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Best washing powder revealed in Which? tests

Our results show how much cash you can save

Washing powder being poured into a washing machine drawer

The best value washing powder in our test was £41 cheaper per year than the lowest scoring  

Is it worth stumping up the cash to buy Persil or Fairy washing powder, or do own-brand supermarket washing powders do the job better for a fraction of the cost? Our latest washing powder test results reveal all.

We tested 12 washing powders in total, ranging from big-name brands such as Ariel, Ecover, Persil and Surf, through to own-brand powders from Aldi, Lidl, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

The best washing powders produced sparkling whites and had no problem shifting curry stains, grass marks and blood. The worst struggled to remove grease and had trouble on food stains.  

The variation in price of washing powders is enormous. Across the powders we tested, the cost per wash varied from 9p to 35p. There’s actually a yearly cost difference of £41 between the best-value washing powder and the lowest-scoring one.

Keep your laundry spotless and save money – discover the best washing powders.

Bio vs non-bio

Bio detergents contain enzymes to aid the cleaning process; non-bios don’t. Britain is one of the few countries in the world where non-biological powder is popular. So to help those of you who prefer non-bio to choose the best, we test both biological and non-biological powders.

On the whole, bios normally produce a better clean. However, our latest test found two non-biological powders that washed as well as some biological powders, demonstrating that the inclusion of enzymes doesn’t always guarantee a superior performance.

To find out what these two powders are, use the filters to select ‘non bio’ and ‘powder’ in our washing powder and laundry detergent reviews.

Which? tests explained

From coffee and red wine to beef fat and make-up, our tests mark clothing with every conceivable stain you will find yourself needing to remove. As well as showing you which powders are best at tackling your overall laundry basket, we also break down our results by the type of stain. So if you’re plagued by mud and grass stains more than coffee, you can find the right powder for you. 

Plus we check how well the powders tackle whites and whether they cause colours to fade over time. So you will know which ones will keep your white shirts pristine and your coloured t-shirts bright.

Prefer to use laundry capsules, gels or liquids? Then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. You can see results for all our laundry detergent tests by heading to our full laundry detergent test ratings

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