Make your washing smell like your mum’s

Is it weird that we think the scent of clothes straight out of the washing machine is the smell that dreams are made of? Maybe. But, it’s true. You can’t beat a clean pair of pants. (Perhaps that can be our mantra…) Climbing into nice, clean clothes, blankets and bedsheets are the sensations that make the season bearable.

But nowadays, there are bundles of laundry options to choose from. Powder, liquid, gel, capsules. What does it all mean?! Worry no more because the answer is right here. Sit back and relax for the Laundry Edit.

Powder

Let’s start with the old classic. Powder. Now, powder is the only detergent that contains bleach thus, it’s the best stain remover. From tough food to wine to blood stains, a powder detergent is the ticket to tackle them. However, the downside is that, unless you get a specific colour wash powder (e.g. Ariel Actilift Colour Powder), they’re not great at preventing colour fading.

Another thing worth considering when buying detergent is the quality of the water where you live. Powder detergent cleans more effectively in hard water than other kinds of detergent. Now, what the heck is hard water, we hear you ask? It’s water with a high mineral content. So, if you live somewhere like London, Bristol, Lincoln (google it if you’re not sure), a powder detergent (e.g. Easy Jasmine and Orchid Powder Detergent) is the way to go.

The word online across comparison sites and forums seems to be that a major downside to powder detergent is that it gets stuck in the washing machine drawer. That said, it can be easily solved if you remember to flush out your machine every once in a while. Powder is the most environmentally friendly and financially worthwhile choice. It lasts longer and you aren’t restricted in terms of how much you want to use. It’s a great choice for a family or big household.

Liquid and Gel

Next up, we’ve got the liquids and gels (e.g. Fairy Liquid Detergent). These are the slightly fancier choice than powder because they make less mess and are quite a bit pricier.  Unlike the powder detergent, the liquids don’t contain bleach so they’re not as powerful in terms of removing stains but they are great with a delicate or hand wash cycle AND they wash without making colours fade.

On the flip side, consumers on the web have complained that, aside from being expensive, if you wash with liquid or gel on low temperatures, it can cause a mould build up in the machine so regular machine flushes are needed to avoid this.

In terms of stains, they’re probably the best out of the three choices because you can easily spot-treat food and body oil stains with something like Daz Liquid Detergent before you put the wash on. That said, owing to the smaller quantity you get in the bottles in comparison to the amount of plastic used, the liquid detergents aren’t quite as environmentally friendly as the powders.

Capsules

And, finally, we’ve got the capsule detergents (e.g. Persil Non-bio Capsules). These are the newcomers to the market but they’ve taken it by storm being so compact and hassle-free. Although they’re the most expensive, they do make your clothes smell extra delicious after a wash. The biggest piece of advice that comes attached to these little capsules of fragrant goodness? Keep them out of reach of children. They look like big sweets (but are obviously toxic).

Like the liquid and gel detergents, they don’t contain bleach so they’re not the most powerful stain removers but what they lack in power, they make up for in convenience and colour retention. You don’t have to worry about spillages or over-pouring because they’re packed in tiny dissolvable plastic tabs. Just make sure that when you use them, you put them in the machine before you load it for a thorough clean.

As far as the online commentators are concerned, the only drawback seems to be that at REALLY low temperatures, sometimes the plastic doesn’t dissolve properly. But, who’s washing at these low temperatures anyway?!

So, now you know the difference. Next, you need to get stocked up on powder, capsule and liquid detergents. Happy washing and look out for more edits to make household life easier!

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