Laundry Detergent Testing Guidelines - Minimum requirements for comparative detergent testing

Laundry detergents are sometimes compared on performance, e.g. by consumer organisations. But to be useful for consumers, it is important that these tests are of high quality and offer a realistic and reliable comparison of product characteristics.

A.I.S.E. developed its first detergent testing guidelines in 2009 and has since been updating it on a regular base, making it available to manufacturers and other interested parties such as consumer organisations and testing institutes. 
The protocol provides a minimum requirement methodology for assessing the performance of laundry detergents (heavy duty and light duty) and laundry additives across Europe. The Guidelines have been developed based on experts' knowledge from major companies manufacturing such products, after a thorough review of existing test protocols used in Europe and of existing internal company data.


The protocol comprises (as minimum requirements - bearing in mind that organisations may feel free to exceed them): 

A.I.S.E. reviews this protocol regularly. Please address your feedback, reactions, suggestions and questions directly to

Status of the review of the protocol – February 2017

Stain Set - no change to the stain set. The work on the development of a body soil stain has been completed, but no suitable stain has been identified. 

Dye Transfer Inhibition Protocol - the group has started in late 2013 to work on the addition of two new dyes. Validation is ongoing.

Whiteness Maintenance Protocol - the group has started in 2015 a programme to further improve the whiteness test method in a more consumer relevant way. The screening tests with test institutes have started, and the results are currently being reviewed. Further testing will be underway in 2017. 

History of protocol update

 Version  Date  Comments
 V.1.  February  2009  Original stain set
 V.2.  July 2012  Changes to the stain set:
 Interim situation for the red wine stain, as offered by Equest (one  of the stain providers)
 V.3.  June 2013  Changes to the stain set:
 New stains for red wine and frying fat (hamburger grease)
 V.4.  July 2013  Changes to the stain set:
 Replacement of stain WFK 10M for unused motor oil by WFK  10RM
 V.5. November 2013  Changes to the stain set:
 New stains for coffee and tea
V.5.1. April 2016  No changes to the test requirements, only editorial changes.

The files have been updated to reflect change in the name of the project (previously "Detergent Test Protocol") and to include: initial disclaimer on the use of the protocol; translation from English of missing text on slide related to the evaluation of degree of stain removal; inclusion of list of acronyms at the end. 
V.5.2 June 2018 Clarification on the purpose of the guidelines (for comparative performance testing of detergents, NOT washing conditions) and on the choice of washing cycle(s).
If you wish more information about the stain update, please check this document.