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The best and worst laundry detergents of 2023 – Consumer NZ

Consumer NZ put 58 laundry detergents through the wringer to find which products shoppers can trust to get their clothes clean. Just 10 of the 58 detergents received the Consumer Recommends tick.

The laundry detergents that scrub up well

Out of the 19 brands tested, only three – Persil, Dynamo and Ecostore – received the Consumer Recommends tick.

Persil Ultimate and Persil Active Clean were the top two performers and provide good value for money.¹

Consumer NZ test content team leader, James le Page says that “eco” laundry detergents don’t tend to perform anywhere near as well as the big brand products, although this year’s results showed an outlier.

“Only one New Zealand brand made it into our top 10 – Ecostore.

“Eco-UltraPower 3 in 1 Laundry Powder Citrus Fresh is a great option if purchasing from local businesses is important to you. At just 0.11 cents per wash (in a front loader) it was also one of the cheapest products we tested. It wasn’t the best at removing make-up stains and collar grime though.

“Don’t fall into the trap of equating a higher price with a better job. I probably sound like a broken record, but price is an inconsistent and unreliable measure of quality.”

The detergents that didn’t scrub up

You may have noticed laundry sheets on your grocery shelves. Like capsules, they’re pre-dosed but in the form of dissolvable sheets you simply tear off.

Laundry sheets are touted as low waste and more environmentally friendly because you can alter the dosage by cutting a sheet, but le Page says there are other options that similarly use less of the harmful ingredients but still manage to perform better.

“Unfortunately, the four laundry sheets we tested weren’t great at getting clothes clean,” says le Page.

See how your preferred choice stacks up

The cleaning aisle at the supermarket is awash with choice when it comes to laundry powder and liquids.

However, le Page says that, while the wide variety is a good thing, few people have the time, let alone energy, to try them all.

He encourages shoppers to compare the brand they’re using at home, or the one they want to try, with Consumer’s test results to make sure it works and they’re getting the best value for money.

“Our test scores laundry detergents on how well they remove everyday grime, make-up and grass, as well as hard-to-remove stains like tomato, engine oil and blood.

“Then, our comparison tool lets you quickly and easily figure out which detergent to buy based on what you need.

“At the end of the day, the most important thing is that shoppers are able to see through the fancy marketing and find the right product to meet their needs.”


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