Pods vs Liquid Detergent

Should your detergent be liquid or pods? This question haunts many people as they make laundry decisions.

Laundry time is essential for hygiene and maintaining the durability of the clothes, and it is therapeutic.

There are crucial factors to consider before embarking on a successful wash routine. The first one is the wash medium, whether you are hand washing, machine washing, or dry cleaning.

The second factor to consider is the cleaning agent. It is confusing to settle on a detergent and even more confusing to choose between liquid detergents and pods.

Overview of Pods and Liquid Detergent

Detergents come in different formats with ingredients for various purposes. Choosing one of these formats requires a basic understanding of how they operate.

Laundry Pods

Persil laundry pod

Laundry detergent pods are compact pouches filled with concentrated non-sudsing detergent, fabric softener, and other laundry additives. The pouch lining is water-soluble, breaking the instant it comes in contact with water to release its content.

An advantage of pods over other detergent forms is the convenience. They are carefully measured, and one pod is suitable for one laundry load. Although the pods look small, it is sufficient because of how concentrated they are – the water content is just 10% – and the dose of one pod is comparatively similar to that of liquid detergent.

Pods are a recent invention loved by many, accounting for more sales than powder detergents.

Tide launched the trademarked invention in 2012, disrupting the cleaning industry, and ever since, other companies have launched their versions.

Even other laundry additives in the form of pods are not detergents.

Liquid Detergents

Liquid detergent

As the name suggests, liquid detergent is essentially detergent in liquid form. This detergent has a high water content – up to 50% – because water and other solvents mix with powdered detergent to create the stable product favored by many.

It can be hard to measure the correct amount of powder detergent, especially in a high-efficiency washer, leading to overdosing the wash cycle with detergent. The prevention of overdosing made liquid detergent the better option.

Liquid detergent also functions as a stain remover, creating another advantage.

Liquid detergents have the highest number of sales of all detergent forms.

Usability of Pods and Liquid Detergents

Laundry detergent aims to clean clothes regardless of the form in which it presents. However, understanding how to use pods and laundry detergents might help make the choice between the two forms easier.

For instance, pods will be efficient in high-efficiency washers, while liquid detergent can be efficient in any washer.

How to Use Pods

  • Make sure your hands are dry, the protective covering breaks upon contact with water, and the pod will start leaking content.
  • Place one laundry pod in the drum of the washer. Don’t put the pod in the detergent dispenser or on top of the clothes to enable efficient dissolving.
  • Place your clothes on top of the pod and start the washer, following the care label instructions.
  • The pod will dissolve and wash the clothes. If the pod does not dissolve, remove it from the washer and dissolve it in water. Pour the dissolved liquid into the washer.

How to Use Liquid Detergent

  • Pretreat the stains on the clothes with liquid detergent if necessary.
  • Pour the liquid detergent into the detergent dispenser (for front load washers).
  • Fill the tub with water and pour the detergent inside (for top load washers).
  • Place the clothes in the washer and follow the care labels to program the washer in the appropriate settings.

Difference Between Pods and Liquid Detergent

There isn’t much difference between pods and liquid detergents; they are both detergents. But their functionality, price, convenience factor, etc., belies the difference.



The people that make pods carefully measure the ingredients to ensure one pod will be suitable for one laundry load. This pre-measurement eliminates any miscalculation that occurs when pouring detergent into the washer.

Pods have a small solid shape that makes them possible to store in convenient places and refillable packaging, eliminating the need for many containers and cartons.

Pods are not only detergents; they also have fabric softeners and stain removers contained in the product, eliminating the need to have those other products on your shelves.

Liquid Detergent

At the time of its invention, liquid detergent was the most convenient way of having detergent. Because it is a concentrated form of detergent, users were reducing the amount of detergent they poured into the washer, but it was still hard to have an exact amount. Even today, most people struggle with the quantity of detergent in the washer to avoid overdosing.

Although liquid detergent is more convenient to carry, use, and store than powder detergent, pods are the most convenient of the three.

Stain Treatment


This process is where pods are severely lacking. The structure of pods makes it impossible for a person to use to treat stains in clothes. It doesn’t operate like solid bar soaps; they destabilize when mixed with water and pour everywhere.

Liquid Detergents

Liquid detergents make great stain removers. A ‘normal’ wash cycle will not remove the stains from stained clothes, prompting you to treat the stains with stain removers.

Instead of using other items, laundry detergent will be suitable.


  • Lay the stained clothes flat on a table.
  • Pour liquid detergent on the stains and gently scrub with a soft brush.
  • Leave the treatment to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse the clothes and then wash in a usual wash cycle.

You can replace liquid detergent with other stain remover agents if you prefer.

Various Washing Methods


Pods come with directions labels to guide you on their usage. The consensus is that one pod is suitable for one laundry load. The correct amount of the laundry load will depend on the washer capacity and the instructions on the pod label.

You will find it hard to use the pods if you want to wash a smaller amount of clothes. An attempt to break the pods will render them useless.

Also, pods will not be effective in hand washing clothes.

Liquid Detergent

Most times, the cap of liquid detergents will mark the appropriate dose of the detergent. You can measure a reduced amount of detergent for a reduced laundry load with no problem.

You can use liquid detergents as a suitable replacement for powder detergents when hand washing clothes.

Environmentally Friendly


The convenient packaging of detergent pods makes them environmentally friendly because there is less waste associated with the product.

Pods packaging is refillable. You can buy more pods and place them in the same container over and over. If you don’t want to use that container, you can convert another one in your home to the pods’ container.

Liquid Detergent

Liquid detergent does not have the same waste-reducing packaging pods have, especially since they have plastic packaging. However, since they are so concentrated, it will take a while before you exhaust one bottle.

The shipping of liquid detergents also takes a toll on the environment because liquid detergents are heavy due to the high water content.

Some liquid detergents also contain fabric softeners like pods. The liquid detergent also doubles as a stain remover, so there will be no need for separate products, reducing the amount of waste you incur.

Water Temperature


While most detergent pods can dissolve in any water temperature, some can only dissolve in hot water. The weather can also affect the solubility of pods, with colder weather preventing the pods from dissolving. As mentioned earlier, if this happens, dissolve the pod in hot water and pour the dissolved liquid into the washer.

Liquid Detergent

The water temperature suitable for the proper functionality of liquid detergent is limitless. The recommended water temperature for washing with a liquid detergent depends on the type of fabric and the clothes’ care label.



According to reports, pods are 50% more expensive than the liquid or powder detergent per wash. All the convenience detergent pods offer you show up in the price.

Liquid Detergent

Liquid detergents are cheaper than pods with a more reasonable price point, especially for a multifunctional product.



The most crucial thing to do when you have detergent pods in your house is to keep them from the reach of your children and pets.

Reports show that the colorful pods pose a health risk to children, with some even engaging in dangerous challenges. Babies might mistake the pods for sweets if they are easily reachable.

Also, if the pods don’t dissolve in the washer, the residue can clog the machine and stain the clothes. If the pods stain the clothes, run another wash cycle without any detergent to remove the pod stains.

Liquid Detergent

While liquid detergents are not attractive to people, they are still potentially dangerous to the clothes.

The chances of overdosing with liquid detergent are higher than with another form of detergent. The user might wrongly assume too much liquid detergent won’t leave a residue like powder detergent leaves.

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