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15-minute Wonder Wash innovation taps into changing laundry habits


In line with changing lifestyles, we’re seeing consumers increasingly use short cycles to do their laundry. Regular detergents aren’t designed to perform best in quick washes, so Dirt Is Good, one of our power brands, designed one that is.

A bottle of Persil Wonder Wash laundry detergent on a factory production line. The innovation has been designed specifically for quick washes.

There’s a seismic shift happening in the world of laundry. Changing work and lifestyle habits mean clothes often have less visible dirt and stains. The fabrics we’re wearing are also different, with around 60% of our wardrobes now made from malodour-retaining synthetic fibres. And people are looking for more efficiency and care in their laundry routine to save time, energy and cost, and extend the life of their clothes.

While people are increasingly selecting the ‘short cycle wash’ setting on their machines, conventional detergents aren’t designed for this: they struggle to dissolve and rinse fully within the shortened timeframe, and some ingredients need more time to activate. This often leads to sticky residues left on clothing and a lingering odour.

We believe it’s going to be a truly transformative product for the category.

Eduardo Campanella, Business Group President, Home Care

In response to this change in behaviour, we’ve launched our first-ever product designed specifically for short and cold cycles. And it’s entering a market with significant potential. The short cycle category is predicted to grow by 21% year on year[a] and be worth €2 billion by 2026.[b]

Wonder Wash from Dirt Is Good – known as OMO, Persil, Surf Excel, Breeze, Rinso, Ala or Skip, depending on where you are in the world – was developed at our Port Sunlight R&D centre in the UK, where scientists broke down then reconstructed how a laundry detergent is made.

Through in-depth research with consumers around the world, we learnt exactly what types of daily grease and grime people are looking to tackle in a quick wash. Understanding this was key to creating a formulation that performs in as little as 15 minutes as well as longer cycles.

Using our state-of-the-art patented Pro-S technology – a combination of enzymes and other ingredients never used in laundry before – the product can deal with stains and odour effectively in the shortened timeframe. It also delivers on the consumer desire for better fragrance with its long-lasting scents inspired by fine fragrance.

“Understanding consumer needs is key to our laundry innovation and until now detergents have not kept pace with changing behaviours,” says Eduardo Campanella, Business Group President, Home Care. “That’s why Dirt Is Good, one of Unilever’s 30 power brands, has pushed the boundaries of fast-acting cleaning to develop Wonder Wash.

“It’s an example of how we’re focusing more of our investment on creating bigger and better innovations under our Growth Action Plan. And we believe it’s going to be a truly transformative product for the category.”

The three variants in the Wonder Wash range – Speed Clean, Ultra Care and Odour Defy – are available now in the UK and China and set to launch in other markets later this year. And to help make sure the campaign is unmissable, Dirt Is Good has partnered with the fastest man on earth, Usain Bolt, as part of the marketing campaign.

A marketing campaign for Persil’s new laundry detergent, Wonder Wash. The product can perform in just 15 minutes.

Source: Global Kantar World Panel, % of shoppers based on total Fabric Care (Google Keyword planner MAT-1 Nov 2021 vs MAT Nov 2022), (Mintel GNPD data: 2020–21)

[b] (1,2)

Source: Toluna H&A Quick Wash Behaviours UK, FR, BR (Nov 22); TK, TH, VN, ANZ (Jun 23), n=1500 per markets


Source: Handbook for Cleaning/Decontamination of Surfaces, B.1.I Laundry Cleaning of Textiles (Elsevier, 2007)

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