What is the Difference between Liquid and Powder Detergent?


Powder and liquid detergents are both effective for laundry. While powder may provide lower cost per load and is packaged in recyclable cardboard, liquid detergent can be applied directly to clothes as a pretreatment for tough stains without having to mix with water.

1.Powder Detergent vs. Liquid: The Basics

Powder and liquid detergents have been commercially available since the mid-20th century. Both are suitable for use in all water temperatures and contain similar active ingredients, meaning either one will get your clothes clean. The decision between the two often comes down to price and preference.


Laundry powder was the dominant choice for consumers before giving way to liquid in the mid-1990s, and by 2004 liquid detergent sales accounted for 75% of the market. So what caused this shift in consumer preference? Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of both.

2.What Are the Benefits of Liquid Detergent?

From the built-in measuring-cup cap to the easy-to-carry integrated handle, one of liquid detergent’s inherent advantages over powder is that its packaging makes it easier to use and store. But the benefits of liquid detergent go beyond convenience.


A significant benefit of liquid detergent is the fact that it can be applied to clothes as a pre-treatment directly to tough stains. Powder detergent can also be used as a pre-treatment, but with the extra step of combining with water to make a paste before applying directly to clothing. Because liquid detergent is already dissolved, you’ll never have to worry about cleaning undissolved powder.

3.What Are the Benefits of Powder Detergent?

Some consumers prefer powder detergent primarily for the fact that it can sometimes provide lower cost per load than liquid. Also, the packaging for powders is usually a simple, recyclable cardboard box.


Nearly all of today’s powder detergents are safe for use in both high-efficiency (HE) and standard washing machines. But always be sure to check your detergent, until recently many powders contained sudsing agents that could damage a low-sudsing HE machines. Fortunately all of Arm & Hammer’s powder detergents are safe for both high-efficiency and standard washing machines.


Finally, an accidental spill of powder detergent can simply be swept up into a dustpan, potentially keeping your laundry area cleaner and safer for children and pets.


To learn more about powder and liquid detergents and see some of our top sellers, explore the links below:


Tips to freshen things up

3 of 227 How To

Close PopUp