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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?

Ian Jacklin says:
4 March 2021

It’s so sad that I find myself here while looking for contact information for Proctor and Gamble. My complaint relates to Fairy Liquid. Having read through the comments, everything i feel needs saying has been said. Fairy has become a very poor product and like many here, I’ve used it for many years. Time to try Lidl and Aldi. No more purchases of Fairy for me, it’s just rubbish! Why did they change the formula? A response from the manufacturer would be most welcome! When the brand goes extinct they’ll wonder why! Heads up P&G !

David Bryce says:
4 March 2021

The improved scent is awful and no improvement whatsoever. If it’s not broken dont fix it.

Adrienne Meager says:
10 April 2021

10/04/2021 just discovered that my Supermarket delivered 2 x more fairy liquids with allegedly improved scent. It’s awful stuff and I don’t like using it at all. My glassware is all cloudy and that’s not good at all so I don’t have much faith in my post and pans getting the clean they used to get with the original “not tampered with version”.

I will be looking out for the old version in shops from now on and I will have to stock pile it because I just can’t stand the smell and poor quality of this product sadly.

Have you tried using other brands, Adrienne? Washing-up liquid is cheap enough to carry out our own tests. I hate the smell of some products too.

The word ‘original’ does not have a great deal of meaning in my experience. I remember when the word was used in the names of beers and every one was new.

Kim Alexander Morfin says:
9 May 2021

Without a doubt the product has changed and is inferior to other cheaper brands. Also the screw top seems to be welded on to stop you rinsing the bottle to use last of the product.

Do their marketing prople think we will not notice, Not much point having a screw top that ypu cannpt unscrew

Perry says:
9 May 2021

I bought Fairy ‘original’ and made sure it wasn’t the ‘Platinum’ option – which I bought by mistake and ended up giving to a neighbour after 3 washes because the synthetic smell was so bad! Yet on using the ‘original’ Fairy – I could suddenly smell that same awful synthetic smell – I’d picked up a bottle of Fairy original but with the so-called improved scent. I’ll be giving this bottle away as well, and am now on the lookout for unscented washing up liquid. Message to the marketing people at Fairy: “If it’s not broken – don’t fix it.”

The new improved scent fairy is horrendous horrible and I always have bought fairy so now I bought the fairy lemon and the scent is never like it used to be and you can hardly smell the lemon . I will not be buying it again

Camilla Hawkins says:
5 June 2021

I’m so glad I stumbled on this page as I rang Procter & Gamble to complain about the awful scent and asked how they could possibly still call this original when it wasn’t. The first call handler put the phone down on me mid sentence, after reading all these comments it’s probably not surprising. It’s such a shame that it also doesn’t seem to wash as well as it used to either. I was sent a voucher to try their unoerfumed variant which I’d never seen. I asked if they sold it in Tesco and was told yes. I looked in store and online and it’s not currently available. So I tried to use the tokens for something else and was told by Tesco that they were void. I will be trying Aldi now!

Jad says:
4 July 2021

I have been using Fairy Platinium for several years, and found it to be good. However, recently I have found it really disappointing…it just doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Phoned P & C, and apparently they recently changed the formula…Why fix something that isn’t broken??
As I’m really only happy paying a premium price for a premium product, I am going to try Aldi’s own brand as it gets excellent reviews from Which?

Yvonne Walker says:
16 July 2021

Improved scent indeed. It’s vile!
Proper Original Fairy Liquid has a lovely smell.
Please please please bring it back.

David Pearson says:
20 August 2021

I’m a man of 70. Yes us old Bu*****s are allway on about how things were better. I do think that Fairy liquid is not as good as it was. The grease does not off like it used too. Does any old ‘uns think the same?

GDav says:
6 November 2021

Sadly I will not be using fairy liquid again it says new improved it should say replaced with cheaper less affective product G ,A inverness

Don S says:
18 April 2022

I thought I was going mad the first few times I used Fairy platinum – it leaves an incredibly persistent perfume and taste on everything even after rinsing- ruins food and drink – it seems not everybody is as sensitive- I can’t imagine what chemicals they are using but it must be very powerful- disgusting stuff

Sarah says:
23 May 2022

I agree with all these comments, I’ve always used fairy liquid but my last bottle just didn’t remove the grease properly even when I addled more, I emailed P&G (something I’ve never done before) they initially replied for more information which I gave but haven’t heard back, definitely changing brands now!