Friday, April 19, 2013

The Detergent Debate: Powder Vs. Liquid

Laundry is one of the most common household tasks. It is estimated by water conservation analysts that about 2.5 loads of laundry are done per person per week in the US. That is a lot of water and a lot of detergent. With rising costs and ever increasing options it is important to know which detergents to buy to keep your costs low and your clothes clean. Considerations can include cost, effectiveness, and environmental, and with so many options it can be difficult to know which to choose. That is why Complete Supply Company has created this brief and easy to read review of what people are saying about powder vs. liquid detergents and which are the best.

           Some people think that powder detergents are going the way of the dinosaur. This is because if too much is used they can leave a powdery, gunky residue on clothes causing people to switch to liquid based detergents. But is that the right choice? There are many advantages to powder detergents over liquid detergents with few disadvantages. First and foremost, powder detergents tend to be less expensive than most of their liquid counterparts. They can also be bought in bulk much easier than liquid detergents. As reported in a study done by Good House Keeping, powder detergents are more powerful and have shown to be more effective when fighting stains. More effective means you can buy less of it. Another significant advantage to powder detergents is their shelf life. Most of the active chemicals in detergents are more stable in powder form allowing for a longer shelf life. This means that when bought in bulk there is little concern for waste. Less waste is better for the planet. There are other factors that make powders a greener choice. They use considerably less packaging, saving you money and saving the environment plastic waste. They also have fewer sudsing chemicals that cause fish gills to absorb less oxygen and can lead to population die offs.  These are things to consider when purchasing your next detergent.

            Despite all the pros, powder is not without it’s cons. As mentioned before, it can leave a residue on clothes if too much is used requiring an extra rinse cycle, which uses a lot more water and costs money. Powders tend to work better with warm water; again this uses more energy and costs more money. The powders can cause septic system trouble from the chemicals that keep them in powder form. They also tend to have more chemicals in them then do liquid alternatives.

            Even though powders have a few cons they have more pros and with some careful measuring when using powders and ensuring they won’t damage your septic system, they seem to be the right choice. However, liquid detergents do have their place and are not without merit. First of all, liquid detergent dissolves much better in water regardless of temperature. This means that liquid detergents do not leave any kind of residue on clothes and can be used with cold water. Another significant and very useful advantage to liquids is their ability to pretreat a stain. However, this is where the pros to liquid ends and the cons begin. Liquids are essentially pre-diluted powders, which means that people are paying for a process that can be done inside the washer. Liquid detergents are not as effective as powder detergents and more must be used. According to consumer reports liquid detergent measuring caps are not effective and often cause over use, which can glum up the washing machine over time. They have environmental cons as well. Liquid detergent means big heavy plastic containers, which do not break down easily. Liquid detergents also have more sudsing chemicals that, as mentioned before, can cause serious problems for marine life. Even though liquid detergents leave no residue and can be used to pretreat, they are host to a number of other problems and with a little diligence are not needed. There are certain exceptions however. Some people report powder detergents irritating their skin where liquid does not. Liquid may also be appropriate if your septic tank is damaged by powder.

           Both styles of detergent have their place and after reading this review, hopefully it will be easier to choose which one is best for you. To make the choice of brand a little easier, Green Housekeeping performed a study to find the most effective detergents and this is what they found. Powder is more powerful and the best brand to get is Ultra Tide Plus Bleach powder. However, if liquid is the choice for you then they reported Gain Dazzle & Shine With Bleach Alternative a close second. No matter your choice, has all your options.

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