A lot of researches have been done on the efficacy of laundry detergents when it comes to removing stains. Dozens of products have been tested and results show that these detergents differ in performance. That said, picking the best laundry detergent for your fabrics and washer can be quite challenging. On top of different types available, there is a myriad of brands and forms of these cleaning products to consider.

But despite these dissimilarities, the use of these products is the same: washing clothes. According to experts, it’s utterly important to ensure that the type of detergent should comply with the specifications of the washing machine and that it matches the washer. It is also important to note that while capsules and powder can be tough on stains, liquid laundry detergents work better in some situations.

Here’s a comparison of these three laundry detergent forms, their characteristics as well as their pros and cons, if any:

Capsule Detergent

One of the appealing characteristics of a capsule, liquid capsule/packet or pod is that requires no measurement since you just need to place the capsule at the back of the drum before you put your dirty clothes in and it will be dissolved during the wash.

In terms of setbacks, though, it comes with a few. One is that it cannot be used for treating a spot of stain. If you are using this form of detergent, it’s best to pre-treat the stain with a stain-remover before putting it in the washer. Also, if you accidentally overload the washing machine and the capsule pops, detergent residue might be left on the clothes. Lastly, since these are in capsules, they should be stored out of children’s reach.

Powder Detergent

This form of detergent is considered to be economical since it can be measured. As such, you have control on the amount of washing powder you will use for the load. If you only have few clothes to wash, you need not pour too much. Moreover, it dissolves faster and is best for short washes. The short wash cycle need not consume too much energy. Compared to liquid, powder detergent has longer shelf life to shelf life. It is also more effective in removing blood stains and ground-in dirt since it contains more bleaching properties than other forms.

For its downside, powder detergents can spill easily if accidentally bumped. They can also eat a lot of storage space. And if this detergent form is not properly stored, it can clump if the base or cupboard is damp. Worse, if the box becomes wet, it can lead to caking. Additionally, if used to pre-treat stains, you need to make a paste by using a bit of water which can be messier.

Liquid Detergent

Liquid detergent is ideal for washing clothes in low temperature since it simply mixes with water with no need to dissolve due to its liquid form. Unlike the capsule form, it can be used for spot stains. By simply pouring the liquid on the collars and cuffs of clothes before putting the laundry in the washer, the spots and yellowish collars and cuffs will be removed.

However, since it is liquid, it can spill and create a mess. Also, it can be more costly since the liquid cannot be used for both pre-wash and main wash.  More liquid needs to be poured after the pre-wash cycle. As for the plastic containers they come in with, these bottles are not bio-degradable. Liquid detergents are also heavier due to water already in the mixture. In terms of retaining fragrance on the fabric, critics say that this form gets a rather low rating since the scent deteriorates in time.

All these detergents have their strengths and weaknesses so it’s best to know what form appeals to you.

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