Liquids, pods and powders can all be used in any water temperatures and almost all brands are now formulated to use in high-efficiency front load or top load washers. You may actually have ahard time finding a detergent without the sympol, but rest assured that you can use the laundry detergent in a standard top load washer.
Liquid Laundry Detergent: Pros and Cons
Since liquid laundry detergent hit the store shelves in the mid- 1950’s, they have become most popular detergent format. They are easy to use, distribute well in wash water, and come in a huge variety of scents. But as with most products, there are both pros and cons.
What To Like:
- Perfect for using as a stain pre-treater or spot cleaning.
- Particularly effective on oil and grease stains because the liquid will penetrate the fibers of the fabric to help release the stain.
- Less expensive than single dose pods.
What To Not Like:
- The measurement lines on most detergent bottle caps are difficult to read, causing consumers to use too much detergent per load, wasting money, and leaving residue on clothes and washing machines.
- Plastic laundry detergent bottles provide an enormous strain on landfills. Most bottles can be recycled, but many consumers and municipalities do not participate in recycling programs.
- Water s the main ingredient in liquid laundry detergent. Water is heavy to transport and shipping adds to consumer and environmental costs.
- Liquid detergents limit the effectiveness of some cleaning ingredients, like oxygen bleach, because thy are not stable for long periods of time when mixed with water.
Single Dose Laundry Detergent Pods: Pros and Cons
If you are looking for convivence, then detergent pods top the list. Laundry detergent pods or pacs appeared in 2012 as one of the biggest changes to laundry products in more than 50 years. They are the fastest growing segment of laundry detergent and already outsell powder laundry detergents. While the most convenient to use, especially if you use a laundromat; they are also the most expensive to use per load of laundry.
What to Like:
- Lightweight to carry or ship and require very small storage space.
- Convenient and simple to use.
- A pre-measured dose of detergent produces consistent results. Overdosing is eliminated.
- Manufacturing eliminates most water and allows cleaning ingredients to remain stable for longer periods and produce better results.
- Less packaging waste for landfills.
What Not To Like:
- Most expensive detergent cost per load of laundry.
- Packs are designed for average soil and load size. Heavily spoiled clothes and large loads require two pacs and increase costs significantly. Packs cannot be adjusted for small loads and hand washing single items.
- Packs cannot be used for pretreating or spot treating stains.
- Poisoning hazard and easily swallowed by children and vulnerable adults.
- Outer packaging for pods is seldom recyclable.
Powder Laundry Detergent: Pros and Cons
Powder detergents have been around since the 1930’s and are ;less expensive to use than liquid or pods per load. When you look at store shelves, there are very few left as more consumers have moved to liquids and pods. Retailers have had a hand in this because the large boxes of powder take up valuable shelf and warehouse space. While the cardboard boxes are more environmentally friendly than plastic bottles, they are heavy and impact the environment with more transportation costs.
What to Like:
- Smallest cost per laundry load of any type of laundry detergent.
- The packaging is recyclables and more environmentally friendly.
- Most effective laundry detergent with untreated hard water thanks to additives that are more stable and easily added to powdered formulas.
- Powder detergent formulas are more stable than liquid or pods. This allows ingredients to be added that perform exceptionally well on tough t remove outdoor stains like grass and mud.
What Not To Like:
- Large, heavy boxes are difficult to handle and store. The detergent must be stored in a completely dry area to prevent caking.
- Powder detergents are can be problematic in extremely cold water by not dissolving completely leaving residue on fabrics.
- Pretreating stains is more difficult because a paste must be made first with the powder detergent and water.
- Shipping costs are more expensive and make a larger impact on the environment.