Powder Detergent vs Liquid Detergent (Which Cleans better?)

There are two main types of detergents – a powder detergent and a liquid detergent. But when it comes to washing clothes, both aren’t very different. If one is suitable for greasy stains, the other is better for getting dirt out. So we come down to the question – which one is better for your family and your needs?

We will provide you with the difference between powder and liquid detergents so that you are equipped to choose one according to your needs. We will also touch upon the pros and cons.


Powder Detergent

Powder Detergent

According to Mary Gagliardi, “Powder detergent is usually formulated at a higher pH, which can optimize cleaning of heavily soiled work clothes and sports uniforms.” This means that if you have a filthy cloth, then powder detergent is an ideal choice. Also, it is comparatively cheap and eco-friendly.

Given below are some of the pros and cons of a powder detergent.

Pros Of Powder Detergent

  • It is best for mud or clay stains. (Example- sports clothes)
  • A powder detergent has an eco-friendlier package when compared to a liquid detergent.
  • It is easier to measure powder detergent, and the amount of powder depends on the load.
  • Powder detergent is not as messy as liquid detergent, which can drip on the floor while measuring it.
  • Shelf life is more than liquid detergent.


Cons Of Powder Detergent

  • Can leave residue on the clothes and the washer if not properly dissolved.
  • It might not dissolve in cold water.
  • Not recommended for delicate fabrics.
  • Storing the powder detergent can be a little tricky since it should always be kept dry; else, it will dissolve and foam up.
  • You can use it to pre-treat stains, but it is more time-consuming and demanding than a liquid detergent.



  • Use warm water since some powder detergents don’t dissolve in cold water.
  • Measure correctly based on the instructions given on the package.


Liquid Detergent

Liquid Detergent

If you prefer washing clothes in cold water, then it is best to go for a liquid detergent as it dissolves quicker at any water temperature. Unlike powder detergent that is good for removing mud stains, liquid detergent is suitable for removing oil and grease stains.

The pros and cons of using liquid detergent are listed below.

Pros Of Liquid Detergent

  • Easily dissolvable in both hot water and cold water.
  • It is less foamy.
  • Do not leave any residue.
  • It can be used to pre-treat stains.
  • Can be used with any fabric.
  • Oil and grease stains are efficiently removed.
  • If you have a high-efficiency machine, a liquid detergent works better.


Cons Of Liquid Detergent

  • It can be messy.
  • Packaging is not very eco-friendly.
  • Can lead to over or under dosage.
  • The initial cost is high.



  • Carefully measure because it can lead to over or underdose. Hence, it won’t be efficient in cleaning.


Difference Between Powder And Liquid Detergent

The purpose of these detergents is the same, i.e., to clean and remove stains from clothes. But, there are certain differences between them, making them unique and more efficient in specific ways. Let us briefly look at them in the table given below.

Sl. No. Areas Of Difference Powder Detergents Liquid Detergents
1 Price It is more affordable when you consider the cost per load. It is also easier to manufacture. Compared to a powder detergent, liquid detergents are expensive, and even the manufacturing cost is high.
2 Good for washing machine It will leave a residue if it is not properly dissolved. This mainly happens in cold water. You can solve this problem by doing a quick rinse. Liquid detergents easily dissolve in water so, there is no residue. It is better than powder detergent when it comes to your machine.
3 Suitable for septic system and drain hose Can create blocks in septic systems and drain hoses if the powder is not entirely dissolved. Since it can easily dissolve, it does not clog, thus making it suitable for the septic system and drain hose.
4 Better for stains Works on heavily soiled work to get rid of mud or clay. Liquid detergents can effortlessly remove grease or oil stains.
5 Better in hard water Powder detergent can be used in hard water, but you will need more powder to get the same work done. The ingredients in the liquid detergent will not react with the minerals in the hard water. So, it can be used in hard water as well.
6 Water temperature and dissolving time Cannot be used in cold water. It takes some time to dissolve, even in hot water. Can be used in both cold and hot water. It dissolves pretty quickly.
7 Ease for measurement and use Compared to liquid detergents, this is easier to measure and use. Measuring it is a bit difficult and can lead to overdose or underdose. Might lead to spillage while pouring.
8 Type of fabric Recommended using for regular garments. Can be used for any type of fabric.

Also Read:

Best Washing Machines in India

Best Top Load Washer in India

Best Front Load Washer in India

Best Fully Automatic Washing Machine


Verdict –

It is always better to use a liquid detergent as it has minor side effects compared to powder detergents. However, it is totally alright to use powder detergent if it is used in the right way. Buy a detergent according to your need and the way to plan to wash your clothes. Also, don’t forget to consider your budget!

What is your opinion on this – which is better? Please do let us know in the comment section below.

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I am tech writer who is passionate about technology and spearheads the core writing team on tech news

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