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Detergent Powder or Liquid Detergent – Which One is Better?

Last Updated on November 26, 2020 by Ashwini G

Washing machine users always get confused regarding liquid or powdered detergents. Both the types come with their highs and lows, positive and negative sides. If you, too, are confused regarding which type to go for, then we are here to help you select the right product. In this article, we will discuss both liquid and powder detergents and which one works best in washing machines. If you want to know about the topic further, stay connected until the end of this article.

Types of Washing Machine Detergents

We can find multiple varieties of detergent such as detergent pods, homemade detergents, powder detergents, liquid ones, etc. Among all these types, powder and liquid detergents are the most effective and widely used ones. So, we’ll talk about these two types in lucid detail and learn about their pros and cons as well.

Liquid Detergents

Liquid detergents are one of the most commonly used forms of detergents, and they are quite effective as well. They are very easy to use; you don’t have to dilute them with water; just measure them and pour it into the washer. Liquid detergents contain alkalis, enzymes, surfactants, fragrances, and dyes.

Liquid detergents comparatively use fewer chemicals than other detergents, and they are quite eco-friendly as well. Moreover, liquid detergents leave minimum residue and don’t clog up the machine’s parts as well.

Advantages of Liquid Detergents

  • Works best with washing machines
  • Can be used as spot-cleaner and pre-treater
  • No need to dilute with water
  • Environment-friendly
  • Does not form any clumps as it comes in liquid form
  • Easily removes oil and grease by sinking deep into the fabric

Disadvantages of Liquid Detergents

  • Detergent residues in the fabric may cause skin irritation.
  • Inappropriate measurements sometimes lead to wastage.
  • Comparatively expensive
  • Expires very fast

Detergent Powders

The composition of both powder and liquid detergents are very similar, yet there lie some key differences. Powder detergents are cheaper than liquid ones, and they provide better spot cleaning as well. However, if you use powder detergents regularly, you might end up facing problems with the washing machine.

Back in the days, powder detergents were quite popular and were used more frequently, but at current times liquid detergents are occupying a significant position in the market. If you don’t want to spend too much on detergents but want satisfactory results, you should go for powder detergents.

Advantages of Detergent Powder

  • Requires less storage space
  • It is more consistent than liquid detergents.
  • Capable of working on hard water
  • Doesn’t use many dyes
  • Affordable but effective

Disadvantages of Detergent Powder

  • Clumps together in places which may make cleaning the washing machine a bit tough
  • Can disrupt the machine’s functioning due to the detergent clumps
  • Leaves a lot of detergent residues as sometimes it can’t mix well
  • Powder detergent contains sodium sulfate, which can be harmful to waterways.
  • It can be bad for people with respiratory problems as it can go airborne.

Below we have put up a table to demonstrate the critical differences between both types.

We hope that from the above table you have got a better idea about powder and liquid detergents. Both the products come with their positive and negative sides and can cause harm to the machine. The best way to avoid any significant issues is to clean the washer regularly and keep it hygienic.

Liquid VS Detergent Powder – Which Works Better with the Washing Machine?

There is a considerable difference between powder and liquid detergents. Each factor works differently with the machine; hence it is important to find the right balance between a good washing machine and clean clothes.

To keep it simple, you need to use the right detergent that provides you with clean clothes but also does not disrupt the machine’s functioning. Using the right detergent allows you to keep the washing machine clean without taking much effort. In a comparison between liquid and powder detergents, we find that liquid detergent makes the job easier.

Now, we are going to look into a few factors as to why you should choose the right detergent.

Washing machines are quite sensitive to detergents; it can clean your clothes perfectly if you use the right detergent. But if you use the wrong detergent, it might clog parts of the device, which will ultimately damage the washing machine. Some detergents also leave unpleasant odors in the washer, which too is an undesirable factor.

Therefore, when you pick your detergent, you need to consider a lot of things. Each one comes with its individual benefits and drawbacks, so you should be informed regarding each factor’s working purpose. In the following section, we’re going to discuss different aspects which will be helpful to you.


You should check if the picked detergent contains alcohol ethoxylates. You will find this information in the back of the detergent’s packet. This element eliminates the oils and greases quickly from your clothes.


Laundry detergents come in a variety of fragrant choices. The purpose of adding fragrance is to leave your clothes smelling fresh and pleasant. You can pick up the fragrance based on your personal preference.


Powder detergents sometimes do not dissolve entirely with the water, which can leave residues on your clothes and also in the machine. But you don’t need to mix liquid detergents with any other substance, so it works best with water as well as with your clothes.

Easy Cleaning

Solid substances like powder detergents may not dissolve entirely, which creates detergent clumps, such clumps may stick around your laundry, and you may have to put extra effort to clean your clothes. It would be best if you get a detergent that dissolves completely in water, which makes cleaning your clothes easy.

Stain Removal

Powder and liquid, both kinds work better with different types of stains. Powder detergents are ideal for stains like clay, mud, and grass, which also leave a foul odor. Powder detergents contain a surfactant called Linear Alkylbenzene Sulfonate. This surfactant is best for stains like mud, clay, grass, etc.

Liquid detergents work best with stains like grease and oil because they contain Alcohol Ethoxylates.

Shelf Life

Suppose you don’t do your laundry more often than shelf life is another factor to consider. In this case, powder detergents are more stable than liquid ones and stay usable for a longer duration.


There are numerous brands out there for laundry detergents. Each brand has its composition formula, which promises to give you sparkly clean clothes. As most of the detergents contain chemicals, it can affect your clothes either for the good or bad. So, it is advisable to get the best brand possible to keep your clothes safe, clean, and hygienic.


If you do not want to spend so much on detergents, then you should go for powder detergents. They are cheap yet to provide top-notch cleaning. Liquid detergents are comparatively expensive as they require a lot of materials to make.

Popular Detergent Powder Brands for Washing Machines in the Indian Market

In the above section, we’ve talked about different factors of detergents. Now, we will look into a few popular detergent brands which are high quality and also washing machine friendly.


Ariel is one of the popular detergent brands in India that provides both liquid and powder detergents. Its powder detergents are one of the best qualities and dissolve seamlessly in water. Ariel’s liquid detergents are even better, which also come with decently sized cups for measuring. You will also find multiple fragrance options to keep your clothes not only clean but also fresh smelling.

Surf Excel

Surf Excel is another famous brand for detergents. You will find Surf Excel detergents in almost every Indian household due to their excellent cleaning results. Its liquid detergents dissolve instantly and give satisfactory cleaning. So, with Surf Excel, you can have clean and hygienic clothes without any effort, and its pouches are also very easy to store.


You must have heard how popular IFB washing machines are due to their affordability and effectiveness. IFB detergents are equally good and useful. Their detergents are designed especially for washing machines to make them safe both for the clothes and the device. Additionally, IFB detergents are available in multiple fragrant choices, and they do not leave many detergent residues as well.


Genteel is a part of Godrej, which is a premier brand for household products. Genteel detergents are not high-quality, but they provide the best washing results at a very affordable price.

As a concluding judgment, we can’t choose a winner between the two types. Either one has its benefits based on the user’s need. Therefore, you should use them wisely, considering both the durability of your washing machine and your clothes.

Detergent Powder Vs. Liquid Detergent FAQs

Can Liquid Detergents Be Damaging for Washing Machines?

No, liquid detergents do not damage washing machines and their parts as they are in a pre-dissolved state eliminating all chances of clogging.

Which Liquid Detergents Are the Best for Front Loading Washing Machines?

Liquid Detergents by Ariel, Surf Excel, Genteel, IFB, etc., are some of the best and most effective in the Indian market.

How to Add Detergent in a Top Loading Washing Machine?

For a top-loading washing machine, you can add laundry detergent in the dispenser, if your machine has one, or add it directly into the tub.


Here is a round-up of the article on liquid VS powder detergents. As you can see, there are a lot of thoughts put into the composition of detergents catering to the varied needs of customers. So, you can choose the one you think will suit you the best.

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