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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 – liquid and powder, for both top and front loaders and came up with their 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-laundry-detergent

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%)

worst laundry detergents

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.

  • oh wow! Surprised at that list.

    Reply

  • Wow! I have a Top Loader and use Cold Power but clearly I need to rethink my choices.


    • Do you have good experiences with your top loader ?

    Reply

  • Interesting read indeed !

    Reply

  • Interesting article. I agree with the Aldi brands. We have been using those for a few months and find they are a reasonable price and work well

    Reply

  • I use Earths choice. Its cheap and works well.

    Reply

  • My favourite thing to do at home is doing washing and I only use OMO because I think is the best from what I have tried!

    Reply

  • Interesting article. I’ve always used Dynamo because it’s the only one that doesn’t irritate the family’s skin. Have tried Radiant which wasn’t too bad but only tried because Dynamo wasn’t available. Glad to say I’ve stocked up a little on the Dynamo so I always have that one spare bottle

    Reply

  • I have always used Omo so I really can’t compare however it is an interesting article.

    Reply

  • hmm interesting article

    Reply

  • Wow.. I generally use Radiance or Cold Power liquid will be rethinking the Cold Power option now! Thanks.

    Reply

  • Interesting results! I prefer a liquid over powder and I find Fab is one of the best ….

    Reply

  • I use the ecostore Eucalyptus Laundry Liquid in my front loader and my whites come out bright and spotlessly clean without using any pre stain remover or soaker. I’m an ecostore product junkie who has only ever bought their laundry liquid when it’s 50% off at Woolworths. I stock up until the next sale. So at $4.50 on sale for 1 lire which gives 28 washes, for me, that’s a bargain for a clean wash every time.


    • I should try Ecostore Eucalyptus Laundry Liquid too !

    Reply

  • I buy Coles brand laundry detergent. $1.50 for 2 litres it’s exceptionally cheap, smells amazing and does the job. I notiçe Coles didn’t make the best list…….buuuuuuuut they’re also not on the worst. I’ll stick with it

    Reply

  • Top loaders give u more control over the wash and OMO is the far superior for my machine no stains are left and with washing for 10 every day is a breeze for my 8 year old top loader . long may it last

    Reply

  • we live with the red stains of far north queensland dirt and some waters, and washing really stained clothes twice daily i use original OMO liquid. Works all the time dont use pink flash on all clothes as it can take colour out of some fabrics. I have tried many liquid detergents and nothing beats the original OMO not the new one hopeless. so go for it I have been washing 2 o\loads every day for many yeARS WITH NOT ONE STAIN LEFT sO GO FOR IT TOP LOADERS!!!!!!! A SENIOR WASHING LADY .

    Reply

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