There are a few inevitable things that we will all go through at some point; laundry is one of those things. Whether you use powder, liquid, or pod detergent, we will go through a few brands before deciding which one is best suited for our needs.
But what if you could just find one that works without having to chop and change brands?
Many laundry detergent brands try to promise the same thing; a perfect detergent that is tough on stains, softening, suitable for sensitive skin, effective at low temperatures or in hard water, and all for an affordable price.
Is all of this even possible? Everybody is different and every person is looking to get something different from their detergent.
I personally need something that is good for sensitive skin and effective in hard water, but you might want a cheap but concentrated solution that is tough on stains.
I am pleased to show you my round-up of the best washing powder brands. This UK detergent guide should help you decide which detergent is best for your home and will hopefully clarify a few confusing things for you. Grab a cosy drink and dive in with me.
1. Editors Pick
Best Washing Detergent for Eczema
2. Budget Pick
Best Fabric Solution Liquid Detergent
Best Washing Powder (In Order)
1. Best Washing Machine Detergent for Eczema and Sensitive Skin – Persil
To begin, the household name of Persil is going to kick off this review. A staple in homes across the UK, Persil’s Non-Bio is a good solution for those with sensitive skin. Read on to find out more.
For those suffering from various skin conditions, detergents such as Persil’s Non-Bio can really make a difference.
Not only is Persil Non-Bio tough on stains in both high and low temperatures, but it has also been thoroughly dermatologically tested. The stain removal power is excellent, and you’ll find that it even works on white clothing.
This detergent has been approved by the British Skin Foundation and is kind to your skin.
This makes it the ideal choice for those who are suffering from skin conditions such as eczema, because it won’t irritate the area.
However, if you are searching for something that makes your clothes exceptionally soft, Comfort (as seen below) may be a better choice. It comes in various sizes, with economical pricing to ensure it’s just as gentle on your bank account as it is your skin.
The Not So Good
It can be a little fiddly to measure the powder out and place it in the drawer, but this is quite a standard issue with powder detergents.
Persil’s Non-Bio powder is the best option for those with various skin allergies or other skin conditions.
Both tough on stains and gentle on skin, Persil’s Non-Bio does not compromise on quality in low temperatures; it is a popular household staple for a reason.
Additionally, the fact that you can purchase a bulk box means that you can make massive savings in the long run as it turns out cheaper than the supermarket, and you won’t need to make a trip for more for quite some time.
2. Best Washing Machine Detergent for Hard Water – Comfort
Finding a good fabric conditioner can take a long time. For those still looking, Comfort’s Pure fabric conditioner has everything you need in one bottle.
It is a great conditioner that leaves clothes feeling soft and fresh. Did I mention it works well in hard water areas too?
Another great option for those with sensitive skin, Comfort’s Pure fabric conditioner has been dermatologically tested and approved by the British Skin Foundation.
There’s no need to worry about any conditions flaring up while using this product. While suitable for children, we would recommend the Earth Friendly Product detergent later on in this review as it is exceptionally kind to little one’s skin.
Fabric softeners get deep into your clothes fibres, softening them and making them easier to iron once they are dry, and Comfort is no different. It makes them feel so soft and lovely on your skin when they are washed that you won’t want to take them off again.
It comes in the form of a pretty large bottle as well, which means you should be able to get loads of washes out of it.
The Not So Good
This detergent is not concentrated, which can make it seem watery or less powerful to those who use concentrated fabric conditioners.
This fabric conditioner really does do it all. Not only is it great for babies or people with allergies, but it also provides fantastic softness and has been dermatologically tested. The conditioner is lightly scented, leaving clothes feeling and smelling fresh.
As far as we’re concerned, there is a reason for all of the popularity and five-star reviews. If you want a safe and trusted fabric conditioner, this is the one you should be picking up.
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3. Best Value Washing Detergent – Daz
A tried and true brand, Daz is a classic to every Brit. Over the years, many people have trusted Daz’s powerful formula to take care of their clothes, and they haven’t been left disappointed. Read on to see why this is a great candidate for your next wash cycle.
Available in three different scents, Daz’s washing powder dissolves into the fibres of your clothes to provide a deep clean and fresh scent in every wash.
Daz truly shines when used on whites, brightening them perfectly and easily removing any stains. As this formula contains whiteners, it shouldn’t be used on dark or coloured clothes in case it lightens them.
Instead, Surf is a better choice for colours – you can find it in the next section. There’s nothing better for white loads, however, and Daz always comes out on top I this regard.
It comes at a very affordable price, and you usually get a large amount of detergent in the box, which makes it superb value for money. There’s nothing quite like an excellent detergent at a low price.
The Not So Good
The fact that it can lighten coloured clothes restricts its usage, but it really shines when it comes to whites which makes it worth having in your laundry room.
Daz has been making quality detergent for over 60 years and people absolutely love it. While this is not the most versatile powder in the world, it does do a world of good for white washes.
With a great price tag, lovely smell, and tough deep clean formula, it is no wonder why so many people trust Daz to get the job done. If you need to restore your whites, consider picking up some Daz and giving it a spin.
Further Models of Washing Detergent
Here are some further models of washing detergent for you to consider, just in case the ones above do not quite meet your requirements.
4. Best Washing Detergent Against Odours – Surf
Best Fabric Solution Liquid Detergent Under £12
Another household name, Surf’s Ylang Ylang detergent has one of the most popular fragrances on the market.
However, the mixture packs a powerful and clean punch when washing as well. Both coloured and white washes will be well taken care of with Surf’s tough formula. Stains are not an issue as this formula is highly effective no matter the temperature.
However, it’s not as gentle on sensitive sin as Persil or Comfort. Surf’s liquid detergent is approved by Good Housekeeping and has great reviews. The larger bottles are the most economic choice, so keep an eye out for a good deal.
This particular Surf detergent comes in other scents as an added bonus.
5. Detergents for Babies – Earth Friendly Products
Best Washing Powder For Newborn/Baby Clothes Under £20
What I love about this laundry detergent is its eco-friendly nature. Made from renewable plant extracts, this detergent is free from nasty chemicals like ammonia, formaldehyde and 1,4 Dioxane.
The lavender-scented version, which has been fragranced using essential oils, is perfect for helping little ones to feel more relaxed. This solution has fabric conditioner already built-in, meaning that you can save money and stop buying your detergent and conditioner separately.
The bottle, cap, and pourer are both biodegradable and recyclable, meaning that you can do your part to protect the environment and your clothes.
This solution says that it is designed for babies and young children, but plenty of customers buy this for themselves and their families as a replacement for conventional brands.
What Types of Washing Detergent are There?
First things first, we need to talk about the different types that are out there. No two washing detergents are made the same, and each type serves a different purpose and has their own strengths that make them desirable.
Biological Washing Powder
Biological washing powder often contains an optical brightener and bleaching agent that gets rid of stains in clothing. This type of powder also contains enzymes that break down stains even at low temperatures or during quick cycles.
Non-Biological Washing Powder
Non-biological washing powder is usually gentler on the skin and often has minimal to no fragrance to appeal to those with sensitive skin. This type of detergent is good for washing items with low dirt levels but is not the best for stains.
Best Washing Machine Brands
We all like to stick with a brand we know and trust; it’s important. These names have built up a level of rapport with us over the course of decades, and it makes us feel more comfortable to go with them instead of trying out something completely unknown.
So, here is a quick list of the best washing machine brands out there. We’re sure you’ll recognise a couple.
Liquids and Gels
Liquids and gels are more expensive than their powder counterparts but will not clog your machine. They keep colours bright and whites white and are good at washing low dirt items on cool temperatures.
By far the more expensive option, liquid capsules are the lowest maintenance option; just throw a pod in the drum and go. Liquid capsules are better suited to higher temperatures as they do not always dissolve in cool water.
How Much Do I Need to Spend?
While well-known brands can charge around 40p per wash, it is possible to pick up own brand detergents that cost around 10p per wash. Overall, washing detergent is not massively expensive, and it is quite easy to find a few deals; like the product guide below.
If you’re feeling really wild, you could even make your own detergent to save money in a pinch.
Which is Best, Liquid or Powder Detergent?
This is a tough one, but typically liquid detergent is best for pre or spot-treating stains like oil or grease. This is really helpful when washing work clothes, because it can be tough to get them looking clean again after a long day.
It’s also a lot more convenient as it often comes in the form of a pod that can be thrown into the machine directly instead of fiddling with drawers.
The great thing about powder detergent is that it has a smaller cost per laundry load and is tough on mud and grass stains; even in hard water.
It’s one of the best types of detergent when you have kids because they always manage to come home muddy, and you need to be able to get their clothes back to their former glory.
They are both excellent forms of detergent, and they are equally effective at washing clothes. However, it can depend on the kind of load you are washing. Therefore, the one you choose will be the one that best matches you regular washing needs.
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What’s in Laundry Detergent?
Here’s a question for you; what exactly is in your laundry detergent? Unless you’re making it at home yourself, it may not have crossed your mind to take a look at the ingredients list.
There’s a lot of seemingly complex names on there, but we can make things clearer for you. Let’s take a look at some of the key detergent ingredients.
An oxidising agent is often used as an energy source for chemical reactions and is a bleaching component in common detergents.
This is how stains are removed from your clothes, and it is usually in the form of sodium hypochlorite; chlorine bleach. The process of oxidisation can also be referred to as bleaching.
Polymers are molecules that are often used to prevent staining or greying during a laundry cycle. It works by ensuring that the muck and grime that has been removed from clothing remains in the water instead of being deposited back into the fibres of the fabric.
As the name implies, an anti-foam agent prevents foam build-up during a wash cycle to prevent a film forming on clothes or damage to the washing machine’s parts.
We’ve all seen those amusing comedy strips where there’s too much foam in the machine, and this prevents a very similar situation.
Ingredients of Concern
Not every ingredient is a good one, and just as we are careful about what we put into our bodies, the same should go for what is placed on them.
There are some ingredients you should keep an eye out for, as these can cause things like skin irritation and allergic reactions. Take a look at a few of the top ingredients of concern.
Nonylphenol and Nonylphenol Ethoxylates
A type of non-ionic surfactants that are commonly used in detergents. Large quantities have been found in the ocean and efforts are being made to reduce its use as they are toxic chemicals.
As a result of this ocean pollution, many sea creatures have died and are at great risk. It’s deeply harmful to the environment and should be avoided at all costs.
A strong contaminant, 1,4-dioxane is a synthetic petrochemical carcinogen (primarily known as a cause of breast cancer) that is not easily removed from the water.
There are a surprising number of detergents that still use it, so keep an eye out for those that don’t have it listed on the ingredients; they are the ones to go for.
Often used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break, these solvents are able to easily enter our bloodstream through contact or ingestion and can mimic or displace or hormones, causing unexpected side effects such as low sperm count or altered genital development in prepubescent children.
Not just a long word, Methylisothiazolinone is a preservative and antibacterial and is often found in liquid detergent.
It is a common cause of contact dermatitis and other skin conditions. Therefore, those with sensitive skin or conditions should ensure that they avoid anything that contains this irritant.
Sodium Metasilicate forms a high alkaline solution in water and has a bleaching effect, similar to te oxidisation process. It is an electrolyte that keeps particles in water from settling and can be irritating to the skin.
A natural compound found in fruit, Limonene has a lovely citrus smell and is a cleaning solvent. However, limonene has been known to react with ozone to make formaldehyde.
It is toxic to aquatic life, and may also cause skin irritation in humans. Its environmental impact alone should be enough for people to avoid it.
Pods and Fabric Softeners
While pods and fabric softeners can be useful to have in your laundry arsenal, they are not generally recommended for families with young children.
Laundry pods are colourful and squishy – two elements that can spell disaster if a child gets their hands on them. Pods can be harmful to the body when ingested, and there have been a number of recent cases where children have eaten them.
However, if you are sensible and keep the pods in a place that is both secure and out of reach, you should be perfectly fine.
It is important to ensure that your children are safe, and a locked box may be the best solution for all of your washing detergents.
Fabric softeners are quite safe to use, but there has been some evidence to suggest that they may reduce the fire resistance of clothing.
Laundry Detergents and Allergies
If you have sensitive skin, it is highly likely that you will come into contact with a detergent that does not sit well with you. Often, people with skin allergies have to try and suffer through many brands before finding one that works for them.
That’s part of why this guide is so helpful; we do all the suffering for you so that you can get to that ideal brand a lot faster.
Dyes, perfumes, chemicals, or enzymes in detergent are common triggers for allergic reactions, so choosing a detergent without perfumes or one that is specifically for sensitive skin can help.
Eco-friendly detergents often have this covered perfectly, and if all else fails there is always the option to make your own detergents at home.
Over the years, a new trend in household cleaning products has emerged; the green cleaner. Also known as an eco-product, green products are environmentally friendly alternatives to standard household cleaners.
These cleaners use sustainable products and very few chemicals (if any), making them better for the environment.
Some feel that they are not as suited to tough stains as their chemical counterparts, but natural cleaners can actually be just as effective. You just need to use the right quantities, and learn how to work with your green cleaning products.
If homemade detergents work well on stains, green ones can too.
If switching detergents or brands have not helped, you may be accidentally sabotaging yourself during the laundry process.
Here are some tips to effectively sort and handle laundry that will make the process easier on you and your washing machine.
Sorting your laundry into lights, darks, and colours is a good start to prevent bleeding or staining during the wash cycle.
If you’re feeling a little lazy about it all, you can buy colour catching sheets that can be thrown in with the load to absorb anything that bleeds out.
Washing your jeans inside out or doing woollens and silks separately is another sorting step that some choose to take. Socks should also be washed inside out, as should any shirts that have printed images on the front.
This helps to prevent fading and damage to the designs. Delicates, such as bras, should be placed inside a pillowcase before going in as this ensures the spin is gentle on the material.
Pre-treating stains is key to making sure that they are removed in just one wash. Some formulas need you to make a paste with the detergent and water while others ask you to soak the garment in detergent and water.
Read the instructions carefully and try to find a spot treatment if you can. This makes everything easier, and may also mean that you don’t need to wash the same garment five times.
Finally, make sure to not over or under load your washing machine and measure your detergent carefully to avoid wasting any of it.
Overloading the machine can cause clothes to be washed unevenly, or even break the belt/drum. Following these steps should make life easier for you and your chosen detergent.
Best Washing Liquid
For those who are fans of liquid detergents, Earth Friendly Products’ baby laundry detergent is an excellent choice for those with sensitive skin or those who are trying to be more environmentally conscious.
Surf’s Tropical Ylang washing liquid is both economical and good for washing both coloured and white clothes.
Best Washing Powder
Both powders are tough on stains but gentle on the skin and provide excellent cleaning even at low temperatures. Each of these are perfect if you have skin conditions or allergies as any kind.
Best Fabric Conditioner
If you want clean and soft clothes but don’t want to stop using fabric conditioner, Comfort’s Pure fabric conditioner is both hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested, so you can protect your skin and have soft clothes with no fuss.
You can even throw a little conditioner in with the detergents above for a combination of super clean and super soft.
Thank you for reading this detergent review. I hope this guide has helped you decide which washing powder or detergent is best for your home.
Every one of them has their positive and negative points but all suit different circumstances. Which one came out on top?
I am sure that the detergent reviews helped you make the best decision for you. However, I enjoyed adding other useful information to help you out. Of the detergents listed, the Persil Non-Bio washing powder would be my choice.
Not only is it tough on stains, but it is also approved by the British Skin Foundation and delivers an effective wash at low temperatures.
These features and the high praise online are what put it ahead of the pack for me. All of them are excellent choices, and you are sure to make the right one for you and your home.
What did you think of our washing machine detergent guide? Are there any that you would have liked to see or recommended? I love hearing from you, so make sure to leave me a message in the comments below.
Last Updated on February 25, 2021 by Gemma Tyler