Latest Best Buy washing detergents revealedPowders and tablets from Ariel and more rated

26 December 2010

Ariel Actilift Biological Powder

Which? has revealed seven new Best Buy washing powders and washing tablets that deliver top-class cleaning performance.

Which deputy home editor Natalie Hitchins says: 'Best Buy laundry detergents offer the best balance of cleaning all three types of stubborn stains - fat such as make-up, food such as bolognese sauce and bleachable stains such as tomato ketchup.

'But it's difficult to find a detergent that offers outstanding cleaning on all stains. Which you choose can depend on the types of stains your family's clothes get most often, and it may be worth keeping a couple of Best Buys in your cupboard so you can tackle any tough stain that makes it into your washing basket.'

We've just tested 21 laundry detergents, with five powders and two tablets emerging as Best Buys. The top-scoring overall detergent was a tablet.

To see the results and full reviews for all 21 laundry detergents tested, check out our washing detergents review.

Powders vs tablets

Although tablets tend to cost more than big boxes of powder, they help you use the correct recommended dose.

In a small-scale experiment we carried out, 15 people were asked to measure out a dose of powder for a wash. All 15 used the wrong dose, with 11 under-dosing, between 4% and 58%.

We tested a Best Buy powder using 20% less than the recommended amount. Overall, stain-removing power was just as good, but white cottons weren't as bright

Powders and tablets tested

Here is the complete list of the washing powders and tablets we tested:

Bio powders

  • Ariel with Actilift
  • Asda 2 in 1 Moonflower and Yiang Yiang
  • Bold 2 in 1 Crystal Rain and White Lily
  • Daz
  • Essential Waitrose Biological
  • Lidl Formil
  • Persil Bio
  • Sainsbury’s Biological Washing Powder
  • Surf Tropical Flowers and Ylang Ylang
  • Tesco Biological Washing Powder

Non-bio powders

  • Asda Non-Bio Sensitive

  • Ecover Non-Biological
  • Essential Waitrose Non-Bio
  • Fairy Non-Bio
  • Persil Original Non-Bio
  • Sainsbury’s Non-Bio
  • Tesco Non-Bio


  • Aquados Simply Sensitive tablets
  • Ecover biological tablets
  • Fairy Non-Bio tablets
  • Persil Original Non-Bio

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