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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?

Nicola says:
10 March 2016

I have just discovered the wash liquid anfry pots become clean extra quick squeaky clean no scrubbing and dry with no water marks yet I cannot find anywhere that sells it in the UK (I was abroad when I used it (

We never buy fairy liquid, instead we buy aldi washing up liquid which is half the price of fairy

I know this is an oldish thread but I have just stopped using Fairy. after a lifetime ( I am 60 now) .My mum used it and my gran used it, so literally a lifetime. I have suddenly acquired an allergic reaction to something they have started to put in it. I am not an allergic type of person, so this is serious. Anyway, I am now on Tesco’s or Asda’s own cheap and cheerful which doesn’t give the same problem. Am looking for something new….. suggestions welcome.

Aldi or Lidl should be given a try. They do some excellent products and we have used them regularly since around 2006.

Muhammad Siddiquie says:
28 December 2016

not any single dishwashing liquid take a place of Fairy Liquid

I have noticed the difference in fairy liquid. I always buy the 750ml bottle although this last bottle i bought looked as though it contained 700ml and all the batch looked the same, It doesn,t cut through the grease like it used to and it used to last ages, now it last a couple of weeks and im finding bits of food on cutlery and dishes that have been washed and put away. I will definitely not be buying fairy again, I shall be going to aldi/lidel or super markets own brand in future.

Melanie says:
21 March 2017

I agree with previous comments…Fairy original is nowhere near what it used to be. Have used Fairy for over 38 years but feel it’s so poor quality. It just doesn’t cut through the grease, meaning you have to add more and more detergent. And where have all those thick bubbles gone?! They disburse within minutes! It has been watered down and is so runny compared to the thick consistency it once was. Sorry Fairy….it’s time for a change to a better detergent and I won’t be buying you anymore!

Karl Sultana says:
27 May 2017

I have used Fairy Liquid for over 20 years, but not any more. It’s a fact that it is not as concentrated as it used to be, there’s no denying it & feels as if it has been diluted, pity & shame on you Fairy Liquid!
I now use Aldi’s Everyday Magnum Lemon washing up liquid, it’s just as concentrated as Fairy Liquid & at 59p it’s definitely a very good buy.

This comment was removed at the request of the user

I have found that both Lidls and Tescos liquid has a thicker consistency which sticks to plates and dissolves very slowly. Tescos also squirts out more wastefully as the hole is bigger.

Aldi have replaced magnum with a”new” washing up ;liquid named”easy”.
.Much more of this has to be added, and it is still nowhere as good-.Aldi must think they can getaway with this.I hope which? will test this one soon, A definite “don’t buy” in this household.I’ll go back to fairy liquid.

Lyn Butler says:
30 October 2018

I too am 60 and used Fairy all my married life. I have found the new formular a waste of time. It says new lift formula but all it does is suspend the oil and fat in the water. Sink and dishes are left with a film of oil whereas before it dissolved and drained away. How does one contact them to complain?

I’m no longer going to buy Fairy Liquid as they’ve changed the formula. Nowhere near as good. Think Aldi Magnum is the way to go.

I’m still getting acceptable results with Fairy but I have no objection to using other brands too.

I have started using Aldi’s magnum cheaper than fairy and seems to work better

PJ Godfrey says:
24 April 2020

Agree that formula has changed. The water has to be changed several times during the washing up for a few saucepans or whilst cake making. Tonight I could not clean an oily bottle at all with almost boiling water and 3 Fairy applications and bottle brush.
The bubbles fade in a few minutes and leave a bowl of grey scum. I am going to change to an own brand after 40 plus years.

P J Godfrey – This article dates from 2011. Which?’s most recent tests put two Fairy Liquid products at the top of the Best Buy category. One own-label product from a major supermarket scored highly and was considerably cheaper. It seems to me that, depending on the formulation and active ingredients, using more product in the washing up bowl does not necessarily improve a liquid’s performance.

Sharon Marples says:
8 August 2020

I was surprised (and disappointed) at how much Fairy liquid has changed. Once, one squirt was all that was needed to do all the washing up as it was so rich, and the bubbles lasted really well. Now it is more watery and doesn’t cut through the grease like it used to. Alas, like so many products these days, the price goes up, but the quality goes down. Fairy liquid used to be top dog, but now it is no more effective than the cheaper brands.

Annette Ward says:
3 November 2020

I agree,Fairy liquid is no longer going to be my choice (has been for years)as it was the best for removing grease with a very little squirt.Not only has it changed for the worse, where is the Original Fairy Platinum gone, I would only buy this say 2/3 times a year to use on stubborn washing up,but no longer on the shelves of Tesco Asda Lidl. They call the New lemon fairy Platnium I finished this off in no time Very disappointing.Will shop around now for an alternative to Fairy however judging by the comments they may have to do something super quick before their customers desert them

Washing up liquids are full of harmful chemicals.. I only use Sainsburys eco liquid .. its great only 85p, Surecare or Bio D…I cant use any of the others as it causes respitory breathlessness and gritty sore eyes.. change please as all these others have a cocktail of toxic chemicals one being formadehyde.. these companies need a shake up… fast..

Waitrose does a great washing up liquid with no harmful junk.. and its much cheaper too.

Irene Garwood says:
27 August 2020

I have used Fairy for a long time now but have found that the last couple of bottles don’t work as well as before. I bought a bottle of Asda’s own yesterday and was very pleased with the result and only 50p. No more Fairy!

Linda Bugnell says:
6 December 2020

Fairy very poor quality at the moment. Will be changing. Never used anything else but it has changed significantly. Very dissatisfied

Jim Stott says:
7 December 2020

After using it for over 60 years I’ve just decided to stop using Fairy liquid as well, it just doesn’t work any more. It doesn’t kill grease, you finish up redistributing it around the item that you’re trying to wash. I’ve been recommended “Elbow grease” we shall see………………..

Sara Gracia says:
29 December 2020

Fairy has definitely lost its superiority- it just doesn’t lather as well as previously. Now looking for alternatives!