Which? tests reveal three Don't Buy laundry detergents to avoidPlus a trio of Best Buy laundry liquids and gels

30 May 2016

Hanging clean laundry

Save money and keep your white sheets pristine with our great value Best Buy laundry detergent

Three widely available laundry detergents have been awarded our Don't Buy warning after they struggled to shift almost all of the stains we tested them on in our lab tests.

The trio of sub-standard stain busters include one which left visible drink, make-up and grease stains on clothes after washing. Others showed that they will leave your white shirts or sheets looking dull grey after several washes.

Our test included laundry detergents from Persil, Ariel and Surf, as well as supermarket own brand products. 

Discover which liquids or gels failed to make the grade on our Don't Buy washing powder and laundry detergents page. 

Best and worst laundry detergents

The good news is that three new Best Buy-recommended liquids or gels also emerged from our latest round of testing. The best product we tested scored 37 percentage points higher than the lowest rated liquid.

These brilliant detergents proved themselves more than up to the task of getting clothes clean and keeping whites and colours bright. One of them is a great value supermarket product that won't break the bank.

Skip straight to our Best Buy laundry detergents page to find out the top-scoring products.

Bio vs non-bio laundry detergent

Biological detergents have frequently dominated the top spots in our previous laundry detergent tests, but despite this non-bio options remain popular. 

In a survey carried out in March 2015, 37% of Which? members told us they use only non-bio laundry detergent - so we pitched them against biological alternatives in our lab tests. 

One non-bio laundry liquid or gel stood out this time to be the best on test for shifting tricky drink spills, such as tea, coffee and red wine stains.

Across washing powders, laundry capsules, liquids and gels, we’ve tested 13 non-bios. Their scores vary by a significant 21 percentage points, which shows it's worth choosing carefully to ensure you get the best cleaning power for your money.

Save money on laundry detergent

You can save cash with one of our three new Best Buys. This great-value supermarket own-brand laundry detergent is around half the cost per wash of a branded Best Buy – and doesn’t compromise on getting clothes clean.

Our research also found that you can save more than £30 a year on laundry detergent by switching from a branded to an own-brand alternative that still scores well in our tests. Find out which products give the biggest savings in our full laundry detergent test results.

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