Canstar Blue’s 2021 dishwashing liquids review compares Tandil (ALDI), Unamat (ALDI), Palmolive, Earth Choice, Green Action (ALDI), Morning Fresh, Woolworths Essentials, Coles Ultra, Fairy and Shine on effectiveness, final result, scent, ease of use, environmental friendliness, value for money and overall satisfaction.
When you’re tucking into a delicious meal, the last thing you’re thinking of is the dishes. But when the final mouthful is done, the mountain of plates and cutlery still needs attention, potentially spoiling your appetite for dessert! While many of us will turn to our trusty dishwasher to take care of business, some of us may stick to the more traditional way of cleaning – handwashing. As a result, dishwashing liquid is a staple in many homes, but just which one do you turn to for squeaky clean dishes?
To find out which dishwashing liquid washes up best, we surveyed more than 2,000 Australians on the dishwashing liquids they purchased and used in the last three months. Respondents were asked to rate brands on their effectiveness, final result, scent, ease of use, environmental friendliness, value for money and overall satisfaction. Brands that met the minimum required survey sample size of 30 responses are featured in our results.
ALDI’s Tandil Ultra continues to sparkle, returning as the only brand to achieve five stars for overall satisfaction for the second year in a row. The supermarket private label also cleared the table with full marks for most of the remaining categories.
Here are the best dishwashing liquids in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:
ALDI’s Tandil Ultra came back for seconds, earning full marks in six out of seven research categories ─ including overall satisfaction. Most other brands scrubbed up on four stars overall, except for Shine which finished on three stars.
ALDI’s other private label, Unamat, also impressed on ease of use and value for money, as did fellow supermarket brand Woolworths Essentials. Morning Fresh similarly received full marks for scent, while Earth Choice rated best for environmental friendliness.
Aimed to give more bang for your buck, ALDI Tandil Ultra is said to be ‘ultra-concentrated’ to help you use less product and make the most out of each bottle. It’s also described as being tough on grease, phosphate-free and filled with a supposedly odour-neutralising fragrance. Tandil Ultra can be picked up for around $1.59 for a 450ml bottle. Various fragrance options include lemon antibacterial, lemon & lime, orange, Power Soak n’ Clean and sweet pea & freesia.
ALDI Unamat is generally the cheapest dishwashing option at ALDI, typically available for less than $1 for a 1L bottle. And while you may not expect such a cheap choice to be eco-friendly, the Unamat formula is said to be phosphate-free, greywater safe and biodegradable.
It seems only a natural progression for one of the longest-running soap companies in Australia to turn its hand to cleaning our dirty dishes as well. The Palmolive product range covers the brand’s regular formulas, ultra-concentrates, and eco-friendly options for those who want a sustainable dishwashing solution. The brand’s regular line-up offers the Palmolive Regular Dry Skin, which is said to be hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested, plus fragrances such as antibacterial lemon, cucumber lemon and sweet pea. You can get these in 400ml, 500ml, 750ml and 1.3L bottles, depending on the product.
Arguably one of the biggest eco-friendly options on the market, Earth Choice dishwashing liquids are all claimed to be plant-based, and both greywater and septic system safe. Earth Choice also boasts its dishwashing liquids as being biodegradable, cruelty-free accredited, and packaged in fully recycled bottles. Earth Choice also remains one of the most affordable choices and comes in plenty of fruity scents, plus a fragrance-free option for those with sensitive skin.
Another option for those who shop at ALDI is its Green Action dishwashing liquid. ALDI Green Action is claimed to be made from biodegradable, plant-based surfactants and is phosphate-free. It’s also suitable for greywater and septic systems. You can pick up a recyclable PET plastic bottle in a choice of lemongrass & kaffir lime, pomegranate & mango, or vanilla scent.
Morning Fresh offers one of the largest ranges of dishwashing liquids of any brand. This includes Regular, Ultimate, Antibacterial and Advanced Fast Dry. A small amount goes a long way, according to the brand, stating the formula is super concentrated and that one squirt is enough to cut grease. The Ultimate range is also said to continue attacking germs and odours left on the sponge for up to 24 hours. Many of the products are also said to be dermatologically tested, biodegradable, free of animal testing and packaged in a recyclable bottle.
Across the range, you can find fragrances like raspberry & crisp apple, white tea, lemon, antibacterial lemon and orange & tea tree. The bottles can be found in a range of sizes, from a handy 350ml bottle, up to 900ml bottles.
If you’re just after a simple and super cheap option, Woolworths Essentials doesn’t make it any easier than this. The supermarket homebrand currently only offers the Essentials Dishwashing liquid in a lime scent, with a 1L bottle costing just under $1.
Coles Ultra is the supermarket’s own range of household cleaning products. Coles Ultra comes in 450ml and 900ml bottles, with the choice of lychee & lime blossom or lemon scent. Each concentrate costs just $1.70 per 450ml bottle, or $2.70 for 900ml.
It’s been washing dishes for over a century, and Fairy still keeps it old-school simple, with several different dishwashing concentrate liquid formulas to pick from – Original, Antibacterial and Lemon. These are said to remove up to 99.9% of bacteria on the sponge, and use Fairy’s Lift Action to cut and clean grease. You can usually pick up a 475ml or 495ml bottle of Fairy dishwashing liquid for $5.
Offering a few options for supermarket shoppers to choose from, Shine dishwashing liquid comes in 450ml and 900ml capacities. They come in a few fragrances including peony & lychee and lemon. These are stated to be biodegradable, greywater and septic safe, and contain no added phosphates.
This year, ALDI’s Tandil Ultra proved to be an all-rounder while Earth Choice seemed to be the top pick for Aussies looking for an environmentally-friendly product. Supermarket labels Tandil Ultra, Unamat (both ALDI brands) and Woolworths Essentials also stood out as being good bang for buck. Whatever your decision, if you’re left slaving over the sink every time you need a clean plate, it might be time to switch.
Our latest survey shows that two-fifths (41%) of consumers stick to the same brand of dishwashing liquid, with one in three (33%) having tried more than one type of product to find out which works best. Only 19% of shoppers grab the cheapest label on the shelf, while 26% of consumers surveyed find concentrated liquids to be a better buy.
When it comes to washing up, it seems many Aussies have a good habit of cleaning their dishes immediately after every meal (42%). Meanwhile, one in four (27%) people prefer to do it all at once, at the end of the day. The sink can also get pretty soapy, with 19% admitting to using too much dishwashing liquid.
While the dishes are often just another chore to tick off the to-do list, you’ll want a dishwashing liquid that does the job. Otherwise, you’ll have to use a lot more elbow grease! With plenty of options available, choosing one to put in the shopping trolley will likely come down to personal preference, such as one that leaves your dishes smelling fresh, or perhaps you’ll prefer to find an option that’s gentle on your skin or your budget!
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.
Photo Credit: VADL/shutterstock.com
Canstar Blue surveyed more than 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased and used dishwashing liquid(s) in the last three months (note: this is for handwashing dishes only. It does not refer to detergent that is used in the dishwasher) – in this case, 2,062 people.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.
Check out the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s dishwashing liquid ratings:
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