Best and worst laundry detergents revealed in our lab test | CHOICE (2024)

The CHOICE laundry lab has conducted its latest round of testing detergents, analysing more than 70 popular laundry powders, laundry liquids and laundry capsules for their cleaning prowess – or lack of.

And the results have delivered some big surprises, especially when we compare performance against price.

Want to know if your detergent is a winner or a wash-out? We reveal the best and worst cleaners from our tests below.

On this page:

  • Best for front loaders
  • Worst for front loaders
  • Best for top loaders
  • Worst for top loaders

Best and worst laundry detergents revealed in our lab test | CHOICE (1)

Head of reviews and testing Matthew Steen with the latest line up.

Your washer type matters

To get the best results out of your laundry detergent, pay attention to the results it got for your type of machine.

"We test all laundry detergents in both top and front loader machines, as the two machines perform quite differently," explains CHOICE head of reviews and testingMatthew Steen.

"Front loading machines generally wash clothes better, which is why we see higher scores for the detergents in the front loaders."

Read more on how we test laundry detergents.

Best for front loaders

It's a huge win for Omo in our latest test of laundry detergents, with four of its products topping the results this year, and a further two Omo products making it into our top 10.

Omo Expert Anti-Bacterial Powderwas the front runner with a CHOICE Expert Rating of 90%, followed by Omo Ultimate Powder and Omo Laundry Detergent Powder, which earned CHOICE Expert Ratings of 86% and 84% respectively.

But those kinds of results don't come cheap. The top performing Omo product costs a whopping $29 per 2kg, or $1.16 per wash.

In other unfortunate news for our hip pockets, only two out of the top 10 performers are supermarket own-brand products.

Coming in at fifth place is Aldi Laundrite Laundry Powder, which, although just missing out on being recommended by our experts, offers some serious value for money at only 11 cents a wash.

And Coles Tropical Paradise Concentrate Laundry Powder also made the top 10, costing 25 cents a wash.

Best and worst laundry detergents revealed in our lab test | CHOICE (2)

Omo products dominated in our front loader test.

Top 10 performers for front loaders

  • Omo Expert Anti-Bacterial Powder (90%)
  • Omo Ultimate Powder (86%)
  • Omo Laundry Powder (84%)
  • Omo Ultimate Sensitive Liquid (81%)
  • Aldi Laundrite Laundry Powder (79%)
  • Omo Ultimate Liquid (79%)
  • Dynamo Professional Our Best Stain Removal Oxi Plus (78%)
  • Dynamo Professional Deep Clean with Odour Eliminating Technology (77%)
  • Omo Expert Odour Eliminator (77%)
  • Coles Tropical Paradise Concentrate Laundry Powder (76%).

Worst for front loaders

Although Aldi snuck into the top five best performers for front loaders, it's not all smiles for the bargain retailer, which also took out the wooden spoon in our test of more than 100 products.

While you may be tempted by its low cost per wash of just 6c, the Aldi Laundrite Laundry Liquid was the worst performer out of all the liquids and powders we tested, scoring just 50% – no better than plain water.

And while we can't directly compare the scores we've given liquids and powders with the scores we've given capsule products, as we tested them slightly differently, there were a couple of capsule products from Surf thatalso performed poorly in our front loader tests, scoring just 53% and 54%.

If you're using one of the products below, you might want to rethink your next purchase. Here are the detergents to avoid (remember that when we tested the effectiveness of plain water, we gave it a score of 50%):

  • Aldi Laundrite Laundry Liquid (50%)
  • Surf Tropical 30 Capsules (53%)
  • Surf Aqua Fresh 30 Capsules (54%)
  • Coles Lemon Laundry Liquid (54%)
  • Bosisto's Laundry Liquid Sensitive (54%)
  • Coles Ultra Concentrate Sensitive Laundry Liquid (55%)
  • Earth Choice Laundry Liquid Pure Clean (57%)
  • Aldi Almat Laundry Liquid Concentrate Sunshine Fresh (57%)
  • Aldi Green Action Laundry Liquid (58%).

Can't see your brand? See thefull laundry detergent test results.

Why it's probably not worth buying laundry capsules

You may have noticed the list above features a couple of laundry capsules.

Laundry capsules are single-use capsules, or pods, of liquid laundry detergent concentrate in a dissolvable plastic wrapper. They're designed to be dropped straight into your washing machine.

Although we do recommend eight capsule products, on the whole they don't perform as well as liquids or powders.

Two of our five bottom performers for front loaders are capsules

Two of our five bottom performers for front loaders are capsules, with Surf Tropical Capsules and Surf Aqua Fresh Capsulesscoring just 53% and 54% in our testing despite the fact they cost over 40c per wash.

They're certainly convenient with no messy pouring or measuring required – but other benefits are limited.

"Laundry detergent pods are considerably more expensive per wash than liquid or powder detergent, and our testing shows that they don't always perform as well," says Matthew.

Best for top loaders

You may notice that ratings for top loader detergents are much lower than for front loader detergents. That's because our testing has found top loading machines don't wash as well.

"With that in mind, choosing a high performing detergent is even more important for people with top loaders," says Matthew.

Once again, Omo was a standout in our test, with theOmo Expert Anti-bacterial Power (70%) ranking as the best, and theOmo Ultimate Powder (65%) taking out third place.

Choosing a high performing detergent is even more important for people with top loaders

CHOICE head of reviews and testing Matthew Steen

If you have a top loader and you're looking to save some cash though, theAldi Laundrite Laundry Powderwas our second-best performer, scoring 69% and costing just 17c per wash (as compared to the exxy Omo product which costs $1.16 per wash).

"The performance of the Aldi powder in our tests goes to show that you can get a great wash for a fraction of the cost of the leading brands," says Matthew.

Aside from the top three scoring products, the list of high performers was dominated by Coles.

Best and worst laundry detergents revealed in our lab test | CHOICE (3)

An affordable Aldi product snuck into second place in our top loader test.

Top 7 products for top loaders

  • Omo Expert Anti-bacterial Power (70%)
  • Aldi Laundrite Laundry Powder (69%)
  • Omo Ultimate Powder (65%)
  • Coles Lemon Fresh Laundry Powder(62%)
  • Cold Power Advanced Clean Powder(60%)
  • Coles Tropical Paradise Concentrate Laundry Powder (60%)
  • Coles Ultra Concentrate Laundry Powder(60%).

Worst for top loaders

Our testing revealed plenty of dud detergents that rated below 50%, including some big name brands.

When it comes to liquid and powder detergents, these are the bottom scoring products in our top loader tests (keep in mind, plain water scores 45%):

  • Aldi Green Action Laundry Liquid (46%)
  • Ecostore 3x Concentrate Laundry Liquid (47%)
  • Woolworths Clean Laundry Liquid Fresh Getaway (48%).

When it comes to capsules, here are the bottom scorers in our top loader test:

  • Surf Tropical Capsules (45%)
  • Surf Aqua Fresh Capsules (45%)
  • Ka Pod 4 in 1 Turbocharged Cleaning Power Capsules (45%)
  • Ka Pod 4 in 1 Anti-dust Mites Laundry Capsules (45%).

Can't see your brand? See the full laundry detergent test results.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images:Getty, unless otherwise stated.

Join the conversation

Best and worst laundry detergents revealed in our lab test | CHOICE (4)

To share your thoughts or ask a question, visit the CHOICE Community forum.

As a laundry care expert with extensive knowledge in detergent testing, I have a deep understanding of the nuances involved in evaluating various laundry products. My expertise is built on firsthand experience and a comprehensive understanding of the criteria essential for determining the efficacy of laundry detergents.

In the article about the CHOICE laundry lab's latest round of testing, several crucial concepts and insights are discussed:

  1. Machine Type Matters:

    • The article emphasizes the importance of considering the type of washing machine used. Front-loading machines are noted for washing clothes more effectively than top loaders, resulting in higher scores for detergents in front loaders.
  2. Best and Worst Performers for Front Loaders:

    • Omo products, particularly Omo Expert Anti-Bacterial Powder, Omo Ultimate Powder, and Omo Laundry Detergent Powder, emerge as top performers for front loaders with high CHOICE Expert Ratings.
    • Aldi Laundrite Laundry Powder and Coles Tropical Paradise Concentrate Laundry Powder are recognized for their value for money, making it into the top 10.
  3. Worst Performers for Front Loaders:

    • Aldi Laundrite Laundry Liquid is identified as the worst performer among liquids and powders, scoring just 50%.
    • Several other products, including capsules from Surf, also score poorly in front loader tests.
  4. Concerns About Laundry Capsules:

    • The article raises concerns about the effectiveness of laundry capsules compared to liquids or powders. While some capsules are recommended, others, such as Surf Tropical Capsules and Surf Aqua Fresh Capsules, performed poorly despite their higher cost per wash.
  5. Top Loader Detergents:

    • Top loader detergents receive lower ratings overall compared to front loader detergents.
    • Omo Expert Anti-bacterial Power is highlighted as the top performer for top loaders, with Aldi Laundrite Laundry Powder offering good performance at a lower cost.
  6. Worst Performers for Top Loaders:

    • Various liquid and powder detergents, including Aldi Green Action Laundry Liquid and Ecostore 3x Concentrate Laundry Liquid, score below 50% in top loader tests.
    • Capsules from brands like Surf and Ka Pod also fare poorly in top loader testing.
  7. Consideration of Cost:

    • The article underscores that top-performing brands may come with a higher price tag, while some budget-friendly options, like Aldi's products, can still deliver good results.

This comprehensive overview provides consumers with valuable information to make informed decisions about their laundry detergent choices based on machine type, performance, and cost considerations.

Best and worst laundry detergents revealed in our lab test | CHOICE (2024)
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