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Which Laundry Detergent Should You Use?

Walk down the laundry detergent aisle in your supermarket and you’re bound to get overwhelmed with all the choices on the shelves. Powder? Liquid? Pods? Are they all the same? Does it matter what kind you choose?

Powder vs. Liquid

Powder detergents are great for normal everyday loads and usually outperform liquids in overall stain removal. They’re also cheaper than liquids, so you’ll save money with them. Powder detergent is stable so you can buy it in bulk and not worry that it’s losing effectiveness over time. When using a powder detergent, it’s important to completely dissolve the powder in your machine’s washtub before adding your clothes so that no white streaks are deposited onto your laundry. Make sure you use a separate pre-treatment spray for difficult stains and always add a little more powder than recommended if you have hard water.

Liquid detergents are more convenient than powder since it’s already dissolved and you can apply extra liquid directly to stains as a pre-treatment. Most people prefer liquid detergent, and there are many more brand choices on the shelves with added fragrances, oxygen stain fighters and color-safe bleach. There are also special formulas for use in cold water if you’re trying to save on energy costs and sports formulas to attack smelly workout clothes. If your clothes tend to get oily stains or have food spills, liquid detergent is the best bet.


Relatively new to the market, detergent pods are small, pre-measured gel-encased packs that go directly into the washtub with your clothes. Pods have gotten mixed reviews for cleaning power, but are great for those who don’t want to be bothered with measuring and pouring detergent. That convenience comes with a price, however, as one pod can cost more than three times the amount per load you’d spend with traditional detergents. Additionally, heavily soiled loads require two pods, so keep that in mind if you’re budget conscious.

Special Concerns

No matter what laundry detergent you choose, always make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results. Too much detergent leaves a gunky residue and redeposits soil, while too little detergent leaves your clothes gray and dingy. Always use the hottest water possible for your fabrics to enjoy optimal results.

If you request a certain laundry detergent, the professionals at Laundry Angels will accommodate you or will gladly choose the right detergent for your needs.

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