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Are economy & own-brand detergents any good?

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Hi everyone, newbie here!

I've always wondered, is there really any difference, apart from packaging/scents between Economy; home brand and well known brand detergents?

I currently use Morrisons Cyclon Liquid 2 in 1 detergent, simply because I like the traditional smell it leaves on my clothes (think 1980's Ariel Automatic). I have used all sorts over the years though, but always tend to sway more towards the home-brands as they're cheaper and seem to clean well (I never have really dirty laundry, so...)

I'd be interested to hear others opinions on this matter.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Root Admin

Hello Morgan,

Washing detergent is very technically advanced these days, especially now that people want washing done at lower temperatures and using a lot less water. The demands on a detergent are very high. The big companies spend millions researching and developing detergents. Having said that, they also spend a lot of money trying to maximise profits by bombarding us with too many variations, and constantly selling us "new" and "improved" versions of detergents.

I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that the market leaders of many products are invariably the ones that advertise the most. Is it because they are the best, and they make lots of money which enables them to advertise so powerfully? Or is it that they advertise so powerfully that they become the market leaders? I personally think both reasons are inextricably linked.

My position is a sceptical one, but one that also acknowledges that as with many things, cheap stuff is often not very good over the long run. Which? have done extensive tests on washing machine and dishwasher detergents so I recommend researching their site. These reports are clearly for members only, so I can't publish them. But they do have an excellent offer on at the moment where you can get a free one month trial - Which? offer what's the catch?

I subscribed several months ago and find it invaluable to be able to research almost anything consumer related like this. I just used it to see what their Best Buy recommendations are for a new dishwasher and Freezer I just ordered from John Lewis, and to research and find a fantastic Digital freeview box (Which? Best Buy) with a built in hard drive for Christmas.

(Related / Further research)

  • Washing machine and dishwasher detergents do much more than just clean things. They also need to protect the washing machines inside from build up of grease and slime, and limescale Limescale in washing machines Use the right amount of detergent for your water type and use good quality detergent.
  • Which are the best washing detergents?

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