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This cheap Best Buy laundry detergent could save you over £45 a year

We've found a brilliant own-brand laundry detergent that could significantly cut your laundry costs

Our latest laundry tests have uncovered a supermarket own-brand laundry detergent that will leave your clothes clean and bright for less than half the price of branded rivals.

We pitted laundry liquids and gels from big brands – including Ariel, Fairy and Ecover – against own-brand offerings from major supermarkets, putting each detergent through tough tests to separate those that can really tackle stains from the ones not worth wasting money on.

Two products scored well enough to be Best Buys. Both were good at removing stains, keeping whites bright and preventing colours from fading, but our supermarket Best Buy does all this for less than half the price per wash of its branded equivalent.

Not all supermarket detergents proved so impressive though. One flunked all our tests so badly that we’ve labelled it a Don’t Buy.

A low-scoring laundry detergent will leave you having to re-wash stained items, and even then there’s no guarantee it will get the job done. Check our Best Buy laundry detergents to discover our top picks.

Don’t pay more than you need to

Doing the laundry is unlikely to be the highlight of your week, but the chore could be made even worse knowing it’s costing you more than it needs to.

A difference of a few pennies per wash may seem inconsequential, but it can really add up over time. In fact, if you do four loads of laundry a week, switching from the priciest detergent we tested to our great-value Best Buy could mean a saving of more than £45 over the course of a year. Plus you’ll have cleaner clothes, too.

Check our laundry detergent reviews to get the lowdown on which detergents will save you money and clean your clothes effectively, and which ones are best to avoid – such as the Don’t Buy laundry liquid that scored a woeful 33%.


How we test washing powder and laundry detergent – find out how we uncover the best detergents for bright whites and vibrant colours


Are ‘eco-friendly’ laundry detergents worth buying?

The main difference between ordinary detergents and those billed as eco-friendly is the source of their surfactants – ingredients found in all detergents that are essential for stain removal.

The surfactants in eco laundry liquids are claimed to be derived from plant-based sources, such as coconut, palm and rapeseed oils, whereas those found in other laundry detergents tend to come from petrochemical or synthetic sources. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that by law all surfactants have to meet specified standards for biodegradation and non-toxicity.

Crucially, you still need to count on these products to do a good job. We’ve just tested three eco detergents from Tesco, Waitrose and Ecover. Use the links below to see how good they are at cleaning clothes:

Easy ways to go green with your laundry routine

Clothesline

There are some simple changes you can make to help make your laundry loads more eco-friendly:

  1. Full loads, low temperatures – this is the most efficient combination, and fine for lightly soiled loads
  2. Don’t overdo it on detergent – a common mistake is to use more detergent than you need. Soft water, smaller loads and lightly soiled clothes require less detergent, so check the instructions and use as little as possible to avoid unnecessary waste.

Laundry liquids and gels reviewed

Below is the full list of laundry liquids and gels we’ve tested. Follow the individual links to read our reviews:

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