Liquid vs Powder Laundry Detergent: Which is Best?

Even though there are two different types of laundry detergent, liquid or powder, we generally stick to using what’s most familiar. But, what’s the difference between liquid vs powder laundry detergent?

While comparable, liquid detergent is better at removing oil and grease spots, while powder is best for grass, dirt, and bloodstains. Compare washing powder vs liquid detergent along with several key factors to make the best choice for your laundry needs.

How to Compare Liquid vs Powder Laundry Detergent

While both types of detergent will get clothes clean, that’s where most similarities end. Comparing them between price, convenience, stain type, water temperature and overall cleaning power shows some important differences. Here’s how liquid vs powder laundry detergent compare against these criteria.

Which is Cheaper: Liquid or Powder?

Powder detergents are lighter than liquids and have lighter packaging, which makes them less expensive to transport and translates to lower purchase prices. Liquid detergent and its plastic bottles are heavier, increasing transportation costs and prices. 

While liquid vs powder laundry detergent is still only cents cheaper per load, this difference can add up over time. Washing an average of 300 loads per year can result in a savings of about $70 with powder detergent.

Best Choice: Powder Detergent

Is Liquid or Powder Detergent More Convenient?

When it comes to convenience, liquid detergent is the clear winner. Liquid vs powder detergent is easily measured and poured, with a cap that doubles as a measuring cup. Meanwhile, pre-measured, single-use liquid packs can be simply tossed in the washer with each load.

By contrast, powder detergent is often packaged in bulky boxes and must be poured into a separate measuring device. This can easily lead to spillage, leaving messy (and wasteful) messes.

Best Choice: Liquid detergent

liquid vs powder laundry detergent

Is Liquid or Powder Detergent the Best Stain Remover?

Is it better to use liquid or powder laundry detergent to remove stains? It all comes down to the ingredients in each detergent. The different surfactants (cleaning agents) in each are most effective with different stains. This makes powder detergents better at removing grass, dirt, and blood stains while liquid detergents are more effective at removing grease and oil.

However, liquid detergent gets a slight edge in this category for its ease of use when pre-treating stains. Liquids can easily be poured and rubbed into the stain directly. Powder detergent must first be mixed with water before applying it to the stain.

Best Choice: Liquid detergent

Does Water Temperature Affect Liquid or Powder Detergent Performance?

While both detergents are designed to dissolve quickly, the liquid is better able to do so at any water temperature. Some powder detergents may not dissolve as quickly in cold water and can leave a residue on clothes.

Is powder or liquid detergent better for the environment? This answer gets a little tricker. The chemical residue that powder detergents can leave behind could also collect in septic systems and leach into ground or water systems. However, their cardboard packages are easily recycled, while plastic liquid detergent bottles are recycled less often. Though liquid detergent is more dissolvable at any water temperature, both have the potential to negatively impact the environment.

Best Choice: Liquid Detergent

Does Liquid or Powder Detergent Have the Most Cleaning Power?

While liquid and powder detergents may each be better at cleaning specific stains, both are comparable at overall cleaning power. Whether you have a front load or top load washer or prefer one wash setting over another doesn’t matter: both effectively get clothes clean.

Best Choice: Tied.

washing powder vs liquid

Is Powder or Liquid Laundry Detergent Better?

While comparing liquid vs powder laundry detergent yields some differences, the best detergent is the one that best meets your personal needs. Since both effectively clean clothes, the above criteria can help determine the best decision for your laundry routines, budget, and stain-fighting needs.

The washer repair experts at GFY Appliance Repair can answer any question. Call us for all your laundry appliance needs!

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