Are Laundry Pods Better Than Liquid Detergent?

The laundry products market is full of a plethora of detergents, all of which claim to yield the best results. However, most consumers’ preferences have always boiled down to ritual — as some swear by the recently introduced detergent pods, while others stick to the old liquid detergent.

But the question, “are laundry pods better than liquid” has lasted for quite a long time. You must be asking yourself the same question.

Are Laundry Pods Better Than Liquid Detergent? 1

Well, in this article, you’ll learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each of these two types of detergents in different situations.

Thereafter, you’ll be in a better position to judge which one is better for you according to your underlying situation.

What Are Laundry Pods?

Laundry pods, also known as detergent liquitabs, are small, pre-measured packets of detergent packed inside water-soluble pouches. The packs usually contain only 10% of water as opposed to liquid detergents that contain up to 50%.

Its water-soluble pouch is majorly made of polyvinyl alcohol or its derivatives. A few popular brands of detergent pods are Tide Pods, Persil, and Purex. Meanwhile, there are myriads of others out there.

Pods were mainly made for convenience. And their main advantage is that users no longer have to measure the amount of detergent to use per given load or cycle of laundry because the pods are pre-measured.

All you have to do is throw the pod into your machine and let the machine do its thing. However, that’s not the only benefit you get from them, and there are cons, too.

The Benefits Of Using Laundry Pods


As mentioned earlier, the main advantage pods bring to the table is convenience as there’s no need of measuring the detergent. All you need to do is throw it into the drum and add an appropriate load of clothes on top before turning on the machine for the cycle to start.

What’s more, you also have the convenience of seamlessly taking it with you to the Laundromat or anywhere else. Simply throw a few into a plastic bag and you won’t feel the weight of carrying them around as they’re light and compact.

Stability And Good Performance:

Pods’ cleaning ingredients are stable due to the little amount of water in them. Therefore, you expect them to have more shelf life and better performance. A look at a few consumer feedback on various types of pods reveals that most of them are satisfied with the cleaning results they get, as well as the detergent’s shelf life.

Reviews on Tide and Persil are good samples. Most clients are also happy with how fast pods remove stains and how fresh they leave clothes, among other positive comments.


You no longer have to deal with spills or clean your machine’s soap dispenser because pods are meant to be used as they are. Blatantly, that means your laundry room will stay tidy all the time. Again, you don’t have to worry about carrying the detergent cautiously because it’s resistant to spills.


When using liquid (or powder) detergents, you stand the risk of overdosing or under-dosing your load of clothes. Consequently, cleaning results won’t be consistent, and there are other disadvantages, too.

However, pods are pre-measured; hence, you don’t have to think about overdosing or under-dosing. That means you’ll get consistent results.

The Problem With Laundry Pods

Cost And Efficiency:

There’s no debating that pods are costlier than liquid detergent. Reliable sources cite that they’re 50% (or greater) more expensive than liquid detergent. Then, there’s the question of the ideal amount of clothes to be added for use with one pod, and the level to which the clothes are soiled.

Generally, laundry pods are designed to be used with a regular size of a load of clothes that are averagely soiled. But what if you have a larger size? What if your clothes are soiled than what the pods are designed for?

Poisoning Danger:

Reports of poisoning caused by laundry pods to children have always been on the rise. The pods come in a design that resembles candy. Therefore, children can easily mistake them for sweets and eat them as a result. It’s advisable that you keep pods far away from children to avoid such risks.

No Pre-treatment:

You cannot use detergent packs to pre-treat clothes not can you use them for spot-cleaning. They’re designed for washing loads of clothes in the machine and not handwashing clothes one by one.

What About Liquid Detergent?

Liquid detergent is one of the most popular forms of detergent that has been in the market for quite some time. A record number of people swear by it for their cleaning activities.

While they’re also easy to use, their convenience is nothing comparable to that of detergent pods. You can take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using them below.

The Benefits Of Using Liquid Detergent

Comparatively Cost-effective:

Compared to packets, liquid detergent is less costly, no wonder a significant number of people still prefer them over convenience.

It Can Quickly Rid Clothes Of Grease & Oil:

The liquid detergent will always penetrate cloth fibers to help release stains, unlike detergent packets. It’s, therefore, perfect for oils and grease.

It Can Work As A Stain Pre-treatment Solution:

You always have the freedom to measure the amount of liquid detergent to use for a specified amount of clothes, unlike with pods. Therefore, you can use it to pre-treat stains before the actual laundry cycle.

They Come In A Wide Variety Of Scents:

You can imagine any scent and be sure to find it in a liquid detergent. Therefore, you have a plethora of choices when it comes to how you want your clothes to smell.

The Disadvantages Of Using Liquid Detergent

Packaging Materials May Be Harmful To The Environment:

Some liquid detergents are packed inside plastic cases, which aren’t friendly to the environment because they’re not even recyclable. While some are recyclable, very few authorities pay attention to actually recycle them.

Not Easily Portable:

Since they’re liquid-based, these types of detergent are not easy to move around with, especially if packed in larger containers. Shipping them also comes with the risk of spilling.

Shorter Shelf Life:

Since they contain liquid, the effectiveness of some ingredients inside liquid detergent is limited over time. For example, oxygen bleach cannot maintain its stability over longer periods when mixed with water. Therefore, its effectiveness is limited.

Easy To Overdose:

While they’re also meant to be measured, liquid detergents are easy to Overdose in case of spot-cleaning and, pre-treatment, and others.

The Bottom Line

We still stick to the fact that the best type of laundry detergent narrows down to your preferences. If you aren’t worried about spending more cash for convenience, you better go for detergent packets.

But if you’re on a low budget, the liquid detergent will be your best fit. Likewise, if your clothes don’t often get heavily soiled, pods are a better choice. Meanwhile, go for liquid detergent if you need spot-cleaning or if your clothes often get soiled heavily.

For the case of larger loads of clothes, scientists recommend using two pods. The ball is back to you now.

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