It’s been revealed that some brands of laundry detergent are only slightly better than plain old water at removing dirt from our clothes.
Consumer group CHOICE has revealed that brands such as Ecostore Eucalyptus laundry liquid that retails for $9.95 per litre, Earthwise Orange Eucalyptus laundry powder ($7.19 per kilo), Woolworths Select Clean Sensitive $3.79 per litre) and Homebrand Laundry Liquid ($0.75 per litre) removed just 50 per cent of dirt when used in a top loader washing machine. Planet Ark Aware Sensitive laundry detergent ($8.47 per litre) removed 49%. And water, with no detergent came in at costing $0.002 per litre with a dirt removal score of 48%!
CHOICE says of its testing method: “the detergents are tested across 29 criteria, including general detergency, as well as removal of particular substances that cause common stains, such as perspiration, grass and mud, olive oil, tomato, motor oil, make-up and aged blood.”
Other detergents that score quite low scores when used in a top loading machine include:
Surf 5 Herbal Extracts ($5.00 per litre) – 51%
Fab Gold Obsession ($9.00 per litre) – 51%
BioZet Attack Rapid ($18.00 per litre) – 51%
Trimat Advanced Concentrated Sensitive ($3.99 per litre) 52%
Radiant No Sort ($9.99 per litre) 52%
Ecostore Lemon ($8.25 per kilo) 53%
Woolworths Select Clean Sensitive ($3.99 per kilo ) 53%
Surf 2 in 1 with 5 Herbal Extracts ($4.49 per kilo) 53%
Radiant Sensitive ($10.49 per litre) 53%
Radiant Brilliant Whites Sharper Colours ($9.99 per litre) 53%
Omo Sensitive ($11.99 per litre) 53%
Earth Choice Ultra Concentrate ($7.19 per litre) 53%
Dynamo Regular ($10.00 per litre) 53%
Coles Ultra Concentrate Sensitive ($4.30 per litre) 53%
Cold Power Regular ($9.66 per litre) 53%
Almat Concentrate ($5.99 per litre) 53%
So as you can see, just because you pay more for something, doesn’t mean it’s any better than its cheaper counterpart at doing what it is supposed to do.
They also reveal that washing clothes in just water, with no detergent, in a front loading washing machine removes 54% of dirt, showing that front loaders are more effective than top loaders.
The organisation says it tests hundreds of laundry detergents every year, retesting them again at least once a year. This is because your favourite brand of detergent that you’ve been using for years might not always be as reliable as you thought. Brands often change their formulas without disclosing that they have done so. So there’s every chance the detergent you use today is a different formula to five years ago.
And of course if you are wondering, based on the current batch of formulas the detergent manufacturers have on the market, these are the best ones around at the moment removing dirt from your clothes – all of these results have been achieved in front loading washing machines:
Omo Regular ($11.99 per kilo ) 82%
Omo Ultimate ($11.99 per kilo) 82%
Cold Power Regular ($9.99 per kilo) 81%
Coles Ultra Concentrate ($4.00 per kilo) 81%
Trimat Advanced Concentrated Colour Care ($5.99 per kilo) 80%
Almat Concentrate ($9.99 per kilo) 78%
BioZet Attack ($11.00 per kilo) 77%
Omo Regular liquid ($11.99 per litre) 77%
Omo Ultimate liquid ($12.99 per litre) 77%
One of the interesting takeaways from that is that powder seems to be much better at removing dirt than laundry liquid is.