Tablets and capsules
Often your choice will be down to cost and convenience; capsules and tablets will work out more expensive per wash for example, but they are popular as they are less messy, without the need for using the dispenser drawer, dosing balls or measuring cups. Powders and liquids on the other hand are cheaper per wash and allow you to use as little or much as you like, depending on the size of load. However, you'll need to clean the dispenser drawer regularly to avoid black mould and greasy build-up, and that rather yucky, sludge like substance that's rather difficult to get rid of.
Bio detergent has enzymes in it which help remove stains from your clothes, such as mud or food. This type of detergent works more efficiently at lower temperatures. It's said that bio detergent can cause skin irritation if you have sensitive skin, so that's why there is a non-bio option. Bio should never be used on wool or delicate materials as the detergent will be too strong for it. You may also find that coloured fabrics fade over time. For whites, it's worth finding a detergent containing bleaching agents. You should also run a monthly maintenance cycle with one of these detergents to keep your machine clean and bacteria free. click HERE for more details.
Non-bio detergent is ideal for people with sensitive skin or for babies. It's good to use for a normal wash, but as it uses less harsh chemicals it's not always efficient at removing some of those tougher stains, especially at lower temperatures. It is also recommended for washing colours as they will be less likely to fade over time.
Eco friendly green detergent
Green detergents use natural ingredients to reduce their impact on the environment rather than the chemicals used by the big brand detergents. Consumer tests generally conclude that although these detergents are fine for lightly soiled loads, but they cannot compete when it comes to really tough stains.
Liquid or powder?
Powder is generally cheaper than liquid detergents, comes in more eco friendly cardboard packaging, but contains harsher chemicals. You should never place powder directly onto fabrics or use with directly in the machine with a dense loads of washing, but dispersed evenly from the dispenser drawer. Liquids on the other hand are already ore-dissolved, and can be poured directly onto your clothes.
The type of detergent you buy will probably come down to personal preference and what suits the whole family. For the best results it's probably worth buying three or four different types of detergents for your laundry; a detergent that contains bleach for whites, a bio for really dirty items, a non-bio liquid or eco detergent for coloureds and lightly soiled items and maybe also a specialist detergent for delicates. It might also be woth having a spot cleaner to treat specific stains before you put them in the machine.