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Cheap Washing Detergent: Recommendations or False economy? General weekly shop saving tips.

My wife is stubbornly hooked on brand names when it comes to detergents, washing up liquids, dishwasher tabs etc. For me it's not something I eat so a small reduction in quality (or perceived quality) isn't really worth paying more for. I personally want to try the cheaper alternatives. Does anyone have any good recommendations? Are these as good as branded? Need to win her over or top up the Ariel bottle secretly with the cheap stuff!

Where else can I make savings on my weekly shop? Have you got any go tos. Some items I buy regularly have gone up by 25% or more. 


  • I like Asda washing up liquid ( but not Aldi, Tesco or Sainsburys). A third the price of Fairy.
    Most of Asda own brand is ok i find.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,982 Forumite
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    The thing about non brand washing up liquid is to see how thick it is. The really cheap ones are almost like water in the bottle and better ones very slow to move - so that's a good test to see what to buy.  I tend to go for the middle price ones from Lidl unless I happen to be in Tesco and see that Fairy is on special. 

    Sometimes the specials are stupid - as in very large bottle cheaper than the smaller one.  This same thing happens with a lot of products including it sometimes being cheaper to buy 2 of something rather than 1.  (as in 2 for a total of £1.99 but 1 for £2)

    Some other things we get from Lidl - dishwasher tabs for instance.  Happy with the Tesco fabric conditioner as well as their water softening tablets.  We've switched to a nice brand (forget which) of environmentally sound fabric washing liquid so I'll likely stick to that.  Previously we would get the Lidl or Aldi washing tablets which always were sold 2 to a pack - we'd only use 1 per wash so they went for twice as many washes as intended.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • YorksLass
    YorksLass Posts: 1,709 Forumite
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    I've switched from Fairy washing up liquid to Sainsbury's own and find it's OK but will admit it isn't as soapy so it does sometimes need an extra bit in the water.  It wasn't the price difference that prompted the change, it was Fairy's "new" formula that I don't like the smell of.

    I generally find own brands just as good as branded, although even they are increasing in price.  You might just have to bite the bullet and try a cheapie version - although I bet your wife will notice the difference!   :*  
    Be kind to others and to yourself too.
  • comeandgo
    comeandgo Posts: 5,742 Forumite
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    I use Aldi dish washer tablets, Aldi washing up liquid, Tesco fabric conditioner and daz or surf washing powder.  I also use soap nuts instead of detergent if the clothes are not too dirty.  I have made my own clothes conditioner using cheap hair conditioner and lots of white vinegar.  
  • Slinky
    Slinky Posts: 9,979 Forumite
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    edited 30 April 2023 at 7:36PM
    I've given up using fabric conditioner. I've come to the conclusion, it doesn't do anything, not even add any fragrance.

    I dont bother faffing about with vinegar either.  Another waste of money.
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  • KxMx
    KxMx Posts: 10,600 Forumite
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    I've been using SMOL laundry gel pods for a few years now, really happy with them. 5.30 for 24. Trials available. 
    They do quite a range of products but I can't vouch for any others. 
  • Lumiona
    Lumiona Posts: 236 Forumite
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    I'm not usually brand specific and happy to try own brands to bring the cost down. I don't use WUL much but I really do prefer Fairy because a little goes a long way, I stock up when it is on offer, often bulk buying in Costco. For dishwasher tabs, the Lidl all in one tablets are really excellent.
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