Best washing pods: the top liquid capsules for clean, fresh laundry

Buy the best washing pods to tackle stubborn stains and give clothes and bedlinen a lovely fresh fragrance

Included in this guide:

best washing pods and john lewis washing machine
(Image credit: Zanussi)

Finding the best washing pods will ensure your laundry comes straight out of the washing machine clean and fresh. Some of us find washing pods a better solution than washing powder, which is easily spilt and sometimes a little awkward to dispense. 

Laundry pods, or capsules, can simply be popped straight into the drum with the wash. Plus, with three-in-one options as well as those developed specially for coloured fabrics and for sensitive skin, there’s a product out there that’s perfect for everyone. To help you determine which is the best, we’ve listed the best washing pods you can buy right now. 

Our pick includes capsules with built-in fabric softener and a lovely fresh floral fragrance to those that lift stains and brighten colours at the same time. Then to really ensure your clothes are kept in the best condition, make sure you have the best washing machine, too.

What are the best washing pods?

We think the best washing pods you can buy are Bold 3-in-1 Pods Spring Awakening Washing Liquid Capsules. You’ll get fantastic cleaning results with built-in softener, so will save on buying separate detergent and softener. They also leave laundry with a lovely scent that lingers long after washing. We also love the Surf Tropical Laundry Capsules, as their exotic aroma reminds us of summer holidays, beach towels and swimsuits.

Read our full reviews below.

The best washing pods

Bold 3-in-1 Pods Spring Awakening Liquid Capsules

(Image credit: Bold)

1. Bold 3-in-1 Pods Spring Awakening Liquid Capsules

We think these are the best washing pods: easy to use, they come with built-in Lenor softener so they clean, freshen and soften all in one

Best for: An all in one solution that’s simple to use and does everything in one go
Size: 55 washes
Reasons to buy
+Comes with fabric softener built in+Excellent cleaning results+Smells fabulous
Reasons to avoid
-Some buyers say the fresh fragrance doesn’t last long-Some say you need two capsules in a larger washing machine

Best for…
An all in one liquid detergent solution that washes, softens and gives laundry a lovely fresh smell of lotus flower, water lily and forget me not flowers so no need to splash out on separate fabric softener.

Use one capsule per load of laundry for best cleaning results along with softer fabrics and a gorgeous fresh fragrance, which is designed by Lenor perfume experts.

Larger box
You won’t find this size in shops and you’ll get 55 washes so your money goes a lot further too.

For an even fresher wash, you could use these pods with Lenor Spring Awakening fabric conditioner too. And there is a matching washing powder, washing liquid and washing gel for the full set.

Good to know
Your clothes and bedlinen will still smell fresh even after tumble drying and you can use these washing pods in both soft and hard water areas.

Surf Tropical Laundry Capsules

(Image credit: Surf)

2. Surf Tropical Laundry Capsules

Get the heady aroma of tropical lily and ylang ylang with these liquid laundry capsules

Best for: Reviving and freshening up tired clothes and bedding
Size: 20 washes
Reasons to buy
+Fabulous tropical fragrance+Cleans laundry brilliantly+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Some may find the exotic scent too much

Best for…
When you want a burst of exotic fragrance from your laundry, Surf Tropical liquid capsules combine tropical lily with ylang ylang for a lovely scent on clothes and bedding.

Brilliantly clean
As well as releasing an exotic fragrance, these capsules also give great cleaning results on clothes and bedlinen.

The sensual smell of ylang ylang is said to reconnect body and mind, creating feelings of euphoria, while lily ranks in the top five most popular fresh cut flowers in the world.

Suitable for both colours and whites, these washing pods release their fragrance throughout the day so laundry stays fresh for longer.

Good to know
For best results use one capsule for a standard wash in soft or medium water and two capsules for heavy soiling, hard water areas or a 6-8kg larger washing machine.

Ariel 3-in-1 Pods Original Washing Liquid Capsules

(Image credit: Ariel)

3. Ariel 3-in-1 Pods Original Washing Liquid Capsules

These liquid pods will clean brilliantly, even lifting stubborn stains that are ground in

Best for: Brightening bold colours even at 30˚
Size: 55 washes
Reasons to buy
+Lifts stubborn stains+Brightens your wash+Cleans at low temperatures
Reasons to avoid
-Some buyers say the capsules stick together in the bag or can burst

Best for…
All the cleaning power you need in one little capsule. They work by using a multi-compartment pod that keeps the ingredients stable and separate until they reach the wash, then you get a super-concentrated cleaning power. Plus, the capsule film dissolves completely when it comes into contact with water. 

Tough on stains
All kinds of stains will be removed thanks to these washing wonders even in the first wash so no need to do a second load. 

Exact dosing
There’s no need to worry about how much to add to the wash as each pod has exactly the right ingredients to lift stains, clean and brighten your clothes.

Try with a Touch of Febreze for an extra fresh smell after washing.

Good to know
To take extra care of colours and prevent fading, use Ariel 3-in-1 Pods Colour & Style, which are created specially to keep your brights bright.

Persil colour catching persil washing capsules

(Image credit: Persil)

4. Persil 3-in-1 Colour Washing Capsules

These washing pods combine powerful stain removal with colour care

Best for: Keeping your colourful clothes bold and bright
Size: 50 washes
Reasons to buy
+Triple action for stain removal, fabric care and freshness+Easy to use+Large pack ideal for families
Reasons to avoid
-Packaging isn’t childproof to store out of reach

Best for…
Giving excellent cleaning power while preserving bold colours and patterns each and every wash. The triple action formula combines impressive stain removal with a fresh smell that lasts. 

Stubborn stains
Whatever stains you’re dealing with, whether it’s mud and grass or wine and grease, Persil takes care of it with tough stain removal

Fabric care
Your clothes and bedlinen will be treated with care thanks to the gentle formula that’s kind on textures. 

Your laundry will come out of the machine smelling ultra fresh and will carry on smelling sweet as the days go on.

Neutral 0% Sensitive White Washing Capsules

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Neutral 0% Sensitive White Washing Capsules

These pods are specially designed to work with sensitive skin and are hypoallergenically and dermatologically tested and approved

Best for: Those with sensitive skin or allergies
Size: 110 washes
Reasons to buy
+Contains 0% perfume and 0% colourants+Keeps whites white
Reasons to avoid
-It’s not non-bio so don’t use it with septic tanks-Some buyers miss having a fragrance

Best for…
Those with sensitive skin or skin allergies, as these washing pods are perfume and colourant-free. They also have the Allergy UK Seal of Approval 

Cleans effectively
As well as being kind on skin, these capsules are also great at washing clothes and help keep your whites white for longer. 

Neutral 0 per cent
There are no unnecessary chemicals or additives in these capsules so no need to worry about perfumes, optical brighteners or colourants. 

Use with Neutral kind to skin fabric conditioner for a softer feel after each wash. 

Good to know
These capsules, along with all Neutral household products, have the Allergy UK Seal of Approval.

Presto! Laundry Capsules Colour

(Image credit: Presto!)

6. Presto! Laundry Capsules Colour

With a double chamber to boost stain removal while keeping colours bright, these washing pods have long lasting freshness

Best for: When you want to keep colours bold and vibrant while removing stubborn stains
Size: 38 washes
Reasons to buy
+Active stain removal technology+Long lasting freshness+Colour treatment action
Reasons to avoid
-May need to use two pods in a hard water area

Best for…
Colour care. These capsules are specially formulated to tackle tough stains while keeping clothes bold and bright while also smelling sweet.

Stain removal
For really effective stain removal, Presto! handles all sorts of spills, splashes and stains on all types of fabrics.

Fresh smelling
Once the laundry is done, your clothes and bedlinen will smell super-fresh and fragrant for days afterwards. 

Great on coloured clothes, helping to prevent fading while keeping them bright and fresh. 

Good to know
If you want a stronger smell, use with fabric dryer sheets or washing beads.

How to buy the best washing pods

With so many brands and different types to choose from, it can be difficult to know which washing pods are the best for your laundry needs. Pods are so convenient and easy to use, as there’s no measuring out or dosing to worry about. Simply pop a pod in the drum of the machine and away you go. It can be more expensive than using washing powder or a liquid detergent that you pour into the detergent drawer but for many, the convenience outweighs the cost.

Water temperature
Check before you buy that your washing pod will work effectively in the wash temperature that you tend to use most often. So if you favour an eco-friendly 30˚ programme, make sure the detergent is compatible with cooler cycles.

Active ingredients
Look for things like stain removal technology and enzymes that work to break down stains such as mud, tomato, grass and grease but if you need a product that’s more eco-friendly and works with a septic tank then you need a non-bio washing pod or something that uses only plant-based extracts.

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Hayley Gilbert
Hayley Gilbert

Hayley is an interiors journalist with 24 years experience who has contributed to a huge range of consumer magazines, trade titles, newspapers and blogs. She has seen so many trends come and go - and come back round again - and has spent the last few years doing up her house in Hampshire. She loves the industrial look and is still a fan of grey in all its many forms. Hayley specialises in writing about kitchens and appliances – although can cover all interiors subjects with ease. For, Hayley writes about small appliances and health and beauty gadgets