Expert testers have revealed which brand detergents to buy and which to avoid for top and front loaders.
To help you get the whitest whites and the brightest brights, CHOICE laundry experts have tested 92 of the most popular laundry detergents – liquid and powder, for both top and front loaders – so you know which ones to look out for.
Best and worst laundry detergents for front loaders
Dynamo took out the three top spots in the front loader washing tests.
“We normally find that powders out perform 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.”CHOICE laundry expert Ashley Iredale
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.
Two Omo products 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 detergents for front loaders
- Dynamo Professional 7 Actions in 1 Wash (82%)
- Dynamo Professional Oxi Plus (82%)
- Dynamo Professional Deep Clean Odour Eliminating (81%)
- Aldi Trimat Advanced Concentrate Laundry Liquid (80%)
- Omo With a Touch of Comfort Inspired Freshness (79%)
- Omo Ultimate Whitens and Brightens (79%)
- Aldi Trimat Advanced Concentrate Laundry Powder (78%)
Worst detergents for front loaders
- Woolworths Essentials Laundry Powder (55%)
- Woolworths Essentials Laundry Liquid Clean Wash Apple Fragrance (55%)
- Plain water only (55%)
- Omo Sensitive (59%)
- Aldi Laundrite Laundry Powder (59%)
- Surf Tropical Tiger Lily powder (60%)
- Surf Tropical Tiger Lily liquid (61%)
Dud detergents wash the same as water
A dishonourable mention has to go to two Woolworths products – Essentials Laundry Powder and Essentials Laundry Liquid Clean Wash Apple Fragrance. They got CHOICE Expert Ratings of just 55% in our front loader test – the same result as washing with plain water!
Best and worst laundry detergents for top loaders
You may notice that the CHOICE Expert Ratings for top loader detergents are much lower than those for front loaders. That’s because testing has found top loader washing machines don’t perform as well as 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.”CHOICE laundry expert Ashley Iredale
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,” says 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.”
If you’re the top loading type, the brands to go for are Aldi and Omo – but be careful which product you buy, as some Omo and Aldi products didn’t perform well in our tests.
Best detergents for top loaders
- Aldi Trimat Advanced Concentrate Laundry Powder (66%)
- Omo Ultimate Whitens and Brightens (63%)
- Omo with a Touch of Comfort Inspired Freshness (61%)
- Aldi Almat Laundry Powder Concentrate Arctic Breeze (59%)
- Cussons Radiant Brilliant Whites Sharper Colours (58%)
Worst detergents for top loaders
Considering that all these products scored less than 50%, buying them is just about on par with throwing your money straight down the drain.
- Fab Intense Fresh liquid (47%)
- Biozet Attack 3DCleanAction liquid (47%)
- Woolworths Essentials Laundry Liquid Clean Wash Apple Fragrance (48%)
- Surf Tropical Tiger Lily liquid (48%)
- Fab Perfume Indulgence Sublime Velvet liquid (48%)
- – Fab Essential Oils Malaysian Orchid & Sandalwood liquid (48%)
- ecostore Eucalyptus Laundry Liquid (48%)
- Cold Power Pure Clean Sensitive liquid (48%)
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