Powder vs Liquid detergent- Which is better for the washing machine?

Last Updated on 15 February, 2024 by Sourav Roy

Powder vs Liquid detergent – each has its highs and lows. Not sure what to use? Well then, this article is just what you need. Here, we’ll take a close look at everything about both to find out what works the best for you.

Powder vs Liquid detergent

Different types of detergent

There are different kinds of detergents. There are detergent pods, homemade detergents, powder ones and liquid ones, to name a few. Among all these types, the powdered and liquid forms are the most effective. Here, we will talk in depth about each, about what they’re good for and their negative sides.

1. Liquid Detergents

Liquid Detergents


Liquid Detergents are them most commonly used detergents, and they’re highly effective. You don’t even have to think about dissolving them- just open up the lid, measure how much you need and pour it in. They contain Alkalis, Enzymes, Surfactants, Fragrances and Dyes.

These detergents also contain fewer chemicals than their counterparts. As such, they’re quite environment friendly. Besides, they don’t clog up parts of your washing machine, and they leave so little residue that cleaning your washing machine is an effortless task.

Advantages of Liquid Detergents

  • Work well with washing machines.
  • Usable as a pre-treater or spot cleaner.
  • Comes ready to use and dissolves easily in water.
  • Eco-friendly.
  • No clumps as the detergent comes in liquid form.
  • Sink deep into fibres, which makes removing grease and oil easy.

Disadvantages of Liquid Detergents

  • Leftover traces on fabrics might cause skin irritation.
  • Measurement lids are sometimes inaccurate, leading to wastage.
  • Relatively expensive.
  • Makes other cleaners like Bleach less effective.
  • Expire after a while.


2. Powder Detergents

Powder Detergent


Whilst Powder Detergents have a composition similar to the liquid ones; there are still key differences. For instance, they’re cheap and have a better effect on spots. Although, if you use these with your washing machine, then you’ll probably end up facing problems with it.

Back in the old days, they were quite popular. Now, their liquid counterparts are used more often. However, they are quite useful if you don’t want to spend much on detergents and still need good results.

Advantages of Powder Detergents

  • Uses less storage space.
  • More consistent than liquid detergents.
  • Mixes in well with hard water.
  • Don’t use a lot of dyes.
  • Cheap yet still effective.

Disadvantages of Powder Detergents

  • Clumps together in places, which can make cleaning a washer take extra effort.
  • Washing machine performance might suffer because of the clumps.
  • Leaves a lot of residues, as it can’t dissolve well sometimes.
  • Contains sodium sulphate, which can be bad for waterways.
  • Has to be dissolved in water first for pre-treating spots.
  • They can be bad for those with respiratory conditions as they can go airborne.

The liquid detergents are the best overall, as they’re both safe for washing machines and the body, unlike powdered ones. So, you’d be better off if you use these liquid detergents for your wash sessions, be that by hand or with washing machines. They’re ideal for all kinds of washing machines, including front-loading and top-loading ones.

Here’s a table to sum up the critical differences between both

Powder DetergentsLiquid Detergents
Powder detergent doesn't dissolve correctly sometimes.Liquid detergent Easily dissolves into the water.
Less convenient, you have to take some steps before pouring in.The solution comes pre-mixed, so just measure and pour.
A powdered detergent works better with outdoor stains.Works better for sticker stains like oils and greases.
Cheaper to buy.Liquid detergents are expensive.
Easy to recycle.Containers may contain plastic, which is bad for the environment.
They're very stable, thus have a long shelf time.Liquids are less stable and tend to lose strength over time.

Now, that’s the basics. We’re sure you’ve understood a lot about Powder vs Liquid detergent at this point. In the end, both detergents can still cause harm to your washer, one less than the other. The best way to prevent that is to clean up your washer and keep it fresh.


Powder Vs Liquid detergent – which works best with the washing machine?

Powder Vs Liquid detergent for washing machine

There is a vast disparity between liquid and powdered detergents. Each factor affects the washer differently. You have to find the right balance between clean clothes and a healthy washing machine.

In other words, you have to use the detergent that gives you good results but also makes it easy for you to clean your washing machine later on. Liquid detergents generally have that kind of effect. Now, we’ll talk about all these factors and why choosing the right detergent is so essential.


Importance of using the right detergents

Importance of using the right detergents

Washing machines are very sensitive to detergents. They can clean up your clothes perfectly with the right ones. On the other hand, the wrong one can end up damaging your washing machine. Some will leave disgusting odours inside your washer, which you’ll also have to clean out later on.

You need to consider a lot of factors and figure out which is the most important for you, as each of them has their own disadvantages.  The following part of our article will tell you everything you need to know.


Picking the best detergent for washing

Picking the best detergent for washing

Powder or liquid detergent? It’s an easy question to ask, but the answer is a little complicated. But then again, if you want your clothes to stay safe and well cleaned, you need to consider all these factors.

1. Effectiveness

Check if the detergent you picked contains alcohol ethoxylates. You should find the information somewhere on the back of the packet. If it does include that element, then you’ll find that greases and oils come off very well.

2. Fragrance

A lot of laundry detergents come in a variety of fragrances. There’s a large selection, all designed to leave your clothes smelling nice and fresh. You can choose the detergent scent according to your personal preference.

3. Residues

Undissolved detergents like powder detergents can leave residues all over your clothes. Although liquid detergents can work well with any kind of water, mixing well with both the water and the clothes.

4. Ease of Cleaning

Solid detergents like powdered ones can clump together when they fail to dissolve. These clumps can stick around in hard to reach places, which increases the amount of effort you need to put in to clean. For easier cleaning, you’d be better off getting easily soluble detergents like liquid ones.

5. Solvency

This part ties in with the Residue factor. If the detergent mixes in well with water, then there won’t be any leftovers. Some high-quality powder detergents from brands can mix well with water. And then there are liquid detergents, which come already mixed. You just need to pour them into your washer with the right measurements.

If you use cheaper powdered detergents, they won’t dissolve well in the water. As a result, you’ll end up with clumps of residues everywhere.

6. Stain Removal

Both kinds of detergents are better with different types of stain. Suppose you have clothes that often have outdoor stains like mud, clay and grass. Then, powdered detergents are ideal. They contain a surfactant called Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate, which deals with those stains well.

But, if you deal with greases and oils more often, then Liquid detergents with Alcohol Ethoxylates are the best choice.

7. Shelf Life

If you don’t use the detergents often, you should take note of their shelf life. The powdered cleaners are more stable than the liquid once, so if you’re an infrequent user or need to buy something in bulk, that’s your best option.

8. Brand

Each brand has its unique take on a detergent. There’s always a different formula used for creation. As these are chemicals that can affect your clothes, be it badly or well, you should pick a popular brand. That way, you get the guarantee of good cleaning quality and safety of your clothes.

9. Price

If you want to save some money, then you should get powdered detergents. They’re cheap and still work well. Liquid detergents take a lot of materials to make, so they’re costlier.


Best Detergent Brands For The Washing Machine

Here we will name some good brands, which create high-quality detergents. These detergents are washing machine friendly, easy to use and effective cleaners.

1. Ariel

Ariel Detergent

Ariel is one of the most trusted detergent brands in India. You’ll see their cleaning products in every home. All of their detergents are very effective and dissolve seamlessly. Better yet, they have all kinds of detergents, with a broad range of fragrances. Among them, the liquid ones are some of the best. They even come with decently sized caps alongside high compatibility with washing machines.

2. Surf Excel

Surf Excel is another widely used household cleaners. And it stands up to its fame, delivering excellent cleaning with every product. Hence, Liquid detergents from them will provide you with reliable cleaning. Not to mention, they dissolve fast, so it’ll take less effort to clean up the machine. Their pouches are also easy to store and light.

If you want something affordable, then these detergents are definitely an ideal choice. Though, most of their products have smaller lids, so you might have to have the best washing machine that can measure necessary detergents.

3. IFB

IFB Detergent

With how known they are in the washing machine space, you’ve probably heard of these. IFB washing machines are incredibly affordable and effective. Their brilliance extends over to the detergents industry as well.

Moreover, these detergents are designed with washing machines in mind, meaning so that you’ll get a safe wash for both your clothes and appliance. Besides, there’s a good range of pleasant fragrances, and they don’t leave out a lot of residues.

4. Genteel

Genteel Detergent

Though the name may appear unfamiliar, Genteel is indeed a part of Godrej. Being a premier Indian brand for home products, you can find consistent and reliable detergents from them. Though they’re not of high quality, they make perfect detergents by still giving you good washes at a lower price tag.



Now, as you can see, there is a lot of thought to be put into getting the right detergents. In the end, everything is based on your personal preference. However, you now know how to judge your own needs and get the perfect detergent for your washer.

Powder vs Liquid detergent – there isn’t a clear winner. Either one can be great, based on whatever you need. When you make fair use of them, they can benefit you a lot, just make sure that you use them sparingly as they’re still made out of chemicals.

Good luck with getting the perfectly clean clothes you want!

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