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Biological or Non-Bio, liquid or powder. What do you use and why? Is one better than the other?

(52 Posts)
Suddengeekgirl Tue 02-Jun-15 14:56:45

I have always used a non-bio powder. Because that's what my mum used when I lived at home.

I sort of assumed that it was good for sensitive skin but I don't know why! confused

Can you tell me what you use and why?

Fwiw I use aldi non-bio and no fabric conditioner (often irritated by the strong smells). Our washing comes out clean and washer drawer isn't full of slimey gunk.

dementedpixie Tue 02-Jun-15 15:03:35

bio powder for whites. bio powder for colours (it is the one specifically for colours as it has no bleaches in it)

liquids have no bleaches so are not as good for whites. My machine got sludge in the drum when I used liquids so I changed to powder instead

DramaAlpaca Tue 02-Jun-15 15:04:07

I use Aldi Almat Bio tablets.

I buy them because they are much cheaper than the big brands, they are a Which? best buy, they don't smell too strong, and they do the job perfectly.

I don't ever use fabric conditioner because I don't like the scent of any of them, and I prefer powder to liquid because I think it cleans better.

When my DC were babies I used non-bio powder, but I switched to bio when they got bigger. Nobody in the family reacts to the Aldi one, even though a couple of us have sensitive skin.

If I did buy a branded washing powder, it would be Ariel, because I can tolerate the smell of it.

dementedpixie Tue 02-Jun-15 15:04:29

I use fabric conditioner too- whatever smell takes my fancy

blueistheonlycolourwefeel Tue 02-Jun-15 15:07:45

Non-bio persil or fairy.

I itch like crazy if I use bio ones annoying when I sleep in hotels

I use labor or comfort fabric softener or dettol cleaner if work clothes--emergency services--

Mintyy Tue 02-Jun-15 15:10:35

I use powder in the big boxes, not tablets. Sainsbury's own brand seems as good as any, but I will buy Fairy when its on offer because I love the smell. I use non bio on the children's bedding and on towels, colours bio on all our coloured clothes. Powders are definitely better for the machine and give fewer smelly washing machine problems.

I wash and dry everything inside out to prevent fading.

For sweaty armpit smells, dampen the area with cold water, squeeze on a few drops of anti bacterial washing up liquid (as in Fairy etc) and rub the armpits together, leave for 15 minutes or so before washing.

Also works on grass stains.

MagratGarlik Tue 02-Jun-15 15:14:41

Non-bio powder because ds2 has eczema, made worse by some detergents (esp. bio ones). I used to work in the labs of one of the large washing powder manufacturers and the actual active detergent was the same in their cheapest and most expensive brands - only the perfume was different.

HotFudge87 Tue 02-Jun-15 15:17:32

Always use powder and put it straight in to the drum not the drawer... My dad is a washing machine mechanic and would kill me if I did otherwise Lol. X

MajesticWhine Tue 02-Jun-15 15:20:07

I use Persil non-bio liquid tablets, because of sensitive skin in other family members. I also use the colour protective stuff, which is biological I think, but I mostly use it on my own stuff, and I like how it doesn't fade the colours of my jeans. I use a ton of fabric conditioner. I love it.

JemFinch Tue 02-Jun-15 15:22:34

Always non bio as we have crappy skin, otherwise I would use bio and conditioner.

I use liquid, or powder tablets. The gel capsules don't dissolve properly at 30 or on a hand / gentle wash and you get sticky bits when you take the wash out.

MonstrousRatbag Tue 02-Jun-15 15:27:01

Surcare, a gentle non-bio because of sensitive skin etc in the family. Surcare liquid for delicates. Persil bio for some of my stuff that can only be washed at low temperatures.

For stains and unfortunate accidents (the children, not me or DH) we find the occasional addition of some Napisan to the Surcare gets things clean without causing skin problems.

Whatever you do, don't use as much Persil as my sister. You can smell her family coming from miles away.

rabbit123 Tue 02-Jun-15 16:10:09

BL00CowWonders Tue 02-Jun-15 16:35:23

Big box non-bio powder for 60 +
Bio Liquid for 40 degrees.
Both straight in drum.

Branleuse Tue 02-Jun-15 16:38:31

I use non bio powder, with an occasional bio wash to freshen it all up

sebsmummy1 Tue 02-Jun-15 16:38:31

I use non bio liquid, usually Fairy or Persil with separate fabric conditioner. I use bio because I think it's less likely to cause a reaction with my 2 year old DS. I use liquid because I've had issues with powder clogging the machine and sometimes sticking to clothes might be because I overload the machine blush

Starlightbright1 Tue 02-Jun-15 16:41:01

I use fairy on persil non bio as DS has sensitive skin. He reacted to Morrisons non bio so never tired anything else

rabbit123 Tue 02-Jun-15 18:23:31

Just a heads up for all the Mums out there buying non-bio for the sensitive aspect - non bio has more chemicals in it than bio. The enzymes don't cause irritation, it's the chemical perfumes that trigger them.

The UK is the only country where non bio still exists.

BikeRunSki Tue 02-Jun-15 18:27:56

Non bio, all bios bring me out in a rash, regardless of what anyone says. The same when as I was 8 as 38.... I have tried many, many bios. I was recently staying with my PiL and DH did some washing without paying attention to the washing powder. I had to stop at the services on the way home to take my jeans off my legs were so itchy. Looked like I had Rubella.

Powder (well tablets) because I don't like the sludge with liquids and you can just stick them in the machine with no measuring out

fussychica Tue 02-Jun-15 18:58:03

Aldi Almat powder tablets. Bio and coloured. Work brilliantly and are cheap. Never had any skin issues with them.

teacherwith2kids Tue 02-Jun-15 19:05:18


DH has a secret stash of something bio and powerful, which i KNOW gets his shirts whiter..... but he then has to be the only one who touches those shirts as I look quite enough like Elephant Man without any additional allergic responses.

BornToFolk Tue 02-Jun-15 19:11:00

Bio for whites, non-bio for everything else. I tend to use what's on offer or what I can get cheaply in B&M or Savers. So, at the moment, it's Ariel Bio Gel and Method Non-Bio Liquid, both of which I like. The only brand I never buy is Persil because I hate the smell!

I run a 90 degree service wash with white vinegar, when I can remember to do it and the machine never smells or goes gunky.

yehbutnobutyeh Tue 02-Jun-15 19:18:30

You read my mind, OP! Was going to post this very question. But never got around to it... Obvs...!

Well times are a-changing here... Always upon always used liquid - anything on offer, but always branded. As a kid, my Mum did too. And I also bought on hols on the continent as you could buy mahoosive bottles that you couldn't here... I always thought you avoided the white powdery streaks with liquid and that it kept the laundry softer. But back then it was just DH and I and we never really got any clothes really dirty.

But since having DS, I totally agree they are rubbish at stains. Honestly... The amount of stains that Persil NON-BIO powder gets out amazes me - both on clothes and when applied to felt tips on toys etc ... I know it's the bleaches but I am converted. I have got a big box of Surf (reduced aisle!) on the go at the moment which is nice. I do still think they leave clothes hard so I do use softener although I have halved the amounts I use of powder and softener as they seem SO strong to me and I really don't see the difference. Plus I wash at 95° and 60° mostly so that helps.

Interesting comments about putting the powder in the drum though... I will try in earnest from tomorrow (going to be nice weather so I've saved about 10 loads to do!) as washing out that detergent drawer is a pet hate of mine!!

Do you just sprinkle it on? What's the logic behind it, out of interest? Fewer places for it to clog up, I suppose?

And for what it's worth, my Mum has also changed to powder after probably 20 years of liquid. She was convinced it made her machine smell funky so maybe they've changed the formula or something.

Anyway, very long winded but there you go!


rabbit123 Tue 02-Jun-15 22:08:52

BornToFolk, there is no liquid detergent that contains bleaching agents, so any liquid can be used for darks. You don't need to buy both a bio and non bio liquid. Only powders contain bleach which is why they leave clothes and your washing machine cleaner.

Non-Bio powder contains more bleach than bio, but bio also has enzymes in which do most of the work anyway.

rabbit123 Tue 02-Jun-15 22:10:55

yehbutnobutyeh, put the powder in the drum first, then the clothes. The powder will fall through the holes and dissolve as the water level rises.

You will still need to clean out the drawer though as it will go moldy over time.

Missingsleepandthecat Tue 02-Jun-15 23:51:17

I use bio on our washing but DS2's skin is easily irritated by perfumes.
Non bio has more testing put into the perfumes,etc than bio does, which is why he doesn't react to it, surf was the worst offender for it. We use ariel or Persil and Ds2 likes the non bio persil, fairy and store brands. He loves Ecover bio tablets but we can't always get them which is a bugger...

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