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Hand Washing Powder vs Auto Washing Powder

With so many different kinds of laundry products on the market, it can be so confusing as to which one to buy. What’s the difference between auto and hand wash powders? Is there even a difference? And are they interchangeable to use for either washing type?


Hand Washing Powder vs Auto Washing Powder

Join us as we take a look at the difference between each type of product, looking at what their differences and similarities are. We also answer the confusing question about whether or not you can actually use either product for both uses.

The difference between handwashing powder and machine-washing powder

The biggest difference between auto and handwashing powder is in the foaming capabilities of each product. Hand-washing powders contain specialised substances which increases the powders’ ability to foam. This foam is important when hand washing because it works to break down the dirt and grime in clothing fibres. However, when you put this kind of foaming ability into a washing machine that spins and turns like a washing machine does, you’re going to get foam coming out of the washing machine door, pipes and just about any other kind of opening possible – resulting in one very big mess to clean up.

Other differences include:

  • Auto washing powders do not contain chemicals that could potentially harm the rubber and other elements of a washing machine like solvents or chlorine. Hand-washing powders do.

  • Hand-washing powders contain ingredients that are easy on the skin, enabling it to be used when hand washing. Auto washing powders do not.

  • Generally, hand-washing powders are less concentrated making them dissolve more quickly in water. Auto washing powders are more concentrated.

The similarities between handwashing powder and machine-washing powder.

Both types of powders contain cleaning agents that are designed to work into the fibres of clothing to lift out the dirt. When it comes to recommending a product type for both uses, we cannot recommend the Sunlight range of products more highly;

  • Sunlight 2in1 Auto Washing Powders are formulated for use in automatic washing machines and not only clean your clothing deeply but leave them gently scented after every wash.

  • Sunlight 2in1 Handwash Washing Powder is formulated to dissolve in water, making a luscious foam which works to penetrate deeply into clothing to clean them. This range of products has three wonderful scents to choose from.

The Poll

How do you choose your cleaning products?

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Can you use hand wash powder in a washing machine?

No. In short, using a hand wash powder over time in your washing machine can seriously damage its parts and components like the seals, pipes and outlets. Because of the amount of foam that is produced by hand-washing powders, the foam doubles and doubles when placed in a moving, spinning, swirling washing machine. This foam could push chemicals and residue into parts of the machine that should not be exposed to it.

Can you use auto washing powder for handwashing?

Like above, the same answer applies, no. Automatic washing powders are more concentrated than hand wash powders. This means that they need to undergo much more friction in order to dissolve and foam (which is the case in a washing machine). You would not get the right amount of foam and therefore the right amount of cleaning power when using an auto powder to hand wash.

Key tips to using the right type of washing powder

If you’re in a rush and need to know the key tips for using the right type of powder for the right type of washing, all you need to do is read this list.

Stick to what the name says – if it says auto washing powder for washing machines, then only use it in your machine, and vice versa for hand wash powders.

Never mix hand washing powder with auto washing powder – more is less when it comes to washing detergent and you could risk ruining your clothing.

Find the right type of detergent that works for your family and your needs. Do you need a sensitive liquid for baby clothes? Or do you need an auto washing powder to get tough stains out? Either way, Sunlight has a laundry product just for you.

Trust Sunlight for a pure and gentle clean, no matter which product you choose.


What happens if you use hand washing powder in a washing machine?

Read our blog above to find out how using a hand washing powder can damage your washing machine.

Can you use auto washing powder for hand wash?

Auto washing powders might not dissolve well in a bucket of water, which could lead to your clothing not being cleaned very well.

Why should you use auto washing powder for machine washing?

Auto washing powders have been formulated for use in machines, making them the most effective when used that way.

What are the dangers of using auto washing powder for hand washing laundry?

It could be harsher on your skin because it is not designed to be used by hand. It could also not dissolve properly and therefore not clean your clothes well.

How does hand washing powder differ from auto washing powder?

Hand washing powder contains substances which are designed to foam up a lot, this foam is what helps to clean clothing well when being hand washed.

Originally published