Life used to be much simpler. Especially where washing machine detergent was concerned. I’ve just found a fascinating old publication by one of the leading detergent manufacturers, Unilever. Back then even their name was simpler, they were just called, “Lever”.
I’ve had this booklet for over 30 years. One of the sections mentions that a particular wash symbol will have changed, “by 1987”. It’s an expensively produced booklet with a glossy cover. I remember when things like this came bungled with a new washing machine. The thing that strikes me about it is that as the photo below shows, back then they just made 2 types of detergent for automatic washing machines. An “original” automatic washing machine detergent and a “new” biological detergent. They also had a special hand wash only detergent.
Only 2 types of detergent for the washing machine
Too many types of detergent?
These days there are many more types of detergent to choose from. Back then it was just a matter of picking either biological or non-biological, and favouring a brand. It can be argued that detergent specialising in specific jobs such as looking after colours so they don’t fade, whitening whites, low temperature washing and so on makes sense. Are we better off now or just victims of clever marketing? I’ve just checked on their web site and counted 17 different laundry detergent products.
Related articles: See more of my articles tagged with Detergent
Which? Articles on detergent
Washing machine and dishwasher detergent is pretty expensive. Which? have done extensive tests and research on them. You need to be a member to read all the results but there is still plenty of useful information even if you aren’t. (Why not become a member or take out a trial offer?)
- Which? Laundry detergent reviews
- Which? Best Buy detergents
- Which? Don’t Buy these detergents
- What you get with a which trial offer
Fixed-price repairs, Pay monthly, Repair & protect your whole appliance..
50% off annual membership
Subscribe to Which? today and save 30% on Digital Annual subscription for your first year. Offer ends 18.03.24. This offer is only available for new Which? annual subscriptions (excluding Gardening, Travel, Computing or Money packages).