Find the best hand washing detergent

Finding the best hand washing detergent for clothes

Find the right detergent that gives you the results you want. Read on to learn all about the difference between soap and detergent and how to choose a washing detergent that’s great for hand washing clothes.

What is the difference between soap and detergent?

While soaps and detergents have a few things in common (for example, they both clean things), they’re actually not quite the same. Soaps are usually made with natural ingredients, whereas detergents are usually made from synthetic ingredients. The natural ingredients in soap may seem like the more attractive option, especially if you use chemicals with caution, but, if you live in a hard water area – where your water supply is high in minerals such as calcium and magnesium – soap can react to these minerals and leave a residue behind on your clothes when you wash them. Detergent contains ingredients that work against hard water, so your clothes don’t get this build-up of filmy residue, and your garments keep their bright colours or brilliant whiteness.

Why you should use hand washing detergent?

Can you use standard laundry detergent on all clothes? Not really − especially if you’re hand washing delicate fabrics, like wool or silk. Some laundry detergents contain enzymes that can slowly break down such fibres.

Even if you wash all garments by hand − even non-delicate, machine-washable items − you still need a detergent that’s suitable for hand washing. You need something that will get the stains out of your garments, easily, even without the agitation you’d get in a fully-automatic washing machine. This means you need a detergent for hand washing clothes that removes stains and odours, and gives you powerful cleaning results.

Which detergent should you use for hand washing?

Not all laundry loads are created equal, so it’s important to choose the right laundry detergent for your needs. This is why Ariel has created different laundry detergents specifically suited to hand washing.

Ariel Complete

Removes tough stains in just 1 wash.

Ariel Colour

Removes tough stains and prevent your cloured clothes from fading with Ariel's colour protection technology.

Ariel Perfect Wash

How to wash clothes by hand

You can see great laundry results even if you hand wash. Just follow a few simple steps when you hand wash garments to get clean, stain-free clothes.

  • 1


    Whether you’re looking to wash colours or you want outstanding freshness, see Ariel’s detergents designed for hand washing.

    1. Pick the right detergent.
  • 2


    Separate the darks and colours from the whites before washing. Start by washing the whites and then move onto the darker colours. If you have a new item that’s dyed, wash it completely separately at first.

    2. Sort clothes.
  • 3


    Use deep, wide tubs or a tub and a sink, and fill each tub 3/4 full with water. The temperature should be around 29˚C, a temperature that’s still comfortable to touch. Too cold, and the stains may not get removed, too hot, and dyes can bleed.

    3. Fill two tubs with water.
  • 4


    Follow the dosing instructions for powder on the package of hand washing detergent.

    4. Add detergent to one tub.
  • 5


    Put the clothes in the tub with the detergent until they’re fully submerged. Use your hands to move the clothes around in a swishing motion to get the dirt out. You should do this for around three minutes or until the clothes are clean. Don’t scrub, twist or rub clothes in the water as this can damage fabric fibres.

    5. Wash clothes.
  • 6


    Transfer the clothes into the tub of clean water, and pull them in and out of the water, for two to three minutes, to remove any left-over detergent. If you notice the clothes are still soapy, change the water and rinse them again until they’re free from suds.

    6. Rinse clothes.
  • 7


    Do not wring the clothes out as this can damage the fabric, instead you’ll want to lift them up above the water and let them drip into the tub, bath or basin.When most of the water is gone, place the clothes on a rack or a clean towel or bed and leave them to dry flat.

    7. Let the clothes drip & Lay flat to dry.

Ariel is here to help you see outstanding laundry results, whether you do the laundry by hand, with a semi-automatic washing machine, or with a fully-automatic washing machine.