Not all laundry detergents are equal. In fact, there are washing soap suds that you really don’t want anywhere near your clothes. The experts have put the cleaning agents to the best to find the best laundry detergents and ones to avoid.
We have to be grateful to the testing experts at CHOICE. They’ve got their hands dirty and their clothes soiled in the quest to find the very best laundry detergents as well as giving us the heads up which ones not to buy.
Ultimately your washing machine can be a $2,000 beast but if you’re using inferior detergent, your clothes will suffer.
“Since detergent accounts for at least half the running cost of your washing machine, it’s worth spending your money on a product that’ll give you the best results,” CHOICE said.
The testers scrutinised and compared 92 of the most popular laundry detergents. They looked at liquid and powder, regular and sensitive laundry detergents for babies and allergy sufferers – and considered top loaders and front loaders.
They came up with a solid list of favourites … and a few duds too.
Best and worst laundry detergents for front loaders
First, 2nd And Third Spots all went to Dynamo products in the front loader washing tests.
“We normally find that powders outperform liquid detergents, but we’re pleased to see that Dynamo has brought their A-game to the table this year and raised the bar for what we can expect from liquid detergents,” says CHOICE laundry expert Ashley Iredale.
And what about fourth?
Costing just 16 cents a wash, Aldi’s Trimat Advanced Concentrate Laundry Liquid came in fourth, outshining products that cost more than three times the price. This liquid detergent aces stains such as grass, mud, makeup, chocolate ice cream and baby food, and has a CHOICE Expert Rating of 80% – just two percentage points behind Dynamo’s top scorer, but costing 40 cents less per wash.
Next up came two Omo products which scored 79%, followed by Aldi’s Trimat Advanced Concentrate Laundry Powder, which scored 78%. However, the Aldi powder costs a bit more per wash than the liquid at 27 cents, so our money is on the liquid if you’re after bang for your buck.
Best laundry detergents for front loaders
1) Dynamo Professional 7 Actions in 1 Wash (82%)
2) Dynamo Professional Oxi Plus (82%)
3) Dynamo Professional Deep Clean Odour Eliminating (81%)
4) Aldi Trimat Advanced Concentrate Laundry Liquid (80%)
5) Omo With a Touch of Comfort Inspired Freshness (79%)
6) Omo Ultimate Whitens and Brightens (79%)
7) Aldi Trimat Advanced Concentrate Laundry Powder (78%)
Worst detergents for front loaders
Where there are winners, there are always going to be losers. Unfortunately, Woolworths dive-bombs when it comes to quality laundry detergent. Two Woolies products – Essentials Laundry Powder and Essentials Laundry Liquid Clean Wash Apple Fragrance received CHOICE Expert Ratings of just 55% in the front loader test – the same result as washing with plain water! Yikes!
And the award for the worst-performing front-loader laundry detergent goes to…
1) Woolworths Essentials Laundry Powder (55%)
2) Woolworths Essentials Laundry Liquid Clean Wash Apple Fragrance (55%)
3) Plain water only (55%)
4) Omo Sensitive (59%)
5) Aldi Laundrite Laundry Powder (59%)
6) Surf Tropical Tiger Lily powder (60%)
7) Surf Tropical Tiger Lily liquid (61%)
Best and worst laundry detergents for top loaders
Interestingly, the CHOICE team found that top loader washing machines don’t perform as well as front loaders. As a result the CHOICE Expert Ratings for top loader detergents are much lower than those for front loaders.
“Given that top loaders tend not to wash anywhere near as well as front loaders, choosing a top-performing detergent is even more important for top loader devotees,” said Ashley.
The surprise winner in this category is budget brand Aldi. Not only did it wash the best, but at 27 cents a wash, it’s also great value for money.
“You may think that paying a premium for detergent means your clothes will be cleaner, but time and time again we find that price isn’t necessarily an indication of performance,” said Ashley.
“Aldi Trimat’s performance in our tests goes to show that you can get a great wash for a fraction of the cost of the leading brands.”
But not all Aldi products performed well so make sure you get the specific brand right.
Best laundry detergents for top loaders
1) Aldi Trimat Advanced Concentrate Laundry Powder (66%)
2) Omo Ultimate Whitens and Brightens (63%)
3) Omo with a Touch of Comfort Inspired Freshness (61%)
4) Aldi Almat Laundry Powder Concentrate Arctic Breeze (59%)
5) Cussons Radiant Brilliant Whites Sharper Colours (58%)
6) Biozet attack 3dcleanaction liquid top
Worst detergents for top loaders
Sadly, there were heaps of contenders for the most badly performing detergent for top loaders. None were worse than plain water, but there were plenty that weren’t much better.
“Considering that all these products scored less than 50%, buying them is just about on par with throwing your money straight down the drain,” CHOICE warned.
And the awards for the worst detergent for top loaders go to:
1) Fab Intense Fresh liquid (47%)
2) Biozet Attack 3DCleanAction liquid (47%)
3) Woolworths Essentials Laundry Liquid Clean Wash Apple Fragrance (48%)
4) Surf Tropical Tiger Lily liquid (48%)
5) Fab Perfume Indulgence Sublime Velvet liquid (48%)
6) Fab Essential Oils Malaysian Orchid & Sandalwood liquid (48%)
7) ecostore Eucalyptus Laundry Liquid (48%)
8) Cold Power Pure Clean Sensitive liquid (48%)
Check out CHOICE for a full list of all the detergents tested.
What are your best laundry detergent and which one do you think is the worst? Tell us in the comments below.We may get commissions for purchases made using links in this post. Learn more.