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Fairy’s no longer the Queen of washing-up liquids

Different washing-up liquids

It’s dominated our tests for 20 years, but now the unthinkable has happened. Fairy’s place as the top washing-up liquid has been usurped – by a much younger and cheaper model. Is it time to clean out the Fairy?

We were as surprised as anyone by these results. Fairy’s been at the top our washing-up liquid tests for so long that it seemed like it would never be knocked off. Just last year, it scored 90%, while the next-best liquid on test got 69%.

But products change formulas all the time, which is why we keep testing the likes of washing-up liquid every year. This year’s test showed that Aldi’s Magnum Premium Original and Fairy Original were equally good at removing fat, but the foam bubbles in Aldi’s liquid lasted longer.

This is important because when the foam disappears, it acts as a visual cue for people to add another squirt of liquid, even if it’s still working.

The price isn’t right

Aldi’s improved performance is down to them adding more active ingredients to the liquid, but it’s still cheap at 59p for a 500ml bottle.

In contrast, Fairy has been systematically reducing the size of its bottle over the last two years, from 500ml to 450ml and now 433ml. But has it reduced its price? No.

Fairy told us that changes in the formula have made a more concentrated liquid, allowing them to reduce the bottle’s volume, but it seems like a sneaky way of raising prices to me.

And it’s not just Aldi’s washing-up liquid that impressed us recently – Aldi Del Rivo orange juice with bits was also awarded a Best Buy in our orange juice test.

Have you used Aldi Magnum washing-up liquid? If not, will you give it a try? Or will you be sticking with Fairy?

anak says:
9 July 2012

I will definitely be changing from Fairy Liquid to another brand as it definitely is not nearly as good as it used to be. I sometimes have to wash things twice because it is not removing the grease well enough. What’s more my hands are breaking out with Dermatitis and I have to wear rubber gloves which I hate.

M Wilkins says:
1 November 2016

I have noticed a decline in performance with fairy luquid. I’m assuming that one of the chemicles has been removed . Due to to damage to the environment or cancer scares. Which has happened to a lot of other products such as paints and weed killers etc.

swim says:
15 August 2012

I am also going to change from Fairy. It doesn’t remove grease even in the hottest of water. The only way I have been successful is to use it neat (on a sponge), rinse off into the washing up bowl, and continue with the rest of the (non greasy) dishes. I also get Dermatitis.

Dean L says:
10 October 2012

I have been using Fairy for quite a few years now and it has only been this last 6 months or so that FFairy has started to give me Dermatitis, My Doctor couldnt work out why my skin on my hands was cracking, I did ask about washing up liquid and he asked what do i use and how long have i used it for and said naaaa it cant be Fairy, so i went to the hospital for tests and they comfirmed it def is the Fairy washing up liquid.
I am guessing that the company that make fairy have put something in it to cause this to my hands.
I have now changed to Aldi Magnum washing up liquid which lasts longer and smells better. I prefer the Bamboo version of Magnum although no complaints for the others i just prefer Bamboo.
I think Something needs to be done regarding the Fairy causing skin issues and maybe the company should look into this (something has def changed at Fairy)

Brig says:
10 April 2014

I have terrible problems caused by fairy washing liquid. My skin cracks and it takes at least a week for them to recover again. I’m going to stop using Fairy.


I absolutely agree. Fairy liquid is not what it used to be. We don’t have Aldi that close but might just find one and go there!! I’d be keen to know a good alternative in other supermarkets.

googles says:
28 January 2013

I absolutely agree with other users of Fairy Liquid in that it is nowhere near as effective as it used to be. I imagine I use about twice as much of the product than before and it is obvious that the manufactures have watered down the formula so we have to buy it more often. I for one will now try other brands such as Aldi’s to see if I can get better value for money.


My partner and were discussing the quality of fairy liquid past and present. The original used to last for ever in the bowl. Now, even after putting a strong squirt in it just dies.
We are convinced it is a poorer product.

2 February 2013

I agree that is is not easy for everyone to go to ALDI however when I visit my family there is an ALDI there I just buy 12 bottles and they last me the whole year and at 59p it is very affordable.