Best and worst liquid detergents revealed Laundry liquids from major brands rated

15 December 2012

Liquid gels

Which? tests have uncovered the best and worst liquid laundry detergents, plus we reveal whether any of them can match the cleaning power of powder detergents. 

You might prefer laundry liquids and gels because they’re less likely to wash the colour out of your clothes, compared to powders – but the latest Which? tests have revealed whether this means they are more likely to leave stains behind too. 

We tested liquid detergents from top brands including Ariel, Bold and Persil, and our review reveals if any of these are good enough to join our two powder detergent Best Buys.

Which? members can log in to discover which are the best liquids and gels in our full laundry detergent review. Not already a member? Sign up now to try a  £1 trial to Which?.

Don't Buy liquid detergents

Liquid and gel detergents are kinder to colours because they don't contain bleach, and past Which? tests have shown that without that stain-busting ingredient, the liquid alternatives can struggle to get your clothes clean. 

This year, liquids from two major brands were so poor at stain removal that we've made them Don't Buys. Bold's 2in1 Bio Gel and Fairy's Non Bio Gel are both so bad at getting rid of coloured stains such as blood, grass and mud, that we have to recommend you avoid them.

Liquid and gel detergents tested

The laundry liquid and gels that we've tested and rated are:

  • Ariel Excel with Actilift Bio Gel
  • Ariel Excel Non Bio Gel
  • Asda Bio Liquid
  • Asda Sensitive Non Bio Liquid
  • Bold 2in1 Bio Gel
  • Daz Bio Liquid
  • Fairy Non Bio Gel
  • Persil Small and Mighty Bio Liquid
  • Persil Small and Mighty Non Bio Liquid
  • Tesco Bio Liquid
  • Tesco Non Bio Liquid 

You can see test scores and price per wash for each liquid and gel in our full laundry detergent review.

More on this...

  • Find out how we test laundry detergents
  • Make sure you choose a Best Buy washing machine
  • Watch our video guide to pick up some ironing tips