Don't waste your money on expensive laundry capsulesOur tests reveal cheaper alternative capsules

19 January 2016

Laundry capsules

We've reviewed laundry capsules from big brands including Ariel, Bold and Fairy

Our latest laundry capsules test has revealed cheaper laundry detergents that work as well as more expensive rivals, and still give you great clean laundry.

We've tested big brands, such as Bold, Ariel, Fairy, Daz and Persil, and supermarket own-brand capsules from Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Lidl and Aldi. Our lab tests have found great capsules that could save you 13p per wash - nearly £25 a year. 

But not all cheap capsules will give you great results. Some will leave your whites dull and struggle to shift stains.

Visit our Best Buy laundry detergents to find out which laundry capsules are the best.

Which? laundry capsules test

When we put laundry capsules to the test, we make sure the best are not only able to remove tough stains, but will also keep your whites gleaming and stop colours from fading. 

We challenge each capsule to clean a range of common stains that are frustrating to remove. These include:

  • Drink stains, such as tea and wine
  • Food stains, including tough-to-shift curry and baby food
  • Everyday stains, such as ink, blood and grass
  • Grease, oil and fat stains.

If your household's laundry is prone to a particular type of stain, then we can show you which laundry capsule is best to shift it. We also give you ratings for whiteness - so you can avoid ones that will leave your whites looking grey after a few washes. And for colour fading, so you can keep your colourful clothes bright.

Prefer to use powder or liquid gels? Then we've got results for those, too.

Visit our full laundry detergent results to see the best and worst laundry detergents overall, and which one will remove each stain the most thoroughly.

Bio vs non-bio laundry detergent

In our latest test, we've put nine bio and five non-bio laundry capsules against each other. So you can use our results to see how they compare to find the type that's best for you.

Biological detergents contain enzymes, which help to break down fats, proteins and starch. This means they’re generally better at removing stains. Biological detergents also work well at low temperatures and are completely biodegradable.

However, many people believe that non-biological washing powders and detergents are kinder to their skin because they don't contain enzymes. Some biological detergents are also not suitable for washing wool or silk.

Read our full guide to bio vs non-bio laundry detergents for more advice on using both types. 

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