Detergent Liquid Vs Powder: Which Is Better?

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When it comes to cleaning our dirty laundry, there are a number of options available in the market. In fact, you are spoilt for choice; we have both international and local brands vying for our attention with catchy slogans and ads that could put Oscar-winning movies to shame. 

There are essentially two types of detergents- detergent liquid and detergent powder. Granted, many companies may come up with different marketing gimmicks to sell the same product in a new package and so forth.  However, we strongly advise our readers not to be swayed by such theatrics and stick to the basics. 

Coming to the real objective of this article; which variant of the detergent is better at cleaning your laundry? The simple and clear answer to this is – it depends. The real question one needs to ask here is what exactly do you require of your detergent? Do you want your clothes to smell nice? Do you need a detergent that doesn’t cause any allergy to your skin? What exactly are you trying to clean? What kind of clothes are you washing? What is your monthly budget for detergents? Do you wash your clothes manually or by using a washing machine?

Once you are able to get clarity on what you require of your detergent, you can narrow your choice down to the detergent that will suit you the best; liquid or powder detergent. Now let’s focus on the general properties of each type of detergent.

Detergent Powder

Detergent Liquid Vs Powder
Image: Canva

Detergent powders are laundry cleaning products made by using a surfactant along with other ingredients such as optical brightener, fabric softener, enzymes, bleach, and fragrances.

 It is the more popular variant of detergent since it’s generally cheaper and easier to carry. Detergent powders are generally more efficient at cleaning heavily soiled clothes. Its main constituent alkylbenzene sulfonate is more effective at cleaning mud, grass, and bloodstains. 

The quick feature of this product is as follows:

Less messy in comparison to liquid detergent. All you need to do is take a scoop or two and put it in the bucket.It doesn’t dissolve entirely in cold water if not mixed properly.
It is cheaper than liquid detergents since it’s easier to manufacture and carry around.The particles of powder detergent can leave a stain on clothes if not washed thoroughly.
It has a much longer shelf life than liquid detergents.It needs to be kept in dry condition, Getting it wet will lead to waste unless you use it immediately.
Better packaging options and can also use eco-friendly methods of packaging.It can lead to skin rash and allergy in case users have sensitive skin.
You need just a small amount of powder detergent to give your clothes a good washIt can leave residue in the washing machine after use.

When it comes to using detergent powder, it is advisable to mix it in warm water so that the particles of the detergent can dissolve completely. You can also pre-dissolve the powder in a little warm water before you add it to the bucket. Use only the amount of powder recommended based on your requirement. This allows you to save the powder and wash your clothes properly.

Related reading: All You Need to Know About Washing Machine’s Power Consumption

Detergent Liquid

Detergent Liquid Vs Powder
Image: Canva

This product is essentially the same as its solid variant and its constituents are primarily the same as detergent powder. However, it differs in its form which in turn has its own share of benefits and its challenges. Its pros and cons are as follows:

Its leaves no residue since it is already in liquid form. This allows you to use your washing machine without any worry of clogging over time.Tends to leave a mess if you don’t handle it properly.
It dissolves better in both cold and hot water.The packaging for this product is not very handy and tends to be heavier than detergent powder
It can be used for spot treatment which means you don’t have to use any other product.Its packaging isn’t very eco-friendly since it uses plastic containers. 
You need lesser water to wash clothes compared to soap or detergent powder.You can end up putting in excess of the detergent if you are not measuring the amount carefully. 
It is more effective than detergent powders when it comes to hand washing.
It is more effective at cleaning stains made from oil and grease.

Liquid detergents are particularly useful when it comes to spot stains since the liquid can be applied on the spot directly with ease. Even though this product is in liquid form, it is still advisable to use it by measuring the amount used while washing your clothes since it can lead to a build-up over time especially if you are using a washing machine. 

While Using In Washing Machines

You can use both kinds of detergents to wash clothes in a washing machine. However, for better durability, it is advisable to stick to detergent liquid. The reason for this is that detergent powders contain solid particles which don’t get dissolved readily in the water even if you use warm water in certain cases. The clumps of undissolved powder can clog your washing machine or the septic system which in turn will require a plumber’s assistance to fix it. Also, these residues get deposited on the rubber seal of front loaders, making it a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

 In addition to that, liquid detergent mixes with water more effectively which means it can give more intense cleaning in comparison to detergent powder. Most detergent liquids are suitable for washing machines and do not leave any residue since it comes in liquid form. Also, detergent liquids are more suitable for delicate clothes like silk and wool since it is milder than detergent powder. 

Related reading: Semi-Automatic vs Fully Automatic Washing Machines

Points To Consider

Both variants of detergent come with their share of benefits and challenges, what we need to focus on are the constituents of the detergent. Each detergent’s effectiveness depends entirely on its formulation and how it is used.  Granted, both forms of detergent can clean any garment quite effectively. However, both products leave back some sort of effects on your garments, your skin, and the washing machine that could have a negative impact eventually. Keeping this in mind, finding out which type of detergent will suit your requirement best is a good way to take care of your dirty laundry while protecting your skin and your washing machine.

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