Consumer organisation Which? has been testing washing up liquids - to find the brands that cleaned the most plates - and did the best job of them. Surprisingly the winner wasn't a big name brand - it was a supermarket own-brand costing 59p.
So is this a surprise?
The testWhich? tested 16 different washing up liquids, to see which could remove fat effectively from the most plates. Which? washing-up liquid expert Katie Benson says: 'The biggest thing we look for in a washing-up liquid is how well it removes greasy fat from dishes. We put a single drop of liquid into a bowl of hot water and keep washing small greasy plates in the bowl until it loses its ability to clean the fat. The more plates a washing-up liquid can clean, the better it is." The tests also measure how long the foam lasts.
The winner this year was Aldi Magnum Premium Original - which scored 5/5 in both effective cleaning and foam lasting - with an overall score of 82%. It cleaned an impressive 27 plates with a single squirt. In second place was Aldi's Magnum Premium Eucalyptus Antibacterial - which cleaned 24 plates.
In last place was the Co-operative Ecological Concentrated liquid, which scored just 12%. Oddly it had been a best-buy in the same test last year, but the Co-operative said it had to change the formula to meet the new requirements of the EU Ecolabel. It said it would be revisiting the formula in light of the results.
So is this a surprise?On the one hand, this wasn't an entirely fair test, because the market leader, and a previous winner of the tests (every year between 1991 and 2010), Fairy, wasn't part of the process. It had recently changed its formula, and the new formula wasn't available in time for the test. Which? says it will test the new formula to give people a chance to compare it with these results.
However, it doesn't take away the fact that an own-brand has triumphed - and that this is far from the only time that supermarket own-brands have taken the top spot on Which? consumer tests.
In recent months Sainsbury's won the category for premium steak - with its Taste The Difference sirloin, it took the title for best champagne with is Blanc de Noirs, it won the ketchup taste test, and was joint winner of the balsamic vinegar test
Meanwhile Aldi was named best for orange juice with the Del Rivo own brand, and it was joint best with its mayonnaise (Lidl was joint winner of the mayonnaise category).
As the washing up liquid test showed, own brands are not all superior. However, as this test shows, it's always worth trying out an own brand. It'll save you money and could end up being a better product into the bargain.