Powder, Liquid, or Pod: Which Form Of Laundry Soap Is Most Cost Effective?


I’ve used liquid laundry detergent as long as I can remember. But when my family and I went to Florida I bought some of the detergent pods as they were just more convenient to pack and take with us. Laundry detergent was on this weekend’s grocery shopping list, and I wondered which form of the product would be the least expensive per load. I decided to compare the three forms of detergent; liquid, powder, and the pods for two major brands and see which came out as the best value for my money:


  • Powder : 102 load product for $18.96 = $0.186 per load
  • Liquid : 96 load product for $17.97 = $0.187 per load
  • Pod : 81 load product for $19.97 = $0.247 per load


  • Powder: 120 load product for $15.46 = $0.129 per load
  • Liquid: 96 load product for $14.97 = $0.156 per load
  • Pod: 81 load product for $19.97 = 0.247 per load


From the data collected it appears powder is the least expensive, while pods are the most expensive form of laundry detergent ( assuming other brands would follow similar price differential for the different forms of detergent).

There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when selecting your type of laundry detergent:

  1. Some people find that power form detergent clumps in the washer or leaves residue on the clothes. I have experienced this personally.
  2. The small size of a pod is convenient for traveling
  3. It’s been noted that the amount of product suggested by the detergent manufacturers is too large. I typically only use half the suggested amount. This means that I’d get twice as many loads for liquid or powder products. Cutting a pod in half would only create a mess. This means that the price per load for powder and liquid is actually HALF of what is stated above.

My own personal preference remains the liquid form of detergent. Pods are significantly more expensive than either liquid or powder and while they may be convenient for traveling, I don’t see any advantage to using them at home. Also, while liquid is not quite as inexpensive as powder, it doesn’t have the clumping/residue issue.

This analysis was done using only two types of detergents, but you can easily do the same comparison for other brands. The next time you’re at the grocery store, collect the data for your favorite brand, and see how they stack up!

How about you, Clever Friends? What kind of form of laundry detergent do you use? Why?

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Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • I love to save money, and make a lot of my own liquid detergent.(super cheap!) I do, however, purchase the pods if I get storebought. I have 3 kids that do their own laundry, and a grandma who likes to help out from time to time. When these people do laundry, they tend to use MORE than recommended, because in their mind, more soap means more clean no matter how many times I tell them. With pds, they don’t overuse!

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