Compare Powder and Gel for Washing

On the shelves of modern supermarkets you can find different types of laundry detergents. Traditional washing powders compete with gels, a variety of dosage capsules. And sometimes it is difficult to figure out which is better – powder or gel? Experts do not give a definite answer to this question.

Powder and gel have their own characteristics, pros and cons, recommendations for use. But one thing can be said for sure – the powder is more suitable for hand washing, and the gel is effective only when used in a washing machine. journalists conducted a small investigation and found out all the details regarding what is best to use for washing, learned the features, advantages and disadvantages of the gel and powder.

Features and differences between powder and washing gel


In addition to the fact that both the powder and the gel are intended for washing clothes, each of the products there are some features:

    1. The gel has a milder cleansing effect, so it is not recommended to use it to remove heavy dirt. At the same time, semi-liquid detergents are great for daily “refreshing” washing.



    1. The gel leaves a milder fragrance on clothes, the use of powder can cause things to smell very strong, obsessive, which not many people like.



    1. The gel contains fewer surfactants, so it is considered less hazardous. But manual processing with such a tool will not give the desired result. The fact is that only when washing in a washing machine, the process of mechanoactivation starts, which allows you to get the desired cleaning effect. At the same time, the powder contains more surfactants, so it is effective even with hand washing.



    1. The gel is easy to use and comes with a measuring cup. This eliminates the need to measure the liquid “by eye”. But washing powder is usually filled up, focusing on the volume of the receiving tray or on your own sense of proportion. As a result, either things are not washed well, or a large amount of foam is formed. Excess powder can also harm the mechanism of the washing machine.



    1. The required amount of gel can be measured safely, contact with the skin or other organs, mucous membranes does not occur. And when you use the powder, because of the inconveniently located hole, it often wakes up on the floor (extra consumption) and dusts, which can contribute to eye and respiratory irritation.



    1. Storage of the gel is also more convenient – screw on the lid, put on a cap or a measuring cup, and it will not spill or deteriorate. And most manufacturers of washing powder do not solve the problem of storage at all. The box (or package) after opening is open. This contributes to the fact that the powder absorbs moisture from the environment (in the bathroom, the humidity index is increased), dampens, wakes up. Open packaging can be easily accessed by pets and children who may misuse the product. For example, taste a colorful, delicious-smelling powder.



The advantage of the gel is its consistency and semi-liquid form. The agent instantly dissolves in water and begins to act at the very beginning of the washing cycle. Powder is different. The use of this tool is accompanied by such problems:

    1. Powder granules dissolve slowly, often this process lasts throughout the entire washing cycle.



    1. If the powder is damp, it dissolves even worse, especially in water with a temperature of 30-40 degrees. As a result, it often happens that particles of undissolved granules of the agent can be seen in the fibers of washed items. And even double rinsing does not help to avoid such a problem.



    1. The powder is very difficult to wash out of the tray. The remains of the agent stick to the plastic, a new layer of loose agent sticks to them. Between washes, all this mass hardens so much that it becomes very difficult to clean the tray. Not only does this cause inconvenience, the hostess also has to spend more money on buying the powder, because part of it is not used, but simply thrown into the trash can.



    1. The main advantage of laundry detergent is its cost. Gels are positioned as innovative laundry preparations, so they are expensive. Also, the gel is mainly used when washing in water with a temperature of 30-40 degrees. And the powder can be used for any purpose, that is, for washing at different temperatures, up to 90 degrees. This makes it possible to wash the most difficult dirt with powder.



From all of the above, one conclusion can be drawn – liquid products are more convenient to use and store. But washing powder is cheaper, more effective and can cope with even the toughest dirt, including during hand washing. Now it’s time to understand in more detail the composition of the standard powder and gel for washing things.

What do we know about the composition of synthetic detergents?

composition of detergents

At the heart of every laundry detergent there are several fairly safe ingredients and many additional ones that pose a threat to health. Look at the packaging of any washing powder – carbonates take the first place, in simple terms – sodium carbonate or soda ash. Next come surfactants – the most dangerous – anionic, very cheap to manufacture. Less dangerous – non-ionic and cationic. Plus, each product has many other components, including phosphates, which are designed to soften water, as well as dyes, fragrances, optical brighteners. Also in the preparations for washing there is chlorine, other impurities, the effect of which on the body has not been fully studied.

All of these are potential allergens and carcinogens. You should be aware that the use of phosphates in the manufacture of laundry detergents is prohibited in many European countries, since these substances are strong pollutants for water bodies where they enter from the sewer.

How can surfactants and phosphates, chlorine harm a person? With constant contact, they accumulate in the body and contribute to:

    1. The occurrence of cough, headache, irritation of the mucous membranes and skin.



    1. Violation of the integrity, functions of cells of internal organs.



    1. Reduced immunity and metabolic disorders.



    1. Changes in the physicochemical characteristics of blood.



    1. Increase the likelihood of infertility.



But the powder formulation is much more aggressive than the gel formulation. In liquid products, the content of surfactants is lower, so they are less effective, but safer. In addition, they have an increased content of enzymes and enzymes that help remove protein contaminants. In hot water, these components are destroyed, so they are added mainly to detergents that are used at medium temperatures. Various extracts, ingredients for softening things, and components with disinfecting properties are often added to liquid laundry preparations. Therefore, it is obvious that gels are safer for humans, although not as effective as washing powders.

In fairness, it should be noted that phosphate-free washing powders can also be found on sale, in which phosphates are replaced with safe zeolites. Such funds are expensive, they are sold mainly in Europe. Their advantages are environmental friendliness, high safety profile.

Most of the claims made by manufacturers of cheap and expensive baby laundry detergents that they are safer are nothing more than a marketing ploy. For example, let’s cite the data of a study that was conducted in 2015 in EU (experts are not sure that since that time the situation with the production of laundry detergents has changed dramatically). 6 popular children’s powders of different brands were sent for examination. The initiative is not activists, but “Roskontrol”. As a result, it turned out that none of these detergents can be considered suitable for washing children’s clothes, especially the clothes of newborns and babies with poor health.

Parents should be aware that unwashed surfactant residues in children’s clothing have a negative, irritating effect on the child’s epidermis. This causes peeling, redness, dermatitis and allergic reactions. Even children who are healthy from birth begin to get sick, what can we say about allergy sufferers. Surfactants can even have a toxic effect on the child’s body. Adults are not so susceptible to the action of carcinogenic phosphates and surfactants. But in children, the skin has less strong protective properties. As well as immunity, which is at the stage of formation.

Is it justified to use chemical detergents for washing clothes?

laundry detergent safety

Washing powders and industrial gels are chemicals that poison people and pollute the environment. Of course, we are talking about products of the middle price range, and not about expensive safe detergents, which not everyone can buy.

At the same time, many housewives prefer to rely on the experience of mothers and grandmothers, to use natural ingredients for washing – laundry soap, soda, salt, soap root (soapwort). As well as horse chestnut, ash, potassium permanganate and even beans. This allows not only to save the family budget and revive traditions, but also to protect the health of loved ones.

Life hack from experienced housewives – a recipe for making an effective and safe eco-gel for washing

Experts shared with journalists a recipe for making eco-gel for washing at home. We invite everyone who cares about the health of their family to test this tool. It is just as effective as over-the-counter drugs. But in its composition there are no dangerous components that could cause allergies or in any other way harm health. Therefore, the product can be used instead of powder for washing any things. Including bed and underwear, baby diapers and clothes. It is economical, easy to prepare, and can help not only in washing, but also in cleaning the house.

The components that will be needed to make four liters of eco-gel can be bought at any supermarket. This soap, you can take the simplest and cheapest natural laundry soap without any additives, bleaches, fragrances and preservatives. As well as soda ash and a bottle of essential oil with the scent you like.

Product effectiveness

Consider what properties of the ingredients of the gel make it effective:

    1. Soap “Laundry 72%” has long been used for hand washing. It has proven to be effective. But recently, with the advent and spread of household appliances that make life easier for housewives, it has been undeservedly forgotten.



    1. Soda ash is the main and 100% safe ingredient in commercial laundry detergents. During the first washings, it releases the fibers of fabrics from chemical residues that have accumulated during the use of industrial powder or gel.



    1. Natural essential oil gives clothes a pleasant aroma. If you take an oil that has a bactericidal effect, you can additionally disinfect things.



    1. For washing, you need to use one glass (250 grams) of this gel, if things are very dirty, the dosage can be increased to two or three measuring cups.



How to make eco-gel at home

Liquid detergent recipe:

    1. We take half a bar of household, children’s or any other hypoallergenic soap without additives and fragrances, divide it into 2 parts. True, the bars are different, so we will indicate the weight of the piece we need, which will be used in the production of detergent – approximately 90-100 grams. We rub the soap on the smallest grater. If there is no grater, you can crumble the soap with a knife.



    1. Boil 3.5-4 liters of ordinary tap water on the stove. If you take 3.5 liters instead of 4, the gel will be thicker. If you wish, you can use spring or bottled water without chlorine and other unnecessary additives.



    1. When the water boils, add soap shavings to it. Stirring is not necessary, but desirable. This will facilitate the rapid dissolution of the soap and the achievement of a uniform consistency of the solution.



    1. We take 90 grams (that is, as much as soap) soda ash (household, not food). That’s about three and a half tablespoons. Add to the solution, turn off the fire. Finally, thoroughly mix the contents of the pan, let cool and thicken. If you don’t know where to buy laundry soda, visit a household store. goods or market. Often this tool can be found in stores that sell washing powders.



    1. Add a couple of drops of essential oil to the cooled gel.



It takes three to three and a half hours to completely thicken the product. But after two hours it cools down completely and is ready for pouring into storage containers.

eco laundry detergents

Additional ways to use the product

Additionally, the gel can be used for other economic purposes, since the range of application of this product is very wide. It has a natural composition, so the gel is suitable for washing dishes, stoves, hob, oven. As well as furniture in the kitchen, kitchen apron, any surfaces, including floors, windows, window sills. At the same time, the dishes will not smell like detergent, which often spoils the taste and aroma of the dishes that are cooked and served in it.

To make the gel even more effective in fighting fat, add a few teaspoons of mustard powder to it. If after that it becomes more liquid or exfoliates, this is normal. It is most convenient to use the product for household needs, pouring it into a bottle with a dispenser.

Benefits of homemade laundry detergent

Benefits of laundry detergent you can make yourself:

    1. This is an inexpensive tool – for one wash it will take you about 25 rubles (10 hryvnias).



    1. The gel removes any dirt without pre-soaking (except for persistent stains from coffee, tea, etc.).



    1. The product is prepared from natural ingredients, it does not cause an allergic reaction.



    1. The gel does not harm white, colored and black fabrics, rinses out perfectly (it is recommended to use the extra rinse mode).



    1. The gel has a wide range of applications, it can replace almost all household chemicals that are used on the farm and are quite expensive.



    1. The cooking process will not take much time – 20 minutes for grating soap and boiling water, 3 hours for the gel to harden.



There are a lot of reviews about this recipe, it is almost impossible to find a negative one, since the gel is really effective, inexpensive and safe for health.