Are Pods Better Than Liquid Detergents?

We’re always on the lookout for laundry products that can best deliver our laundry objectives. When we hear of new entries in the market, we’re excited and curious to find out how much it offers and what it can do for the price that it commands. 

So our adventure with pods began, and now that we’ve seen how much they offer, we’re not pretty sure how they measure up against liquid detergents! 

What are the advantages of pods over liquid detergent?


When it comes to laundry pods, one of the great advantages they have over liquid detergents is convenience. With pods, detergents are portioned into pre-measured packages, which makes it easier to perform normal size laundry loads without having to worry about using the appropriate amount of detergent.

You’d also agree with me that laundry pods are much easier to carry along with you to the laundromat compared to a heavy bottle of liquid detergents or a big pack of laundry powder.

Aside from how convenient it is to carry laundry pods, and also the fact that they come pre-measured, their ease of use is also another bonus point. 

Pods are the easiest of all detergents to use as you barely have to do any work. Simply toss them into the empty drum of your washer, load your clothes in, set and run the cycle and wait for the magic to happen.

Pods are great for stains

Normal laundry pods are excellent stain removers. Pod formulations with prefixes such as “power” or “heavy” are even more excellent stain removers because they have aggressive components in them to help tackle stubborn stains from grass to grease. 

When using these types of pods, you’re typically exempted from treating stains prior to washing, as the detergents, being so concentrated and packed with impressive  stain removers, will perform a great job at tackling them. 

Pods are great for removing any types of soiling from oil, grease, mud, clay, sand, grass, to many types of stains that you pick up around the home which include lipstick and make up stains. 

Pods are less dreadful to the environment

If you concentrate on the nature of pods and the way they work, you’ll immediately recognize the fact that they are less damaging to the environment compared to other types of detergent.

Pods typically come in cases that are designed to dissolve in water during wash and release the contents they hold. 

At the end of the day, after consuming the entire pack of pods, the only thing left will be the overall packaging used to hold the pods. That may not be biodegradable, and so contribute to the pile at the landfill, but it’s much better than buying bottle after bottle of liquid detergent and disposing them off the wrong way!

Provides more than one laundry actions in a single pack

One of the best advantages of picking pods over liquid detergents is that you can achieve up to 4 different laundry objectives with a single pod. 

In some pods like those manufactured by Tide, you can get stain removal, odor removal and color protector all in one single pod. While in others, you can have scent booster, cloth whitener, fabric softener etc. 

This means that you don’t have to spend separately on each product which will save you a lot of money at the end of the day! 

Can be used in every type of machine

Pods are very versatile, and as a result, you can use them in almost every kind of machine from front loaders to top loaders and even the high-efficiency model of these washers.

Despite the fact that most pods nowadays are created to be high-efficiency machine compatible, you still should check with the product label to ensure that the product is compatible with your machine.

What are the limitations of using pods?

You can’t pre treat

You don’t bust open the contents of a laundry pod and use it to pretreat stains. It’s never done that way!

If you decide to do so, know that is going to be an expensive stain removal process as pods cost way more than laundry liquids and even powders! 

You can’t hand wash with them

Because of the very nature of pods also, you can’t also handwash with them. So if there’s anything you really need to wash by hand, you’re better off using other types of detergents aside laundry pods

They may not dissolve well

From time to time, you may also run into problems with poorly dissolved laundry pods. This is typically associated with the way you put the pods in the washing machine, or the quality of clothes you’re using in the first place. Check out this guide on how to troubleshoot this problem.

Kids can mistake them for candies

One problem with pods that we’ve dealt with for the past decades is the issue of kids mistaking them for candies and thereby consuming their contents.

Because pods are highly concentrated (or, forget about how concentrated they are, consuming any detergent is a seriously alarming matter for whoever is doing it), they become even more deadly. 

Pods from companies like Tide are designed with so much aesthetic appeal, especially the 3 in 1 products, and it’s easy to deceive the eyes of a toddler into thinking that it is candy.

Can pose threat to pets

Not just kids, pets can also mistake pods for food and consume their contents, which can be very deadly to them. With liquid detergents in bottes, simply locking the cap firm can prevent the contents from seeping out and therefore serving as a threat to children or pets.

Waste of detergent when you’re dealing with a very light load

One thing you won’t also like about pods is that you won’t have control over the amount of detergent you’re using. 

You’re only limited to the amount you’re given in the pod, and so if you have a very light load; say one or two pairs, you’ll end up wasting a whole pod to do them.

Cost of washing increases significantly with higher loads

Pods are the most expensive laundry detergents out there. A single pod will cost you more per load compared to liquid or powdered detergent. 

And the more the load, the more the margin keeps getting wider and wider.

The packaging isn’t biodegradable

The big package that holds every single packet together is typically not biodegradable, so it also contributes to the pile at the landfill. 

What are liquid detergents good for

We’ve talked so much about pods, now let’s divert our attention to liquid detergents for a moment.

So what are their good sides?

Spot treatment

With liquid detergent, you have the freedom to treat spots on clothes prior to washing them.

With pods however, this option is not possible unless you use a stain remover, or, rely on the stain removing ingredients in the pods to do the job for you, which may or may not be effective depending on the quality of pods you use.

You have control over how much detergent you’re using

When using liquid detergent, you also have control over how much detergent you’re using per laundry load. Because of this, when you have lighter loads, it’s easier to measure and economize detergent compared to when you’re using pods.

Liquid detergents are good for oil and grease stains

Liquid detergent is exceptionally good at releasing oil and grease stains that set in fabrics. 

It’s not that they are above and beyond pods when it comes to removing these kinds of stains, they’re just too good on their own, especially when used as a pretreatment. 

The reason why they’re very good at removing these types of stains is because they’re able to penetrate deep down to the fibers and release whatever is clinging onto them, and this is something powdered detergents really suck at!

You can hand wash with it

Handwashing is also another possibility with liquid detergent. So when you have delicate or something special you want to hand wash, liquid detergents are your next best bet!

Cons of Liquid detergent

We now know all the good about liquid detergents, let’s see the downsides of using them as compared to pods!

Can be over used

When you have a bottle of liquid detergent, it’s easier for you to over or underestimate the amount you’re using. 

On the other hand however, pods come pre-measured in packages, eliminating the need to do the maths all by yourself!

Don’t have much laundry action

Liquid detergents have very basic laundry action, which is to clean, brighten and also add fragrance to a load. That’s mostly about it! 

Unlike with pods that can offer boosters, softners, conditioners, and all other types of laundry actions in a single packet. Because of that, you’ll find yourself purchasing these products separately in order to fulfil your laundry objectives.

The bottles are not eco friendly

Every bottle of liquid detergent you use has the potential to contribute to the growing pile of waste in the landfills, unless you’re practicing proper disposal techniques. 

Final thoughts

Pods are great alternatives to liquid detergents as liquid detergents are to pods. 

Both have excellent cleaning powers and can tackle a wide variety of laundry problems depending on the specific formulations and also the brand you’re using. 

Both pods and liquid detergents have areas they boast supremacy for, for example when it comes to handwashing and pretreating stains prior to washing, liquid detergent is number one, whereas if convenience and the worries of detergent dosage is your concern, then laundry pods beat liquid detergent hands down!