Laundry liquids and powders costing less than 10p per wash have beaten those from market leader Ariel in our latest detergents tests.
One supermarket has produced the best laundry liquid and powder, scoring higher overall than all others including Ariel.
Alongside its impressive stain busting power, it’s the only brand with both a liquid and powder that achieve a maximum five stars for keeping whites bright.
What detergents did we test?
In total, we pitted 21 laundry liquids, gels and powders 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.
Seven products scored well enough to be Best Buys. All were good at removing stains, with some also excelling at keeping whites bright, but the supermarket Best Buys do all this for less than half the price per wash of the big-brand rivals.
Not all the detergents we tested proved so impressive, though. Three flunked our cleaning tests so badly that we’ve made them Don’t Buy laundry detergents.
How we test washing powder and laundry detergent – find out how we uncover the best detergents for bright whites and vibrant colours
Cut costs, not cleaning power
Our tests show it pays to be picky when it comes to selecting a laundry detergent. You could save up to 46% on your annual detergent costs by switching from Ariel to the highest-scoring supermarket own brand.
What’s more, if you switched from the most expensive detergent we tested to our cheapest Best Buy, the savings would be considerably more. If you do four loads of laundry a week, the switch could mean a saving of more than £27 over the course of a year.
Not only will you pocket a decent saving, you’ll also get superior cleaning power.
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Best Buy eco detergent revealed
We included eco laundry liquids from Ecover, Method and M&S in our test, and one of them scored high enough to become the first ever eco detergent to earn our Best Buy recommendation.
Environmentally friendly cleaning products continue to rise in popularity, but previously we’ve never seen them match their rivals in terms of their ability to remove stains. So it’s a pleasant surprise to see an eco detergent doing so well this time around.
The main difference between ‘eco’ products and regular detergents is the source of their surfactants. Surfactants in eco laundry liquids are derived from plant-based sources, such as palm, coconut and rapeseed oil, whereas those found in most other laundry detergents tend to come from refining petroleum.
If you’re looking for a more sustainably produced product with a reduced environmental impact, make sure you check out our reviews of Ecover Bio, Method Wild Lavender and M&S Eco Friendly laundry liquids to find out which one is best.
Latest laundry detergent reviews
Below are all of the laundry liquids, gels and powders from our latest tests.
If a brand you want to see is missing, that’s likely because the product was being reformulated at the time of testing, which meant that we couldn’t include it.
Follow the links to read our new reviews:
Laundry liquids and gel
- Aldi Almat Super Concentrated Bio Liquid (25 washes, £1.49)
- Ariel Original Bio Gel (24 washes, £4)
- Ariel Original Bio Liquid (54 washes, £7)
- Ecover Bio Liquid (42 washes, £8)
- Fairy Non-Bio Gel (24 washes, £4.25)
- Fairy Non-Bio Liquid (54 washes, £7)
- Lidl Formil Bio Liquid (25 washes, £1.49)
- M&S Eco-Friendly Non-Bio Liquid (25 washes, £4.25)
- Method Wild Lavender Liquid (39 washes, £6.50)
- Sainsburys Bio Concentrated Laundry Liquid (25 washes, £1.75)
- Tesco Non-Bio Gel (24 washes, £2.60)
- Waitrose Essential Bio Gel (26 washes, £3.25)
- Waitrose Essential Bio Liquid (27 washes, £3.50)