detergent: washing powder vs liquid, the benefits

Now that you know a little more about the different formats and types of detergent, it’s time to look at the benefits of each one. Laundry powder or liquid? You decide!

  • Easy pre-treatments: if using washing powder or liquid detergent you can easily pre-treat those stubborn stains that might not come out in a regular wash. For powder, make a paste by combining a few spoons with some cold water and applying to the stain. Liquid is even easier to use – apply direct to the stain and massage into the fabric with the stain eraser ball. Leave both options for a few minutes before rinsing clean with cold water and washing as normal.
  • Convenient washing: washing machine powder or liquid? As tablets and capsules are pre-measured you don’t have to worry about pouring out your own dose of detergent. If you're always using either powder or liquid for your washing machine, try something different with a tablet or capsule you can just pop into the machine. If you want to use powder or liquid then measuring scoops and dosing balls are often provided to help you measure the right amount quickly, easily, and without mess.
  • Cost: detergents are designed to be cost-effective and offer good value to households. For example, concentrated liquid detergents pack the same stain fighting Persil power into a smaller bottle while refill packs for liquids and capsules use less packaging (good for your wallet and the environment).
  • A choice for everyone: whether you want something that gets rid of tough stains or a gentle non-bio detergent that is kind on skin, there is a detergent option out there for you. If you’re worried about an allergic reaction to Persil laundry detergent then try a non-bio formula. Always test your detergent on an inconspicuous piece of clothing first and use it only as directed on the packing. If you do suffer a skin irritation then discontinue use immediately and speak to a medical professional.

So there you have it, choosing the right detergent needn’t be daunting and while some people might have concerns about Persil power – warning that it could be harsh on your clothes or skin – there’s no need to worry. Powder or liquid washing detergent, tablets or measuring scoop, there's something out there for everyone's laundry needs. 


Your essential cleaning kits from trusted brands

Originally published